Today in History: February 13

February 13

167 Polycarp, a disciple of St. John and Bishop of Smyrna, is martyred on the west coast of Asia Minor.
1542 Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII, is beheaded for adultery.
1689 The British Parliament adopts the Bill of Rights.
1692 In the Glen Coe highlands of Scotland, thirty-eight members of the MacDonald clan are murdered by soldiers of the neighboring Campbell clan for not pledging allegiance to William of Orange. Ironically the pledge had been made but not communicated to the clans. The event is remembered as the Massacre of Glencoe.
1862 The four day Battle of Fort Donelson, Tennessee, begins.
1865 The Confederacy approves the recruitment of slaves as soldiers, as long as the approval of their owners is gained.
1866 Jesse James holds up his first bank.
1914 The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is founded.
1936 The first social security checks are put in the mail.
1945 The Royal Air Force Bomber Command devastates the German city of Dresden with night raids by 873 heavy bombers. The attacks are joined by 521 American heavy bombers flying daylight raids.
1949 A mob burns a radio station in Ecuador after the broadcast of H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds.
1951 At the Battle of Chipyong-ni, in Korea, U.N. troops contain the Chinese forces’ offensive in a two-day battle.
1953 The Pope asks the United States to grant clemency to convicted spies Ethel and Julius Rosenberg.
1968 The United States sends 10,500 more combat troops to Vietnam.
1970 General Motors is reportedly redesigning automobiles to run on unleaded fuel.
1972 Enemy attacks in Vietnam decline for the third day as the United States continues its intensive bombing strategy.
1984 Konstantin Chernenko is selected to succeed Yuri Andropov as Party General Secretary in the Soviet Union.
Born on February 13
1599 Alexander VII, Roman Catholic Pope.
1682 Giovanni Piazzetta, painter (Fortune Teller).
1764 Charles de Talleyrand, Napoleon‘s foreign minister.
1849 Lord Randolph Churchill, English politician; he was Winston Churchill‘s father and a member of Parliament.
1873 Feodor Chaliapin, opera singer.
1892 Grant Wood, painter (American Gothic).
1902 Georges Simenon, novelist.
1910 William B. Shockley, physicist, co-inventor of the transistor.
1919 Tennessee Ernie Ford, country and gospel singer.
1922 Harold “Hal” Moore Jr., US Army lieutenant general, author; led the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment at the 1965 Battle of Ia Drang Valley; his best-known book, co-authored with combat journalist Joe Galloway, is We Were Soldiers Once … And Young, an account of that battle.
1923 Charles “Chuck” Yeager, American test pilot; the first man to break the sound barrier.
1933 Kim Novak, actress.

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