Today In History Spotlights Dec. 13, 2003, Saddam Hussein is Captured

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Today’s History Spotlight

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Saddam Hussein is captured by US forces during Operation Red Dawn. Hussein served as the totalitarian ruler of Iraq from 1979-2003. From 1990-1991, his Iraqi Army invaded Kuwait in an effort to annex the country for oil fields, only to be met with resistance from the largest Allied Coalition since World War II. Following the Attacks of September 11, 2001, he was believed by numerous intelligence agencies to be harboring weapons of mass destruction in an effort to aid terrorist activity.

Operation Red Dawn was launched after intelligence was gained that showed two likely hideouts for Hussein. After searching both sites with seemingly-no success, one soldier kicked a piece of flooring to the side, revealing a spider hole. Upon his discovery, Hussein surrendered with virtually no resistance, and was taken into US custody. He was tried for crimes against humanity, after which he was found guilty and executed on December 30, 2006.

What Happened On This Day – December 13

  • 2001 Attack on Indian parliament. The Indian parliament, the Sansad, was attacked by terrorists. 15 people, including the terrorists were killed during the attack.
  • 1972 Last human landing on the Moon. Apollo 17 was the last mission of the United States’ Apollo lunar landing program. It was also the sixth and the last time humans landed on the Moon.
  • 1795 Meteorite crashes into Wold Newton in Yorkshire, England.. Major Edward Topham owned the land where the meteorite crashed. He exhibited it later, and today it is in the Natural History Museum in London.
  • 1642 First European to Reach New Zealand. Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer and merchant, reached the coast of South Island in New Zealand, and named it Staten Landt. Tasman was also the first European in recorded history to step foot on Tasmania, an island state in Australia. Tasman claimed the island for the Dutch crown. It is named after him as well.

Births On This Day – December 13

  • 1989 Taylor Swift – American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actress
  • 1948 Ted Nugent – American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor
  • 1936 Aga Khan IV – Swiss/French 49th Nizari Ismaili Imam
  • 1902 Talcott Parsons – American sociologist
  • 1818 Mary Todd Lincoln – American wife of Abraham Lincoln, 17th First Lady of the United States

Deaths On This Day – December 13

  • 2010 Richard Holbrooke – American journalist, banker, diplomat, 22nd United States Ambassador to the United Nations
  • 2005 Stanley Williams – American gang leader, co-founded the Crips
  • 1944 Wassily Kandinsky – Russian/French painter
  • 1784 Samuel Johnson – English author, lexicographer
  • 1204 Maimonides – Spanish rabbi, philosopher

The sections “What Happened On This Day,” “Births On This Day,” and “Deaths On This Day” originally appeared at and is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Garrett Smith
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