It happened today – this day in history – February 13

1258: Baghdad falls to the Mongols as the Abbasid Caliphate is destroyed and tens of thousands are slaughtered.

1542: Catherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII is beheaded for adultery aged 18. On the same day Jane Boleyn, Viscountess Rochford, sister-in-law of Henry VIII is also beheaded.

1578: Tycho Brahe first sketches his “Tychonic system” of the solar system.

1633: Astronomer Galileo Galilei arrives in Rome for trial before Inquisition for professing the belief that earth revolves around the sun.

1689: Parliament adopts the Bill of Rights which establishes the rights of parliament and places limits on the crown.

1692: Glencoe Massacre: about 38 MacDonalds killed early in the morning by rival Campbell clan members, allegedly for not promptly pledging allegiance to the new king, William of Orange.

1777: The Marquis de Sade is arrested without charge and imprisoned in Vincennes fortress.

1832: First appearance of cholera in London.

1858: Sir Richard Burton and John Speake explore Lake Tanganyika, Africa.

1861: Abraham Lincoln is declared US president.

1866: Jesse James holds up his first bank, stealing $15,000 from the Clay County Savings Association in Liberty, Missouri.

1883: Death of composer Richard Wagner aged 69.

1895: The moving picture projector is patented.

1907: Suffragettes storm the British Parliament and 60 women are arrested.

1912: The England cricket team regains the Ashes.

1917: Dutch exotic dancer Mata Hari (Margaretha Zelle) is arrested in Paris on suspicion of being a German spy.

1935: Bruno Hauptmann is found guilty of kidnap and murder of the Lindbergh baby.

1940: Actress Lana Turner marries bandleader Artie Shaw.

1942: Hitler’s invasion of England, Operation Sealion, is cancelled.

1945: Allied planes begin bombing Dresden, Germany; a firestorm results and over 22,000 die. On the same day, USSR captures Budapest, after a 49-day battle.

1955: Israel acquires four of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

1961: Officials in the Congolese province of Katanga declare former Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba has been killed by villagers trying to take him into custody. On the same day, Frank Sinatra launches his own record label, Reprise on the founding principal that each artist signed will have full creative freedom and at some point obtain ownership of their work.

1968: The US sends 10,500 additional soldiers to Vietnam.

1971: 12,000 South Vietnamese troops cross into Laos.


1974: Dissident writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn is expelled from the USSR.

1975: British mineworkers’ leaders agree to accept the coal board’s latest pay offer of up to 35%.

1977: Singles Chart:

  1. When I Need You – Leo Sayer
  2. Don’t Cry For Me Argentina – Julie Covington
  3. Don’t Give Up On Us – David Soul
  4. Side Show – Barry Briggs
  5. Isn’t She Lovely – David Parton
  6. Boogie Nights – Heatwave
  7. Don’t Leave Me This Way – Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes
  8. Jack In The Box – The Moments
  9. Daddy Cool – Boney M
  10. Suspicion – Elvis Presley
1977: Pink Floyd – Animals

Album chart:

  1. 20 Golden Greats – The Shadows
  2. Animals – Pink Floyd
  3. Red River Valley – Slim Whitman
  4. Evita – Studio Cast
  5. Endless Flight – Leo Sayer
  6. Songs In The Key of Life – Stevie Wonder
  7. Motorvatin’ – Chuck Berry
  8. David Soul – David Soul
  9. Low – David Bowie
  10. Heartbreakers – Various Artists

1978: Anna Ford becomes ITN’s first female newsreader.

1980: The Winter Olympic Games open in Lake Placid, New York.

1984: Konstantin Chernenko succeeds Yuri Andropov as leader of the Soviet Union.

1988: The Winter Olympic Games open in Calgary, Canada.

1989: Samantha Fox and Mick Fleetwood host a Brit Awards littered with embarrassing errors

1991: Iraqi civilians including 130 children are killed in Baghdad by American bombers. On the same day, athletics commentator Ron Pickering dies after heart bypass surgery aged 60.

1996: Take That announce they are splitting up at a press conference in Manchester.

1998: Former Stone Roses singer, Ian Brown is arrested at Manchester Airport after an incident during a flight from Paris.

2002: Country singer-songwriter Waylon Jennings dies in his sleep after a lengthy fight with diabetes.

2011: The King’s Speech wins best film at the BAFTAS.

2012: Adele wins all six categories she is nominated for at The Grammy Awards.

2013: Ten civilians, including three children, are killed by a NATO air strike in the Kunar Province, Afghanistan.

2016: All four members of English indie rock group Viola Beach along with their manager Craig Tarry, die in a car crash in Södertälje, Sweden.

2017: Film star Harrison Ford is involved in a near miss while flying a plane at John Wayne Airport, Orange County.

2018: An Israeli Police report recommends Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be prosecuted on bribery, fraud and breach-of-trust charges. On the same day, South African president Jacob Zuma is ordered to step down by the ANC.

2021: Former US President Donald Trump is acquitted in a second Senate impeachment trial on the charge of incitement of insurrection after senators vote 57 to 43 in favour of conviction, less than the two thirds majority required for impeachment.

2022: The LA Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-20 to win the Super Bowl.

2023: American R&B pianist Huey “Piano” Smith dies aged 89.

Peter Gabriel

BIRTHDAYS: Kim (Marilyn) Novak, actress, 91; Stockard Channing, actress, 80; Peter Gabriel, singer-songwriter, 74; Peter Hook, bassist (New Order) 68; Liam Brady, footballer, 68; Henry Rollins, singer/actor, 63; Hugh Dennis, comedian/actor, 62; Neal McDonough, actor, 58; Sonia, (Evans) singer, 53; Robbie Williams, singer-songwriter, 50; Katie Hopkins, broadcaster, 49; Feist (Lesley), singer-songwriter, 48; Mena Suvari, actress, 45; Mark Watson, comedian/writer, 44; Aston Merrygold, singer (JLS) 36.