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Wikipedia defines history as the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. It came from the Greek word ‘historia’ – which means ‘inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation’.

Today In HistoryThis website utilizes entries from Wikipedia to extract historical events from 3761 BC up to the present. There are 105,062 records in the database that include events, births and deaths of popular individuals. The present day Gregorian calendar was adopted to show dates of interest.

Let us begin with what happened today in history. You may also enter a specific day using the form on the right sidebar.

What happened on December 13? There are more than 291 events that were made this day in history. Here are the important historical events, facts, and some myths about this day.

Interesting Facts & Myths About December 13

December 13 is the 347th day of the year 2018. There are 18 days remaining until the end of this year. The day of the week is Thursday. This day falls under the 50th week of the year 2018.

On this day in Joppa, Alabama 35087 sunrise will occur at 12:44 PM and sunset will occur at 10:37 PM (local time).

The zodiac sign of a person born on this day is Sagittarius. The modern birthstone for this month is Turquoise while the mystical birthstone is Onyx.

According to the Chinese calendar, there are 54 days remaining before the start of the next Chinese New Year (February 5, 2019).

Birthday curiousity Is your birthday coming up in two days? Are you not curious to find out who is sharing your special day? Discover all the December 15 famous birthdays. There are fun facts about that day that you must know. (Sponsored link)

Historical Events For December 13

  • 1294
    Saint Celestine V resigns the papacy after only five months; Celestine hoped to return to his previous life as an ascetic hermit.
  • 1545
    Council of Trent begins.
  • 1577
    Sir Francis Drake sets out from Plymouth, England, on his round-the-world voyage.
  • 1636
    The Massachusetts Bay Colony organizes three militia regiments to defend the colony against the Pequot Indians. This organization is recognized today as the founding of the United States National Guard.
  • 1642
    Abel Janszoon Tasman reaches New Zealand.
  • 1643
    English Civil War: The Battle of Alton takes place in Hampshire.
  • 1769
    Dartmouth College is founded by the Rev. Eleazar Wheelock, with a Royal Charter from King George III, on land donated by Royal Governor John Wentworth.
  • 1809
    Dr. Ephraim McDowell performed the first ovariotomy, removing a 22 pound tumor.
  • 1862
    American Civil War: At the Battle of Fredericksburg, Confederate General Robert E. Lee defeats the Union Major General Ambrose E. Burnside.
  • 1867
    Fenian bomb explodes in Clerkenwell, London, killing six.
  • 1937
    Nanjing Massacre. Japanese troops begin carrying out several weeks of raping and killing of civilians and suspected Chinese resistance after the fall of Nanjing.
  • 1937
    Second Sino-Japanese War: Battle of Nanjing – Nanjing, defended by the National Revolutionary Army under the command of General Tang Shengzhi, falls to the Japanese.
  • 1938
    The Holocaust: The Neuengamme concentration camp opens in the Bergedorf district of Hamburg, Germany.
  • 1939
    World War II: Battle of the River Plate – Captain Hans Langsdorff of the German Deutschland class cruiser (pocket battleship) Admiral Graf Spee engages with Royal Navy cruisers HMS Exeter, HMS Ajax and HMNZS Achilles.
  • 1941
    World War II: Hungary and Romania declare war on the United States.
  • 1943
    World War II: The Massacre of Kalavryta by German occupying forces in Greece.
  • 1949
    The Knesset votes to move the capital of Israel to Jerusalem.
  • 1959
    Archbishop Makarios becomes the first President of Cyprus.
  • 1960
    While Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia visits Brazil, his Imperial Bodyguard seizes the capital and proclaim him deposed and his son, Crown Prince Asfa Wossen, Emperor.
  • 1962
    NASA Relay 1 launch, first active repeater communications satellite in orbit.
  • 1967
    Constantine II of Greece attempts an unsuccessful counter-coup against the Regime of the Colonels
  • 1968
    Brazilian president Artur da Costa e Silva decrees the AI-5 (or the fifth Institutional Act), which lasts until 1978 and marks the beginning of the hard times of Brazilian military dictatorship.
  • 1972
    Apollo program: Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt begin the third and final Extra-vehicular activity (EVA) or “Moonwalk” of Apollo 17. To date they are the last humans to set foot on the Moon.
  • 1974
    Malta becomes a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations
  • 1977
    A DC-3 aircraft chartered from the Indianapolis-based National Jet crashes near Evansville Regional Airport, killing 29, including the University of Evansville basketball team, support staff and boosters of the team.
  • 1979
    The Canadian Government of Prime Minister Joe Clark is defeated in the House of Commons, prompting the 1980 Canadian election.
  • 1981
    General Wojciech Jaruzelski declares martial law in Poland to prevent dismantling of the communist system by Solidarity.
  • 1988
    Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat gives a speech at the United Nations General Assembly in the Swiss city of Geneva after the United States authorities refused to give him a visa to enter New York.
  • 1989
    Attack on Derryard checkpoint: The Provisional Irish Republican Army launch an attack on a British Army nonpermanent vehicle checkpoint near Rosslea, Northern Ireland. Two British soldiers are killed and one badly wounded.
  • 2000
    Al Gore concedes the U.S. presidential election to George W. Bush.
  • 2000
    The “Texas 7” escape from the John Connally Unit near Kenedy, Texas and go on a robbery spree, during which police officer Aubrey Hawkins is shot and killed.
  • 2001
    The Indian Parliament Sansad is attacked by terrorists. 15 people are killed, including all the terrorists.
  • 2001
    The King of Perlis has has sweared and signed the proclamation of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong,thus became the de jure 12th Yang Di-Pertuan Agong,the head of state of Malaysia.He replaced the Sultan of Selangor,whose died in office for five years.
  • 2002
    Enlargement of the European Union: The European Union announces that Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia will become members from May 1, 2004.
  • 2003
    Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is captured near his home town of Tikrit (see Operation Red Dawn).

