1862: At the Battle of Fredricksburg during the American Civil War, Union Major-General Ambrose Burnside is defeated by Confederate forces led by General Robert E. Lee.
1928: The George Gershwin play “An American in Paris” is performed on this day.
1937: Japanese forces defeat the National Revolutionary Army that was defending the city of Nanjing and capture the city. The Nanking Massacre would then occur – the systematic rape and murder of thousands of civilians which would occur from this day until January.
1938: In the Bergedorf District of Hamburg in Germany, the Neuengamme Concentration Camp begins operation.
1939: The Battle of River Plate begins during WWII.
1943: German forces occupying Kalavryta, Greece begin totally destroying the town and exterminating the male population of the city. This event would become known as the Massacre of Kalavryta or the Holocaust of Kalavryta.
1962: NASA puts the first repeater communication satellite into Earth’s orbit. This satellite is called Relay 1.
1982: A 6.0 Ms earthquake in Yemen kills over twenty-eight hundred people and wounds another fifteen hundred.
2003: During Operation Red Dawn of the Iraq War, Saddam Hussein is captured near the town of Tikrit.
2011: At a Christmas market in Liege, Belgium, a murder-suicide kills 6 people and wounds over 120 people.
Famous Birthdays on December 13
The 16th First Lady of the United States, Mary Todd Lincoln is born in 1918.
French actor Lucien Guitry is born in 1860.
Norwegian economist, mathematician and Nobel Prize laureate, Trygve Haavelmo is born in 1911.
American painter and poet, Kenneth Patchen is born in 1911.
American physicist and Nobel Prize laureate, Philip Warren Anderson is born in 1923.
American actor Dick Van Dyke is born in 1925.
Canadian actor and producer, Christopher Plummer is born in 1929.
American baseball player Lindy McDaniel is born in 1935.
American baseball player Dale Berra is born in 1956.