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1021 Feb 13
Al-Ḥākim bi-Amr Allāh, the sixth Fatimid caliph and 16th Ismaili imam (996–1021), died. He is known as the “mad caliph of Cairo.” The Fatimid Caliphate was an Ismaili Shia Islamic caliphate that spanned a large area of North Africa, from the Red Sea in the east to the Atlantic Ocean in the west.
Links: Egypt, Islam     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1113 Feb 13
Pope Paschal II issued a papal bull recognizing the Knights of Malta as independent from bishops or secular authorities. The order traces had establishment an infirmary in Jerusalem that cared for people of all faiths making pilgrimages to the Holy Land.
Links: Malta, Vatican     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1332 Feb 13
Andronicus II Palaeologus, Byzantine emperor (1282-1328), monk, died.
Links: Byzantium, Romans     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1599 Feb 13
Alexander VII, Roman Catholic Pope, was born.
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1633 Feb 13
Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei arrived in Rome for trial before the Inquisition.
Links: Vatican     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1689 Feb 13
The British Parliament adopted the Bill of Rights. It limited the right of a king to govern without the consent of Parliament.
Links: Britain     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1692 Feb 13
In the Glen Coe highlands of Scotland, 38 members of the MacDonald clan, the smallest of the Clan Donald sects, were murdered by soldiers of the neighboring Campbell clan for not pledging allegiance to William of Orange. Ironically the pledge had been made but not communicated to the clans. The event is remembered as the Massacre of Glencoe.
Links: Scotland, Tragedy, Massacre     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1847 Feb 13
Amjad Ali Shah (b.1942), the 4th king of Oudh, died and was buried at his mausoleum in Lucknow (India).
Links: India     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1858 Feb 13
Sir Richard Burton and John Speake explored Lake Tanganyika, Africa.
Links: Tanzania     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1861 Feb 13
In Australia the 4-man Burke party began their 700-mile return to Cooper’s Creek under constant rain.
Links: Australia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1861 Feb 13
Abraham Lincoln was declared president.
Links: USA, LincolnA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1867 Feb 13
Johann Strauss' "Blue Danube" waltz premiered in Vienna.
Links: Austria     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1892 Feb 13
Grant Wood, painter (American Gothic), was born in Eldon, Iowa. Wood studied at the University of Iowa, taught there and made Iowa the focus of his paintings. His is considered one of America's first 'regionalist' painters. His most famous work 'American Gothic', often spoofed, is a painting of the puritanical farmer and his wife or daughter.
Links: Artist, USA, Iowa     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1894 Feb 13
In Brazil peace talks between Pres. Peixoto and navy rebels broke down completely when Admiral Saldanha da Gama led a landing party that stormed a republican fort at Nictheroy on the Guanabara Bay opposite from Rio de Janeiro. The rebels were driven back.
Links: Brazil     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1902 Feb 13
Georges Simenon, novelist, was born in Belgium.
Links: Belgium     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1912 Feb 13
The Chinese imperial government acknowledged the new republic.
Links: China     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1913 Feb 13
Joaquin Miller (b.1837), known as the "poet of the Sierras," died in Oakland, Ca. Miller had sponsored California’s 1st Arbor Day. His work included "Utopia" (1880) and “Life amongst the Modocs: unwritten history” (1873), an autobiographical novel first published in London. Miller was born as Cincinnatus Hiner Miller near Liberty, Indiana. His secret "California Diary" was unearthed 25 years after his death. In 1919 Oakland purchased his property and in 1928 turned it into a park combined with adjacent undeveloped tracts.
Links: USA, Poet, SF Bay Area, Trees     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1916 Feb 13
Vilhelm Hammershoi (b.1864), Danish painter, died. He is most celebrated for his interiors, many of which he painted at his residence in Copenhagen.
Links: Artist, Denmark     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1920 Feb 13
1920 Feb 14
Andrew “Rube” Foster (1879-1930) formed the 1st black baseball league, the Negro National League, at a meeting at the Colored YMCA, Kansas City, Mo.
Links: USA, Black History, Baseball, Missouri     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1936 Feb 13
The first US Social Security checks were put in the mail.
