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This Day in History: September 13


1609 – Henry Hudson reaches the river that would later be named after him – the Hudson River.

1759 – Battle of the Plains of Abraham: the British defeat the French near Quebec City in the Seven Years' War, known in the United States as the French and Indian War.

1782 – American Revolutionary War: Franco-Spanish troops launch the unsuccessful "grand assault" during the Great Siege of Gibraltar.

1788 – The Philadelphia Convention sets the date for the first presidential election in the United States, and New York City becomes the country's temporary capital.

1812 – War of 1812: A supply wagon sent to relieve Fort Harrison is ambushed in the Attack at the Narrows.

1814 – In a turning point in the War of 1812, the British fail to capture Baltimore. During the battle, Francis Scott Key composes his poem "Defence of Fort McHenry", which is later set to music and becomes the United States' national anthem.

1847 – Mexican–American War: Six teenage military cadets known as Niños Héroes die defending Chapultepec Castle in the Battle of Chapultepec. American troops under General Winfield Scott capture Mexico City in the Mexican–American War.

1848 – Vermont railroad worker Phineas Gage survives a 3-foot 7-inch (1.1 m) iron rod being driven through his head; the reported effects on his behavior and personality stimulate thinking about the nature of the brain and its functions.

1862 – American Civil War: Union soldiers find a copy of Robert E. Lee's battle plans in a field outside Frederick, Maryland. It is the prelude to the Battle of Antietam.

1899 – Henry Bliss is the first person in the United States to be killed in an automobile accident.

1900 – Filipino resistance fighters defeat a small American column in the Battle of Pulang Lupa, during the Philippine–American War.

1935 – Rockslide near Whirlpool Rapids Bridge ends the International Railway (New York–Ontario).

1942 – World War II: Second day of the Battle of Edson's Ridge in the Guadalcanal Campaign. U.S. Marines successfully defeated attacks by the Imperial Japanese Army with heavy losses for the Japanese forces.

1948 – Margaret Chase Smith is elected United States senator, and becomes the first woman to serve in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the United States Senate.

1956 – The IBM 305 RAMAC is introduced, the first commercial computer to use disk storage.

1971 – State police and National Guardsmen storm New York's Attica Prison to quell a prison revolt.

1988 – Hurricane Gilbert is the strongest recorded hurricane in the Western Hemisphere, later replaced by Hurricane Wilma in 2005 (based on barometric pressure).

1993 – Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin shakes hands with Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Yasser Arafat at the White House after signing the Oslo Accords granting limited Palestinian autonomy.

1994 – Ulysses probe passes the Sun's south pole.

2001 – Civilian aircraft traffic resumes in the United States after the September 11 attacks.

2008 – Hurricane Ike makes landfall on the Texas Gulf Coast of the United States, causing heavy damage to Galveston Island, Houston and surrounding areas.

2013 – Taliban insurgents attack the United States consulate in Herat, Afghanistan, with two members of the Afghan National Police reported dead and about 20 civilians injured.


1766 – Samuel Wilson, American meat-packer, namesake of Uncle Sam (d. 1854)

1813 – John Sedgwick, American general and educator (d. 1864)

1851 – Walter Reed, American physician and biologist (d. 1902)

1857 – Milton S. Hershey, American businessman, founded The Hershey Company (d. 1945)

1860 – John J. Pershing, American general and lawyer (d. 1948)

1917 – Carol Kendall, American historian and author (d. 2012)

1918 – Ray Charles, American singer-songwriter and conductor (d. 2015)

1925 – Frank Cashen, American businessman (d. 2014)

1925 – Mel Tormé, American singer-songwriter and actor (d. 1999)

1926 – Andrew Brimmer, American economist and academic (d. 2012)

1949 – John W. Henry, American businessman

1970 – Jason Scott Sadofsky, American historian and programmer, founded


1881 – Ambrose Burnside, American general and politician, 30th Governor of Rhode Island (b. 1824)

1996 – Tupac Shakur, American rapper, producer, and actor (b. 1971)

1998 – George Wallace, American sergeant, lawyer, and politician, 45th Governor of Alabama (b. 1919)

2012 – William Duckworth, American composer and author (b. 1943)

2013 – Robert J. Behnke, American biologist and academic (b. 1929)

2015 – Moses Malone, American basketball player and sportscaster (b. 1955)