History & Celebrations Today – July 13

Celebrations Today – July 13

Holidays and observances

Celebrations Today – USA: July 13

National French Fry Day
National Beans ‘N’ Franks Day
National Barbershop Music Appreciation Day
National Bean ‘n’ Franks Day
National Embrace Your Geekness Day
Fool’s Paradise Day
National Go West Day
National Gruntled Workers Day
National French Fries Day

Today in US History: July 13

John Parker

Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.Captain John Parker to the company assembled on Lexington Green.

Statue of Capt. Parker
Statue of Capt. Parker,
Lexington, Massachusetts,
copyright 1902.
Touring Turn-of-the-Century America: Photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company, 1880-1920

John Parker was born in Lexington, Massachusetts, on July 13, 1729. Parker played a prominent role in the first battle of the War for Independence, as leader of the volunteer American militia known as the Minutemen.

On the night of April 18, 1775, Parker received warning of the approach of the king’s soldiers under Major John Pitcairn. Parker assembled about seventy volunteers to face the British. In the ensuing skirmish on Lexington Green on April 19, eight Americans were killed and ten were wounded.

The Minutemen followed the British forces to Concord, sniping at them as they retreated. According to legend, the colonists adopted “Yankee Doodle” as their theme song.

Line of the Minute Men
Line of the Minute Men Memorial,
Lexington, Massachusetts,
copyright 1900.
Touring Turn-of-the-Century America: Photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company, 1880-1920

Captain John Parker’s words [top of page], spoken as the British Redcoats approached the town, are engraved on the Line of the Minute Men Memorial.

John Parker had served as a soldier in the French and Indian War, participating in the fighting at Louisbourg and Quebec. In peacetime, he made his living as a farmer and a mechanic and held various small-town offices.

Little is known of Captain Parker’s activities in the months following the opening battles of the Revolution. He did not participate in the Battle of Bunker Hill, possibly due to the illness that led to his death on September 17, 1775.

Francis Albert “Frank” Sinatra – Ol’ Blue Eyes

Frank Sinatra, Applications for Major Bowles Amateur Hour, Annotated form, 1935.
Frank Sinatra, Application for the Major Bowes’ Amateur Hour, Annotated form, 1935.
American Treasures of the Library of Congress

Frank Sinatra made his recording debut with the Harry James band on July 13, 1939, singing “Melancholy Mood” and “From The Bottom of My Heart.” Bandleader Harry James had heard Sinatra sing on a radio broadcast from the Rustic Cabin roadside café and invited him to record with the band. Sinatra’s first radio broadcast was with “The Hoboken Four,” also known as “Frank Sinatra and the 3 Flashes,” on the Major Bowes’ Amateur Hour talent competition on September 8, 1935. The group won.

Tommy Dorsey saw Sinatra perform with James’ band and hired the young man away to perform with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. In 1942, Sinatra left Dorsey, making his solo debut in New York City on December 31, 1942.

[Portrait of Frank Sinatra, Liederkrantz Hall, New York, N.Y., ca. 1947].
Frank Sinatra,
Liederkrantz Hall, New York, New York,
William P Gottlieb, photographer,
circa 1947.
William P. Gottlieb: Photographs from the Golden Age of Jazz

From the outset of his solo career, Sinatra was a teenage heartthrob. He had an innate musicianship that allowed him to remain faithful to a song’s lyrics and feel, while deftly infusing it with his touch of jazz phrasing. “The Chairman of the Board” was almost as admired for his professionalism as he was for his undeniable talent.

The more than half-century span of Sinatra’s singing career afforded a broad range of audiences the opportunity to develop a great appreciation for his music. He appealed to audiences young and old and performed for presidents from both ends of the political spectrum including John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon.

Throughout Sinatra’s career, composers wrote songs specifically for him. Jule Styne collaborated with lyricist Sammy Cahn to write ballads for Sinatra. Styne wrote songs for the Sinatra vehicle Anchors Aweigh (1945). Sinatra recordings of three songs written by Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen won Oscars: “All the Way” (1957), “High Hopes” (1959), and “Call Me Irresponsible” (1963). Van Heusen composed over seventy songs for Sinatra.

Sinatra began to work in film in the 1940s, first in musicals and then as a dramatic actor. He won an Academy Award for his performance in From Here to Eternity (1953) and was nominated for an Oscar for his gripping portrayal of a heroin addict in The Man With the Golden Arm (1955). He appeared in more than thirty other films including Guys and Dolls (1955), High Society (1956), Pal Joey (1957), The Manchurian Candidate (1962), and Von Ryan’s Express (1965). In 1983 he was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors. Sinatra continued to perform until February 1995. He died on May 14, 1998, in Los Angeles, California.

City of Hollywood, Los Angeles, Calif.
City of Hollywood, Los Angeles, California,
copyright 1912.
Taking the Long View: Panoramic Photographs, 1851-1991

Click on the image of the city of Hollywood for a closer view of the town at the time of Frank Sinatra’s birth. To learn more about the development of the film industry, the cause of Hollywood’s boom, search the Today in History Archive on the term film; also search American Memory’s online motion picture collections to view films.

Today in History – July 13-External Links

Today’s Weather in History
Today in Earthquake History
This Day in Naval History
Today’s Document from the National Archives
Today’s Events, Births & Deaths –Wikipedia
Today in History by AP
On this Day -1950 to 2005 – Today’s Story–BBC
On This Day: The New York Times
This Day in History –History.com
Today in Canadian History – Canada Channel
History of Britain that took place On This Day
Russia in History –Russiapedia