Who Were Born On December 13?

  • 1521
    Pope Sixtus V (d. 1590)
  • 1533
    King Eric XIV of Sweden (d. 1577)
  • 1553
    King Henry IV of France (d. 1610)
  • 1585
    William Drummond of Hawthornden, Scottish poet (d. 1649)
  • 1640
    Robert Plot, English naturalist (d. 1696)
  • 1662
    Francesco Bianchini, Italian philosopher and scientist (d. 1729)
  • 1678
    Yongzheng Emperor of China (d. 1735)
  • 1720
    Carlo Gozzi, Italian dramatist (d. 1804)
  • 1724
    Franz Aepinus, German scientist (d. 1802)
  • 1784
    Archduke Louis of Austria (d. 1864)
  • 1797
    Heinrich Heine, German poet (d. 1856)
  • 1804
    Joseph Howe, Canadian politician (d. 1873)
  • 1814
    Ana Néri, Brazilian nurse (d. 1880)
  • 1816
    Ernst Werner von Siemens, German engineer, inventor, and industrialist (d. 1892)
  • 1818
    Mary Todd Lincoln, First Lady of the United States (d. 1882)
  • 1836
    Franz von Lenbach, German painter (d. 1904)
  • 1854
    Herman Bavinck, Dutch theologian and churchman (d. 1921)
  • 1856
    Svetozar Boroević, Austro-Hungarian field marshal (d. 1920)
  • 1860
    Lucien Guitry, French actor (d. 1925)
  • 1864
    Emil Seidel, Mayor of Milwaukee (d. 1947)
  • 1867
    Kristian Birkeland, Norwegian explorer and scientist (d. 1917)
  • 1870
    Edward LeSaint, American actor and director (d. 1940)
  • 1871
    Emily Carr, Canadian artist (d. 1945)
  • 1874
    Josef Lhévinne, Russian-born pianist (d. 1944)
  • 1883
    Belle da Costa Greene, American librarian, bibliographer and archivist (d. 1950)
  • 1884
    Aimilios Veakis, Greek actor (d. 1951)
  • 1887
    Alvin York, American soldier & Medal of Honor recipient (d. 1964)
  • 1887
    George Polya, Hungarian-born mathematician (d. 1985)
  • 1897
    Albert Aalbers, Dutch architect (d. 1961)
  • 1897
    Drew Pearson, American journalist (d. 1969)
  • 1900
    Jonel Perlea, Romanian conductor (d. 1970)
  • 1902
    Panagiotis Kanellopoulos, Prime Minister of Greece (d. 1986)
  • 1902
    Talcott Parsons, American sociologist, (d. 1979)
  • 1903
    Carlos Montoya, Spanish guitarist (d. 1993)
  • 1903
    Ella Baker, American civil rights activist (d. 1986)
  • 1906
    Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent (d. 1968)
  • 1906
    Sir Laurens van der Post, South African author (d. 1996)
  • 1910
    Van Heflin, American actor (d. 1971)
  • 1911
    Kenneth Patchen, American poet and painter (d. 1972)
  • 1911
    Trygve Haavelmo, Norwegian economist and Bank of Sweden Prize winner (d. 1999)
  • 1913
    Archie Moore, American boxer (d. 1998)
  • 1913
    Arnold Brown, the 11th General of The Salvation Army (d. 2002)
  • 1914
    Alan Bullock, British author of the first biography of Hitler written in any language. (d. 2004)
  • 1915
    B. J. Vorster, Prime Minister of South Africa 1966-1978 (d. 1983)
  • 1915
    Curd Jürgens, German-born Austrian actor (d. 1982)
  • 1915
    Ross Macdonald, American-born author (d. 1983)
  • 1917
    John Hart, American actor (d. 2009)
  • 1919
    Hans-Joachim Marseille, German flying ace of World War II (d. 1942)
  • 1920
    George Shultz, American economist, statesman, and 60th United States Secretary of State
  • 1923
    Larry Doby, American baseball player (d. 2003)
  • 1923
    Philip Warren Anderson, American physicist, Nobel laureate
  • 1925
