On This Day … 13 August


  • 29 BC – Octavian holds the first of three consecutive triumphs in Rome to celebrate the victory over the Dalmatian tribes.
  • 554 – Emperor Justinian I rewards Liberius for his long and distinguished service in the Pragmatic Sanction, granting him extensive estates in Italy.
  • 900 – Count Reginar I of Hainault rises against Zwentibold of Lotharingia and slays him near present-day Susteren.
  • 1516 – The Treaty of Noyon between France and Spain is signed. Francis I of France recognises Charles’s claim to Naples, and Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, recognises Francis’s claim to Milan.
  • 1521 – After an extended siege, forces led by Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés capture Tlatoani Cuauhtémoc and conquer the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan.
  • 1532 – Union of Brittany and France: The Duchy of Brittany is absorbed into the Kingdom of France.
  • 1624 – The French king Louis XIII appoints Cardinal Richelieu as prime minister.
  • 1645 – Sweden and Denmark sign Peace of Brömsebro.
  • 1650 – Colonel George Monck of the English Army forms Monck’s Regiment of Foot, which will later become the Coldstream Guards.
  • 1704 – War of the Spanish Succession: Battle of Blenheim: English and Imperial forces are victorious over French and Bavarian troops.
  • 1779 – American Revolutionary War: The Royal Navy defeats the Penobscot Expedition with the most significant loss of US naval forces prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • 1792 – King Louis XVI of France is formally arrested by the National Tribunal, and declared an enemy of the people.
  • 1806 – Battle of Mišar during the Serbian Revolution begins. The battle will end two days later, with a decisive Serbian victory over the Ottomans.
  • 1814 – The Convention of London, a treaty between the UK and the United Provinces, is signed in London, England.
  • 1898 – Spanish–American War: Spanish and American forces engage in a mock battle for Manila, after which the Spanish commander surrendered in order to keep the city out of Filipino rebel hands.
  • 1905 – Norwegians vote to end the union with Sweden.
  • 1906 – The all black infantrymen of the US Army’s 25th Infantry Regiment are accused of killing a white bartender and wounding a white police officer in Brownsville, Texas, despite exculpatory evidence; all are later dishonourably discharged (Their records were later restored to reflect honourable discharges but there were no financial settlements).
  • 1918 – Women enlist in the United States Marine Corps for the first time. Opha May Johnson is the first woman to enlist.
  • 1920 – Polish–Soviet War: The Battle of Warsaw begins and will last till 25 August. The Red Army is defeated.
  • 1937 – Second Sino-Japanese War: The Battle of Shanghai begins.
  • 1942 – Major General Eugene Reybold of the US Army Corps of Engineers authorizes the construction of facilities that would house the “Development of Substitute Materials” project, better known as the Manhattan Project.
  • 1944 – World War II: German troops begin the pillage and razing of Anogeia in Crete that would continue until 05 September.
  • 1960 – The Central African Republic declares independence from France.
  • 1961 – Cold War: East Germany closes the border between the eastern and western sectors of Berlin to thwart its inhabitants’ attempts to escape to the West, and construction of the Berlin Wall is started.
  • 1968 – Alexandros Panagoulis attempts to assassinate the Greek dictator Colonel Georgios Papadopoulos in Varkiza, Athens.
  • 1978 – One hundred fifty Palestinians in Beirut are killed in a terrorist attack during the second phase of the Lebanese Civil War.
  • 1990 – A mainland Chinese fishing boat Min Ping Yu No.5202 is hit by a Taiwan’s naval vessel and sinks in a repatriation operation of mainland Chinese illegal immigrants, resulting in 21 deaths. This is the second tragedy less than a month after Min Ping Yu No. 5540 incident.
  • 2008 – Russo-Georgian War: Russian units occupy the Georgian city of Gori.

People (Births)

  • 1584 – Theophilus Howard, 2nd Earl of Suffolk, English admiral and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Cumberland (d. 1640).
  • 1764 – Louis Baraguey d’Hilliers, French general (d. 1813).
  • 1888 – John Logie Baird, Scottish engineer, invented the television (d. 1946).
  • 1908 – Gene Raymond, American actor and military pilot (d. 1998).
  • 1933 – Joycelyn Elders, American admiral and physician, 15th Surgeon General of the United States.
  • 1943 – Michael Willetts, English sergeant; George Cross recipient (d. 1971).
  • 1958 – Randy Shughart, American sergeant, Medal of Honour recipient (d. 1993).

People (Deaths)

  • 1826 – René Laennec, French physician, invented the stethoscope (b. 1781).
  • 1937 – Sigizmund Levanevsky, Soviet aircraft pilot of Polish origin (b. 1902).
  • 1991 – James Roosevelt, American general and politician (b. 1907).
  • 1996 – António de Spínola, Portuguese general and politician, 14th President of Portugal (b. 1910).

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