On This Day … 13 February


  • 1462 – The Treaty of Westminster is finalised between Edward IV of England and the Scottish Lord of the Isles.
  • 1503 – Challenge of Barletta: Tournament between 13 Italian and 13 French knights near Barletta.
  • 1660 – With the accession of young Charles XI of Sweden, his regents begin negotiations to end the Second Northern War.
  • 1692 – Massacre of Glencoe: Almost 80 Macdonalds at Glen Coe, Scotland are killed early in the morning for not promptly pledging allegiance to the new king, William of Orange.
  • 1755 – Treaty of Giyanti signed by VOC, Pakubuwono III and Prince Mangkubumi. The treaty divides the Javanese kingdom of Mataram into two: Sunanate of Surakarta and Sultanate of Yogyakarta.
  • 1849 – The delegation headed by Metropolitan bishop Andrei Șaguna hands out to the Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria the General Petition of Romanian leaders in Transylvania, Banat and Bukovina, which demands that the Romanian nation be recognised.
  • 1861 – Italian unification: The Siege of Gaeta ends with the capitulation of the defending fortress, effectively bringing an end of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
  • 1913 – The 13th Dalai Lama proclaims Tibetan independence following a period of domination by Manchu Qing dynasty and initiated a period of almost four decades of independence.
  • 1945 – World War II: The siege of Budapest concludes with the unconditional surrender of German and Hungarian forces to the Red Army.
  • 1945 – World War II: Royal Air Force bombers are dispatched to Dresden, Germany to attack the city with a massive aerial bombardment.
  • 1951 – Korean War: Battle of Chipyong-ni, which represented the “high-water mark” of the Chinese incursion into South Korea, commences.
  • 1960 – With the success of a nuclear test codenamed “Gerboise Bleue”, France becomes the fourth country to possess nuclear weapons.
  • 1961 – An allegedly 500,000-year-old rock is discovered near Olancha, California, US, that appears to anachronistically encase a spark plug.
  • 1990 – German reunification: An agreement is reached on a two-stage plan to reunite Germany.
  • 1991 – Gulf War: Two laser-guided “smart bombs” destroy the Amiriyah shelter in Baghdad.
    • Allied forces said the bunker was being used as a military communications outpost, but over 400 Iraqi civilians inside were killed.
  • 1996 – The Nepalese Civil War is initiated in the Kingdom of Nepal by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist-Centre).

People (Births)

  • 1719 – George Brydges Rodney, 1st Baron Rodney, English admiral and politician (d. 1792).
  • 1721 – John Reid, Scottish general (d. 1807).
  • 1768 – Édouard Adolphe Casimir Joseph Mortier, French general and politician, 15th Prime Minister of France (d. 1835).
  • 1811 – François Achille Bazaine, French general (d. 1888).
  • 1831 – John Aaron Rawlins, American general and politician, 29th United States Secretary of War (d. 1869).
  • 1912 – Harald Riipalu, Russian-Estonian commander (d. 1961).
  • 1915 – Aung San, Burmese general and politician, 5th Premier of British Crown Colony of Burma (d. 1947).
  • 1922 – Francis Pym, Baron Pym, Welsh soldier and politician, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (d. 2008).
  • 1923 – Michael Anthony Bilandic, American soldier, judge, and politician, 49th Mayor of Chicago (d. 2002).
  • 1923 – Chuck Yeager, American general and pilot; first test pilot to break the sound barrier (d. 2020).
  • 1942 – Donald E. Williams, American captain, pilot, and astronaut (d. 2016).
  • 1947 – Stephen Hadley, American soldier and diplomat, 21st United States National Security Advisor.
  • 1957 – Denise Austin, American fitness trainer and author.
  • 1964 – Stephen Bowen, American engineer, captain, and astronaut.
  • 1984 – Hinkelien Schreuder, Dutch swimmer.

People (Deaths)

  • 1219 – Minamoto no Sanetomo, Japanese shōgun (b. 1192).
  • 1351 – Kō no Morofuyu, Japanese general.
  • 1818 – George Rogers Clark, American general (b. 1752).
  • 1826 – Peter Ludwig von der Pahlen, Russian general and politician, Governor-General of Baltic provinces (b. 1745).
  • 1831 – Edward Berry, English admiral (b. 1768).
  • 1892 – Provo Wallis, Canadian-English admiral (b. 1791).
  • 1975 – André Beaufre, French general (b. 1902).
  • 1976 – Murtala Mohammed, Nigerian general and politician, 4th President of Nigeria (b. 1938).
  • 2000 – John Leake, English soldier (b. 1949).
  • 2007 – Richard Gordon Wakeford, English air marshal (b. 1922).

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