Dec 13, 1937: The Rape of Nanking
During the Sino-Japanese War, Nanking, the capital of China, falls to Japanese forces, and the Chinese government flees to Hankow, further inland along the Yangtze River.
To break the spirit of Chinese resistance, Japanese General Matsui Iwane ordered that the city of Nanking be destroyed. Much of the city was burned, and Japanese troops launched a campaign of atrocities against civilians. In what became known as the "Rape of Nanking," the Japanese butchered an estimated 150,000 male "war prisoners," massacred an additional 50,000 male civilians, and raped at least 20,000 women and girls of all ages, many of whom were mutilated or killed in the process.
Shortly after the end of World War II, Matsui was found guilty of war crimes by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and executed.
Dec 13, 1577: Drake sets out
English seaman Francis Drake sets out from Plymouth, England, with five ships and 164 men on a mission to raid Spanish holdings on the Pacific coast of the New World and explore the Pacific Ocean. Three years later, Drake's return to Plymouth marked the first circumnavigation of the earth by a British explorer.
After crossing the Atlantic, Drake abandoned two of his ships in South America and then sailed into the Straits of Magellan with the remaining three. A series of devastating storms besieged his expedition in the treacherous straits, wrecking one ship and forcing another to return to England. Only The Golden Hind reached the Pacific Ocean, but Drake continued undaunted up the western coast of South America, raiding Spanish settlements and capturing a rich Spanish treasure ship.
Drake then continued up the western coast of North America, searching for a possible northeast passage back to the Atlantic. Reaching as far north as present-day Washington before turning back, Drake paused near San Francisco Bay in June 1579 to repair his ship and prepare for a journey across the Pacific. Calling the land "Nova Albion," Drake claimed the territory for Queen Elizabeth I.
In July, the expedition set off across the Pacific, visiting several islands before rounding Africa's Cape of Good Hope and returning to the Atlantic Ocean. On September 26, 1580, The Golden Hind returned to Plymouth, England, bearing treasure, spice, and valuable information about the world's great oceans. Drake was the first captain to sail his own ship all the way around the world--the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan had sailed three-fourths of the way around the globe earlier in the century but had been killed in the Philippines, leaving the Basque navigator Juan Sebastián de Elcano to complete the journey.
In 1581, Queen Elizabeth I knighted Drake, the son of a tenant farmer, during a visit to his ship. The most renowned of the Elizabethan seamen, Sir Francis Drake later played a crucial role in the defeat of the Spanish Armada.
Dec 13, 2000: Al Gore concedes presidential election
Vice President Al Gore reluctantly concedes defeat to Texas Governor George W. Bush in his bid for the presidency, following weeks of legal battles over the recounting of votes in Florida, on this day in 2000.
In a televised speech from his ceremonial office next to the White House, Gore said that while he was deeply disappointed and sharply disagreed with the Supreme Court verdict that ended his campaign, ''partisan rancor must now be put aside.''
"I accept the finality of the outcome, which will be ratified next Monday in the Electoral College'' he said. "And tonight, for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession.''
Gore had won the national popular vote by more than 500,000 votes, but narrowly lost Florida, giving the Electoral College to Bush 271 to 266.
Gore said he had telephoned Bush to offer his congratulations, honoring him, for the first time, with the title ''president-elect.''
''I promised that I wouldn't call him back this time'' Gore said, referring to the moment on election night when he had called Bush to tell him he was going to concede, then called back a half hour later to retract that concession.
Gore only hinted at what he might do in the future. ''I've seen America in this campaign and I like what I see. It's worth fighting for—and that's a fight I'll never stop.''
Among the friends and family beside Gore were his wife, Tipper, and his running mate, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, and his wife, Hadassah.
A little more than an hour later, Bush addressed the nation for the first time as president-elect, declaring that the "nation must rise above a house divided." Speaking from the podium of the Texas House of Representatives, Bush devoted his speech to themes of reconciliation following one of the closest and most disputed presidential elections in U.S. history. ''I was not elected to serve one party, but to serve one nation,'' Bush said.
