It happened today – this day in history – January 13

1099: Crusaders set fire to Mara, Syria.

1404: The Act of Multipliers is passed by Parliament forbidding alchemists to use their knowledge to create precious metals as it was feared that if they succeeded it would bring ruin upon the state.

1607: The Bank of Genoa fails after the announcement of a national bankruptcy in Spain.

1610: Astronomer Galileo discovers Jupiter’s fourth moon, Callisto.

1625: Death of Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel “the Older”.

1695: Author and satirist Jonathan Swift is ordained as an Anglican priest in Ireland.

1733: English colonists arrive at Charleston, South Carolina.

1794: The US flag is changed to 15 stars and 15 stripes.

1840: The steamship Lexington burns and sinks four miles off the coast of Long Island, killing 139.

1864: American songwriter Stephen Foster dies aged 37.

1874: Police engage in a pitch battle with unemployed men in New York.

1882: Composer Richard Wagner completes his opera “Parsifal”.

1893: The British Independent Labour Party forms with Keir Hardie as its leader.

1894: A revolution in Sicily is crushed by government troops.

1895: Oscar Wilde’s “Ideal Husband” premieres in London.

1898: Playwright and journalist Émile Zola publishes his open letter “J’accuse” accusing the French government of framing Jewish artillery officer Alfred Dreyfuss for sabotage.

1904: Hungarian composer Bela Bartok’s symphonic poem “Kossuth” premieres in Budapest.

1908: Cyclist and motor racer turned aviator Henri Farman becomes the first person to fly an observed circuit of more than 1km at Issy-les-Moulineaux, France, winning the 50,000 Franc Grand Prix d’Aviation.

1915: An earthquake in Avezzano, Italy, kills almost 30,000. On the same day, First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill, presents a plan for an assault on the Dardanelles.

1917: A train at Ciurea Station in Romania catches fire and explodes, killing up to 1,000 people.

1929: Legendary wild west figure Wyatt Earp dies aged 80.

1938: The Church of England accepts the theory of evolution.

1941: Novelist James Joyce dies aged 58 in Zurich.

1942: Henry Ford patents a method of constructing plastic auto bodies.

1943: Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrives for a conference in Casablanca on the day Hitler declares “Total War” against the Allies.

1945: Sergei Prokofiev’s 5th Symphony premieres in Moscow.

1953: Marshal Tito (Josep Broz) is declared president of Yugoslavia.

1959: French President Charles de Gaulle grants amnesty to 130 Algerians sentenced to death.


1964: Hindu-Muslim rioting breaks out in Calcutta resulting in the deaths of more than 100 people.

1965: Bob Dylan records Subterranean Homesick Blues and It’s All Over Now Baby Blue on the first day of recording for the album Bringing It All Back Home at Columbia Recording Studios in New York City.

1968: Johnny Cash plays a show, which is recorded for his forthcoming live album at Folsom Prison, near Sacramento, California in front of 2,000 inmates.

1970: Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu flees Biafra, leaving his deputy to surrender to the Nigerian army, unofficially ending the Nigerian Civil War. On the same day, rioting breaks out in the Ballymurphy area of Belfast.

1972: A bloodless coup in Ghana ousts prime minister Dr Kofi Busia while he is in London for medical treatment.

1974: The Miami Dolphins beat the Minnesota Vikings, 24-7 to win the Super Bowl.

1979: Singer-songwriter Donny Hathaway commits suicide aged 33 by falling from a 15th floor New York hotel window.

1980: Singles chart:

  1. Brass In Pocket – The Pretenders
  2. With You I’m Born Again – Billy Preston & Syreeta Wright
  3. Please Don;t Go – K C and the Sunshine Band
  4. My Girl – Madness
  5. Another Brick In The Wall – Pink Floyd
  6. I’m In The Mood For Dancing – The Nolans
  7. I Have A Dream – ABBA
  8. Tears Of A Clown – The Beat
  9. Day Trip To Bangor – Fiddler’s Dram
  10. I Only Want To Be With You – The Tourists
1980: Pink Floyd – The Wall

Album chart:

  1. Pretenders – The Pretenders
  2. Greatest Hits Vol 2 – ABBA
  3. Regatta De Blanc – The Police
  4. The Wall – Pink Floyd
  5. One Step Beyond – Madness
  6. Greatest Hits – Rod Stewart
  7. Bee Gees Greatest – The Bee Gees
  8. Video Stars – Various Artists
  9. Off The Wall – Michael Jackson
  10. 20 Hottest Hits – Hot Chocolate

1982: An Air Florida Boing 737 takes off in a snowstorm in Washington D.C, hits the 14th St Bridge and falls into the Potomac River, killing 78.

1984: Radio 1 announces a ban on Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, after DJ Mike Read called it ‘obscene’. The song goes to number one (twice) and stays on the chart for almost a year.

1991: Fourteen people are killed by the Soviet military in the capital of Lithuania as Moscow continues its crackdown on the Baltic republic and its drive for independence. On the same day, UN Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar meets with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

1992: American serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer pleads guilty but insane. On the same day, Japan apologises for forcing Korean women into sexual slavery during the Second World War.

1993: American, British and French fighter jets carry out a series of bombing raids over southern Iraq.

1994: American figure skater Tonya Harding’s bodyguards, Shawn Eric Eckardt and Derrick Brian Smith are arrested and charged with conspiracy in the attack on rival skater Nancy Kerrigan.

1997: Peruvian left-wing guerrillas holding 72 hostages open fire on police outside the Japanese Embassy in Lima.

2000: Microsoft chairman Bill Gates steps aside as chief executive and promotes company president Steve Ballmer to the position.

2001: San Salvador is devastated by a massive earthquake.

2003: The Who guitarist Pete Townshend is arrested on suspicion of child porn offences. Police officers impound seven computers from his home in Richmond, Surrey. He is eventually cleared.

2004: Serial killer, Dr Harold Shipman is found hanged in his prison cell aged 57

2009: Actor/writer/director Patrick McGoohan, dies aged 80.

2010: Soul singer Teddy Pendergrass dies at the age of 59.

2012: The Italian cruise liner Costa Concordia runs aground at Isola de Giglio, killing 32.

2014: Cristiano Ronaldo wins the Ballon d’Or.

2016: Giorgio Gomelsky, the first manager of the Rolling Stones, passes away at the age of 82.

2017: Lord Snowdon (Anthony Armstrong-Jones), dies aged 86.

2018: A ballistic missile alert is erroneously sent across Hawaii and revoked after 38 minutes.

BIRTHDAYS: Trevor Rabin, composer/guitarist (Yes/ARW) 67; Mark O’Meara, golfer, 65; Cathal Smyth (Chas Smash), singer/trumpeter (Madness) 62; Wayne Coyne, singer-songwriter (The Flaming Lips) 61; Suggs (Graham McPherson) singer-songwriter (Madness) 61; Julia Louis-Dreyfuss (Hall) actress, 61; Penelope Ann Miller, actress, 58; Bill (Mark) Bailey, comedian, 57; Patrick Dempsey, actor, 56; Stephen Hendry, snooker champion, 53; Shonda Rhimes, writer/producer, 52; Michael Peña, actor, 46; Orlando Bloom, actor, 45; Ruth Wilson, actress, 40; Liam Hemsworth, actor, 32.