This day in history. Read about what happened today. A short and interesting account of historical events and facts about this day as well as any other day of the year. Find historical birthdays, deaths, tragedies, war events, disasters and sports events.

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On December the 13th
2003 
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was captured near his home town of Tikrit.
1996 
Kofi Annan was elected as Secretary General of the United Nations. He replaces Boutros Boutros Gali when his re-election was vetoed by the United States, supposedly because of a UN report that had been published which criticized Israel's military actions in southern Lebanon.
1981 
Martial law was declared in Poland in an effort to curtail the efforts of Solidarity towards a more democratic state. Martial law lasted for 17 months during which period any pro democracy movements were banned and their leaders imprisoned.
1974 
The island nation of Malta became a republic. Previously it recognized Queen Elizabeth II of England as its Queen.
1957 
American actor, Steve Buscemi, was born in New York. He is most known for portraying neurotic and often paranoid characters on screen and has collaborated with some Holywood's most eccentric directors.
1944 
Russian artist, Wassily Kandinsky, died at the age of 78. He is one of the most famous artists of the 20th century.
1941 
In the course of World War II the countries of Hungary and Romania declared war on the United States.
1929 
Canadian actor, Christopher Plummer, was born in Toronto. He is widely considered as Canada's most talented stage and film actor.
1925 
American actor, Dick Van Dyke, was born in He is best remembered for his role as Bert in 1964's classic movie, 'Mary Poppins'.
1642 
Dutch explorer, Abel Janszoon Tasman, became the first European to reach New Zealand.
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