    Dick Van Dyke, American actor and comedian
  • 1926
    George Rhoden, Jamaican athlete
  • 1929
    Christopher Plummer, Canadian actor
  • 1930
    Robert Prosky, American actor (d. 2008)
  • 1934
    Richard D. Zanuck, American film producer
  • 1935
    Joe Christopher, American baseball player
  • 1935
    Ken Hall, American football player
  • 1935
    Lindy McDaniel, American baseball player
  • 1936
    His Highness Prince Shah Karim al-Husseini Aga Khan IV, Present Imam (leader) of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims
  • 1936
    J. C. Martin, American baseball player
  • 1937
    Rob Houwer, Dutch film producer
  • 1937
    Ron Taylor, Canadian baseball player
  • 1937
    Ulf G. Lindén, Swedish entrepreneur (d. 2009)
  • 1938
    Alvin Curran, American composer
  • 1938
    Heino, German folk singer
  • 1939
    Eric Flynn, British actor and singer (d. 2002)
  • 1941
    Bessel Kok, Dutch businessman and chess organiser
  • 1941
    John Davidson, American actor and game show host
  • 1942
    Anna Eshoo, American politician
  • 1943
    Ferguson Jenkins, Canadian baseball player
  • 1943
    Gösta Winbergh, Swedish tenor (d. 2002)
  • 1944
    Dick Dees, Dutch politician
  • 1944
    Hwang Jang Lee, Korean martial artist and film actor
  • 1944
    Marti Webb, British actor and singer
  • 1945
    Brian McGuire, Australian racing driver (d. 1977)
  • 1945
    Herman Cain, American businessman, radio host, and politician
  • 1945
    Kathy Garver, American actress
  • 1947
    Darlene Cates, American actress
  • 1947
    Dave Hamilton, American baseball player
  • 1947
    Rex Hagon, Canadian actor and host
  • 1948
    Brian Wilson, Scottish politician
  • 1948
    Jeff Baxter, American guitarist (Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers)
  • 1948
    Lester Bangs, Rock critic (d. 1982)
  • 1948
    Lillian Board, British track and field athlete (d. 1970)
  • 1948
    Ted Nugent, American guitarist
  • 1949
    Luc Sala, Dutch entrepreneur and writer
  • 1949
    Paula Wilcox, English actress
  • 1949
    Randy Owen, American country singer and guitarist (Alabama)
  • 1949
    Robert Lindsay, English actor
  • 1949
    Tom Verlaine, American singer and guitarist (Television)
  • 1950
    Tom Vilsack, 40th Governor of Iowa and 30th United States Secretary of Agriculture
  • 1950
    Wendie Malick, American actress
  • 1952
    Sylvester Ritter (Junkyard Dog), American professional wrestler (d. 1998)
  • 1953
    Ben Bernanke, American economist and current United States Chairman of the Federal Reserve
  • 1953
    Bill Castro, Dominican baseball player
  • 1953
    Bob Gainey, Canadian ice hockey player and General Manager
  • 1953
    Jim Davidson, British comedian
  • 1954
    Emma Bull, American science fiction and fantasy author
  • 1954
    John Anderson, American country music singer-songwriter
  • 1954
    Steve Forbert, American singer-songwriter
  • 1954
    Tamora Pierce, American author
  • 1956
    Dale Berra, American baseball player
  • 1956
    Majida El Roumi, Lebanese soprano, singer
  • 1956
    Phil Hubbard, American basketball player
  • 1957
    Eric Marienthal, American saxophonist
  • 1957
    Jean-Marie Messier, French businessman
  • 1957
    Morris Day, American singer (The Time)
  • 1957
    Steve Buscemi, American actor
