Historical Political Events for May 13

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Year Event
1607 104 English settlers from the London Company, under captains Christopher Newport and John Smith, establish Jamestown, Virginia, on the northern bank of the Powhatan (James) River. Jamestown becomes the first permanent English settlement in North America {pdf}. (From The Encarta® 2000 New World Timeline © Copyright 1998, Helicon Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.)
1830 To escape the dictatorial power of Simón Bolívar, Ecuador secedes from Colombia.
1846 President Polk signs a war bill declaring the United States to be at a state of war with Mexico.
1940 Winston Churchill makes his famous “blood, toil, tears, and sweat” speech in the House of Commons.
1970 Britain lowers the voting age from 21 to 18.
1981 Pope John Paul II was shot and wounded in an assassination attempt. The Bulgarian assailant, Mehemet Ali Agca, was arrested immediately and was sentenced on July 22 to life imprisonment, after a three-day trial.
1985 Philadelphia police try to dislodge members of MOVE by firebombing. The firestorm resulting from the bombing destroys 61 homes and kills 11 people.
1993 The U.S. finally gives up on the bad idea of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), Reagan's "Star Wars". Well, not really; Bush (R) continues to dump $billions into this black hole.
2009 Obama blocks the release of photographs showing torture of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan.
and . . .
Quote of
the Day
Poor people, poor people. They trust me, and I can give them nothing but disaster for quite a long time.
    — Sir Winston Churchill (to General Ismay after his "Blood, toil. . ." remark)
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