Bush and his running mate, Dick Cheney, took office on January 20, 2001. They were re-elected in 2004 over Democrats John Kerry and John Edwards.
Dec 13, 1942: Goebbels complains of Italians' treatment of Jews
On this day, Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels records in his journal his contempt for the Italians' treatment of Jews in Italian-occupied territories. "The Italians are extremely lax in their treatment of Jews. They protect Italian Jews both in Tunis and in occupied France and won't permit their being drafted for work or compelled to wear the Star of David."
Joseph Goebbels had made the persecution, and ultimately the extermination, of Jews a personal priority from the earliest days of the war, often recording in his diary such statements as: "They are no longer people but beasts." "Their destruction will go hand in hand with the destruction of our enemies." "[T]he Jews... are now being evacuated eastward. The procedure is pretty barbaric and is not to be described here more definitely. Not much will remain of the Jews." It was on his recommendation that all Jews in occupied Paris be forced to wear a yellow star on the left side of their coats or jackets in order to identify and humiliate them.
His vituperative anti-Semitism, which included blaming the war itself on the Jews in a screed published in the German magazine Das Reich, could not be contained within the boundaries of Germany. He expected the same of his allies. But, truth be told, in the earliest days of fascism, Mussolini had denied any truth to the idea of a "pure" race and had counted Jews among his close colleagues-and was even a Zionist!
But with Italy's failing fortunes militarily, Mussolini needed to stress the Italians' "superiority" in some sense, and so began to mimic many of the racial and anti-Jewish legislation of the Nazis. Nevertheless, Mussolini never had the stomach—or the conviction—for the extremes of Goebbels, Goering, and Hitler. And certainly the majority of the Italian people never subscribed to the growing anti-Semitic rhetoric of the regime. In fact, the Italians refused to deport Jews from Italy-or from Italian-occupied Croatia or France-to Auschwitz.
The majority of Italians' courage to reject the worst of fascist ideology—its anti-Semitism—remains one bright spot in Italy's otherwise appalling World War II record.
Here's a more detailed look at events that transpired on this date throughout history:
1294 - Saint Celestine V abdicates the papacy after only five months; Celestine hoped to return to his previous life as an ascetic hermit.
1545 - Council of Trent (19th ecumenical council) opened by Pope Paul III
1570 - Sweden/Denmark signs Peace of Stettin
1572 - Spanish army beats Geuzen fleet under admiral Lumey
1577 - Sir Francis Drake sets sail from England to go around world
1621 - Emperor Ferdinand II delegates 1st anti-Reformation decree
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 - New Zealand discovered by Dutch navigator Abel Tasman
1643 - English Civil War: The Battle of Alton takes place in Hampshire.
