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This Day in U.S. History: April 13


1613 – Samuel Argall captures Native American princess Pocahontas in Passapatanzy, Virginia to ransom her for some English prisoners held by her father. She is brought to Henricus as hostage.

1777 – American Revolutionary War: American forces are ambushed and defeated in the Battle of Bound Brook, New Jersey.

1861 – American Civil War: Fort Sumter surrenders to Confederate forces.

1865 – American Civil War: Raleigh, North Carolina is occupied by Union Forces.

1870 – The New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art is founded.

1873 – The Colfax massacre, in which more than 60 African Americans are murdered, takes place.

1902 – James C. Penney opens his first store in Kemmerer, Wyoming.

1919 – Eugene V. Debs is imprisoned at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia, for speaking out against the draft during World War I.

1943 – The Jefferson Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C., on the 200th anniversary of President Thomas Jefferson's birth.

1953 – CIA director Allen Dulles launches the mind-control program Project MKUltra.

1960 – The United States launches Transit 1-B, the world's first satellite navigation system.

1964 – At the Academy Awards, Sidney Poitier becomes the first African-American male to win the Best Actor award for the 1963 film Lilies of the Field.

1970 – An oxygen tank aboard Apollo 13 explodes, putting the crew in great danger and causing major damage to the spacecraft while en route to the Moon.

1972 – Vietnam War: The Battle of An Lộc begins.

1974 – Western Union (in cooperation with NASA and Hughes Aircraft) launches the United States' first commercial geosynchronous communications satellite, Westar 1.

1976 – The United States Treasury Department reintroduces the two-dollar bill as a Federal Reserve Note on Thomas Jefferson's 233rd birthday as part of the United States Bicentennial celebration.

1992 – The Great Chicago flood devastates much of central Chicago.

1997 – Tiger Woods becomes the youngest golfer to win the Masters Tournament.


1735 – Isaac Low, American merchant and politician, founded the New York Chamber of Commerce (d. 1791)

1743 – Thomas Jefferson, American lawyer and politician, 3rd President of the United States (d. 1826)

1851 – Robert Abbe, American surgeon and radiologist (d. 1928)

1852 – Frank Winfield Woolworth, American businessman, founded the F. W. Woolworth Company (d. 1919)

1866 – Butch Cassidy, American criminal (d. 1908)

1907 – Harold Stassen, American lawyer and politician, 25th Governor of Minnesota (d. 2001)

1942 – Bill Conti, American composer and conductor


1993 – Wallace Stegner, American novelist, short story writer, and essayist (b. 1909)

1997 – Dorothy Frooks, American author and actress (b. 1896)

2009 – Mark Fidrych, American baseball player (b. 1954)