Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Dec 13th Events
* 1294 – Saint Celestine V resigns the papacy after only five months; Celestine hoped to return to his previous life as an ascetic hermit. * 1545 – Council of Trent begins. * 1577 – Sir Francis Drake sets out from Plymouth, England, on his round-the-world voyage. * 1636 – The Massachusetts Bay Colony organizes three militia regiments to defend the colony against the Pequot Indians. This organization is recognized today as the founding of the United States National Guard. * 1642 – Abel Janszoon Tasman reaches New Zealand. * 1643 – English Civil War: The Battle of Alton takes place in Hampshire. * 1769 – Dartmouth College is founded by the Rev. Eleazar Wheelock, with a Royal Charter from King George III, on land donated by Royal Governor John Wentworth. * 1809 – Dr. Ephraim McDowell performed the first ovariotomy, removing a 22 pound tumor. * 1862 – American Civil War: At the Battle of Fredericksburg, Confederate General Robert E. Lee defeats the Union Major General Ambrose E. Burnside. * 1867 – Fenian bomb explodes in Clerkenwell, London, killing six. * 1937 – Second Sino-Japanese War: Battle of Nanjing – Nanjing, defended by the National Revolutionary Army under the command of General Tang Shengzhi, falls to the Japanese. * 1937 – Nanjing Massacre. Japanese troops begin carrying out several weeks of raping and killing of civilians and suspected Chinese resistance after the fall of Nanjing. * 1938 – The Holocaust: The Neuengamme concentration camp opens in the Bergedorf district of Hamburg, Germany. * 1939 – World War II: Battle of the River Plate – Captain Hans Langsdorff of the German Deutschland class cruiser (pocket battleship) Admiral Graf Spee engages with Royal Navy cruisers HMS Exeter, HMS Ajax and HMNZS Achilles. * 1941 – World War II: Hungary and Romania declare war on the United States. * 1943 – World War II: The Massacre of Kalavryta by German occupying forces in Greece. * 1949 – The Knesset votes to move the capital of Israel to Jerusalem. * 1959 – Archbishop Makarios becomes the first President of Cyprus. * 1960 – While Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia visits Brazil, his Imperial Bodyguard seizes the capital and proclaim him deposed and his son, Crown Prince Asfa Wossen, Emperor. * 1962 – NASA Relay 1 launch, first active repeater communications satellite in orbit. * 1967 – Constantine II of Greece attempts an unsuccessful counter-coup against the Regime of the Colonels * 1968 – Brazilian president Artur da Costa e Silva decrees the AI-5 (or the fifth Institutional Act), which lasts until 1978 and marks the beginning of the hard times of Brazilian military dictatorship. * 1972 – Apollo program: Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt begin the third and final Extra-vehicular activity (EVA) or "Moonwalk" of Apollo 17. To date they are the last humans to set foot on the Moon. * 1974 – Malta becomes a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations * 1977 – A DC-3 aircraft chartered from the Indianapolis-based National Jet crashes near Evansville Regional Airport, killing 29, including the University of Evansville basketball team, support staff and boosters of the team. * 1979 – The Canadian Government of Prime Minister Joe Clark is defeated in the House of Commons, prompting the 1980 Canadian election. * 1981 – General Wojciech Jaruzelski declares martial law in Poland to prevent dismantling of the communist system by Solidarity. * 1988 – Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat gives a speech at the United Nations General Assembly in the Swiss city of Geneva after the United States authorities refused to give him a visa to enter New York. * 1989 – Attack on Derryard checkpoint: The Provisional Irish Republican Army launch an attack on a British Army nonpermanent vehicle checkpoint near Rosslea, Northern Ireland. Two British soldiers are killed and one badly wounded. * 2000 – The "Texas 7" escape from the John Connally Unit near Kenedy, Texas and go on a robbery spree, during which police officer Aubrey Hawkins is shot and killed. * 2000 – Al Gore concedes the U.S. presidential election to George W. Bush. * 2001 – the Indian Parliament Sansad is attacked by terrorists. 15 people are killed, including all the terrorists. * 2002 – Enlargement of the European Union: The European Union announces that Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia will become members from May 1, 2004. * 2003 – Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is captured near his home town of Tikrit (see Operation Red Dawn). * 2004 – Former Chilean dictator, General Augusto Pinochet is put under house arrest, after being sued under accusations over 9 kidnapping actions and manslaughter. The house arrest is lifted the same day on appeal. * 2006 – The Baiji, or Chinese River Dolphin, is announced as extinct.