Today in History, 13 July: What Happened on this Day – Birthday, Events, Politics, Death & More

If we count the remainder of the year in days, only 171 days remain. July 13 seen has seen many important events, birthdays, and deaths come and go. On July 13th, throughout history, the world has experienced a tapestry of triumphs and tragedies, marking this day as one of profound significance.

Yet, amidst the victories and sorrows, it has also given rise to remarkable individuals who have shaped the course of humanity. Join us as we explore the rich tapestry of events and extraordinary people that have made July 13th a day to be remembered.

Historical Moments

1249: Alexander III is crowned King of Scots:

On this day in 1249, Alexander III ascended to the throne as the King of Scots. His reign lasted until his untimely death in 1286 and is remembered for his efforts to stabilize and strengthen the kingdom of Scotland.

1558: Battle of Gravelines:

The Battle of Gravelines, which occurred on July 13th, 1558, was a pivotal engagement in the Italian War of 1551-1559. Spanish forces, led by Count Lamoral of Egmont, successfully defeated the French forces commanded by Marshal Paul de Thermes at Gravelines.

1573: End of the Siege of Haarlem:

After a grueling seven-month-long siege, the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands finally surrendered on July 13th, 1573, marking the end of the Siege of Haarlem during the Eighty Years’ War. The Dutch rebels fought against Spanish forces in an attempt to gain independence.

1793: Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat:

Jean-Paul Marat, a prominent figure in the French Revolution and a leader of the radical Montagnard faction, was assassinated on July 13th, 1793. Marat was stabbed to death by Charlotte Corday, a young supporter of the Girondin faction. Corday was subsequently guillotined for her actions.

1830: Establishment of Scottish Church College:

Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Alexander Duff, a Christian missionary, established the Scottish Church College in Calcutta (now Kolkata), India, on July 13th, 1830. The college played a significant role in promoting modern education and religious reform in colonial India.

1930: Inaugural FIFA World Cup begins:

The inaugural FIFA World Cup, the most prestigious international football tournament, commenced on July 13th, 1930, in Uruguay. The tournament featured 13 teams from four continents competing for the title, with Uruguay emerging as the first-ever World Cup champions.

1941: Montenegrin Thirteenth Uprising:

During World War II, on July 13th, 1941, Montenegrins initiated the Thirteenth Uprising against Axis powers in Montenegro. This popular revolt marked a significant resistance effort by the local population against the occupying forces.

1956: Dartmouth workshop on artificial intelligence:

Recognized as the first conference on artificial intelligence, the Dartmouth workshop commenced on July 13th, 1956, at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, USA. This event brought together prominent scientists to discuss the potential and future of artificial intelligence.

1962: Dismissal of British Cabinet Members:

British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan made a historic move on July 13th, 1962, by dismissing seven members of his Cabinet. This decision signaled the end of the National Liberals as a distinct political force within British politics.

1977: Start of the Ethiopian-Somali War:

The Ethiopian-Somali War began on July 13th, 1977, as tensions between Ethiopia and Somalia escalated into a full-scale conflict. The war lasted until 1978 and had a significant impact on the region.

1985: Live Aid benefit concert:

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On July 13th, 1985, the iconic Live Aid benefit concert took place simultaneously in London, England, and Philadelphia, USA. The event aimed to raise funds to alleviate the famine in Ethiopia and featured numerous renowned musicians and bands.

2008: Battle of Wanat:

In Afghanistan, the Battle of Wanat commenced on July 13th, 2008, when Taliban and al-Qaeda guerrillas launched an attack on US Army and Afghan National Army troops. This battle resulted in a significant number of casualties, marking one of the deadliest encounters for the US military at that time.

2011: Mumbai Bomb Blasts:

On the evening rush hour of July 13th, 2011, three bomb blasts struck the city of Mumbai, India. These coordinated attacks resulted in the loss of 26 lives and injured around 130 people.

