Today in History: April 13

As day turns to dusk in New York City, an 84-foot balloon of King Kong clings to the top of the Empire State Building, April 13, 1983. It was inflated by workmen from the Robert Keith Company of San Diego to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original "King Kong" movie. (AP Photo/G. Paul Burnett)

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, April 13, the 104th day of 2016. There are 262 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 13, 1970, Apollo 13, four-fifths of the way to the moon, was crippled when a tank containing liquid oxygen burst. (The astronauts managed to return safely.)

On this date:

In 1613, Pocahontas, daughter of Chief Powhatan, was captured by English Capt. Samuel Argall in the Virginia Colony. (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.

In 1958, Van Cliburn of the United States won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition for piano in Moscow; Russian Valery Klimov won the violin competition.

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, 16-year-old Lawrence Wallace Bradford, Jr. was appointed by New York Republican Jacob Javits to be the first black page of the U.S. Senate.

In 1975, the President of Chad, Francois Tombalbaye, was killed in a military coup.

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.

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