Monday 13 December 1999
Deaths: Maimonides (Moses ben Maimon), philosopher, 1204; Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, 1250; Donatello (Donato de Betto Bardi), sculptor, 1466; Manoel I, King of Portugal, 1521; Niccolo Fontana Tartaglia, mathematician, 1557; Konrad von Gesner, physician and naturalist, 1565; Charles de Lafosse, painter, 1716; Anthony Collins, philosopher and writer, 1729; Christian Furchtegott Gellert, poet and writer of fables, 1783; Dr Samuel Johnson, lexicographer, 1784; William Calcraft, shoemaker and hangman, 1879; Sir John Sparrow David Thompson, prime minister of Canada, 1894; Samuel Gompers, labour leader, 1924; Wassily Kandinsky, painter, 1944; Robert John Strutt, fourth Baron Rayleigh, physicist, 1947; "Grandma Moses" (Mrs Thomas Salmon Moses (Anna Mary Robertson)), primitive painter (aged 101), 1961; Henry Green (Henry Vincent Yorke), novelist, 1973; Mary Renault, (Mary Challans), novelist, 1983.
On this day: the first assembly of the Council of Trent opened, 1545; Sir Francis Drake left Plymouth on his voyage around the world, 1577; New Zealand was discovered by Abel Janszoon Tasman, 1642; the Barebones Parliament ended, 1653; Madrid fell to Napoleon's forces, 1808; Basutoland became a native state under British protection, 1843; the Confederate forces under Robert E. Lee were victorious at the Battle of Fredericksburg, 1862; in the United States, Italo Marcioni patented the first icecream cone, 1903; a treaty guaranteeing the independence of Ethiopia was signed between France, Great Britain and Italy, 1906; Dr Lee De Forest demonstrated the first sound-on-film movie in the US, 1923; Nanking, China, was taken by Japanese troops, 1937; the Battle of the River Plate was fought, 1939; South Africa refused to place South West Africa under the trusteeship of the United Nations, 1950; a spell of extreme cold weather killed over 200 people in the US, 1960; Malta was proclaimed a republic, 1974.
Today is the Feast Day of St Aubert of Cambrai, St Eustratius of Sebastea, St Judocus or Josse, St Lucy and St Othilia or Odilia.
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
Best underrated Christmas movies from Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga