#TodayInHistory – August 133 min read
August 13 – Some important events on this day.
3114 BC 👉🏼 According to the Lounsbury correlation, the start of the Mayan calendar
1326 👉🏼 Aradia de Toscano, according to legend/folklore, is initiated into a Dianic witchcraft cult and subsequently founds the tradition of Stregheria, later known as the Malandanti.
1521 👉🏼 Spanish conquistadors under Hernán Cortés capture Aztec Emperor Cuauhtémoc in Tenochtitlan marking the end of the Aztec Empire
1536 👉🏼 Buddhist monks from Kyōto’s Enryaku Temple set fire to 21 Nichiren temples throughout Kyoto in the Tenbun Hokke Disturbance. (Traditional Japanese date: July 27, 1536).
1642 👉🏼 Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens discovers Martian south polar cap
1704 👉🏼 Battle of Blenheim (Second Battle of Höchstädt): A combined British, German and Dutch army led by John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, decisively beats the French and Bavarians
1788 👉🏼 Prussia joins Anglo-Dutch alliance to form Triple Alliance to prevent spread of Russo-Swedish War of 1788-90
1852 👉🏼 Steamer “Atlantic” crossing Lake Erie from Buffalo to Detroit collided with a fishing boat, sinks with 250 aboard
1878 👉🏼 First victim of Memphis yellow-fever epidemic dies.
On this day Kate Bionda, a restaurant owner, dies of yellow fever in Memphis, Tennessee, after a man who had escaped a quarantined steamboat visited her restaurant. The disease spread rapidly and the resulting epidemic emptied the city.
Yellow fever, which is carried by mosquitoes, originally came from West Africa and was brought to the United States on slave ships. The disease requires warm weather to survive and thrives in wet and hot summers when mosquitoes can breed prodigiously. After a three-to-six-day incubation period, an afflicted person feels flu-like symptoms such as fever and aches. After a very short remission, a more intense stage often follows, during which the victim vomits blood and suffers liver and renal failure. Survivors can feel the effects for months.
1913 👉🏼 Otto Witte, a German acrobat and fantasist, is purportedly crowned King of Albania.
Otto Witte probably suffered from delusions of grandeur when he claimed he was crowned the King of Albania. He claimed that when Albania broke away from the Ottoman Empire, some Albanian Muslims had invited a Halim Eddine to be their king. Seeing he physically resembled Eddine, he claimed local troops crowned him King shortly after and he reigned for five days before being discovered.
He also claimed to have been a contender in the German presidential election in 1925 but this is disproved by the voting records. Nevertheless when he died in 1958 his tombstone was adorned with ‘former King of Albania.’
1937 👉🏼 Second Sino-Japanese War: Japanese forces begin the Battle of Shanghai, a conflict that will last 3 months and involve 1 million troops
1940 👉🏼 Battle of Britain: Hermann Goering’s “Adlertag” (Eagle Day) offensive happens, intending to destroy the Royal Air Force; 47-48 German aircraft shot down, the RAF loses 25 planes
1942 👉🏼 The ‘Manhattan Project’ commences, under the direction of US General Leslie Groves: its aim – to deliver an atomic bomb
1961 👉🏼 Construction of the Berlin Wall begins in East Germany