August 13 in History Events, Birthdays, & News

To know what happened today in history, famous events occurred, famous birthdays, death days, legend quotes, and historical news on August 13.

August 13

Events on August 13

1814 The British took over the colony at the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch.

1910 Death of nurse Florence Nightingale, the “Lady with the Lamp” during the Crimean War who transformed the appalling conditions in military hospitals and founded the nursing profession.

1915 George Joseph Smith, the “Brides in the Bath” murderer, who drowned his brides in a zinc bathtub after making sure that their finances were set up in his favor, is hanged.

1946 Death of the British novelist H.G. Wells, whose books include The Time Machine and The Shape of Things to Come.

1962 On the first anniversary of the erection of the Berlin Wall, an East-German, Peter Fechter, is shot and bleeds to death while trying to escape from the East.

1971 The American saxophonist King Curtis is stabbed to death in a fight outside his New York City apartment building.

1989 12 people were killed in Australia when two hot air balloons collided in the worst ever hot air balloon disaster: one of them plunged 600 ft (182 m) to the ground.

Famous Birthdays on August 13

Annie Oakley 1860, American marks woman who could hit the thin edge of a playing card at 30 paces.

John Logie Baird 1888, Scottish engineer who invented television.

Jean Borotra 1898, the first Frenchman to win Wimbledon.

Alfred Hitchcock 1899, English film director who moved to Hollywood and directed such classics as Psycho and The Birds.

Archbishop Makarios III 1913, Cypriot churchman who became President of Cyprus 1960-77.

Fidel Castro 1927, Cuban revolutionary who became socialist president in 1959.

Sridevi 1963, Indian actress famous for her role in the films Mr India, Chaalbaaz and Lamhe.

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

Sir John Everett Millais Soap artist dies on August 13
Sir John Everett Millais Soap artist dies on August 13

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

Bad dogs and Englishmen on August 13
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.

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