It happened today – this day in history – August 13

1415: Henry V’s army lands at the mouth of the River Seine in France.

1521: Spanish conquistadors under Hernan Cortes capture Aztec Emperor Cuauhtemoc in Tenochtitlan marking the end of the Aztec Empire.

1624: Cardinal Richelieu is appointed Chief Minister of France by Louis XIII.

1642: Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens discovers the south polar cap of Mars.

1704: A combined British, German and Dutch army led by John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, decisively beats the French and Bavarians at the Battle of Blenheim.

1732: Voltaire’s “Zaire” premieres in Paris.

1784: Parliament accepts East India Company Act 1784, bringing the East India Company’s rule in India under the control of the British Government.

1792: Revolutionaries imprison French royals, including Marie Antoinette.

1799: The British fleet under Lord Seymour overthrows Suriname.

1814: The Cape of Good Hope is formally ceded to Britiain by the Dutch.

1876: The first complete performance of Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle at the opening of The Bayreuth Festspielhaus.

1889: William Gray patents the coin-operated telephone.

1898: US forces capture Manila during the Spanish-American War.

1899: Birth of director Alfred Hitchcock in Leytonstone.

1908: Edward VII meets with Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria at Ischl in an effort to persuade the Emperor to advise Germany against aggressive anti-British policies.

1910: Death of Florence Nightingale aged 90.

1912: French composer Jules Massenet dies aged 70.

1913: Stainless steel is invented by Harry Brearley in Sheffield.

1923: The Turkish National Congress selects Mustafa Kemal Ataturk Pasja as president.

1932: Adolf Hitler refuses President von Hindenburg’s proposal to become vice-chancellor of Germany.

1940: Hermann Goering’s “Adlertag” (Eagle Day) offensive, intended to destroy the RAF, results in 48 German aircraft being shot down while 25 British planes are lost.

1941: The Red army evacuates Smolensk.

1942: The ‘Manhattan Project’ commences with the aim of developing the atomic bomb.

1944: The British 8th Army occupies Florence.

1946: Author H G Wells dies aged 79.

1948: Hungarian boxer László Papp wins the first of the consecutive Olympic gold medals at the Games in London.

1952: The original version of Lieber & Stoller’s ‘Hound Dog’ was recorded by Willie Mae (Big Mama) Thornton.

1960: The Central African Republic and Chad proclaim independence from France.

1961: East Germany seals off the border between East and West Berlin, shutting off the escape route for thousands of refugees from the East.

1966: China announces a cultural revolution as Chairman Mao purges the Chinese Communist Party of his rivals.

1971: Saxophonist King Curtis Ousley was stabbed to death by a vagrant on the front steps of his New York home. On the same day, John Lennon flew from Heathrow Airport to New York. He never set foot on British soil again.

1977: More than 200 protesters are arrested after violent clashes at a demonstration in Lewisham against a march by the far right National Front.

1982: Soul singer Joe Tex died aged 49 at his home in Texas following a heart attack.

1988: Robert Smith of The Cure marries childhood sweetheart Mary Poole.

1991: The Prince of Wales resigns as patron of Scotland’s national museum in a row over a competition to design a new building.

1993: The Athletics World Championships open at Stuttgart.

1995: British mountaineer Alison Hargeaves, the first woman to climb Mt Everest alone without bottled oxygen, dies in a storm on the summit of K2 in Pakistan aged 33.

1999: Mick Jagger’s marriage to model Jerry Hall was declared null and void at the High Court in London. After hearing evidence on behalf of Hall the judge ruled their “marriage” in Bali in 1990 was not valid either in Indonesia or under English law.

2004: 156 Congolese Tutsi refugees are massacred at the Gatumba refugee camp in Burundi. On the same day, the Olympic Games opens at Athens.

2006: Singles chart:

  1. Hips Don’t Lie – Shakira ft Wyclef Jean
  2. Everytime We Touch – Cascada
  3. Ain’t No Other Man – Christina Aguilera
  4. Unfaithful – Rihanna
  5. You Give Me Something – James Morrison
  6. Stars Are Blind – Paris
  7. Smile – Lily Allen
  8. Voodoo Child – Rough Traders
  9. Last Request – Paulo Nutini
  10. Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol
2006: Lily Allen – Alright Still

Album chart:

  1. Undiscovered – James Morrison
  2. Eyes Open – Snow Patrol
  3. Razorlight – Razorlight
  4. Bright Idea – Orson
  5. Inside In/Inside Out – Kooks
  6. These Streets – Paulo Nutini
  7. The Very Best Of – Nina Simone
  8. Trouble – Ray Lamontagne
  9. A Girl Like Me – Rihanna
  10. Alright Still – Lily Allen

2009: Guitarist and inventor of multi track recording, Les Paul, died in New York at the age of 94.

2015: Swedish Prosecutors announce they are dropping allegations against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange of sexual molestation and coercion.

2016: Swimmer Michael Phelps ends his career at the Rio Olympics as part of the winning 4×100 medley relay, his record 23rd gold medal. On the same day, Mo Farah wins the 10,000m. Also, R2D2 actor Kenny Baker dies aged 81.

2018: Ugandan politician and pop singer Bobi Wine arrested by the Ugandan army at a campaign rally in Arua and later allegedly tortured.

BIRTHDAYS: Madhur Jaffrey food writer, 87; John Stokes, double bassist (The Bachelors) 80; Susan Jameson, actress, 79; Marie Helvin, model, 68; Paul Greengrass, director, 65; Feargal Sharkey, singer, (The Undertones) 62; Michael Bradley, bassist, (The Undertones) 61; Phil Taylor, darts champion, 60; Stuart Maconie, broadcaster/writer, 59; Alan Shearer, football pundit, 50; Sebastian Stan, actor, 37; Niko Kranjčar, Croatian footballer, 36; James Morrison, singer-songwriter, 36.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]