1668 - Jean Racines "Britannicus," premieres in Paris
1734 - England & Russia sign trade agreement
1742 - Willem KH Friso tests his mothers potatoes
1759 - 1st music store in America opens (Phila)
1769 - Dartmouth College in New Hampshire received its charter
1774 - 1st incident of American Revolution - 400 attack Ft William and Mary, New Hampshire
1816 - Patent for a dry dock issued to John Adamson, Boston
1823 - Gioacchino Rossini arrives in London
1833 - HMS Beagle/Charles Darwin arrives in Port Deseado, Patagonia
1843 - "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens published, 6,000 copies sold
Novelist Charles DickensNovelist Charles Dickens 1861 - Battle of Alleghany Summit, WV
1862 - Battle of Fredericksburg, VA (Marye's Heights)
1864 - Battle of Ft McAllister, GA
1879 - 1st federal fish hatching steamer lauched (Wilmington Delaware)
1889 - Belgium rules on women/child labor law
1895 - 1st complete execution of Gustav Mahler's 2nd Symphony
1900 - Battle at Nooitgedacht: generals The la Rey/Smuts beat Britten
1901 - Test debut of S F Barnes v Aust SCG, took 5-65 in 1st innings
1903 - Italo Marcioni patents ice cream cone (NJ)
1903 - Wright Bros make 1st flight at Kittyhawk
1906 - German chancellor Bernhard von Bulow disbands the Parliament
1907 - George Gunn scores 119 on Test debut v Australia SCG
1907 - German emperor Wilhelm II visits Amsterdam
1916 - Avalanche kills 10,000 Austrian & Italian troops in 24 hrs in Tyrol
1916 - Esme Stuart Lennox Robinsons premieres in Dublin
1916 - French chief of staff Joffre replaced by Nivelle
1918 - US army of occupation crosses Rhine, enters Germany
1918 - Wilson, becomes 1st to make a foreign visit as president (France)
1919 - Ross & Smith land in Australia from a flight from London
1920 - F Pease's interferometer measures 1st stellar diameter (Betelgeuse)
1920 - League of nations establishes Intl Court of Justice in The Hague
1920 - Netherland breaks contact with kingdom of Serbia, Croatia & Slavia
1922 - Charles Ebbets proposes putting numbers on players' sleeves or caps
1924 - KOA-AM in Denver CO begins radio transmissions
1928 - Clip-on tie designed
1928 - George Gershwin's "An American In Paris" premieres (NYC)
1930 - George Sisler's career ends when Boston Braves release him
1930 - Theodore Steeg forms French government
1934 - Mark Hellinger Theater (Warner Bros) opens at 237 W 51st St NYC
1936 - Final Boston Redskin NFL game, lose to Packers 21-6, move to Wash DC
1936 - Green Bay Packers win NFL championship
1938 - Los Angeles freezes at 28°F
1939 - Battle at La Plata - 3 British cruisers vs German Graf Spee
1941 - German occupiers forbid National Front & Netherland Union
1941 - Lawine battlers destroy Haaraz, Peru; about 3,000 die
1941 - U-81 torpedoes British aircraft carrier Ark Royal
1942 - Seyss-Inquart allows Dutch Nazi Anton Mussert to call himself Leader
1942 - Washington Redskins defeat Chic Bears 14-6, to win NFL title
1943 - 150 US Marauders bomb Schiphol
1944 - Japanese kamikaze crashes into US cruiser Nashville, kills 138
1944 - Norman Krasna's "Dear Ruth," premieres in NYC
1946 - Leon Blum elected French premier
1947 - "Caribbean Carnival" closes at International NYC after 11 perfs
1947 - Maine Turnpike opens to traffic
1949 - AL votes down proposal to revive spitball
1949 - Knesset votes to transfer Israel's capital to Jerusalem
1950 - "Let's Make an Opera" opens at John Golden Theater NYC for 5 perfs
Actor James DeanActor James Dean 1950 - James Dean begins his career with an appearance in a Pepsi commercial
1953 - KOAM TV channel 7 in Pittsburg-Joplin, KS (CBS) begins broadcasting
1956 - Dodgers trade Jackie Robinson to Giants for pitcher Dick Littlefield & $35,000 Robinson retires
1959 - Archbishop Makarios elected 1st president of Cyprus
1960 - Italy beats US in Davis cup (1st time in 24 years US not in finals)
1960 - Laos General Fumi Nosavang occupies Vientiane
1961 - Beatles sign a formal agreement to be managed by Brian Epstein
1961 - Gideon Hausner in Jerusalem demands death penalty for Adolf Eichmann
1961 - Jimmy Dean's Big Bad John album is country music 1st million $ seller
1962 - Relay 1 communication satellite launched
1963 - Capital records signs right of 1st refusal agreement with Beatles
1964 - Shirley Englehorn & Sam Snead wins Haig & Haig Mixed Foursome Golf
1964 - In El Paso, Tx, LBJ & Mexican Pres Gustavo Diaz Ordaz set off an explosion diverting Rio Grande, to reshape US-Mexico border
1965 - Algerian president Boumedienne visits Moscow
1966 - 1st US bombing of Hanoi
36th US President Lyndon B. Johnson36th US President Lyndon B. Johnson 1966 - 1st battle for Bijlmer flats Amsterdam
1966 - Test debut of Clive Lloyd, v India Bombay, 82 & 78
1966 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
1967 - United Soccer Association & Natl Pro Soccer League merge into NASL
1967 - Unsuccessful coup against Greek King Constantine II
1967 - San Diego, CA records snow at a zero elevation after temperatures plunge 19 degrees (F) in eight hours.
