13 July 2007

This day in history: 13 Jul

1174: William the Lion, King of Scots, was captured at Alnwick by forces loyal to Henry II of England.

1643: Lord Henry Wilmot, 1st Earl of Rochester, commanding the Royalist forces, won a crushing victory over the Parliamentarian Sir William Waller at the Battle of Roundway Down.

1772: HMS Resolution, commanded by Captain James Cook, set sail from Plymouth, England. Cook - and Resolution - would return from this, his second voyage, on 29 July 1775.

1787: The Continental Congress enacted the Northwest Ordinance (Ordinance of 1787), establishing governing rules for the Northwest Territory, establishing procedures for the admission of new states and limiting the expansion of slavery.

1832: The source of the Mississippi River, at Lake Itasca, Minnesota, was discovered by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft.

1855: The Royal Navy launched an attack with small boats on the Russian fort at Viborg, in the Gulf of Finland. A cutter from HMS Arrogant was badly damaged by enemy fire, and drifted out of control, her crew killed or wounded. Captain of the Mast George Ingouville, despite his wounds, dived into the water and tried to pull the boat out to sea. Meanwhile, Lieutenant George D Dowell, Royal Marine Artillery (attached HMS Magicienne), was taking a break whilst waiting for his own boat to be resupplied with rockets by HMS Ruby. Spotting the cutter's plight, he set out with Ruby's quarter boat. Under heavy Russian fire, he rescued the wounded men from the cutter, pulled Ingouville from the water, and towed the damaged boat to safety. Ingouville (left, below) and Dowell (right, below) were both awarded the Victoria Cross.

1863: Opponents of conscription began three days of rioting in New York City, which would be later regarded as the worst in US history.

1878: The Treaty of Berlin, between Great Britain, Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and Turkey, was signed. Amongst other changes, Serbia, Montenegro and Romania became completely independent of the Ottoman empire.

1900: Tientsin (pinyin Tianjin), China, was retaken by European Allies from the rebelling Boxers. Midshipman Basil J D Guy, the Naval Brigade, stopped to assist a rating who had been wounded in the fighting. Unable to carry the man by himself, Guy tended his wounds, despite very heavy enemy fire, and then ran for help. When stretcher-bearers arrived, Guy led them to the wounded man and assisted in carrying him back. Unfortunately, the rating was shot dead just as they reached cover. Private Robert H von Schlick, 9th US Infantry, despite having been previously wounded whilst carrying a wounded man to safety, rejoined his command and, after his command had been withdrawn, remained alone in an exposed position on a dike, continuing to fire, and "obliviously presenting himself as a conspicuous target" until he was killed by the enemy. Guy was awarded the Victoria Cross; von Schlick and eight other men were awarded the Medal of Honor.

1919: The British airship R34 (Major G H Scott, RAF), landed in Norfolk, England, after 182 hours of flight, completing the first round-trip journey across the Atlantic.

1936: The all-time highest temperatures for the states of Wisconsin (114 degress F, at Wisconsin Dells) and Michigan (112, at Mio) were recorded on this date. The record high for Indiana (116, at Collegeville, was recorded the next day.

Jean-Paul Marat (1743–1793), Jochen Peiper (1915-1976) and Red Buttons (1919–2006) died on this date.

And happy birthday to Gn. Julius Agricola (40-93), Nathaniel Bedford Forrest (1821–1877), Bob Crane (1928–1978), Patrick Stewart OBE (1940-TBD), Harrison Ford (1942-TBD), Roger McGuinn (1942-TBD) and Ernö Rubik (1944-TBD).

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