This Day In History : July 13

1977 United States

New York blackout

Several blackouts have occurred in New York City's history, but one of the most significant ones happened on July 13-14, 1977. This blackout affected most of New York City, resulting in widespread power outages that lasted for approximately 25 hours. The blackout was caused by lightning strikes on electrical equipment, combined with operational errors and system failures in the power grid.

Also on This Day in History July 13

Discover what happened on July 13 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, July 13
  • 1879 Eugène Freyssinet

    French civil engineer who successfully developed pre-stressed concrete

  • 1864 John Jacob Astor IV

    American business magnate, real estate developer (Astoria Hotel) and soldier (richest passenger aboard the Titanic)

  • 1527 John Dee

    English alchemist, astrologer and mathematician

  • 1944 Erno Rubik

    Hungarian inventor who invented the Rubik's cube

  • 1826 Stanislao Cannizzaro

    Italian chemist who formulated the reaction of Cannizzaro

Deaths on This Day, July 13
  • 1970 Leslie Groves

    American army engineer who directed the Manhattan Project and construction of the Pentagon

  • 1954 Frida Kahlo

    Mexican painter who explored questions of identity, postcolonialism, gender and race in Mexican society

  • 1896 August Kekule von Stradonitz

    German chemist who discovered structure of benzene ring

  • 1762 James Bradley

    English astronomer, 3rd Royal, discovered Earth's nutation motion

  • 1924 Robert Kidston

    English paleobotanist who contributed greatly to our knowledge of Devonian plants


Source of Mississippi River discovered by American geographer Henry Schoolcraft

The source of the Mississippi River was officially discovered by American geographer Henry Schoolcraft on July 13, 1832. He and his expedition team confirmed Lake Itasca in Minnesota as the true source of the river, debunking earlier misconceptions about its origins. This discovery was significant for mapping and understanding the geography of North America.

1st-ever football World Cup competition begins in Uruguay

The first-ever football (soccer) World Cup competition began in Uruguay on July 13, 1930. This inaugural tournament featured teams from 13 countries competing for the title of world champion. Uruguay emerged victorious, defeating Argentina 4-2 in the final match held on July 30, 1930, in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Space shuttle STS-70 (Discovery 20), launches

Space Shuttle mission STS-70, also known as Discovery 20, launched on July 13, 1995. The primary objective of this mission was to deploy the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-G) into orbit. The launch took place from Launch Complex 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Kroller-Muller museum opens in Holland

The Kroller-Muller Museum is located in the Hoge Veluwe National Park in Otterlo, Netherlands. It was officially opened to the public on July 13, 1938. The museum was founded by Helene Kroller-Muller, an art collector, and her husband, Anton Kroller, a successful businessman.
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