Today in History
54 Nero succeeds his great uncle Claudius, who was murdered by his wife, as the new emperor of Rome.
1307 Members of the Knights of Templar are arrested throughout France, imprisoned and tortured by the order of King Philip the Fair of France.
1399 Henry IV of England is crowned.
1670 Virginia passes a law that blacks arriving in the colonies as Christians cannot be used as slaves.
1775 The Continental Congress authorizes construction of two warships, thus instituting an American naval force.
1776 Benedict Arnold is defeated at Lake Champlain.
1792 President George Washington lays the cornerstone for the White House.
1812 At the Battle of Queenston Heights, a Canadian and British army defeats the American who have tried to invade Canada.
1849 The California state constitution, which prohibits slavery, is signed in Monterey.
1903 Boston defeats Pittsburgh in baseball's first World Series.
1904 Sigmund Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams is published.
1942 In the first of four attacks, two Japanese battleships sail down the slot and shell Henderson field on Guadalcanal, in an unsuccessful effort to destroy the American Cactus Air Force.
1943 Italy declares war on Germany. Allied Agony Anzio.
1983 The Space Shuttle Challenger, carrying seven, the largest crew to date, lands safely at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Born on October 13
1784 Ferdinand VII, king of Spain.
1817 William Kirby, Canadian writer.
1853 Lillie Langtry, British actress.
1890 Conrad Richter, novelist and short story writer.
1907 Yves Allégret, French film director (Dédée d'Anvers, Une si jolie petite plage).
1909 Herblock (Herbert Lawrence Block), multiple Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist.
1910 Ernest Kellogg Gann, pilot and adventure novelist (Island in the Sky, The High and Mighty).
1910 Art Tatum, American jazz pianist.
1925 Margaret Thatcher, the first female UK prime minister (1979-1990).
1926 Ray Brown, jazz bass player.