Today in History
November 13

1474   In the Swiss-Burgundian Wars, the Swiss infantry shatters the army of Charles the Bold at Hericourt near Belfort, countering his march to Lorraine.
1835   Texas officially proclaims its independence from Mexico, and calls itself the Lone Star Republic, after its flag, until its admission to the Union in 1845.
1851   The London-to-Paris telegraph begins operation.
1860   South Carolina’s legislature calls a special convention to discuss secession from the Union.
1862   Lewis Carroll writes in his diary, “Began writing the fairy-tale of Alice–I hope to finish it by Christmas.”
1878   New Mexico Governor Lew Wallace offers amnesty to many participants of the Lincoln County War, but not to gunfighter Billy the Kid.
1897   The first metal dirigible is flown from Tempelhof Field in Berlin.
1907   Paul Corno achieves the first helicopter flight.
1914   The brassiere, invented by Caresse Crosby, is patented.
1927   New York’s Holland Tunnel officially opens for traffic.
1940   The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Hansberry v. Lee that African-Americans cannot be barred from white neighborhoods.
1941   A German U-boat, the U-81, torpedoes Great Britain’s premier aircraft carrier, the HMS Ark Royal. The ship sinks the next day.
1942   Lt. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower flies to Algeria to conclude an agreement with French Admiral Jean Darlan.
1945   Charles de Gaulle is elected president of France.
1947   The Soviets complete the development of the AK-47. Conceived as an intermediate rifle for Soviet foot soldiers, the AK-47 becomes the prototype of the modern assault rifle. [From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]
1952   Harvard’s Paul Zoll becomes the first man to use electric shock to treat cardiac arrest.
1956   The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously strikes down two Alabama laws requiring racial segregation on public buses.
1969   Anti-war protesters stage a symbolic “March Against Death” in Washington, DC.
1970   A powerful tropical cyclone strikes the Ganges Delta region of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), causing an estimated half-million deaths in a single night; the Bhola cyclone is regarded as the worst natural disaster of the 20th century.
1982   The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington, DC.
1985   Some 23,000 people die when the Nevado del Ruiz erupts, melting a glacier and causing a massive mudslide that buries Armero, Columbia.
1989   Compact of Free Association: the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau—places US troops wrested from Japanese control in WWII—become sovereign nations, associated states of the United States.
1989   Hans-Adam II becomes Prince of Liechtenstein (1989– ) upon the death of his father, Franz Joseph II.
2000   Articles of impeachment are passed against Philippine President Joseph Estrada.
2001   US President George W. Bush signs an executive order allowing military tribunals against foreigners suspected of connections to planned or actual terrorist acts against the US.
Born on November 13
354   Saint Augustine, Christian theologian and philosopher.
1312   Edward III, King of England.
1850   Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish novelist and poet (Treasure Island, Kidnapped).
1856   Louis Brandeis, the first Jew to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court.
1909   Eugene Ionesco, Romanian-born dramatist; a leading playwright of the Theater of the Absurd genre (The Bald Soprano, Rhinoceros).
1911   John Jordan “Buck” O’Neill, the first African-American coach in Major League Baseball; previously, he was a first baseman and a manager in the Negro League.
1924   Motoo Kimura, Japanese biologist who introduced the neutral theory of molecular evolution (1968).
1934   Garry Marshall, actor, director, producer; created the Happy Days TV series and its spinoffs.
1940   William Taubman, political scientist, author; won the Pulitzer Prize for biography (2004) for his biography of Nikita Khrushchev.
1947   Joe Mantegna, actor, producer, director, voice actor (The Godfather Part III; Criminal Minds TV series; voice of mob boss Fat Tony on The Simpsons).
1955   Whoopi Goldberg,comedian, actress (The Color Purple; Ghost), singer, talk show host (The View); second African-American woman to win an Oscar (Best Supporting Actress, Ghost, 1990); one of the few entertainers to have won an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony and a Grammy.

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