1968 - Playland at Beach reopens
1968 - Pres Da Costa e Silva disbands parliament/grabs power
1969 - Arlo Guthrie releases "Alice's Restaurant"
1969 - Billy Martin fired as Twins' manager
1970 - Greg Chappell scores 108 on Test debut v England at the WACA
1970 - Neil Simon's "Gingerbread Lady," premieres in NYC
1971 - John Sinclair (sentence: 10 yrs, sold 2 marijuana joints) is freed
1973 - MPLA/FNLA accord about combat against Portuguese Libya
1973 - World Football League grants 1st franchise (Detroit)
1974 - Jim "Catfish" Hunter wins free agent claim against A's owner Finley
1974 - Malta becomes a republic
1975 - 1st time Saturday Night Live uses a time delay (Richard Pryor hosts)
1975 - Australian Conservatives & Liberals win parliamentary election
1975 - Jane Blalock wins LPGA 14 Colgate Triple Crown Golf Tournament
1975 - Roy Fredericks hits 169 v Aust at WACA, hundred in 71 balls
1975 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
1976 - Golden Gate Bridge District starts ferry service to Larkspur
1976 - Longest non-stop passenger airflight (Sydney to SF 13h14m)
1977 - 14 University of Evansville basketball players die in plane crash
1978 - Susan B Anthony dollar, 1st US coin to honor a woman, issued
1979 - "Oklahoma!" opens at Palace Theater NYC for 301 performances
1979 - Strikes against price increases in Gdansk Poland
1980 - "Perfectly Frank" closes at Helen Hayes Theater NYC after 16 perfs
1981 - 70th Davis Cup: USA beats Argentina in Cincinnati (3-1)
1981 - Polish government declares martial law, arrests Solidarity activists
1982 - 71st Australian Mens Tennis: Johan Kriek beats Steve Denton (63 63 62)
1982 - Earthquake hits Northern Yemen; 2,000 die
1983 - 9,655 see highest-scoring NBA game: Detroit 186, Denver 184 (3 OT)
1983 - British Airways incorporates
1983 - Islander's Butch Goring scorings 4 goals against Oilers
1983 - KYA-AM in San Francisco CA changes call letters to KOIT
1983 - Martha Layne Collins inaugurated as Kentucky's 1st female governor
1984 - Artificial heart recipient William Schroeder suffers 1st stroke
1985 - David Boon's 1st Test century, 123 v India at Adelaide
1985 - Test debut of Merv Hughes, Geoff Marsh & Bruce Reid (v India)
1987 - Belgium Christian Democrats (CVP) loses parliamentary election
1987 - Browns set club record for most points scored in a quarter, 28
1987 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
1988 - 3 men end 29-hr all-466-station subway ride in NYC
1988 - Arafat addresses UN in Geneva
1989 - Walter Davis (Denver) ends NBA free throw streak of 53 games
1989 - The last issue of Gnistan (The Spark), the organ of the Solidaritetspartiet, is published in Sweden.
