This Day in History

August 13


586      Frankish princess and founder of the monastery of the Holy Cross at Poitiers Radegund dies, age about 66   1432
1521      Hernando Cortés conquers Tenochtitlán, capital of the Aztec   497
1523      Flemish painter Gerard David dies in Bruges, age around 63   495
1608      Flemish sculptor based in Italy Giambologna (born Jean Boulogne) dies in Florence, age 79   410
1704      Battle of Blenheim in Bavaria results in a decisive Grand Alliance victory over the Franco-Bavarian army   314
1792      King Louis XVI of France is formally arrested by the National Tribunal   226
1814      Convention of London between the UK and the Netherlands is signed resolving colonial concerns after the war of 1812   204
1826      French physician and inventor of the stethoscope René-Théophile-Hyacinthe Laennec dies, age 45   192
1847      seventh asteroid, Iris is discovered by John Russell Hind   171
1863      Eugène Delacroix, French impressionistic painter dies, age 65   155
1865      Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis, pioneer of antiseptic policy, dies in Vienna, age 47   153
1868      estimated 8.5 to 9.0 earthquake just off the coast of the Chile-Peru border produces tsunami that causes damage across the Pacific   150
1898      first known near-Earth asteroid, Eros, discovered by Carl Gustav Witt   120
1898      Spanish Manila surrenders to American forces after a sham battle to keep the city away from the Filipino forces   120
1907      German astronomer Hermann Carl Vogel dies in Potsdam, age 66   111
1907      Spanish astronomer Josep Comas i Solà observes limb darkening on Titan—evidence of an atmosphere   111
1910      Florence Nightingale, English statistician and nurse, dies age 90   108
1912      French composer Jules Massenet dies in Paris, age 70   106
1913      Harry Brearly produces the first true stainless steel in Sheffield, England   105
1918      Opha Mae Johnson is the first woman to enlist in the United States Marine Corps   100
1937      Battle of Shanghai begins—falls to Japanese forces three months later   81
1940      Battle of Britain begins with a series of attacks by the Luftwaffe on fighter bases and radar installations   78
1942      Disney's Bambi opens   76
1946      English author Herbert George "H.G." Wells dies in London, age 79   72
1961      border between East and West Berlin closed with what would become the Berlin Wall   57
1969      Apollo 11 astronauts are released from quarantine to a ticker tape parade in New York City and receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom   49
1979      American modernist painter Andrew Michael Dasburg dies in Taos, New Mexico, age 92   39
1995      American professional baseball Yankees player Mickey Charles Mantle dies in Dallas, age 63   23
1998      Ukrainian-American engineer and physicist Edward Leonard Ginzton dies in Stanford, California, age 82   20
1998      French-born American writer and first non-French national elected to the Académie française Julien Green dies in Paris, age 97   20
2004      American chef, author, and television personality Julia Child dies in Montecito, California, age 91   14
2007      American philanthropist, socialite, and writer Roberta Brooke Astor dies, age 105   11
2008      French mathematician Henri Paul Cartan dies in Paris, age 104   10
2010      Science reports first major deep-space discovery by Einstein@Home using 250,000 computers world-wide—pulsar PSR J2007+2722   8
2012      American author and editor Helen Gurley Brown dies in New York City, age 90   6
2014      Iranian-born mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani becomes the first woman to be awarded the Fields Medal   4
2015      perihelion of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko with Rosetta in orbit—1.24 AU   3
2015      truck bomb targeting a Baghdad food market kills 76 and injures 212 others   3
2016      Indian Hindu leader Pramukh Swami Maharaj (born Shantilal Patel) dies in Salangour, India, age 94   2
2016      American swimmer Michael Phelps ends his fourth Olympic competition with a record 23 gold medals and 28 total medals   2
2016      United States wins its 1000th Summer Olympics gold medal with the women swimmers' 4x100 medley relay win   2

Dates are always somewhat ambiguous, the exact date depends on whether local time is used (and local time where) or Universal Time—for events on the surface of the Earth, local time is probably best but for an event that spans across the planet, it is not clear which local time to use!. For events in space it is more ambiguous. Further for dates after the original adoption of the Gregorian calendar but before it became accepted in different countries, the date given may be a Julian date or a Gregorian date depending upon where the event occurred. And, even the year may be different since the first of the year has not always been January 1 in all countries! The attempt is to use a date that is the one that is typically given.

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