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This Day in History: July 13


1787 – The Continental Congress enacts the Northwest Ordinance establishing governing rules for the Northwest Territory. It also establishes procedures for the admission of new states and limits the expansion of slavery.

1863 – New York City draft riots: In New York City, opponents of conscription begin three days of rioting which will be later regarded as the worst in United States history.

1923 – The Hollywood Sign is officially dedicated in the hills above Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. It originally reads "Hollywoodland " but the four last letters are dropped after renovation in 1949.

1941 – World War II: Montenegrins begin a popular uprising against the Axis powers (Trinaestojulski ustanak).

1973 – Alexander Butterfield reveals the existence of the "Nixon tapes" to the special Senate committee investigating the Watergate break-in.

1977 – New York City: Amidst a period of financial and social turmoil experiences an electrical blackout lasting nearly 24 hours that leads to widespread fires and looting.

1985 – The Live Aid benefit concert takes place in London and Philadelphia, as well as other venues such as Sydney and Moscow.

1985 – Vice President George H. W. Bush becomes the Acting President for the day when President Ronald Reagan undergoes surgery to remove polyps from his colon.

2013 – George Zimmerman is found not guilty in the shooting of Trayvon Martin.


1821 – Nathan Bedford Forrest, American general (d. 1877)

1864 – John Jacob Astor IV, American colonel and businessman (d. 1912)

1913 – Dave Garroway, American journalist and actor (d. 1982)

1924 – Johnny Gilbert, American game show host and announcer

1928 – Bob Crane, American actor and radio host (d. 1978)

1935 – Jack Kemp, American football player and politician, 9th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (d. 2009)

1940 – Paul Prudhomme, American chef and author (d. 2015)

1942 – Harrison Ford, American actor and producer

1950 – George Nelson, American astronomer and astronaut

1956 – Michael Spinks, American boxer


1881 – John C. Pemberton, American general (b. 1814)

1882 – Johnny Ringo, American criminal (b. 1850)

1890 – John C. Frémont, American general and politician, 5th Territorial Governor of Arizona (b. 1813)

1893 – Young Man Afraid of His Horses, American tribal chief (b. 1836)

1970 – Leslie Groves, American general and engineer (b. 1896)

2010 – George Steinbrenner, American businessman (b. 1930)

2012 – Richard D. Zanuck, American film producer (b. 1934)

2017 - Charles Bachman, American computer scientist (b. 1924)