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.
  • 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 recognizes 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.
  • 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 United States 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 ends two days later with a Serbian victory over the Ottomans.
  • 1814 – The Convention of London, a treaty between the United Kingdom and the United Netherlands, 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.
  • 1918 – Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) established as a public company in Germany.
  • 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 authorises 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.
    • The day is known as Barbed Wire Sunday.
  • 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 Taiwanese naval vessel and sinks in a repatriation operation of mainland Chinese 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).
  • 1960 – Ivar Stukolkin, Estonian swimmer.
  • 1968 – Tony Jarrett, English sprinter and hurdler.
  • 1977 – Michael Klim, Polish-Australian swimmer.
  • 1992 – Alicja Tchórz, Polish swimmer.

People (Deaths)

  • 1826 – René Laennec, French physician, invented the stethoscope (b. 1781).
  • 1937 – Sigizmund Levanevsky, Soviet aircraft pilot of Polish origin (b. 1902).
  • 1963 – Louis Bastien, French cyclist and fencer (b. 1881).
  • 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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