This Day in History – October 13 – Hijinx, Humor, and Insight


NewsWhistle is pleased to feature Gary Jenneke’s “This Day In History” column.

You can read the original at Gary’s THIS DAY IN HISTORY blog — or scroll down to enjoy Gary’s unique look at life’s comings and goings.




1536 – Pilgrimage of Grace.

This was a series of uprisings in northern England against the reign of King Henry VIII. Henry wanted to divorce his wife and marry Anne Boleyn but divorce was not permitted in the Catholic Church. So Henry, with the assistance of Thomas Cromwell, created the Church of England which did allow divorce. Henry made himself head of the church and closed monasteries, and his nobles confiscated much of the old church’s land for themselves. Those loyal to the old church rose in protest. The protesters, at one point 40,000 gathered, called themselves pilgrims and the term Pilgrimage of Grace was first used on October 13th. Henry suppressed the rebellion by negotiating with leaders, and promising land reforms and pardons for those in charge. After the large masses dispersed Henry reneged. The leaders were arrested and executed, 283 of them in all.

Created solely to attend to the needs of a horny king and initially propped up by dishonesty, the Church of England still flourishes almost five hundred years later.


1903 – First World Series.

The series pitted the American League champions Boston against Pittsburgh. The Pirates, from the more established National League, were favored to win. They were not in good health though. One player had been beaned by a pitched ball and hadn’t fully recovered, a top pitcher injured his arm trap shooting and could not play, another good pitcher left the team suffering from paranoia and was in an asylum a month later, and Honus Wagner, their future Hall of Fame shortstop, had hand and leg injuries. Boston, led by Cy Young won the nine game series five to three. Wagner had a poor series and refused to blame his injuries. He was quoted as saying “I was a joke in that Boston-Pittsburgh Series. What does it profit a man to hammer along and make a few hits when they are not needed only to fall down when it comes to a pinch?”

An oddity of the series was that in Pittsburgh overflow crowds were allowed to stand in the outfield behind a rope. If a hit ball rolled under the rope it was a ground rule triple. There were seventeen triples hit in the four games in Pittsburgh. A large contingent of Boston fans traveled to Pittsburgh and tried to distract the Pirates by singing a song called “Tessie.”

Sounds like fun. I would have liked to have been there. Wish they’d hurry up on inventing a time travel machine.


1960 – Nixon versus Kennedy presidential debate.

1960 – Bill Mazeroski hits a ninth inning home run.

It is generally considered that Nixon bested Kennedy in this third televised debate between the two candidates. Unfortunately for him, it was watched by 20 million fewer viewers than the first debate in which Kennedy shined.

Bill Mazeroski of the Pittsburgh Pirates hit a ninth inning walk off home run in the seventh game of the World Series. Some still consider it the most dramatic World Series home run ever. The homer gave the Pirates a victory over the New York Yankees and the world championship.

I was a sixteen-year-old, soon to be seventeen, high school senior at the time and much more interested in the latter event rather than the former.



1826 – Lafayette Curry Baker.

Spy, brigadier general, detective. Not much is known about Baker’s early life other than what he provided, most of which is suspected of being fabrication. Born in Stafford, New York, he was a mechanic in Michigan and a vigilante in San Francisco before arriving in Washington, DC at the start of the Civil War. He somehow ingratiated himself with a number of high ranking officials. He became a spy for Gen. Winfield Scott, spying on Lee’s rebel army in northern Virginia. Secretary of War Stanton then made him a special agent that allowed him to work outside the army’s jurisdiction. Baker reportedly had little regard for the law and his methods included torture. He was appointed head of the National Detectives which was a forerunner of the Secret Service. After President Lincoln was assassinated, Baker was put in charge of the investigation and was at the scene when John Wilkes Booth was shot. (See my April 26th post.)

When President Johnson was impeached, Baker testified at the trial but was unable to provide the incriminating evidence he had claimed he possessed. He also believed Stanton was behind the assassination of Lincoln. At some point in his career Baker was diagnosed with “cerebral congestion.” He died of meningitis at the age of 41 in 1868.

Cerebral congestion! I fear that is still a common malady in Washington D.C. today.


1989 – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Politician. Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat serving the 14th congressional district of New York, is commonly referred to by her initials, AOC. At age 29 AOC was the youngest woman ever elected to the House. Articulate and outspoken, AOC quickly moved into D.C.’s spotlight, becoming a lightning rod drawing criticism from those with opposing political views. She graduated from Boston University and has worked as an activist, waitress, and bartender. In high school, after she completed an impressive science project, the MIT Lincoln Laboratory named an asteroid after her: “23238 Ocasio-Cortez”.

Think what you will about her politics, having an asteroid named in her honor while in high school is impressive.


1996 – Joshua Wong.

Pro-democracy protester. Wong was an influential leader in the 2014 Hong Kong protests and as a teenager was nominated for TIME’s Person of the Year award. In 2017 he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. That same year he was arrested for unlawful assembly and imprisoned for three months. The sentence also banned him from running for political office, ending any future career in that field. Wong spent two months in prison in 2019 for protests and was again arrested in 2020. As I write these words he has just been released from jail. Wong vowed to continue his fight for democracy in Hong Kong.

While I certainly admire the heck out of you, kid, good luck on that one.



At various junctures of his life, Gary has been an indifferent grade school student, poor high school student, good Navy radioman, one-time hippie, passable college student, inveterate traveler, dedicated writer, miscast accountant (except for one interesting stint at a Communist café), part-time screenwriting teacher, semi-proud veteran, unsuccessful retiree and new blogger.

You can reach him at



The above information was sourced from the following sites and newspapers.



We’d also like to thank the following photographers and videographers for the use of their images:

* Lead-In Image (“Hustle”) – Photo by Garrhet Sampson on Unsplash

* First World Series as told by Paul Harvey (video) – Doug Sherard /

* Kennedy – Nixon 3rd Debate (video) – Phil Rodriguez /

* Mazeroski Homer (video) – MrBuccos /

* Outro (Man-In-Museum Cartoon) – SkyPics Studio /