Today in History – May 13

1373 – Julian of Norwich had visions of Jesus while suffering from a life-threatening illness, visions which were later described and interpreted in her book Revelations of Divine Love.

1501 – Amerigo Vespucci, this time under Portuguese flag, set sail for western lands.

1767 – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s first opera “Apollo et Hyacinthus”, written when he was 11 years old, premiered in Salzburg.

1780 – The Cumberland Compact was signed by leaders of the settlers in the Cumberland River area of what became the U.S. state of Tennessee, which provided for democratic government and a formal system of justice.

1846 – Mexican–American War: The United States declared war on the Federal Republic of Mexico following a dispute over the American annexation of the Republic of Texas and a Mexican military incursion.

1861 – American Civil War: Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom issued a “proclamation of neutrality” which recognized the Confederacy as having belligerent rights.

1861 – The Great Comet of 1861 was discovered by John Tebbutt of Windsor, New South Wales, Australia.

1862 – The USS Planter, a steamer and gunship, stole through Confederate lines and was passed to the Union, by a southern slave, Robert Smalls, who later was officially appointed as captain, becoming the first black man to command a United States ship.

1912 – The Royal Flying Corps, the forerunner of the Royal Air Force, was established in the United Kingdom.

1940 – Winston Churchill said “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat” in his first speech as Prime Minister to British House of Commons.

1958 – During a visit to Caracas, Venezuela, Vice President Richard Nixon’s car was attacked by anti-American demonstrators.  Several of Nixon’s staff were injured.

1958 – Ben Carlin became the first (and only) person to circumnavigate the world by amphibious vehicle, having travelled over 11,000 miles by sea and 39,000 miles by land during a ten-year journey.

1958 – The trade mark Velcro was registered.

1960 – Hundreds of University of California, Berkeley students congregated for the first day of protest against a visit by the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

1965 – The Rolling Stones recorded “Satisfaction”.

1966 – The Rolling Stones released “Paint it Black” in the UK.

1970 – The Beatles movie “Let it Be” premiered.

1980 – An F3 tornado hit Kalamazoo County, Michigan. President Jimmy Carter declared it a federal disaster area.

1981 – Mehmet Ali Ağca attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square in Rome. The Pope was rushed to the Agostino Gemelli University Polyclinic to undergo emergency surgery and survived.

1985 – Police bombed MOVE headquarters in Philadelphia, killing six adults and five children, and destroying the homes of 250 city residents.

1995 – Alison Hargreaves, a 33-year-old British mother, became the first woman to conquer Everest without oxygen or the help of sherpas.

2012 – Forty-nine dismembered bodies were discovered by Mexican authorities on Mexican Federal Highway 40.

2013 – American physician Kermit Gosnell was found guilty in Pennsylvania of murdering three infants born alive during attempted abortions, involuntary manslaughter of a woman during an abortion procedure, and other charges.

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