This Day In History – April 13

Today is the 103rd day of 2021. There are 262 days left in the year


1981: Washington Post reporter Janet Cooke receives a Pulitzer Prize for her feature about an eight-year-old heroin addict named “Jimmy”. Cooke relinquishes the prize two days later, admitting she had fabricated the story.


1528: Pope Clement VII establishes a commission to determine the validity of King Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon in England.

1589: Britain’s Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Norris launch expedition of 150 ships and 18,000 men to Portugal.

1598: France’s King Henry IV, formerly a Protestant, signs Edict of Nantes, granting a large measure of religious liberty to Protestant Huguenots and ending 40 years of religious strife and civil war.

1742: George F Handel conducts first performance of The Messiah in Dublin.

1796: French forces under Napoleon Bonaparte defeat Austrians at Millesimo in northern Italy.

1848: Sicily is declared independent of Naples.

1909: Army counter-revolution in Constantinople against rule of Mohammedan Union in what is now Turkey.

1919: British troops fire on a political gathering in Amritsar, India, killing 379 people.

1943: US President Franklin D Roosevelt dedicates the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC.

1961: UN General Assembly condemns South African apartheid.

1964: Sidney Poitier becomes the first black to win an Academy Award for best actor, for his role in Lilies of the Field.

1986: Pope John Paul II visits a Rome synagogue in the first recorded papal visit of its kind.

1989: Independent Solidarity trade union in Poland files for registration after seven-year ban.

1992: Hundreds of foreigners scramble for seats on the last flight out of Libya before sanctions seal off the country.

1993: Twelve men accused of plotting the 1991 coup against Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev go on trial for treason.

1995: Ukraine agrees to close by 2000 the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, the site of an accident in 1986 that resulted in massive radioactive pollution.

2000: A Zimbabwe court rules that the Government and police must bring an end to black squatters’ occupations of white-owned farms.

2002: The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, the Netherlands, defines the 1,000-kilometre (620-mile) shared border between Ethiopia and Eritrea, ending a dispute that sparked a 1998-2000 war between the two African nations.

2004: Ousted Liberian warlord-President Charles Taylor defends his deadly tenure at the helm of his war-ravaged West African nation and challenges the UN to find any foreign bank account linked to his name in his first interview since fleeing to Nigeria the previous year.

2005: Eric Rudolph pleads guilty to carrying out the deadly bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and three other attacks, saying he picked the Summer Games to embarrass the US Government in front of the world “for its abominable sanctioning of abortion on demand”.

2008: Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki names Raila Odinga as prime minister, implementing a long-awaited power-sharing deal that the two rivals had signed more than a month earlier to resolve a protracted political crisis.

2010: US President Barack Obama gives a surprisingly downbeat assessment of the chances for a US-brokered peace settlement in the Middle East, saying that the United States cannot help if Israel and the Palestinians decide they cannot negotiate.

2011: North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) launches new air strikes on targets held by Moammar Gadhafi as the rebel movement urges a stronger air campaign that will allow them to advance on Gadhafi’s territory.

2013: The US and China agree to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons in a test of whether the world powers can shelve years of rivalry and discord and unite in fostering global stability.

2015: A federal judge sentences a former Blackwater security guard to life in prison and three others to 30-year terms for their roles in a 2007 shooting in Baghdad that killed 14 Iraqi civilians and wounded 17 others.



Thomas Jefferson, US president (1743-1826); Lily Pons, French opera singer (1904-1976); Samuel Beckett, Irish writer (1906-1989); Seamus Heaney, Irish poet and Nobel laureate (1939-2013); Paul Sorvino, US actor (1939- ); Garry Kasparov, Russian world chess champion (1963- ); Ricky Schroder, US actor (1970- ); Al Green, US R&B singer (1946- )


– AP

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