This Day in History — October 13Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Today is the 286th day of 2021. There are 79 days left in the year.
1957: The East German Government seals its borders and recalls all East-mark holdings for conversion into a new currency.
1775: The US Navy is founded as the Continental Congress orders the construction of a naval fleet.
1792: The cornerstone of the Executive Mansion, later known as the White House, is laid during a ceremony in Washington, DC.
1815: British occupy South Atlantic island of Ascension to prevent Napoleon's escape from St Helena, the closest island.
1880: Transvaal declares independence from Britain.
1889: Boers rebel against British in South Africa.
1923: Ankara, formerly Angora, becomes new capital of Turkey.
1937: Germany guarantees inviolability of Belgium.
1943: Italy, during World War II, declares war on Germany — its former Axis partner.
1952: Egypt reaches agreement with Sudan on Nile waters.
1960: Richard M Nixon and John F Kennedy participate in the third televised debate of their presidential campaign, with Nixon in Hollywood, California, and Kennedy in New York.
1968: New military Government in Panama names civilian Cabinet.
1969: Soviet Union sends third spacecraft into orbit in as many days, putting seven cosmonauts in space.
1970: Canada and China announce they will establish diplomatic relations. Taiwan promptly breaks ties with Canada.
1981: Voters in Egypt participate in a referendum to elect Vice-President Hosni Mubarak as the new president, one week after the assassination of Anwar Sadat.
1985: Tamil guerrillas attack government troops in two ceasefire violations in Sri Lanka.
1987: Costa Rica's President Oscar Arias Sanchez wins Nobel Peace Prize for sponsoring plan to end civil wars in Central America.
1988: Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz becomes first Arabic-language writer to win Nobel Prize for literature.
1990: General Michel Aoun, the Christian army commander who defied the Syrian-backed Lebanese Government for more than two years, surrenders power in the face of a Syrian-led military attack during the civil war.
1991: Twenty-one blacks are killed in a series of attacks in South Africa's black townships.
1992: The pyramids, the Sphinx, and other monuments survive Cairo earthquake that kills at least 400 and injures more than 4,000.
1993: A fanatic fan of tennis star Steffi Graf is convicted in the stabbing of rival Monica Seles and receives a two-year suspended sentence.
1994: In the largest deal between software firms, Intuit Inc accepts a US$1.5-billion takeover offer from Microsoft Corp.
1996: In response to strikes in its Canadian plants, General Motors Corp lays off more than 1,300 workers at its Cadillac assembly plant outside Detroit.
1997: Queen Elizabeth II begins visit to India to mark the 50th anniversary of the subcontinent's independence from Britain.
1999: French lawmakers adopt a law giving unwed gay and straight couples the same rights previously limited to the married. Similar legislation already exists in several European countries.
2000: Muslim-Christian riots result in the deaths of 13 people in Lagos, Nigeria's most populous city.
2001: President Hosni Mubarak issues an order that 83 suspected Islamic militants stand trial in Egypt's state security court.
2005: Islamic militants launch a major attack on police and government buildings in the provincial capital of Nalchik in Russia's volatile Caucasus region, turning the city into a war zone wracked by gunfire and explosions. At least 49 people, including 25 militants, are killed.
2006: Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank he founded win the Nobel Peace Prize for their pioneering use of tiny loans — microcredit — to lift millions out of poverty.
2007: Myanmar's junta arrests three of the country's most prominent political activists, believed to be among the last leaders remaining at large from a student group at the forefront of a 1988 democracy uprising and the protests that started in August.
2008: Police fire tear gas at thousands of angry pro-Serb Montenegrins who pelt state buildings with rocks and flares to protest their Government's recognition of Kosovo's independence. At least 34 are injured.
2010: With remarkable speed — and flawless execution — miner after miner climbs into a cramped cage deep beneath the Chilean earth, and is hoisted through 2,000 feet (600 metres) of rock to see precious sunlight after the longest underground entrapment in history.
2011: Raj Rajaratnam, the hedge fund billionaire at the centre of the biggest insider-trading case in US history, is sentenced to 11 years behind bars — the stiffest punishment ever handed out for the crime.
2012: Iran says it is ready to show flexibility at nuclear talks to ease Western concerns over its contentious nuclear programme as tensions rise in the stand-off between the Islamic Republic, Israel and the West.
2014: Gay rights groups hail a “seismic shift” by the Catholic church toward gays after bishops say homosexuals have gifts to offer the church.
2016: Donald Trump heatedly rejects the growing list of sexual assault allegations against him as “pure fiction”, hammering his female accusers as “horrible, horrible liars”. Bob Dylan was named winner of the Nobel prize in literature.
Yves Montand, Italian-born French singer-actor (1921-1991); Margaret Thatcher, British prime minister (1925-2013); Paul Simon, US singer (1941- ); Marie Osmond, US actress/singer (1959- ); Sacha Baron Cohen, British actor (1971- ); Col`in Channer, writer and founding member of Calabash International Literary Festival (1963- )
— AP/Jamaica Observer