This Day in History

► Today is Sunday, May 13, the 134th day of 2012. There are 232 days left in the year. This is Mother’s Day.

► Today’s birthdays: Actor Harvey Keitel is 73. Author Charles Baxter is 65. Actor Franklyn Ajaye is 63. Actress Zoe Wanamaker is 63. Singer Stevie Wonder is 62. Basketball Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman is 51. Actor-comedian Stephen Colbert is 48. Rock musician John Richardson (The Gin Blossoms) is 48. Actor Tom Verica is 48. Country singer Lari White is 47. Singer Darius Rucker (Hootie and the Blowfish) is 46. Actress Susan Floyd is 44. Contemporary Christian musician Andy Williams (Casting Crowns) is 40. Actress-writer-director Lena Dunham is 26. Actor Robert Pattinson is 26. Actress Candice Accola is 25.

In 1607, English colonists arrived by ship at the site of what became the Jamestown settlement in Virginia (the colonists went ashore the next day).


► In 1846, the United States declared that a state of war already existed with Mexico.

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► In 1861, Queen Victoria declared Britain’s neutrality in the American Civil War, but acknowledged the Confederacy had belligerent rights.

► In 1917, three children near Fatima, Portugal, reported seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary.

► In 1918, the first US airmail stamps, featuring a picture of a Curtiss JN-4 biplane, were issued to the public. (On a few of the stamps, the biplane was inadvertently printed upside down, making them collector’s items.)

► In 1940, Britain’s new prime minister, Winston Churchill, told Parliament: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.’’


► In 1958, Vice President Richard Nixon and his wife, Pat, were spat upon and their limousine was battered by rocks thrown by anti-US demonstrators in Caracas.

► In 1972, 118 people died after fire broke out at the Sennichi Department Store in Osaka, Japan.

► In 1981, Pope John Paul II was shot and seriously wounded in St. Peter’s Square by Turkish assailant Mehmet Ali Agca.

► In 1985, a confrontation between Philadelphia authorities and the radical group MOVE ended as police dropped a bomb onto the group’s row house; 11 people died in the resulting fire that destroyed 61 homes.

► In 1992, the Falun Gong movement had its beginning as the sect’s founder, Li Hongzhi, began publicly lecturing on his spiritual philosophy in the northeastern Chinese city of Changchun.


► In 1994, President Clinton nominated federal appeals judge Stephen G. Breyer to the Supreme Court to replace Justice Harry A. Blackmun, who was retiring.

► In 2002, President George W. Bush announced that he and President Vladimir Putin of Russia would sign a treaty to shrink their countries’ nuclear arsenals by two-thirds.

► In 2007, President George W. Bush made a pilgrimage to the site of the Jamestown settlement in Virginia to mark the 400th anniversary of its founding.

► In 2011, two suicide bombers attacked paramilitary police recruits heading home after months of training in northwest Pakistan, killing 87 people in what the Pakistan Taliban called revenge for the US slaying of Osama bin Laden.