This Day in History: Nov. 13

On this day, Nov. 13 …

1982: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Also on this day:

  • 1775: During the American Revolution, the Continental Army captures Montreal.
  • 1789: Benjamin Franklin writes in a letter to a friend, Jean-Baptiste Leroy: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
  • 1909: A fire erupts inside a coal mine in Cherry, Ill., killing 259 men and boys.
  • 1942: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs a measure lowering the minimum draft age from 21 to 18.
  • 1956: The Supreme Court strikes down laws calling for racial segregation on public buses.
  • 1969: Speaking in Des Moines, Iowa, Vice President Spiro Agnew accuses network television news departments of bias and distortion, and urges viewers to lodge complaints. (The following September he would refer to the media as “nattering nabobs of negativism.”)
  • 1985: Approximately 23,000 residents of Armero, Colombia, die when a volcanic mudslide buries the city.
  • 1994: Sweden votes in a nonbinding referendum to join the European Union.
  • 2001: President George W. Bush approves the use of a special military tribunal that could put accused terrorists on trial faster and in greater secrecy than an ordinary criminal court.
  • 2001: President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet at the White House, where they pledge to slash Cold War-era nuclear arsenals by two-thirds.
  • 2013: The Obama administration reveals that just 26,794 people enrolled for health insurance during the first, flawed month of operations for the federal ObamaCare website. (More than 79,000 others had signed up in the 14 states with their own websites.)
  • 2015: Islamic State militants carry out a set of coordinated attacks in Paris on the national stadium, restaurants and streets, and a crowded concert hall, killing 130 people in the worst attack on French soil since World War II.
  • 2017: A second woman accuses Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexually assaulting her as a teenager in the late 1970s; Moore calls the charge “absolutely false” and a “political maneuver.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell calls on Moore to drop out of the race. (Moore would lose a special election to Democrat Doug Jones.)