  • 1958
    Lynn-Holly Johnson, American figure skater and actress
  • 1959
    Jim Barrell, American professional wrestler
  • 1959
    Johnny Whitaker, American actor
  • 1960
    Daggubati Venkatesh, Indian actor
  • 1960
    Rusty Cundieff, American actor
  • 1961
    Gary Zimmerman, American football player
  • 1961
    Harry Gregson-Williams, English composer
  • 1961
    Irene Saez, Miss Universe 1981 and Venezuelan politician
  • 1962
    Jamie Raskin, American law professor and politician
  • 1962
    Kendra Slewenski, English netballer
  • 1962
    Rex Ryan, American football coach
  • 1962
    Rob Ryan, American football coach
  • 1962
    Roger Ilegems, Belgian track cyclist and road bicycle racer
  • 1964
    Hideto “hide” Matsumoto, Japanese musician (X Japan) (d. 1998)
  • 1965
    Jackie Clune, British entertainer and actress
  • 1965
    Marko Mäetamm, Estonian artist
  • 1966
    Don Roff, American writer and filmmaker
  • 1966
    Mike Tirico, sports broadcaster
  • 1966
    Ross Burden, New Zealand celebrity chef
  • 1967
    Bo Pelini, American football coach
  • 1967
    Jamie Foxx, American actor and singer
  • 1969
    Murat Nasyrov, Russian singer (d. 2007)
  • 1969
    Sergei Fedorov, Russian ice hockey player
  • 1969
    Tony Curran, Scottish actor
  • 1970
    Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, Austrian mountaineer
  • 1972
    Chris Grant, Australian football player
  • 1972
    Niki Evans, English singer
  • 1973
    Christie Clark, American actress
  • 1974
    Debbie Matenopoulos, American television personality and actress
  • 1974
    Nicholas McCarthy, English guitarist (Franz Ferdinand)
  • 1974
    Sara Cox, English TV and radio presenter
  • 1975
    Bates Battaglia, American ice hockey player
  • 1975
    Kostas Kiassos, Greek footballer
  • 1975
    Matthew LeCroy, American baseball player
  • 1975
    Tom DeLonge, American guitarist (blink-182, Angels & Airwaves)
  • 1976
    Josh Fogg, American baseball player
  • 1976
    Radosław Sobolewski, Polish footballer
  • 1976
    Søren Friis, Danish footballer
  • 1977
    Peter Stringer, Irish rugby union footballer
  • 1977
    Sascha Kindred, British Paralympic swimmer
  • 1978
    BJ Penn, American mixed martial artist
  • 1978
    Olav Bjortomt, British quiz champion
  • 1978
    Ryo Kawakita, Japanese guitarist (Maximum the Hormone)
  • 1980
    Bosco Wong, Hong Kong Singer and Actor
  • 1980
    Patrik Antonius, Finnish poker player
  • 1980
    Ryan France, English footballer
  • 1980
    Satoshi Tsumabuki, Japanese actor
  • 1981
    Amy Lee, American singer/songwriter (Evanescence)
  • 1982
    Anthony Callea, Australian singer/songwriter
  • 1982
    Dan Hamhuis, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1982
    Dominik Werling, German footballer
  • 1982
    Ricky Nolasco, American baseball player
  • 1982
    Tuka Rocha, Brazilian racing driver
  • 1983
    Matt Deis, American bassist
  • 1983
    Otylia Jędrzejczak, Polish swimmer
  • 1984
    Hanna-Maria Seppälä, Finnish swimmer
  • 1984
    Santi Cazorla, Spanish footballer
  • 1985
    Alby Mathewson, New Zealand rugby player
  • 1985
    Laurence Leboeuf, Canadian actress
  • 1985
    Michael Bumpus, American football player
  • 1988
    Rickie Fowler, American golfer
  • 1989
    Taylor Swift, American singer

