Today in History
Today is Friday, April 13, the 103rd day of 2018. There are 262 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 13, 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. on the 200th anniversary of the third American president’s birth.
On this date:
In 1598, King Henry IV of France endorsed the Edict of Nantes, which granted rights to the Protestant Huguenots. (The edict was abrogated in 1685 by King Louis XIV, who declared France entirely Catholic again.)
In 1613, Pocahontas, daughter of Chief Powhatan, was captured by English Capt. Samuel Argall in the Virginia Colony. (During a yearlong captivity, Pocahontas converted to Christianity and ultimately opted to stay with the English.)
In 1742, “Messiah,” the oratorio by George Frideric Handel featuring the “Hallelujah” chorus, had its first public performance in Dublin, Ireland.
In 1743, the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, was born in Shadwell in the Virginia Colony.
In 1861, at the start of the Civil War, Fort Sumter in South Carolina fell to Confederate forces.
In 1917, American business tycoon James “Diamond Jim” Brady, known for his jewelry collection as well as his hearty appetite, died in Atlantic City, New Jersey at age 60.
In 1953, “Casino Royale,” Ian Fleming’s first book as well as the first James Bond novel, was published in London by Jonathan Cape Ltd.
In 1958, Van Cliburn of the United States won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition for piano in Moscow; Russian Valery Klimov won the violin competition.
In 1964, Sidney Poitier became the first black performer in a leading role to win an Academy Award for his performance in “Lilies of the Field.”
In 1970, Apollo 13, four-fifths of the way to the moon, was crippled when a tank containing liquid oxygen burst. (The astronauts managed to return safely.)
In 1986, Pope John Paul II visited the Great Synagogue of Rome in the first recorded papal visit of its kind to a Jewish house of worship.
In 1992, the Great Chicago Flood took place as the city’s century-old tunnel system and adjacent basements filled with water from the Chicago River. “The Bridges of Madison County,” a romance novel by Robert James Waller, was published by Warner Books.
Ten years ago: World Bank President Robert Zoellick urged immediate action to deal with mounting food prices that had caused hunger and deadly violence in several countries. Trevor Immelman won the Masters, becoming the first South African to wear a green jacket in 30 years. A construction worker’s bid to curse the New York Yankees by planting a Boston Red Sox jersey in their new stadium was foiled when the home team removed the offending shirt from its burial spot. Physicist John A. Wheeler, who coined the term “black holes,” died in Hightstown, New Jersey, at age 96.
Five years ago: Francine Wheeler, the mother of a 6-year-old boy killed in the Connecticut school shooting, used the opportunity to fill in for President Barack Obama during his weekly radio and Internet address to make a personal plea from the White House for action to combat gun violence. All 108 passengers and crew survived after a new Lion Air Boeing 737 crashed into the ocean and snapped in two while attempting to land on the Indonesian resort island of Bali. Hundreds of opponents of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher partied in London’s Trafalgar Square to celebrate her death, sipping champagne and chanting, “Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead.”
One year ago: Pentagon officials said U.S. forces in Afghanistan had struck an Islamic State tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan with “the mother of all bombs,” the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by the U.S. military. Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck filed divorce petitions, the first step in formally ending their marriage more than a year after they publicly declared their relationship was over.
Today’s Birthdays: Movie director Stanley Donen (DAH’-nehn) is 94. Former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo., is 85. Actor Lyle Waggoner is 83. Actor Edward Fox is 81. Actor Paul Sorvino is 79. Rhythm-and-blues singer Lester Chambers is 78. Movie-TV composer Bill Conti is 76. Rock musician Jack Casady is 74. Actor Tony Dow is 73. Singer Al Green is 72. Actor Ron Perlman is 68. Actor William Sadler is 68. Singer Peabo Bryson is 67. Bandleader/rock musician Max Weinberg is 67. Bluegrass singer-musician Sam Bush is 66. Rock musician Jimmy Destri is 64. Comedian Gary Kroeger is 61. Actress Saundra Santiago is 61. Sen. Bob Casey Jr., D-Pa., is 58. Rock musician Joey Mazzola (Sponge) is 57. Chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov is 55. Actress Page Hannah is 54. Actress-comedian Caroline Rhea (RAY) is 54. Rock musician Lisa Umbarger is 53. Rock musician Marc Ford is 52. Reggae singer Capleton is 51. Actor Ricky Schroder is 48. Rock singer Aaron Lewis (Staind) is 46. Actor Bokeem Woodbine is 45. Singer Lou Bega is 43. Actor-producer Glenn Howerton is 42. Actor Kyle Howard is 40. Actress Kelli Giddish is 38. Actress Courtney Peldon is 37. Pop singer Nellie McKay is 36. Rapper/singer Ty Dolla $ign is 36. Actress Allison Williams is 30. Actress Hannah Marks is 25.
Thought for Today: “Go on failing. Go on. Only next time, try to fail better.” — Samuel Beckett, Irish playwright and author (born this date in 1906, died in 1989).