Links: USA, Social Security     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1936 Feb 13
Leon Blum, shortly before becoming Prime Minister, was dragged from a car and almost beaten to death by the Camelots du Roi, a group of anti-Semites and royalists. The right-wing Action Française league was dissolved by the government following this incident, not long before the elections that brought Blum to power.
Links: France, Jews     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1936 Feb 13
San Francisco-based magician Charles Joseph Carter (61), aka “Carter the Great,” died of a heart attack while on tour in Bombay, India.
Links: India, SF, Magic     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1943 Feb 13
The Marine Corps began allowing women to enlist as reserves.
Links: USA, Women     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1945 Feb 13
British bombers in Operation Thunderclap firebombed the city of Dresden, Germany, and 135,000 people were killed. The Royal Air Force Bomber Command attacked the city of Dresden at night with raids by 873 heavy bombers. 796 Lancaster heavy bombers were led by 9 target marking Mosquito light bombers. A look at aerial maps of the city before and after the terror attacks clearly shows the large white oil tanks owned by British-controlled Shell Oil. These tanks remained entirely untouched by the bombardment. In 2003 Frederick Taylor authored “Dresden: Tuesday, February 13, 1945.” [see Feb 14]
Links: Britain, Germany     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1949 Feb 13
A mob burned a radio station in Ecuador after the broadcast of H.G. Wells’ "War of the Worlds."
Links: Ecuador, Radio     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1950 Feb 13
Albania recognized Ho Chi Minh's Vietnamese government, becoming the sixth Eastern bloc country to do so.
Links: Albania, Vietnam     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1950 Feb 13
A US Air Force B-36 crashed near the coast of northern British Columbia during a simulated nuclear attack on San Francisco. 12 of 17 men on board survived. A Mark 4 bomb, which lacked a plutonium core needed for a nuclear blast, was dropped over the ocean before the plane crashed.
Links: Canada, USA, Air Crash, Nuclear, Air Force     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1951 Feb 13
At the Battle of Chipyong-ni, in Korea, U.N. troops contained the Chinese forces' offensive in a two-day battle.
Links: China     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1953 Feb 13
Pope Pius XII asked the U.S. to grant clemency to convicted spies Ethel and Julius Rosenberg.
Links: Vatican     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1955 Feb 13
Israel acquired 4 of 7 Dead Sea scrolls. Israel already had 3 scrolls, acquired in 1947. The 4 scrolls were purchased from a Christian clergyman, a Syrian Orthodox archbishop. The price, according to the New York Times, was an estimated $300,000.
Links: Israel     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1959 Feb 13
Romulo Betancourt began serving his 2nd term as president of Venezuela and continued to 1964.
Links: Venezuela     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1960 Feb 13
Gerboise Bleue ("blue jerboa") was the name of the first French nuclear test. It was an atomic bomb detonated in the middle of the Algerian Sahara desert, during the Algerian War (1954-62).
Links: Algeria, France, Nuclear     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1965 Feb 13
James Mitchell (23), amateur explorer, died inside Schroeder’s Pants Cave in Dolgeville, NY. His remains were recovered in 2006.
Links: USA, New York, Explorer     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1968 Feb 13
The US sent 10,500 more combat troops to Vietnam.
Links: USA, Vietnam     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1969 Feb 13
In North Carolina the Afro-American Society students of Duke Univ. led a black student takeover of the Allen Building to spark University action on the concerns of Black students. The takeover brought attention to issues such as establishment of an Afro-American studies program, a black cultural center, and increasing the number of black faculty and students.
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1970 Feb 13
GM reportedly redesigned automobiles to run on unleaded fuel.
Links: USA, Michigan, Cars     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1972 Feb 13
"1776" closed at 46th Street Theater in NYC after 1,217 performances. A film version was released in November.
Links: USA, NYC, Theater     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1972 Feb 13
Enemy attacks, in Vietnam, declined for the third day as the U.S. continued its intensive bombing strategy. The F-105 Thunderchief or the "Thud" was the Air Force’s war-horse in Vietnam when it came to bombing campaigns.
Links: USA, Vietnam     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1973 Feb 13
Musical "El Grande de Coca-Cola," premiered in NYC. The off-Broadway show closed April 13, 1975
Links: USA, NYC, Theater     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1974 Feb 13
Alexander Solzhenitsyn was exiled from the USSR. He wrote his novel "First Circle" based on experiences in a Moscow prison camp, where he met Lev Kopelev (d.1997 at 85), a dissident author and Communist idealist. The character Rubin in "First Circle" is based on Kopelev.
