History: January 13

January 13

1199 Crusaders besiege Mara Syria.

1733 James Edward Oglethorpe, a British philanthropist and member of the House of Commons, arrives at Charleston, South Carolina, with a group of 116 colonists to settle the British territory named Georgia, in honor of King George II.

1788 Connecticut becomes the 5th United State.

1794 President Washington approves a measure adding two stars and two stripes to the American flag, following the admission of Vermont and Kentucky to the union. Note: The number of stripes will later be reduced to 13 again.

1832 Birth: Horatio Alger, Unitarian minister and author born in Revere, Massachusetts. Educated at Harvard. Writer of children's books. He will write over 100 didactic moral tales in which the heroes rise from poverty to riches through hard work and good deeds, including the series Luck and Pluck, Ragged Dick 1867 and Tattered Tom 1871 and From Canal Boy To President 1881. It is estimated that his books have sold more than 20 million copies. In US usage an 'Horatio Alger tale' has now come to mean any rags-to-riches story, often an implausible one. (Bradley)

1838 William Lyon Mackenzie, after a failed rebellion against the British in Upper Canada, is arrested in the US for violating neutrality laws.

1842 First British-Afghan War: British troops retreating from Kabul are ambushed and nearly annihilated at the Khyber Pass, even though the Afghans had promised them safe passage during their withdrawal from the Afghan capital.

1842 First British-Afghan War: A British army doctor reaches the British sentry post at Jalalabad, Afghanistan, the lone survivor of a 16,000-strong Anglo-Indian expeditionary force that was massacred in its retreat from Kabul. He tells of a terrible massacre in the Khyber Pass, in which the Afghans gave the defeated Anglo-Indian force and their camp followers no quarter. Note: In the 19th century, Britain, with a goal of protecting its Indian colonial holdings from Russia, tried to establish authority in neighboring Afghanistan by replacing Emir Dost Mohammad (above) with a former emir known to be sympathetic to the British. This blatant British interference in Afghanistan's internal affairs triggered the outbreak of the first Anglo-Afghan War in 1838. In 1839, the Anglo-Indian army captured Kabul and deposed Dost Mohammad. However, after an Afghan revolt in Kabul in 1840, he was restored, and the British had no choice but to withdraw. The withdrawal began on 6 January, but bad weather delayed the army's progress. The column was attacked by swarms of Afghans led by Mohammad's son, and those who were not killed outright in the attack were later massacred by the Afghan soldiers. A total of 4,500 soldiers and 12,000 camp followers were killed. Only one man, who called himself Dr. Bryden, escaped to recount the details of the military disaster on this day. In retaliation, another British force will invade Kabul, burning a portion of the city. In the same year, the war will come to an end, and in 1857 Emir Dost Muhammad will sign an alliance with the British. In 1878, the Second Anglo-Afghan War will begin, which will end two years later with Britain winning control of Afghanistan's foreign affairs. (Bradley)

1846 President James Polk dispatches General Zachary Taylor and 4,000 troops to the Texas Border as war with Mexico looms.

1849 British forces under Lord Gough defeat the Sikhs at the Battle of Chillianwallah, India.

1854 Anthony Faas of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, patents the accordion.

1864 The Zemstvo, or provincial assembly, is introduced throughout Russia.

1874 The Original Tompkins Square Riot: As unemployed workers demonstrate in New York's Tompkins Square Park, a detachment of mounted police charge into the crowd, beating men, women and children indiscriminately with billy clubs and leaving hundreds of casualties in their wake. Comments Abram Duryee, the Commissioner of Police: "It was the most glorious sight I ever saw..."

1882 Alois Hitler's common-law wife, Franziska 'Fanni' Matzelberger, gives birth to Adolf Hitler's older half-brother, Alois Jr. (See May 22)

1886 The Gold Coast in Africa is separated into the two colonies of Lagos and the Gold Coast.

1893 The British Independent Labour Party is founded with Keir Hardie as its leader.

1898 French author Emile Zola publishes his "J'Accuse" letter, accusing the French government of a cover-up in the Alfred Dreyfus treason case. (Bradley)

1906 Hugh Gernsback, of the Electro Importing Company, advertises radio receivers for sale for the low, low price of just $7.50 in Scientific American magazine. The first advert selling the radios guarantees reception of about one mile. (Bradley)

1908 Birth: Earle Wheeler (above, far right), WW2 US Army General, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff (1964-1970). Namesake for Hawaii’s Wheeler Army Air Force Base.

1913 Birth: Richard Nixon, 37th president of the USA. "...Richard Nixon was an introvert in the extroverted calling of the politician. And as if that were not problem enough for him, he was an intellectual appealing to a public that puts low value on eggheads. I don't mean an intellectual in the stereotypical sense of a cloistered scholar; I mean that Nixon was a highly intelligent man who relied greatly on his own intelligence and that of others, who had a considerable capacity to read and understand technical papers, who retreated to a room alone and wrote in longhand on a yellow legal pad the gist of his major speeches, who impressed associates with his ability to evaluate disinterestedly the pros and cons of a problem, who in the opinion of Arthur Burns, whom he appointed to head the Federal Reserve, could have "held down a chair in political science or law in any of our major universities." Any number of Richard Nixon's associates will tell you that glad-handing and pressing the flesh did not come naturally or congenially to him. When closely observed, he always seemed somehow ill at ease. His gestures when he spoke-- the counting of points on the fingers, the arms upstretched in the victory sign or sweeping around his body like a matador flicking a cape before a bull--the body language always seemed a little out of sync with what he was saying, as if a sound track were running a little ahead of or behind its film.

