#TodayInHistory – May 133 min read
May 13 – Some important events on this day
1637 👉🏼 Cardinal Richelieu of France reputedly creates the table knife 🔪
1643 👉🏼 Heavy earthquake strikes Santiago Chile, killing 1/3 of population
1767 👉🏼 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s first opera “Apollo et Hyacinthus”, written when he was 11 years old, premieres in Salzburg 🎶
1787 👉🏼 Arthur Phillip sets sails with 11 ships of criminals to Botany Bay, Australia.
He led the First Fleet to Australia and founded the penal colony at Port Jackson, later the city of Sydney, in 1788. Arthur Philip served as the colony’s first Governor during its first difficult years until 1792. He is remembered for his enlightened attitudes towards the indigenous Aboriginal people and for his efforts to avoid famine and ensure supplies reached the struggling colony. ✔️ READ THE ARTICLE !
1830 👉🏼 Republic of Ecuador is founded, with Juan Jose Flores as president 🇪🇨
1848 👉🏼 First performance of Finland’s national anthem 🇫🇮
1909 👉🏼 First Giro d’Italia takes place in Milan – Italian cyclist Luigi Ganna is the winner 🚲
1934 👉🏼 Great dustbowl storm sweeps across US prairies
1940 👉🏼 Winston Churchill says “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat” in his first speech as Prime Minister to British House of Commons
1942 👉🏼 Helicopter makes its 1st cross-country flight 🚁
1950 👉🏼 First ever race of the Formula 1 World Drivers Championship is run at Silverstone, England and won by Giuseppe Farina of italy in an Alfa Romeo 🏎
1958 👉🏼 The motorcade carrying US Vice President Richard Nixon is attacked in Caracas, Venezuela and several of Nixon’s staff are injured.
The visit of Nixon to South America was a carefully-planned and highly symbolic trip, and the role of the Latin American countries in the grip of the Cold War was unclear.
Yet the visit to Venezuela took place on hostile terms. Earlier in the year the US government granted asylum to the unpopular dictator Marcos Pérez Jiménez who had been overthrown in a revolution. In his place was Admiral Wolfgang Larrazábal whose candidacy was supported, among others, by the Venezuelan Communist Party.
So it was that when Nixon’s motorcade traveled through Caracas crowds of communist supporters launched themselves on his vehicle and began smashing their windows with their fists and with stones. Many were injured in the altercation, including Nixon’s secretary and his translator.
The motorcade eventually escaped and made it to the US Embassy. In response, Nixon left Caracas seven hours early and returned to America. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, furious at the attack, said to his staff “I am about ready to go put my uniform on”. He ordered twelve battleships to Venezeula on standby, compelling the government in Caracas to protect Nixon thereafter.
The Venezuelan police had refused to intervene in the attack, and the incident had a big impact on Nixon. It hardened his attitude to Latin America, he later said all of Latin America (except Colombia, where he had been well received) were too immature for democracy, and he would gather with Vernon Walters, another survivor of the attack, to celebrate privately every year on May 13.
1981 👉🏼 Pope John Paul II is shot and critically wounded by Turkish gunman Mehemet Ali Agca in St Peter’s Square, Vatican City
1989 👉🏼 Approx 2,000 students begin hunger strike in Tiananmen Square, China 🇨🇳
2017 👉🏼 22 year old UK blogger halts spread of global ransomware cyber-attack by accidentally identifying “kill switch”
2019 👉🏼 Diary of Dutch statesman Johan van Oldenbarnevelt’s last days rediscovered and displayed for the 400th anniversary of his execution.
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