Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 13 August
1521: Spanish conquistadors, under Hernán Cortés, captured Aztec emperor Cuauhtemoc, marking the end of the Aztec empire.
1784: Britain’s India Act placed East India Company under government-appointed Board of Control.
1792: French revolutionaries imprisoned France’s Royal family, including Marie Antoinette.
1826: Edinburgh-born explorer Alexander Gordon Laing became the first Christian to reach Timbiktu, Mali.
1876: The first complete performance of Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle was given at the opening of the Bayreuth Festspielhaus.
1913: Harry Brearley of Sheffield invented stainless steel.
1918: Bayerische Moteren Werke (BMW) was established as a public company in Germany.
1919: British troops opened fire on demonstrators in Amritsar, India, killing 350 people.
1923: The Turkish National Congress elected Mustafa Kemal Ataturk as president.
1934: The Austin Seven two-seater Opal was launched by the Austin car factory in Birmingham.
1937: Japanese attacked Chinese city of Shanghai.
1940: During Hermann Goering’s “Eagle Day” in the Battle of Britain, 45 to 48 German aircraft were shot down.
1944: The British 8th Army occupied Florence.
1945: World Zionist Congress demanded admission of one million Jews to Palestine.
1957: Scotland’s first nuclear power station, at Dounreay, went “critical”, beginning an era of power generated from atomic sources.
1960: Central African Republic and Chad declared independence from France.
1961: East German border guards stopped vehicles passing through the Brandenburg Gate, thus sealing the border and preventing exodus to the West. Barbed wire was erected, later to be replaced by the Berlin Wall.
1964: The last hangings in Britain took place: Peter Allen at Walton prison, Liverpool, and John Walby at Strangeways prison, Manchester.
1966: Chairman Mao announced Cultural Revolution in China.
1986: Jack Nicklaus won the US Masters golf championship for a record sixth time.
1991: The Prince of Wales resigned as patron of National Museums of Scotland when design by modernist architects Gordon Benson and Alan Forsyth won contest for new £25m building.
1994: Fifty-nine people were injured when a runaway locomotive with no-one on board crashed into a crowded InterCity train in Edinburgh.
1995: Alison Hargreaves, 33, the first woman to climb Everest solo and without oxygen, was one of seven climbers swept to their deaths in a storm after a successful ascent of the 28,244ft Himalayan peak K2, three months after her Everest triumph.
2004: 156 Congolese Tutsi refugees were massacred at the Gatumba refugee camp in Burundi.
2008: Michael Phelps set the Olympic record for the most gold medals (eight in Beijing and six in Athens) won by an individual in Olympic history with his win in the men’s 200m butterfly.
2012: Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus was stripped of his shot-put Olympic gold medal after failing a drugs test.
John Slattery, actor, 53; Fidel Castro, president of Cuba 1959-2008, 89; David Feherty, golfer and commentator, 57; Paul Greengrass, English film director, 60; Marie Helvin, model, 63; Madhur Jaffrey CBE, actress and cookery writer, 82; Susan Jameson, actress, 74; Feargal Sharkey, singer, 57; Alan Shearer OBE, footballer, 45; Phil “The Power” Taylor, darts player, 55; Shoaib Akhtar, cricketer, 40; Kathleen Battle, opera singer, 67; Mark E Nevin, guitarist (Fairground Attraction), 56; Stuart Maconie, radio DJ and TV presenter, 55; Shani Davis, Olympic champion speed skater, 33.
Births: 1422 William Caxton, merchant, writer and printer who introduced the first printing press to the UK; 1818 Lucy Stone, feminist and reformer; 1860 Annie Oakley (Phoebe Anne Moses), markswoman and entertainer; 1867 William Craigie, Scottish lexicographer; 1888 John Logie Baird, Helensburgh-born television pioneer; 1899 Sir Alfred Hitchcock, film producer; 1907 Sir Basil Spence, Scottish architect; 1930 Bernard Manning, comedian and nightclub owner; 1935 Rod Hull, entertainer.
Deaths: 1826 Rene Laennec, physician who invented and named the stethoscope; 1863 Eugene Delacroix, artist; 1910 Florence Nightingale, nurse and hospital reformer; 1946 HG Wells, writer and science fiction pioneer; Jack Ryan, inventor of “Barbie” doll; 2012 Helen Gurley Brown, American author and editor.