Lyndon Johnson once called him a "chronic campaigner," but Nixon actually shrank from the accustomed rituals of politics. In an interview early in his career, he told the columnist Stewart Alsop: "I'm fundamentally relatively shy. It doesn't come naturally to me to be a buddy-buddy boy ... I can't really let my hair down with anyone." Yet he forced himself to engage, sometimes even to excel, in the exhibitionary skills of campaigning over a political career that lasted nearly thirty years -- a remarkably successful career during which he served in both houses of Congress and as Vice President, was twice elected President of the United States, and became the only American other than Franklin Roosevelt to be nominated by a major party on five national tickets....Early in life Nixon seems to have thrown in his lot with those he called the "have-nots" rather than on the side of those he once described to his former aide Ken Clawson as having everything and therefore "sitting on their fat butts." As a freshman at Whittier College he helped organize the Orthogonians, a men's club in sharp contrast to the existing Franklins. "Orthogonian" meant "Square Shooters," Nixon explained in his memoirs; and in the college yearbook, Franklins were pictured in tuxedos while Orthogonians wore open-necked shirts, as befitted what Nixon termed "athletes and men who were working their way through school." The Franklin-Orthogonian distinction is a constant in Nixon's life. His first first major opponents..."

1915 WW1: South African troops under Louis Botha occupy Swakopmund in German South West Africa.

1915 The town of Avezzano in central Italy is struck by a huge earthquake in which 30,000 people die.

1915 WW1: FLA Winston Churchill presents a plan for an assault on the Dardanelles.

1920 A New York Times editorial reports that rockets can never fly.

French occupation forces in the Ruhr

1923 Weimar: Announcement of passive resistance by Germans in the Ruhr.

The Ruhr is marked by the red dotted line on the German-French border

1923 Weimar: Hitler refuses to join the call for government organized resistance to the invasion of the Ruhr, and denounces the Weimar Republic and the 'November Criminals' as 5,000 storm troopers demonstrate in Germany.

1926 Death: Wyatt Earp, legendary US lawman, who fought the Clanton Gang at the OK Coral, at 81 in Los Angeles.

1926 On this day the serum to combat tetanus is discovered by the Pasteur Institute.

1928 The British War office abolishes the lance as a weapon of battle.

1933 Birth: Frank Gallo, artist, sculptor.

1935 The League of Nations supervises the plebiscite (referendum) in the Saar. Ninety percent of the electors vote for a union with Germany. Only ten percent vote for union with France.


1939 Otto Frisch observes fission directly by detecting fission fragments in an ionization chamber. With the assistance of William Arnold, he coins the term "fission".

1942 WW2: Henry Ford patents a plastic automobile, which allows for a 30% decrease in a car's weight. (Bradley)

1942 Barbarossa: Russians recapture Kiev. (Clark II)

1942 World War II: Germans begin a U-boat offensive along east coast of USA.

1943 World War II: General Leclerc's Free French forces merge with the British under Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery in Libya.

1943 Stalingrad: Karpovka airfield is captured. This is the most westerly of the seven airfields in the pocket. (Messenger)

1944 Holocaust: SS-Hauptscharfuhrer Konrad Morgen, a 34-year-old SS magistrate, brings 800 cases of corruption and murder in the concentration camps to trial. 200 will result in sentences and the commandants of camps at Buchenwald and Majdanek, among others, are executed.

1944 World War II: In Switzerland, Hans Bernd Gisevius (above) and his Abwehr associate Eduard Waetjen begin supplying Dulles with information about the German resistence's plans for a coup against Hitler.

1945 World War II: German defense lines all along the Polish Front are devastated by the strength of the Soviet advance.

1953 Marshal Josip Tito is sworn in as president of Yugoslavia.

1953 The so-called 'Doctors' Plot' surfaces in the Soviet Union. Tass claims that nine 'terrorist doctors' have been arrested for hastening the deaths of politburo members by falsifying diagnoses and prescribing harmful treatments. Note: The entire affair is a paranoid delusion in the mind of the senile Stalin.

1958 9,000 scientists of 43 nations petition UN for nuclear test ban.

1972 In Ghana, a military coup by Colonel I. K. Acheampong deposes civilian prime minister K. A. Busia, who is in London for medical treatment.

1976 Falkland Island War: Argentina ousts a British envoy in a dispute over Falkland Islands.

1976 Britain applies for credit of almost 1 billion pounds from the International Monetary Fund.

1992 Japan apologizes for forcing tens of thousands of Korean women to serve as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during WW2.

1981 A UN sponsored Conference on Namibia in Geneva fails to agree on implementation of a plan for Namibia's independence.

1993 Former East German leader Erich Honecker, under whom the Berlin Wall was built, leaves a Berlin prison to fly to Chile after a court frees him because he is near death.

2001 Death: Computer pioneer William Hewlett, in his sleep in the US at the age of 87. He founded the Hewlett-Packard company, which made the first pocket calculator, with his friend David Packard in 1939. (Bradley)












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