This Day in History — November 13

This Day in History — November 13

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

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Today is the 317th day of 2019. There are 48 days left in the year.


1789: American inventor Benjamin Franklin writes a letter to a friend in which he says, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”


1511: Britain's King Henry VIII joins Holy League and enters European politics.

1553: Lady Jane Grey goes on trial for treason in England. She had been queen of England for nine days.

1832: The first streetcar — a horse-drawn vehicle called the John Mason — goes into operation in New York City.

1881: Charles J Guiteau goes on trial for assassinating US President James A Garfield.

1913: Greece and Turkey sign peace treaty.

1918: Republic of Austria is proclaimed; Pro-independence Wafd party is formed in Egypt.

1935: US President Franklin Roosevelt proclaims the Philippine Islands a free commonwealth.

1940: German planes destroy most of the English town of Coventry during World War II.

1941: Britain's finest aircraft carrier, the Ark Royal, is torpedoed by a German submarine and sinks off Strait of Gibraltar the next day.

1942: British forces retake Tobruk, Libya, in World War II.

1945: Sukarno becomes president of Indonesia.

1950: Tibet appeals to the United Nations against Chinese aggression.

1961: Congo Government asks United Nations to assist in restoring law and order in Katanga Province.

1968: Pakistan's Foreign Minister Zulkifar Ali Bhutto is arrested on charges of inciting student demonstrations against the Government of President Mohammed Ayub Khan.

1970: Hafez Assad seizes power in a bloodless coup in Syria.

1974: Yasser Arafat, head of the Palestine Liberation Organization, tells United Nations General Assembly that the organisation's goal is a Palestinian State that would include Muslims, Christians and Jews.

1975: World Health Organization announces that Asia is free of smallpox for first time in history.

1985: The Nevado de Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts, sending an avalanche of mud and rock slamming into the town of Armero. About 25,000 people die.

1991: Scottish authorities issue arrest warrants for two Libyan men in connection with 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.

1994: Swedish voters approve European Union membership in a referendum.

1995: A bomb rips through a building filled with American and Saudi military personnel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, killing six.

1999: Peru signs an agreement with Chile to end a 120-year territorial dispute.

2001: A German court convicts four defendants in the 1986 bombing of a West Berlin discotheque that killed two US soldiers and a Turkish woman. The Libyan secret service was accused of planning the attack.

2006: Voters in South Ossetia overwhelmingly approve a referendum calling for independence from Georgia.

2009: Europe may send 5,000 more soldiers to Afghanistan, Britain's prime minister says — affirming support for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization mission as the Barack Obama Administration nears a decision on increasing American troop levels.

2010: Pro-democracy hero Aung San Suu Kyi walks free after more than seven years under house arrest in Myanmar, and is welcomed by thousands of cheering supporters outside the decaying lakefront villa that had been her prison.

2011: More than 3,000 police and soldiers backed by armoured personnel carriers race into Brazil's biggest slum before dawn, quickly gaining control of a Rio shanty town ruled for decades by a heavily armed drug gang.

2013: Ultra-traditionalist Roman Catholics in Argentina openly challenge Pope Francis by disrupting one of his favourite events, an interfaith ceremony in the Metropolitan Cathedral meant to promote religious harmony on the anniversary of the beginning of the Holocaust.

2014: Details emerge of an agreement between militant leaders from the Islamic State group and al-Qaeda at a meeting in northern Syria to stop fighting each other and work together against common opponents.


Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish writer (1850-1894); Oskar Werner, Austrian actor-director (1922-1984); Whoopi Goldberg, US actress (1955- ); Garry Marshall, US director/producer (1934- 2016); Joe Mantegna, US actor (1947- )

— AP

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