May 13 in History Events, Birthdays, & News

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


Events on May 13

1830 The republic of Ecuador was created on the break-up of the original state of Gran Colombia.

1835 Death of John Nash, English architect who was commissioned by King George IV to redevelop parts of London including Regent Street and Trafalgar Square.

1844 Spain establishes a military peacekeeping force known as the Guardia Civil.

1930 Death of Fridtjof Nansen, Norwegian explorer, zoologist and statesman who was the League of Nations high commissioner for refugees, in which capacity he introduced the Nansen passport for displaced persons and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1923.

1952 The Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament of India, held its first sitting.

1953 INS Garuda, the first India Navy air station, was commissioned at Venduruthy, the naval base in Kochi, Kerala.

1958 Right-wing French settlers, backed by the military, seize government buildings in Algiers as 40,000 demonstrators take to the streets to demand independence.

1971 On his 21st birthday, American musician Stevie Wonder receives $1 million as his childhood earnings although he actually earned more than $30 million.

Famous Birthdays on May 13

Josephine Butler 1828, English social reformer who campaigned for women’s rights.

Sir Arthur Sullivan 1842, English composer who wrote 16 operettas with librettist W.S Gilbert.

Georges Braque 1882, French painter who was, with Picasso, the joint creator of Cubism and was the first living painter to have his work exhibited in the Louvre.

Dame Daphne du Maurier 1907, English writer whose novels include Rebecca, Frenchman’s Creek and Jamaica Inn.

Jack Bruce 1943, British pop musician best-known as a member of the group Cream.

Quotes from Legend

I used to say that politics was the second lowest profession and I have come to know that it bears a great similarity to the first.

- Ronald Reagan, on the run-up to the presidential campaign trail, on this day, 1979.

Historical News on May 13

Hard Times Ahead For New Settlers

1607 Captain Christopher Newport sailed his three ships into the Chesapeake Bay today to found a British colony.

The newly chartered London Company’s first colonists named the settlement Jamestown after King James I.

However, some of the 104 settlers foresee problems ahead.

Most of the settlers and gentlemen, unused to the hard manual labor required if the colony is to be secure.

Most of the provisions were used upon the voyage and it is now too late to plant crops.

The Company instructed the colonists to search for gold and find a route to the Pacific but they may have to wait.

Pope in Vatican Shooting

John Paul II in Vatican shooting on May 13
John Paul II in Vatican shooting

1981 A crowd of 20,000 people in St Peter’s Square in Rome today saw Pope John Paul II shot four times by a Turkish gunman.

The Pope, in his white open-top jeep, was blessing the crowds during his weekly audience when the gunman opened fire, hitting the Pope and wounding two other people.

The gunman was arrested as the jeep sped to safety.

After a five-hour operation, the Pope was declared out of danger and is expected to recover fully.

The gunman, Mehmet Ali Agca, 23, had escaped from Turkey where he was apparently being held for murder.

He shot the Pope in protest of “American and Russian imperialism”.

US and Mexico At War

1846 The US declared war on Mexico today.

Congress has authorized $10 million in war funds and the recruitment of 50,000 troops, blaming Mexico for the hostilities.

The two countries have been fighting around the Rio Grande for the past 10 days, and yesterday Mexican troops crossed the river.

This was the excuse President James Knox Polk was waiting for when Mexico’s aggression had shed American blood on American soil, he said.

However, Washington has provoked this war.

Mexico refuses to sell its Californian territory to the US at any price, and Polk now intends to take the area by force.

In a deliberately provocative move, he sent General Zachary Taylor into Mexican territory at the Rio Grande in March, and today’s declaration is the inevitable result.

Rivera Mural Drives New York up The Wall

Rivera mural drives New York up the wall on May 13
Rivera mural drives New York up the wall

1933 The massive mural commissioned for the RCA building, Centrepoint of New York’s huge new Rockefeller by the renowned Mexican artist Diego Rivera, so outraged New York society that Nelson Rockefeller, who commissioned Rivera for the job, asked him to remove it.

He refused, so Rockefeller fired him and had the mural scraped off.

The painting, Man at the Crossroads, showed man’s progress through technology to a proletarian Utopia and included a large portrait of Lenin, father of the Russian Revolution.

New Yorkers say a bastion of capitalism such as the Rockefeller Center is hardly the place for a portrait of Lenin.

Leave a Reply