1743: Thomas Jefferson is born: Future President Thomas Jefferson, drafter of the Declaration of Independence and the nation’s preeminent political theorist, is born on this day in 1743.
Historian and biographer Joseph Ellis has called Jefferson, who had a monumental role in shaping American politics, the American sphinx for his enigmatic character. Since his terms in office, presidents and politicians from both ends of the political spectrum have borrowed from Jefferson’s political philosophy in an attempt to link their own leadership with this most influential and admired founding father. More here
1777: British attack at Bound Brook, New Jersey: In the early morning hours of April 13, 1777, General Lord Charles Cornwallis leads 4,000 British troops and Hessian mercenaries in a surprise attack on a small garrison of American troops in the village of Bound Brook in central New Jersey. More here
1970: Apollo 13 oxygen tank explodes: On April 13, 1970, disaster strikes 200,000 miles from Earth when oxygen tank No. 2 blows up on Apollo 13, the third manned lunar landing mission. Astronauts James A. Lovell, John L. Swigert, and Fred W. Haise had left Earth two days before for the Fra Mauro highlands of the moon but were forced to turn their attention to simply making it home alive. More here and here
1943: The Jefferson Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C., on the 200th anniversary of Thomas Jefferson’s birth: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial is a presidential memorial in Washington, D.C. that is dedicated to Thomas Jefferson, an American Founding Father and the third President of the United States. The neoclassical building was designed by John Russell Pope. It was built by Philadelphia contractor Tyler Nichols. Construction began in 1939, the building was completed in 1943, and the bronze statue of Jefferson was added in 1947.
The Jefferson Memorial is managed by the National Park Service under its National Mall and Memorial Parks division. In 2007, it was ranked fourth on the List of America’s Favorite Architecture by the American Institute of Architects. More here
1992: Chicago Flood: The Chicago Flood occurred on April 13, 1992, when the damaged wall of a utility tunnel beneath the Chicago River opened into a breach which flooded basements and underground facilities throughout the Chicago Loop with an estimated 250 million gallons of water. More here
1997: Tiger Woods wins first major: On April 13, 1997, in Augusta, Georgia, 21-year-old Tiger Woods wins the prestigious Masters Tournament by a record 12 strokes. It was Woods’ first victory in one of golf’s four major championships–the U.S. Open, the British Open, the PGA Championship, and the Masters–and the greatest performance by a professional golfer in more than a century. More here
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