Who Died On December 13?

  • 1048
    Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī, Persian mathematician (b. 973)
  • 1124
    Pope Callixtus II
  • 1126
    Henry IX, Duke of Bavaria
  • 1204
    Maimonides, Spanish rabbi and philosopher (b. 1135)
  • 1250
    Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1194)
  • 1404
    Albert, Count of Holland (b. 1336)
  • 1466
    Donatello, Florentine artist and sculptor (b. 1386)
  • 1516
    Johannes Trithemius, German cryptographer (b. 1462)
  • 1521
    Manuel I of Portugal (b. 1469)
  • 1557
    Niccolo Fontana Tartaglia, Italian mathematician
  • 1565
    Conrad Gessner, Swiss naturalist (b. 1516)
  • 1603
    Franciscus Vieta, French mathematician (b. 1540)
  • 1621
    Katarina Stenbock, Queen of Gustav I of Sweden (b. 1535)
  • 1716
    Charles de La Fosse, French painter (b. 1640)
  • 1721
    Alexander Selkirk, Scottish sailor and castaway (b. 1676)
  • 1729
    Anthony Collins, English philosopher (b. 1676)
  • 1754
    Mahmud I, Ottoman Sultan (b. 1696)
  • 1769
    Christian Fürchtegott Gellert, German poet (b. 1715)
  • 1783
    Pehr Wilhelm Wargentin, Swedish astronomer (b. 1717)
  • 1784
    Samuel Johnson, English writer and lexicographer (b. 1709)
  • 1814
    Charles Joseph, Prince de Ligne, Belgian-born Austrian field marshal (b. 1735)
  • 1835
    John Storm, American Revolutionary soldier (b. 1760)
  • 1837
    Herman of Alaska, Russian Orthodox hermit (b. 1756)
  • 1863
    Christian Friedrich Hebbel, German writer (b. 1813)
  • 1868
    Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius, German botanist (b. 1794)
  • 1881
    August Senoa, Croatian writer (b. 1838)
  • 1883
    Victor de Laprade, French poet and critic (b. 1812)
  • 1893
    Georg August Rudolph, German politician (b. 1816)
  • 1895
    Ányos Jedlik, Hungarian physicist (b. 1800)
  • 1919
    Woldemar Voigt, German physicist (b. 1850)
  • 1922
    Hannes Hafstein, Icelandic politician and poet (b. 1861)
  • 1924
    Samuel Gompers, American labor leader (b. 1850)
  • 1930
    Fritz Pregl, Slovenian-born Austrian chemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1869)
  • 1931
    Gustave le Bon, French psychologist (b. 1840)
  • 1932
    Georgios Jakobides, Greek painter (b. 1853)
  • 1934
    Thomas A. Watson, American assistant to Alexander Graham Bell (b. 1854)
  • 1935
    Victor Grignard, French chemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1871)
  • 1940
    George Regas, Greek actor (b. 1890)
  • 1940
    Jacques-Arsène d'Arsonval, French physicist (b. 1851)
  • 1942
    Wlodimir Ledochowski, Austrian-born Polish religious figure (b. 1866)
  • 1944
    Lupe Vélez, Mexican actress (b. 1908)
  • 1944
    Wassily Kandinsky, Russian-born French artist (b. 1866)
  • 1945