2011: South Sudan joins the United Nations:

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1999 was adopted on July 13th, 2011, which officially granted South Sudan membership status in the United Nations. This resolution recognized South Sudan as a separate and independent nation.

Sports Events

1926: Paavo Nurmi sets a world record in the 3000m:

Finnish middle-distance runner Paavo Nurmi made history on July 13th, 1926, by running the 3000m in a remarkable time of 8 minutes and 20.4 seconds. This outstanding achievement established a new world record, showcasing Nurmi’s exceptional talent and endurance.

1934: Babe Ruth hits his 700th career home run:

Baseball legend Babe Ruth reached a remarkable milestone on July 13th, 1934, when he smacked his 700th career home run. This historic feat further solidified Ruth’s status as one of the greatest players in the sport’s history.

1941: Vic Ghezzi wins the PGA Championship:

At the PGA Championship held on July 13th, 1941, golfer Vic Ghezzi emerged victorious, capturing his sole major title. Ghezzi’s triumph came after an intense 38-hole battle against defending champion Byron Nelson at the Cherry Hills Country Club.

1950: Ted Williams undergoes surgery on his elbow:

On July 13th, 1950, baseball icon Ted Williams underwent a surgical procedure to remove seven bone fragments from his elbow. Despite this setback, Williams went on to have a successful career and is considered one of the greatest hitters in the history of the sport.

1962: Arnold Palmer secures his second consecutive British Open title:

Renowned golfer Arnold Palmer showcased his exceptional skills by clinching his second consecutive British Open victory on July 13th, 1962. Palmer triumphed at the Royal Troon course, finishing six strokes ahead of the runner-up, Kel Nagle from Australia.

1968: Gary Player wins his second British Open title:

South African golfer Gary Player etched his name in history on July 13th, 1968, by winning his second British Open title. The player’s triumph at the Carnoustie course marked his fifth major championship victory out of the nine he would eventually accumulate.

1979: Nolan Ryan and Steve Renko fall short of no-hitters:

Pitchers Nolan Ryan of the California Angels and Steve Renko of the Boston Red Sox both came agonizingly close to throwing no-hitters on July 13th, 1979. However, they lost their bids in the ninth inning, ending their hopes of achieving this rare feat.

1985: New York Yankees retire numbers of Roger Maris and Elston Howard:

To honor their exceptional contributions to the team, the New York Yankees retired the uniform numbers of Roger Maris (number 9) and Elston Howard (number 32) on July 13th, 1985. This gesture recognized the significant impact both players had on the franchise.

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1994: Jeff Gillooly sentenced for attack on Nancy Kerrigan:

On July 13th, 1994, Jeff Gillooly, the ex-husband of figure skater Tonya Harding, was sentenced to two years in prison for his involvement in the attack on American Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan. The incident created a media frenzy and had a profound impact on the world of figure skating.

2014: Germany wins the FIFA World Cup:

In the FIFA World Cup final held at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 13th, 2014, Germany emerged as the victor. Mario Götze scored the decisive goal in extra time, leading Germany to a 1-0 victory over Argentina and securing their fourth World Cup title.

2018: Kevin Anderson and John Isner engage in record-breaking Wimbledon semi-final:

South African tennis player Kevin Anderson and American John Isner competed in the longest semi-final match in Wimbledon history on July 13th, 2018. The grueling encounter lasted 6 hours and 36 minutes, with Anderson eventually prevailing 7-6, 6-7, 6-7, 6-4, 26-24.

Art and Culture Events on 13th July






Frank Sinatra’s recording debut

Renowned singer Frank Sinatra made his recording debut on July 13th, 1939, with the Harry James band. Sinatra’s debut featured his vocals on the songs “Melancholy Mood” and “From The Bottom of My Heart.” This marked the beginning of Sinatra’s iconic musical career, earning him the moniker “Ol’ Blue Eyes.”