Links: Russia, Writer, USSR     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1976 Feb 13
Lily Pons (b.1898), French, US soprano, opera diva (Met Opera), died.
Links: USA, France, Opera     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1976 Feb 13
In Nigeria Gen'l. Muhammad in the ruling junta was killed in a coup attempt and his deputy, Gen'l. Olusegun Obasanjo, was named president.
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1980 Feb 13
The opening ceremonies were held in Lake Placid, NY, for the 13th Winter Olympics.
Links: USA, Olympics, New York     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1980 Feb 13
David Janssen, television and film actor, died in Malibu, California, from a heart attack. He was born as David Harold Meyer on March 27, 1931 in Naponee, Nebraska. He is best known for his starring role as Dr. Richard Kimble in the hit television series “The Fugitive” (1963–1967).
Links: USA, Filmstar, TV     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1982 Feb 13
In Guatemala 73 men and women from Rio Negro were ordered by the local military commander to report to Xococ, a village upstream from the reservoir zone which had a history of land conflicts and hostility with Rio Negro. Only one woman out of the 73 villagers returned to Rio Negro, the rest were raped, tortured and then murdered by Xococ's Civil Defense Patrol, or PAC, one of the notorious paramilitary units used by the state as death squads. The Guatemalan army invaded Santa Maria Tzeja and massacred 13 people. Villagers fled their homes following the massacre. In 2004 Beatriz Manz authored "Paradise in Ashes: A Guatemalan Journey of courage, Terror and Hope."
Links: Guatemala, Murder, Rape     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1983 Feb 13
Spyros Kyprianou was re-elected president of Cyprus.
Links: Cyprus     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1983 Feb 13
1983 Feb 14
The Americus and Altair fishing boats sank in the Bering Sea and 14 fishermen from Anacortes, Wa., died. In 1998 Patrick Dillon authored "Lost At Sea," an account of the tragedy.
Links: USA, Washington, Fish     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1984 Feb 13
Konstantin Chernenko was chosen to be general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party's Central Committee, succeeding the late Yuri Andropov.
Links: Russia, USSR     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1985 Feb 13
Polish police arrested 7 Solidarity leaders.
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1986 Feb 13
Britain's Lady Thatcher and France's Mitterrand signed the Chunnel treaty in Canterbury. It was opened in May, 1994.
Links: Britain, France     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1988 Feb 13
The 15th winter Olympics opened in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Links: Canada, Olympics     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1988 Feb 13
President Reagan and Mexican President Miguel de la Madrid met in the Mexican resort of Mazatlan.
Links: USA, Mexico, ReaganR     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1989 Feb 13
Salvadoran army attacked Encuentros hospital where they raped and killed patients.
Links: El Salvador     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1989 Feb 13
The judge in the Iran-Contra trial of Oliver North sent the jury home amid a continuing disagreement between the prosecution and defense over protecting classified materials.
Links: Nicaragua, USA, Iran     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1989 Feb 13
The racing yacht Thursday’s Child broke the 1851, 89-day record, set by the clipper Flying Cloud, for sailing from NY to San Francisco around South America.
Links: SF, Ship, World Record     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1990 Feb 13
At a conference in Ottawa, the United States and its European allies forged agreement with the Soviet Union and East Germany on a two-stage formula to reunite Germany.
Links: Russia, Canada, Germany, USSR     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1991 Feb 13
Arno Breker (90), German sculptor (Third Reich), died in Dusseldorf.
Links: Artist, Germany     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1991 Feb 13
Some 334 Iraqi civilians were killed when a pair of laser-guided US bombs destroyed an underground facility in Baghdad identified by US officials as a military installation, but which Iraqi officials said was a bomb shelter.
Links: Iraq, USA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1992 Feb 13
Donna Weinbrecht of the United States won the gold medal in women's freestyle skiing moguls at the Olympic games in Albertville, France.
Links: USA, France, Olympics, Skiing     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1993 Feb 13
The government of Bosnia-Herzegovina began blocking the distribution of food in the capital of Sarajevo to protest ineffective international attempts to stop the war.
Links: Bosnia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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