1990 - "Peter Pan" opens at Lunt-Fontanne Theater NYC for 45 performances
1990 - Heavy earthquake strikes Sicily, 18 die
1990 - Pres De Klerk of S Afr meets with Mandela to talk of end of apartheid
1991 - Both Koreas sign an accord calling for reconcilliation
1991 - NY assembly speaker Mel Miller is convicted of federal mail fraud
1991 - Ricky Pierce (Seattle) ends NBA free throw streak of 75 games
1992 - "Show Off" closes at Criterion Theater NYC after 45 performances
1992 - Dawn Coe-Jone wins Pizza-La LPGA Match Play Golf Championship
1992 - FCC fines Infinity Broadcasting $600,000
1993 - Deadline for Israeli troop withdrawal from Gaza, they don't
1993 - Dow Jones hits record 3764.43
1993 - Fire in textile factory in Fuzjou China, 60 killed
1993 - Space shuttle STS-61 (Endeavour 5), lands
1994 - American Eagle commuter plane crashes in NC, killing 15
1995 - Christopher Reeves released from physical rehab center
1995 - US Federal Court votes that Cable companies must carry local stations
1996 - Free agent Roger Clemens signs with Toronto Blue Jays
1996 - Kofi Annan is elected as Secretary-General of the United Nations.
1997 - 63rd Heisman Trophy Award: Charles Woodson, Michigan (CB)
2000 - The "Texas 7" escape from the John Connally Unit near Kenedy, Texas later going on a crime spree and killing police officer Aubrey Hawkins
2000 - American Vice President Al Gore delivers his concession speech effectively ending his hopes of becoming the 43rd President of the United States.
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.
Iraqi President Saddam HusseinIraqi President Saddam Hussein 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, announced as extinct.
2007 - The Mitchell Report is publicly released listing the names of 89 Major League Baseball players that have presumably used anabolic steroids and human growth hormones. Notable players to be named include Roger Clemens and Miguel Tejada.
2012 - A car bombing in Qatana, outside Damascus, kills 16 people and injures 12
2012 - Japan scrambles fighter jets in response to a Chinese plane in the Senkaku Islands dispute
1577 - Five ships under the command of Sir Francis Drake left Plymouth, England, to embark on Drake's circumnavigation of the globe. The journey took almost three years. 1636 - The United States National Guard was created when militia regiments were organized by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. 1642 - New Zealand was discovered by Dutch navigator Abel Tasman. 1769 - Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire, received its charter. 1809 - The first abdominal surgical procedure was performed in Danville, KY, on Jane Todd Crawford. The operation was performed without an anesthetic. 1816 - John Adamson received a patent for a dry dock. 1862 - In America, an estimated 11,000 Northern soldiers were killed or wounded when Union forces were defeated by Confederates under General Robert E. Lee, at the Battle of Fredericksburg. 1883 - The border between Ontario and Manitoba was established. 1884 - Percy Everitt received a patent for the first coin-operated weighing machine. 1913 - It was announced by authorities in Florence, Italy, that the "Mona Lisa" had been recovered. The work was stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris in 1911. 1913 - The Federal Reserve System was established. 1918 - U.S. President Wilson arrived in France, becoming the first chief executive to visit a European country while holding office. 1921 - Britain, France, Japan and the United States signed the Pacific Treaty. 1937 - Japanese forces took the Chinese city of Nanking (Nanjing). An estimated 200,000 Chinese were killed over the next six weeks. The event became known as the "Rape of Nanking." 1944 - During World War II, the U.S. cruiser Nashville was badly damaged in a Japanese kamikaze suicide attack. 138 people were killed in the attack. 1961 - Anna Mary Robertson Moses, "Grandma Moses," passed away at the age of 101. 1964 - In El Paso, TX, President Johnson and Mexican President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz set off an explosion that diverted the Rio Grande River, reshaping the U.S.-Mexican border. This ended a century-old border dispute. 1966 - The rights to the first four Super Bowls were sold to CBS and NBC for total of $9.5 million. 1978 - The Philadelphia Mint began stamping the Susan B. Anthony U.S. dollar. The coin began circulation the following July. 1980 - Three days after a disputed general election, Uganda’s President Milton Obote was returned to office. 1981 - Authorities in Poland imposed martial law in an attempt to crackdown on the Solidarity labor movement. Martial law ended formally in 1983. 