Today in History
Today is Palm Sunday, April 13, the 103rd day of 2014. There are 262 days left in the year.
On Apr 13 -
In 1613, Pocahontas, daughter of Chief Powhatan, was captured by English Capt. Samuel Argall in the Virginia Colony and held in exchange for English prisoners and stolen weapons. (During a yearlong captivity, Pocahontas converted to Christianity and ultimately opted to stay with the English. )
In 1742, Handel's "Messiah" had its first public performance in Dublin, Ireland.
In 1743, the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, was born in Shadwell in the Virginia Colony.
In 1861, at the start of the Civil War, Fort Sumter in South Carolina fell to Confederate forces.
In 1912, the Royal Flying Corps, a predecessor of Britain's Royal Air Force, was created.
In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., on the 200th anniversary of the third American president's birth. Radio Berlin announced the discovery of thousands of graves of massacred Polish officers in Russia's Katyn Forest; the Nazis blamed the killings on the Soviets, who in turn blamed the Nazis. (Post-Soviet Russia has acknowledged the massacre was carried out by Josef Stalin's secret police.)
In 1970, Apollo 13, on the way to the moon, was crippled when a tank containing liquid oxygen burst. (The astronauts managed to return safely.)
In 1974, NASA launched Westar 1, America's first commercial communications satellite, for Western Union.
In 1986, Pope John Paul II visited the Great Synagogue of Rome in the first recorded papal visit of its kind to a Jewish house of worship.
In 1992, the Great Chicago Flood took place as the city's century-old tunnel system and adjacent basements filled with water from the Chicago River.
In 1999, right-to-die advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian was sentenced in Pontiac, Mich., to 10 to 25 years in prison for second-degree murder in the lethal injection of a Lou Gehrig's disease patient. (Kevorkian ended up serving eight years.)
In 2013, all 108 passengers and crew survived after a new Lion Air Boeing 737 crashed into the ocean and snapped in two while attempting to land on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.
In entertainment history on April 13 –
In 1958, Van Cliburn became the first American to win the Tchaikovsky International Piano Contest in Moscow.
In 1964, Sidney Poitier became the first black performer in a leading role to win an Academy Award for his performance in "Lilies of the Field."
In 1965, the Song of the Year Grammy Award went to "Hello, Dolly." The Beatles captured the best new artist award and won the best group performance award for "A Hard Day's Night."
In 1967, The Rolling Stones played their first concert behind the Iron Curtain, in Warsaw, Poland. Riot police had to step in to deal with 2,000 people who weren't able to get tickets.
In 1971, The Rolling Stones released "Brown Sugar," the first record on their own label, Rolling Stone Records.
In 1979, singer David Lee Roth of Van Halen collapsed onstage in Spokane, Washington, due to exhaustion.
In 1989, entertainer Jack Jones received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He's probably best known for singing the "Love Boat" theme.
In 2000, Metallica sued the online song-swapping service Napster for copyright infringement.
In 2009, Music producer Phil Spector was found guilty by a Los Angeles jury of second-degree murder in the shooting of actress Lana Clarkson (he was later sentenced to 19 years to life in prison). Former Detroit Tigers pitcher Mark "The Bird" Fidrych died in an accident on his Massachusetts farm; he was 54. Harry Kalas, whose "Outta here!" home run calls thrilled Philadelphia baseball fans, died after collapsing in the broadcast booth before the Phillies' 9-8 victory over the Nationals in Washington; he was 73.