Today In History, 13 December: What Happened On This Day

What happened today in history (13 December): Indian Parliament was attacked, Taylor Swift was born, New Zealand was discovered, UFC star Conor McGregor knocked out Jose Aldo, Saddam Hussein was captured by US forces, and more.
This day in history (13 Dec): Parliament Of India Attacked By Pakistan-Affiliated Terrorists
This day in history (13 Dec): Parliament Of India Attacked By Pakistan-Affiliated Terrorists

Today in History: 2023 is nearly upon us. Less than a month is left before another fateful year arrives. Today is 13 December. Although it appears to be another ordinary winter day on the surface, December 13 holds a significant place in world history. Many crucial events took place on this day (13 Dec).

From the birth of one of the most influential pop singers of the century, the attack on the Indian parliament by Pakistani terrorists and one of the greatest UFC knockouts ever to the capture of a rogue middle-eastern dictator, December 13 is an important day in history.

Read on to find out what happened on this day (Dec. 13) in the fields of sports, politics and art along with some famous birthdays and deaths.

Historical Events on This day

  • In 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman discovered New Zealand.
  • In 1862, the devastating Battle of Fredericksburg took place during the American Civil War in Virginia. It was one of the deadliest battles in the war and marked a big win for the Confederate forces led by General Robert E. Lee.
  • In 1937, the Japanese Imperial Army seized Nanjing, China, during the Sino-Japanese War, resulting in the Nanjing Massacre, which is estimated to have led to 300,000 Chinese deaths.
  • In 1972,  Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt became the last humans to set foot on the moon with the third and final extra-vehicular activity (EVA) or "Moonwalk" of Apollo 17.
  • In 1988, Palestinian separatist leader Yasser Arafat addressed the UN in Geneva.
  • In 1996, Ghanaian diplomat Kofi Annan was elected Secretary General of the United Nations.
  • In 2001, Pakistan-sponsored terrorists affiliated with the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror outfits attacked the Indian Parliament. 9 people were killed in the attack, and the incident almost sparked a war between India and Pakistan.
  • In 2003, Iraqi president and dictator Saddam Hussein was captured by U.S. military forces during Operation Red Dawn in the Iraq War and executed three years later for crimes against humanity.

Sports Events Today

  • In 1961, Indian cricket legend Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi made his test debut against England and scored 104 runs.
  • In 1970, Australian cricket legend Greg Chappell made his test cricket debut, scoring 108 against England.
  • In 2004, Ukraine and Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko was named the best football player in Europe, ahead of Ronaldinho.
  • In 2015, Irishman Conor McGregor knocked out Brazilian featherweight legend Jose Aldo in 13 seconds to win the UFC featherweight championship.

Music and Cinema Events Today

  • In 1895, the first complete performance of famous composer Gustav Mahler’s 2nd Symphony was conducted.
  • In 1950, Hollywood icon James Dean began his career by appearing in a Pepsi commercial.
  • In 2001, the Academy Award-winning film A Beautiful Mind, starring Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly, premiered.
  • In 2017, Mexican actress Salma Hayek accused infamous producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and threatening to kill her.

Important Days

  • National Horse Day (United State of America)
  • Republic Day (Malta)

Notable Deaths On This Day

Sr No

Death Year




Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor known for his ambitious pursuit of goals



Donatello, Florentine artist and Renaissance sculptor



Samuel Johnson, English critic, biographer, essayist and poet regarded as one of the greatest figures in English literature



Smita Patil, Indian film actress who made a name for herself in Hindi cinema with movies like Bhumika and Namak Halal

Famous Birthdays On This Day

Sr No

Birth Year




Henry IV of France, the first Bourbon King of France who brought peace and prosperity to the kingdom after religious wars of the 16th century



Werner von Siemens, German inventor and industrialist German inventor who pioneered the electrical industry, and his name is adopted as the SI unit of electrical conductance



Archie Moore, American light-heavyweight boxing champion from 1952 to 1960



Dick Van Dyke, American actor, singer, dancer and comedian known for his physical comedy and charm



Christopher Plummer, Canadian actor who delivered iconic performances in film, stage and television for seven decades in films like The Sound of Music and Knives Out



Venkatesh Daggubati, Indian actor known for his works in Telugu cinema in such films as Kaliyuga Pandavulu and Nuvvu Naaku Nachchav



Jamie Foxx, American actor, singer and comedian who is known for his films Django Unchained and for his Oscar-winning performance in Ray



Steve Buscemi, American actor, filmmaker and former firefighter best known for starring in the film Reservoir Dogs and the tv series Boardwalk Empire



Taylor Swift, American pop and country singer who is one of the best-selling artists of all time and created the hit album 1989

Also Read: Today in History (11 December)

Also Read: Today in History (12 December)

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