    Elisabeth Volkenrath, Polish-born German concentration camp supervisor (b. 1919)
  • 1945
    Irma Grese, German concentration camp supervisor (b. 1923)
  • 1945
    Josef Kramer, German concentration camp commandant (b. 1906)
  • 1947
    Nicholas Roerich, Russian-born painter (b. 1874)
  • 1950
    Abraham Wald, Hungarian mathematician (b. 1902)
  • 1954
    John Raymond Hubbell, American writer (b. 1879)
  • 1955
    Egas Moniz, Portuguese psychiatrist and neurosurgeon, Nobel laureate (b. 1874)
  • 1958
    Tim Moore, American actor (b. 1887)
  • 1960
    Dora Marsden, British editor, writer (b. 1882)
  • 1961
    Grandma Moses, American painter (b. 1860)
  • 1962
    Harry Barris, American popular singer (b. 1905)
  • 1969
    Raymond A. Spruance, American admiral (b. 1886)
  • 1969
    Spencer Williams, Jr., American actor (b. 1893)
  • 1973
    Henry Green, English author (b. 1905)
  • 1979
    Jon Hall, American actor (b. 1915)
  • 1981
    Pigmeat Markham, American entertainer (b. 1904)
  • 1983
    Alexander Schmemann, Estonian Orthodox Christian priest and theologian (b. 1921)
  • 1983
    Nichita Stănescu, Romanian poet (b. 1933)
  • 1986
    Ella Baker, American civil rights activist (b, 1903)
  • 1986
    Heather Angel, British actress (b. 1909)
  • 1986
    Smita Patil, Indian Actress (b.1955)
  • 1992
    Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, American businessman and heir (b. 1899)
  • 1992
    K.C. Irving, Canadian industrialist (b. 1899)
  • 1993
    Vanessa Duriès, French novelist (b. 1972)
  • 1994
    Michalis Nikolinakos, Greek actor (b. 1923)
  • 1994
    Norman Beaton, Guyanese actor (b. 1934)
  • 1996
    Edward Blishen, English author (b. 1920)
  • 2001
    Chuck Schuldiner, American musician (Death) (b. 1967)
  • 2002
    Zal Yanovsky, Canadian musician (The Lovin' Spoonful) (b. 1944)
  • 2003
    William V. Roth, Jr., American politician (b. 1921)
  • 2004
    Andre Rodgers, Bahamian baseball player (b. 1934)
  • 2004
    David Wheeler, English computer scientist (b. 1927)
  • 2005
    Stanley Tookie Williams, American convicted murderer (b. 1953)
  • 2005
    Timothy Jordan II, American musician (The All American Rejects, Jonezetta) (b. 1981)
  • 2006
    Lamar Hunt, American sports executive (b. 1932)
  • 2007
    Floyd Red Crow Westerman, American actor (b. 1936)
  • 2007
    Mark Partridge, Rhodesian politician (b. 1922)
  • 2008
    John Drake, New Zealand rugby union footballer (b. 1959)
  • 2008
    Kathy Staff, British actress (b. 1928)
  • 2010
    Enrique Morente, Spanish flamenco singer (b. 1942)
  • 2010
    Richard Holbrooke, American diplomat (b. 1941)
  • 2010
    Woolly Wolstenholme, British Musician (b. 1947)
  • 2011
    Kabir Chowdhury, Bangladeshi National Professor (b. 1923)


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