1982 - The Sentry Armored Car Company in New York discovered that $11 million had been stolen from its headquarters overnight. It was the biggest cash theft in U.S. history. 1987 - U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz told reporters in Copenhagen, Denmark, that the Reagan administration would begin making funding requests for the proposed Star Wars defense system. 1988 - PLO chairman Yasser Arafat addressed the U.N. General Assembly in Geneva, where it had reconvened after the United States had refused to grant Arafat a visa to visit New York. 1988 - A bankruptcy judge in Columbia, SC, ordered the assets of the troubled PTL television ministry sold to a Toronto real estate developer for $65 million. 1989 - South African President F.W. de Klerk met for the first time with imprisoned African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, at de Klerk's office in Cape Town. 1991 - Five Central Asian republics of the Soviet Union agreed to join the new Commonwealth of Independent States. 1991 - North Korea and South Korea signed a historic non-aggression agreement. 1993 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that people must receive a hearing before property linked to illegal drug sales can be seized. 1993 - The European Community ratified a treaty creating the European Economic Area (EEA), to go into effect January 1, 1994. 1994 - An American Eagle commuter plane carrying 20 people crashed short of Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina, killing 15 people. 1995 - China's most influential democracy activist, Wei Jingsheng, who already had spent 16 years in prison, was sentenced to 14 more years. 1997 - The Getty Center in Los Angeles, CA, was opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony. 1998 - Puerto Rican voters rejected U.S. statehood in a non-binding referendum. 1998 - Gary Anderson (Minnesota Vikings) kicked six field goals against Baltimore. In the game Anderson set an National Football League (NFL) record for 34 straight field goals without a miss. 2000 - U.S. Vice President Al Gore conceded the 2000 Presidential election to Texas Gov. George W. Bush. The Florida electoral votes were won by only 537 votes, which decided the election. The election had been contested up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which said that the Florida recount (supported by the Florida Supreme Court) was unconstitutional. 2000 - Seven convicts, the "Texas 7," escaped from Connally Unit in Kenedy, TX, southeast of San Antonio, by overpowering civilian workers and prison employees. They fled with stolen clothing, pickup truck and 16 guns and ammunition. 2001 - The U.S. government released a video tape that showed Osama bin Laden and others discussing their knowledge of the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. 2001 - U.S. President George W. Bush served formal notice to Russia that the United States was withdrawing from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. 2001 - Israel severed all contact with Yasser Arafat. Israel also launched air strikes and sent troops into Palestine in response to a bus ambush that killed 10 Israelis. 2001 - Gunmen stormed the Indian Parliament and killed seven people and injured 18. Security forces killed the attackers during a 90-minute gunbattle. 2001 - NBC-TV announced that it would begin running hard liquor commercials. NBC issued a 19-point policy that outlined the conditions for accepting liquor ads. 2001 - Michael Frank Goodwin was arrested and booked on two counts of murder, one count of conspiracy and three special circumstances (lying in wait, murder for financial gain and multiple murder) in connection to the death of Mickey Thompson. Thompson and his wife Trudy were shot to death in their driveway on March 16, 1988. Thompson, known as the "Speed King," set nearly 500 auto speed endurance records including being the first person to travel more than 400 mph on land.
1642 New Zealand was discovered by Dutch navigator Abel Tasman. 1918 President Wilson arrived in France, becoming the first U.S. president to visit Europe while in office. 1978 The U.S. Mint began stamping the Susan B. Anthony dollar, the first U.S. coin honoring a woman. 1981 The Polish government imposed martial law in an attempt to crush the Solidarity movement. 1989 South African President F. W. de Klerk met with Nelson Mandela for the first time. 1996 Kofi Annan of Ghana chosen to become UN secretary-general. 2000 George W. Bush accepted presidency 36 days after election; Al Gore, Jr., conceded. 2003 American forces captured Saddam Hussein who was hiding in a hole near his hometown of Tikrit.
The following links are to web sites that were used to complete this blog entry: