On this day
A visit from Halley!
On this day in 837 AD, Halley's Comet passed by Earth, providing the best view of the comet in 2,000 years. The comet, visible from Earth every 75-76 years, has been observed and documented by astronomers for centuries. Its appearance in 837 AD was noted in historical records and is still studied by scientists today!
Bet the elephant made her US debut!
In 1796, the United States received its first female elephant, Bet. She was purchased in Calcutta, India for just $450, and sold in New York for $10,000. Bet was exhibited throughout the eastern United States, becoming a popular attraction and sparking public interest in exotic animals - she’s truly iconic!
Westinghouse applied the brakes.
On April 13th, 1869, George Westinghouse patented the steam power brake, which revolutionized the railroad industry. The brake allowed trains to stop more quickly and efficiently, improving safety and enabling faster travel across the wider US. Westinghouse's invention was widely adopted and became an important part of the technology that powered the railroads during the Industrial Revolution!
Art lovers, rejoice!
On April 13th, 1870, the Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in New York City. The museum, often called the "Met," is one of the world's largest and most comprehensive art museums, with over two million eye-popping artworks across 5,000 years of history. The Met is a cultural icon, a popular destination for visitors to New York City, and the venue for fashion’s most famous night, the Met Gala!
A mammoth maiden flight!
On April 13th, 2019, the world's largest plane, the Stratolaunch, completed its first flight from the Mojave Desert in California. The aircraft, which has a wingspan of 385 feet, is designed to carry rockets to high altitudes before launching them into space. The Stratolaunch was a huge development in the private space industry - it may even help to spur on space tourism!
Special Days Falling on April 13thWith so much to choose from, these are the things we’ll be celebrating today - why not take a look if you’re not already enjoying a birthday?
International FND Day - Functional Neurological Disorder Day
International FND Day, also known as Functional Neurological Disorder Day, is observed annually on April 13th. The day is dedicated to raising awareness about Functional Neurological Disorder (FND), a condition in which the brain's normal functions are disrupted, causing a range of physical and neurological symptoms. The day is marked by events and initiatives aimed at educating the public, patients, and healthcare professionals about FND.
International Plant Appreciation Day
Today’s a great day to help people everywhere understand the importance of plants in our world - and to encourage people of all ages to develop an interest in them! Whether you have your own garden, a single houseplant, or just enjoy your local green spaces, why not take today to learn about your local native plants?
Thomas Jefferson Day
Author of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, Jefferson became the third president of the USA in 1801 until 1809. Known as one of the Founding Fathers, as April 13th was his birthday, it’s also the day we now celebrate him.