On this day: Pope John Paul II shot by terrorist

Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 13 May

On this day in 1981, an attempt was made on the life of Pope John Paul II by a Turkish terrorist in St Peters Square, Rome. Picture: AFP
On this day in 1981, an attempt was made on the life of Pope John Paul II by a Turkish terrorist in St Peters Square, Rome. Picture: AFP

1568: Battle of Langside, in which a force raised by Mary, Queen of Scots, after her escape from Loch Leven Castle, was defeated by a confederacy of Scottish Protestants. It was her last attempt to regain the throne from her son and his adherents.

1607: Captain John Smith and 105 Cavaliers in three ships landed on the Virginia coast and started the first permanent English settlement in the New World, in Jamestown.

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1779: France abandoned Goree, West Africa, to Britain.

1787: A fleet of 11 ships containing about 730 convicts set out from England to Australia, under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip, on a journey that lasted until the following January.

1809: French army under Napoleon Bonaparte took Vienna.

1871: Law of Guarantees in Italy declared Pope’s person inviolable and allowed him possession of the Vatican.

1888: Serfdom was abolished in Brazil.

1891: Bogey score in golf introduced.

1943: German and Italian forces in North Africa surrendered.

1949: The first British-designed jet bomber, English Electric Canberra B Mark One, was test flown at Warton, Lancashire, by Wing Commander RP Beaumont.

1957: The first regular schools programmes on television began on BBC.

1968: Peace negotiations officially opened in Paris between United States and North Vietnam.

1969: More than 100 people were reported killed in race riots in Malaysian city of Kuala Lumpur.

1970: Israel attacked Lebanon to try to wipe out guerrilla bases.

1973: Nineteen nations began talks in Vienna aimed at cutting number of troops in Europe.

1981: An attempt was made on the life of Pope John Paul II in St Peter’s Square, Rome. He was shot at close range by a Turkish terrorist.

1988: Riot police stormed sacred Temple Mount complex in Jerusalem and fired rubber bullets at Muslim worshippers.

1990: Two American airmen slain near Clark Air Force Base, Philippines, in attack blamed on communist rebels.

1991: South African judge convicted Winnie Mandela of conspiracy in kidnap and assault of four youths in Soweto, including Stompie Moeketsi, who was later murdered.

1992: Youths went on the rampage for the second night running on the Wood End estate in Coventry.

1995: Alison Hargreaves, 33, a from Spean Bridge, became the first woman to climb Everest solo and without oxygen. She died three months later while descending K2, the world’s second-highest mountain.

2000: Donald Dewar was elected as first minister of the Scottish Parliament.

2006: A major rebellion occurred in several prisons in São Paulo, Brazil.

2009: Former golf Open champion Paul Lawrie vowed to never return to an exclusive golf club after it kicked him out over remarks he made about the state of its course.

2011: Network Rail was fined £3 million for safety failings over the Potters Bar train crash, which killed seven people.

2011: Sienna Miller agreed to accept £100,000 in damages from the News of the World, after the paper admitted liability over the hacking of the actress’s phone.


Harvey Keitel, actor, 75; Sir Crispin Agnew of Lochnaw, advocate, explorer, Rothesay Herald of Arms, 70; Frances Barber, actress, 56; Rosie Boycott, journalist and broadcaster, 63; Joe Brown MBE, actor and singer, 73; Dr Jane Glover CBE, conductor, 65; Richard Madeley, television presenter, 58; Samantha Morton, actress, 37; Tim Pigott-Smith, actor and director, 68; Dennis Rodman, basketball player and actor, 53; Selina Scott, television presenter, 63; Zoë Wanamaker CBE, actress, 65; Stevie Wonder, singer and songwriter, 64; Robert Pattinson, actor, 28; Yaya Toure, Ivory Coast-born footballer, 31.


Births: 1828 Josephine Butler, social reformer; 1840 Alphonse Daudet, French novelist; 1842 Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan, composer; 1864 Vesta Tilley, music hall star; 1867 Sir Frank Brangwyn, artist; 1882 Georges Braque, French Cubist painter; 1907 Dame Daphne du Maurier, novelist; 1914 Joe Louis, “the Brown Bomber”, world heavyweight champion 1937-49; 1922 Bea Arthur, actress; 1924 Alexander Robert Leslie-Melville, 14th Earl of Leven

Deaths: 1835 John Nash, architect; 1884 Cyrus Hall McCormick, inventor of first patented reaping machine; 1907 Alexander Buchan, meteorologist, founder of the Ben Nevis Observatory; 1930 Fridtjof Nansen, Arctic explorer; 1961 Gary Cooper, film actor; 1982 Ralph Reader, creator of Gang Shows; 1997 Laurie Lee MBE, author and poet; 1999 Gene Sarazen, golfer.