This Day in History — August 13


This Day in History — August 13

Thursday, August 13, 2020

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Today is the 226th day of 2020. There are 140 days left in the year.


2006: On his 80th birthday, Fidel Castro cautions Cubans that he faces a long recovery from surgery. His younger brother, Raul, makes a first public appearance as Cuba's interim president.


1521: Spaniard Hernando Cortes captures Tenochtitlan, completing the defeat of the Aztec Empire.

1704: Forces of the English Duke of Marlborough and Eugene of Savoy defeat the French at Blenheim, Bavaria, driving about 18,000 soldiers to drown in the Danube and saving Vienna from the French.

1792: French revolutionaries imprison France's royal family.

1846: The American flag was raised for the first time in Los Angeles.

1910: Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, died in London at age 90.

1932: Adolf Hitler rejected the post of vice-chancellor of Germany, saying he was prepared to hold out “for all or nothing”.

1942: Walt Disney's animated feature Bambi had its US premiere at Radio City Music Hall in New York, five days after its world premiere in London.

1945: World Zionist Congress demands admission of 1 million Jews to Palestine.

1960: The first two-way telephone conversation by satellite took place with the help of Echo 1.

1961: East Germany seals off border between East and West Berlin, closing Brandenburg Gate to halt people fleeing the country.

1967: The crime caper biopic Bonnie and Clyde, starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, had its US premiere; the movie, directed by Arthur Penn, was considered shocking as well as innovative for its graphic portrayal of violence.

1989: Searchers in Ethiopia found the wreckage of a plane which had disappeared almost a week earlier while carrying Rep Mickey Leland, D-Texas, and 14 other people — there were no survivors.

1990: President Mikhail S Gorbachev issues a decree absolving of wrongdoing the millions of victims of Soviet leader Josef Stalin who had not been formally rehabilitated.

1999: A gunman in Bogota shoots and kills Jaime Garzon, Colombia's most popular political satirist and an irreverent peace activist; right-wing paramilitaries are blamed.

2002: Iranian President Mohammed Khatami criticises the US campaign against terrorism, saying Washington “misused” worldwide outrage over the September 11 attacks in order to “use the fight against terrorism to impose its power on other countries”.

2003: Libya and families of victims of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, sign an agreement to pay as much as $2.7 billion in reparations. The agreement also called for Libya to acknowledge responsibility for the bombing.

2005: Suspected guerrillas in Colombia kill four police officers with grenades and gunfire in an ambush on a rural highway.

2007: Two South Korean women kidnapped by Taliban militants in mid-July are handed over to the International Red Cross.

2008: Mexico announces it will build a US$1.27-billion tunnel that will be almost 39 miles (62 kilometres) long and 7 yards (metres) in diameter, to help solve the centuries-old drainage problem of the nation's capital. A man barges into the Arkansas Democratic headquarters in Little Rock and opens fire, killing state party Chairman Bill Gwatney before speeding off in a pickup. (Police later shoot and kill the gunman, Timothy Dale Johnson.) Michael Phelps swims into history as the winningest Olympic athlete, ever with his 10th and 11th career gold medals. Phelps won the 200-metre butterfly, then swam the lead-off of a runaway victory by the US 800 freestyle relay team. Sandy Allen, who is recognised as the world's tallest female at 7 feet, 7 inches tall, dies in Shelbyville, Indiana, at age 53.

2009: Helicopter gunships pummel a key Taliban commander's bases in Pakistan's northwest, killing at least 12 insurgents as government forces ratchet up pressure on the militants following their top leader's reported death.

2010: Russia announces it will begin the start-up the following week of Iran's only atomic power plant, giving Tehran a boost as it struggles with international sanctions and highlighting differences between Moscow and Washington over pressuring the Islamic Republic to give up activities that could be used to make nuclear arms.

2011: Libyan rebels fight their way into the strategic city of Zawiya, west of Tripoli, in their most significant advance in months, battling snipers on rooftops and heavy shelling from Moammar Gadhafi's forces holding the city.

2012: Russia's Foreign Ministry harshly criticises new US sanctions on Iran, calling them “'undisguised blackmail” and warning that relations between Moscow and Washington would suffer if Russian companies are affected.

2013: Israel releases 26 Palestinian inmates, many convicted in grisly killings, on the eve of long-stalled peace talks, angering families of those killed by the prisoners.

2017: In a statement, the White House says President Donald Trump “very strongly” condemns individual hate groups such as “white supremacists, KKK and neo-Nazis”; the statement followed criticism of Trump for blaming the previous day's deadly violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on “many sides”. Protesters decrying hatred and racism converged around the country, saying they felt compelled to respond to the white supremacist rally in Virginia.


Andes Angstroem, Swedish physicist (1814-1874); Albert Sorel, French historian (1824-1906); John Logie Baird, British inventor of television (1888-1946); Alfred Hitchcock, British film director (1899-1980); Makarios III, first president of Cyprus (1913-1977); Fidel Castro, Cuban leader (1926-2016); Kathleen Battle, US soprano (1948- ); Paul Greengrass, film director (1955- ); Danny Bonaduce, actor (1959- ); TV weatherman Sam Champion (1961- ); actress Kathryn Fiore (1979- ); White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (1982- ); Actor Sebastian Stan (1982- )

— AP

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