Friday, May 13, 2011

Today in History Fridays!

On May 13th in history...

  • 1607 – 100 English colonists settled on the bank of the James River in Virginia, establishing Jamestown as the first permanent English colony in North America. The colonists traveled from England on three ships, the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery, and were led by Captain John Smith.
  • 1846 – President James Polk, with the approval of the U.S. Congress, declares war on Mexico over Texas. The war would last about two years, and would end with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which was signed February 2, 1848. The United States received California and New Mexico, and Mexico was paid $15 million.
  • 1898 – The father of the light bulb, Thomas Edison, sues the American Mutoscope Company over a patent infringement on his Kinetograph movie camera. The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Edison did not invent the camera, but the system that moved the film through the camera. In 1909 he created the Motion Pictures Patents Corp. to block others from entering the industry, but the Supreme Court found this to be an unfair monopoly, dissolved the corporation and in 1918 Edison left the film industry for good.
  • 1958 – Vice President Richard Nixon, while on a diplomatic visit to Latin America, has his car attacked by an angry crowd in Caracas, Venezuela. Windows were broken, and the car was nearly flipped over. President Eisenhower sent troops to Venezuela to protect Nixon, but there were no more attacks and Nixon left ahead of schedule.
  • 1981 – Pope John Paul II is shot in St. Peter’s Square in Rome, but survives the attempted assassination. He was shot by Turkish terrorist Mehmet Ali Agca, who was an escaped fugitive for a previous murder. He was immediately captured, tried and sentenced to life in prison. However, due to changes in amnesty and penal codes, he was released in 2010.
Until next time...

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