Film releases of “The Last Starfighter” and “The Muppets Take Manhattan”

On July 13th, 1984, two popular films made their theatrical debuts. “The Last Starfighter” captivated audiences with its science fiction storyline centered around a young man recruited to join an intergalactic defense force. Simultaneously, “The Muppets Take Manhattan” delighted viewers with the lovable Muppet characters’ adventures in New York City.


Fox News Channel becomes the leading US cable TV news service

July 13th, 2002, marked a significant turning point in American news broadcasting. On this day, the Fox News Channel surpassed its long-time competitor, CNN, to become the leading cable TV news service in the United States. Fox News Channel’s rise in popularity reshaped the landscape of television news.

Notable Birthdays

100 BC: Julius Caesar 

Julius Caesar, the renowned Roman military and political leader, was born on July 13th, 100 BC. He played a pivotal role in the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire and is remembered as one of history’s most influential figures.

1821: Nathan Bedford Forrest 

Nathan Bedford Forrest, an American slave trader, Confederate lieutenant general, and Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan was born on July 13th, 1821. Forrest’s controversial legacy is tied to his involvement in the Civil War and later his association with the KKK.

1918: Alberto Ascari 

Italian auto racer Alberto Ascari, born on July 13th, 1918, achieved great success in Formula One racing. He became the World Formula One champion in 1952 and 1953, leaving an indelible mark on the sport.

1929: Sofia Muratova  

Soviet-Russian gymnast Sofia Muratova, born on July 13th, 1929, had an outstanding career in gymnastics. She participated in multiple Olympic Games from 1952 to 1960, earning a total of 13 medals, including 6 gold, 3 silver, and 4 bronze.

1934: Wole Soyinka 

Wole Soyinka, born on July 13th, 1934, is a Nigerian playwright, poet, and novelist. He is the first African Nobel laureate in Literature, receiving the prestigious award in 1986 for his literary contributions and social commentary.

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1940: Patrick Stewart 

English actor Sir Patrick Stewart, born on July 13th, 1940, is best known for his iconic roles as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men film series. His versatile acting career has earned him widespread acclaim.

1942: Harrison Ford

American actor Harrison Ford, born on July 13th, 1942, has portrayed iconic characters such as Han Solo in the Star Wars film series and Indiana Jones in the Indiana Jones franchise. Ford’s performances have solidified his status as one of Hollywood’s most beloved actors.

1944: Ernő Rubik 

Hungarian architect and professor Ernő Rubik, born on July 13th, 1944, gained worldwide fame as the inventor of the Rubik’s Cube. His ingenious puzzle has captivated millions and remains a popular brain teaser to this day.

Notable Deaths





James Bradley



Discovered Earth’s nutation motion, which contributed to our understanding of the Earth’s movement and revolutionized astronomical knowledge.

Kate Sheppard



Played a pivotal role in the women’s suffrage movement in New Zealand. Was instrumental in achieving women’s suffrage in the country.

Alfred Stieglitz


Photographer, art dealer

Pioneered modern photography. Elevated photography as an art form through his innovative techniques and as the founder of the Photo-Secession movement.

Arnold Schoenberg



Leading figure in the development of atonal and twelve-tone music. Innovative approaches to composition had a profound impact on the trajectory of classical music in the 20th century.

Frida Kahlo



Celebrated for her self-portraits and depiction of Mexican folk art and culture. Artwork characterized by vibrant colors and symbolic imagery has garnered international acclaim and made her an iconic figure in the art world.

Leslie Groves


Military officer

Served as the director of the Manhattan Project. Under his leadership, the U.S. project successfully developed the atomic bomb during World War II, contributing to the Allied victory.

George Steinbrenner



Owner of the New York Yankees baseball team from 1973 to 2008. Played a significant role in shaping the franchise’s success and prominence, leading the team to numerous championships.

Cory Monteith



Gained fame for his portrayal of Finn Hudson on the television series Glee.

July 13th is a day that has seen both great triumphs and tragic losses. However, it is also a day that has witnessed the birth of some of history’s most influential figures. We hope you have enjoyed learning about some of the events and people that have made this day so significant.

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