To know what happened today in history, famous events occurred, famous birthdays, death days, legend quotes, and historical news on August 13.
Events on August 13
Famous Birthdays on August 13
Quotes from Legend
This strangely unequal painter - a painter whose imperfectly great powers always suggest to me the legend of the spiteful fairy at the christening feast. The name of Mr Millais's spiteful fairy is vulgarity.
- Henry James on the painter Millais.
Historical News on August 13
Ring Leader Released
1876 A glittering audience, including crowned heads and some of the world of music’s most famous names, is expected to attend the performance in Bayreuth tonight of Richard Wagner’s Das Rheingold.
The opera, the prelude to Wagner’s three-part opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen, inaugurates the new Festspielhaus, the theatre created by the 63-year-old composer to put into practice his unique concept of drama.
The Ring took Wagner some 28 years to complete, beginning in 1848.
Inspired by the composer’s contempt for materialistic society, it is a realization of his belief that in opera, word, tone and drama should meld into one seamless entity.
Rumour has it that the festival, which Wagner hopes will become an annual event, will be a financial, if not artistic, flop.
Soap artist dies
1896 Sir John Everett Millais, the president of the Royal Academy, died today.
He was 67.
An infant prodigy, Millais caused a scandal in 1850 with his painting Christ the blouse of His Parents.
The art-loving public was outraged by the artist’s realistic depiction of the Holy Family and especially by the revelation that the initials “PRB” stood for Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a group of artists who considered their work to be superior to that of Raphael and all who succeeded him.
Millais soon turned his back on the Brotherhood.
He eventually married Effie Ruskin, after the annulment of her six-year union with impotent art critic and Brotherhood member John Ruskin.
Millais was reputedly the highest-paid painter in history.
Ten years ago his painting Bubbles was used by the soap manufacturers A. & F. Pears to advertise their products.
In 1885 Millais became the first artist to receive a baronetcy.
1978 A building which served as the Beirut HQ of the Palestine Liberation Front and contained the offices of their rivals, Al-Fatah, was ripped apart by a bomb today, leaving an estimated 150 people dead.
Soon after the attack the pro-Iraqi PLF accused the pro-Syrian Popular Front of the Liberation of Palestine of attempting to annihilate its leadership.
Later, however, the PLF blamed “American and Israeli intelligence agents” instead.
Churchill's glory days
1704 The allied armies of the Grand Coalition won a resounding victory today over a numerically superior Franco-Bavarian force at Blenheim, north of the Danube.
Led by John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, and his “twin captain”, Eugene, Prince of Savoy, the allied army of 52,000 men mounted a surprise attack on the 56,000-strong enemy force.
By the end of the afternoon the French and Bavarians had been routed, many drowning in the Danube as they attempted to escape.
To add insult to the 21,000 French battle casualties, their commander, Marshall Tallard, was also captured.
The Elector of Bavaria is reported to be heading for Hochstadt, leaving the encircled garrison of Blenheim to fend for itself.
The victory has saved Vienna from imminent capture by the French and breathed new life into the flagging coalition.
Recognition of Churchill as a soldier of genius also seems assured.
Bad dogs and Englishmen
1991 Britain’s new Dangerous Dogs Act came into force yesterday.
Under the act, fighting dogs such as the American pit bull terrier and Japanese tosa must be muzzled and leashed in public.
Owners who fail to comply with the new law face a fine of £2,000 ($3,700) and six months’ imprisonment.
The British government were prompted into action by continuing public alarm at the level of dog attacks, which reached a crescendo in May when six-year-old Rucksana Khan almost died from injuries caused by a 65 lb (29 kg) pit bull terrier.