Today's History Trivia for April 13
1970 Houston, we've had a problem here An Apollo 13 oxygen tank explodes, endangering the crew and causing the planned moon landing to be aborted. One of the problems that had to be overcome was the need to adapt the Command Module's square carbon dioxide scrubber cartridges to fit the Lunar Module, which took a round cartridge. This was done by drawing air through them with a suit return hose (shown in photo).
1881 Billy the Kid The notorious outlaw is sentenced to hang for the murder of Sheriff William J. Brady during the Lincoln County Cattle War. He escaped by killing two deputies, but was killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett three months later.
2009 Spector Murder Music producer Phil Spector is found guilty of second degree murder of the 2003 shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson (film: Barbarian Queen, title role) in his home.
1992 Tunnel ruptures flooding downtown Chicago basements.
1992 Princess Anne files for an uncontested divorce from Mark Phillips.
1988 First patent for an animal species The "Harvard mouse" is patented. Its altered genes make it highly susceptible to cancer and therefore useful in research.
1983 Zsa Zsa Gabor The Hungarian beauty queen marries her 8th husband. They would have the marriage annulled the following day.
1981 Jimmy's World Washington Post reporter Janet Cooke wins a Pulitzer for her story of an eight-year-old heroin addict. It was later revealed that she made the story up.
1979 Yusufu Lule is sworn in as president of Uganda after overthrowing the eight-year rule of Idi Amin.
1976 The new U.S. $2 bill is placed in circulation.
1964 First black to win a Best Actor Oscar Sidney Poitier wins for Lilies of the Field.
1925 First regularly scheduled commercial aviation Henry Ford opens a freight line between Detroit and Chicago.
1860 First run of the Pony Express arrives in Sacramento, California. It had departed from St. Joseph, Missouri on April 3.
1844 Edgar Allen Poe's Balloon Hoax The famous writer's fictional account of a balloon crossing of the Atlantic is published
1752 First fire insurance company is organized, in Philadelphia.
Today's Birthdays for April 13
1919 Madalyn Murray O'Hair d. 1995 American atheist. Known for getting Bible reading in U.S. public schools banned (1963). She filed a lawsuit against the Baltimore public school system, claiming her son's refusal to participate in Bible readings at public school resulted in bullying and that administrators condoned it. The case reached the U.S. Supreme Court resulting in the banning of Bible reading in public schools (1963). School prayer had been banned the previous year. As a result, Life magazine called her "the most hated woman in America." She then went on to found the organization American Atheists (1963) and created the first issues of American Atheist Magazine (1963). Her son, the subject of the court case, went on to become a Christian Baptist minister. O'Hair, her other son Jon, and her granddaughter were kidnapped and murdered by a former disgruntled employee. After discovering that David Roland Waters had stolen $54,000 from American Atheists, O'Hair exposed him and his other crimes to American Atheists members. His crimes included a 1977 incident in which Waters allegedly beat and urinated on his mother and the murder of a teenager at the age of 17. Enraged, Waters and some accomplices kidnapped O'Hair and the others and forced her to withdraw $600,000 which they used to purchase gold coins. The kidnappers then killed their three victims and mutilated their bodies. Most of the gold coins were stolen from the kidnappers and never recovered. The Netflix movie The Most Hated Woman in America is based on her murder.
1866 Butch Cassidy d. 1908 (George LeRoy Parker), American outlaw, boasted of never having killed a man. He and the Sundance Kid were reported killed in 1908 by Bolivian troops after a robbery, but his sister claimed he lived in the U.S. until 1937.
1743 Thomas Jefferson d. 1826 3rd U.S. President (1801-09), 2nd U.S. Vice-President (1797-1801). Author of the Declaration of Independence, and the first U.S. Secretary of State (1790-93). Both he and John Adams died on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
1570 Guy Fawkes d. 1606 English conspirator. He is known for his part in the Gunpowder Plot, in which he and his fellow conspirators attempted to blow up King James I and the English Parliament. The were caught and executed.
1970 Ricky Schroder American actor. TV: Silver Spoons (Ricky Stratton).
1946 Al Green American soul singer, songwriter, Let's Stay Together (#1, 1971) and I'm Still In Love With You (1972).
1942 Bill Conti American Oscar-winning composer and conductor. Created the music for the Rocky movies. Composed the scores for Rocky (and four of its sequels), For Your Eyes Only, Dynasty, and The Right Stuff (Oscar).
1937 Edward Fox British actor. Film: The Day of the Jackal (1973, the Jackal) and Never Say Never Again (1983, James Bond's superior 'M').
1935 Lyle Waggoner American actor. TV: Wonder Woman (Steve Trevor).
1923 Don Adams d. 2005 (Donald James Yarmy), American actor. TV: Get Smart (Agent 86, Maxwell Smart) and Inspector Gadget (1983-85, voice of Gadget).
1919 Howard Keel d. 2004 (Harold Keel), American actor. TV: Dallas (1981-91, Clayton Farlow). Film: Show Boat (1951), Kiss Me Kate (1953), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954).
1908 Calvin Coolidge Jr d. 1924 American Presidential Son. The youngest son of U.S. President Calvin Coolidge. He died at the age of 16 from blood poisoning he got from a blister on his toe he received while playing tennis on the White House courts.
1899 Alfred Mosher Butts d. 1993 American architect, inventor of the game Scrabble (1932).
1892 Sir Robert Watson-Watt d. 1973 British inventor. He is considered the inventor of RADAR (1935), although others had also done research on it. He was the first to create a working system.
1866 Herman Long d. 1909 American baseball player. He holds the record for most career errors (1,037 errors during 1,877 games from 1889-1904). In 1900 he led the National League in home runs.
1852 Frank W. Woolworth d. 1919 American businessman, founder of Woolworths (1879). His first store failed within three months, but he tried again and the rest is history.
1795 James Harper d. 1869 American publisher. Co-founded Harper & Row, Publishers.
Deaths for April 13
2013 Frank Bank b. 1942 American actor. TV: Leave It to Beaver (1957-63, Lumpy Rutherford).
2008 John Archibald Wheeler b. 1911 American theoretical physicist. He coined the term "Black Hole" (1967, a collapsed star) and the term "Wormhole" (1957, a shortcut connecting two separate points in spacetime). Quote: "If you haven't found something strange during the day it hasn't been much of a day."
1975 Larry Parks b. 1914 (Samuel Lawrence Klausman Parks), American actor. Film: The Jolson Story (1946, title role) and Jolson Sings Again (1949, title role). He admitted to having been a member of a Communist party cell, which led to his blacklisting by all Hollywood studios.
1925 Elwood Haynes b. 1857 American automobile pioneer. He developed the first U.S. automobile (1894). He also discovered tungsten chrome steel (1881) and patented stainless steel (1919). Source: Myth Information: More Than 590 Popular Misconceptions, Fallacies, and Misbeliefs Explained!