World Facts

What Happened On December 13th In...?

The Catholic Church made some of its biggest doctrine decisions ever, the U.S. National Guard had its birthday, and Jerusalem became the new Israeli capital.

December 13th is the 347th day of non-leap years and the 348th in a leap year. December 13th has been a significant day in the historical events of certain countries throughout the centuries which have had an influence on decisions and existence of some organizations, beliefs, and practices. These events were prompted by political, commercial and religious influences. While these events were mainly meant to provide solutions to various problems at the time, they have had a long-lasting legacy that cannot be ignored.

The Council of Trent

The Council of Trent was first convened on December 13th, 1545 in Trent, Italy, to counter the Protestant Reformation. The council formed the groundwork for the reinstatement and clarification of many Catholic beliefs and doctrines across the Catholic world.

Birth of the National Guard in the United States

The National Guard is a state-by-state reserve military group in the United States. It earliest ancestor was formed in what was then the British Massachusetts Colony on December 13, 1636, under a declaration that all non-disabled men aged 16 to 60 years join the militia. This guard was organized into the North, South, and East regiments.

Discovery of New Zealand

Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer, discovered New Zealand on December 13, 1642 as he was searching for a vast southern continent thought by Europeans to exist in South Pacific. Dutch merchants and traders thought the southern continent would open up more profitable avenues for trade.

Battle of Fredericksburg

The Battle of Fredericksburg, fought in 1862, was part of the American Civil War waged between Union soldiers and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, leading to the death of a huge number of troops among the Union armies' forces on December 13th. The loss led to the discouragement of the Union forces who had hoped to seize the town of Richmond.

Hungary Declares War Against the US in WWII

Hungary, under the pressure of Nazi Germany, joined the Axis Powers in 1941 and later declared war on the United States on December 13th of the same year under the same pressure by Germany.

Attempted Coup in Ethiopia

On December 13, 1960, several Ethiopian groups, including some ministers and university students, staged a coup to oust Haile Selassie from power while he was out of the country and replace him with his son. The coup failed due to lack of widespread support by most people and loyalty to the crown by the military.

Yasser Arafat’s Address to the UN in Geneva

Yasser Arafat, the chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, delivered a 90-minute-long speech in Geneva, Switzerland to the United Nations General Assembly calling for a peaceful resolution to the conflict between the Israelites and Palestinians. In his speech on December 13, 1988, he declared that Israel and Palestine had the same rights to exist as their own states, and condemned terrorism.

Terrorist Attacks on the Indian Parliament

The Indian parliament was attacked by five Pakistan-based terrorists, leading to the deaths of fourteen people and injuries to 22 more. The terrorists were killed in the attack and other figures behind the attack were tried and convicted.

Capture of Saddam Hussein

Saddam Hussein, a former dictator in Iraq, was captured on December 13, 2003, nine months after the US invaded Iraq with the intention of ousting his government. He went into hiding and was found nine months later in a hole of about 8 feet in depth underground near his hometown of Tikrit. He was tried and executed not long thereafter by the new Iraqi government.

Celebrating Important December 13th Anniversaries

Anniversaries for some of these historical events, such as the anniversary of the establishment of the National Guard in the U.S. and the memorial of those who died in India’s terrorist attack, are widely celebrated every year. Religious practices instituted at the Council of Trent including the number of sacraments are an essential part of the Roman Catholic doctrine to this very day.

What Happened On December 13th In...?

Notable Events Occurring on December 13th through HistoryYear
The Council of Trent begins in Italy to settle disputes over Catholic doctrine in response to the Protestant Reformation.1545
The first predecessor of what is now the U.S. National Guard is established in Massachusetts Bay Colony.1636
Abel Tasman arrives in what is now New Zealand.1642
Robert E. Lee's Confederate forces defeat the U.S. Army forces led by Ambrose Burnside at the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia.1862
The Kingdom of Hungary joins the Axis's fight against the U.S. during World War II.1941
The Israeli legislature moves the new nation's capital from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.1949
A failed coup in Ethiopia attempts to depose Emperor Haile Selassie, and to place his son, Asfaw Wossen, as the new emperor.1960
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat addresses the United Nations General Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.1988
India's parliament buildings are attacked by Islamic fundamentalist terrorists.2001
Saddam Hussein is captured near Tikrit, Iraq.2003

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