On This Day in History: May 13

On this day in 1964, Stephen Colbert, American comedian and actor, was born in Washington,D.C., the youngest of 11 children. He was raised in Charleston, South Carolina on James Island until the death of his father and two brothers in a plane crash in 1974, when his mother moved the family to Charleston city proper. During high school he participated in plays and a Rolling Stones cover band.

After graduating from Northwestern University’s School of Communications, he was hired by “Second City” answering phones and selling souvenirs later performing with the touring company as an under study for Steve Carell. He has since written, created and performed a number of comedy shows from “Exit 57” to “Strangers with Candy” and even a gig on “Good Morning America”. He was hired in 1997 by the producer of “The Daily Show”.

His correspondent character, which he described as “a fool who has spent a lot of his life playing not the fool”, would eventually evolve into the parody “Stephen Colbert” character of the much acclaimed “The Colbert Report”. He carries off his parody character so well that many believe that it is really Colbert himself. His performance at the “White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner” in 2006, while not well received that night, became wildly popular on the internet and with the media.

Colbert has also acted in films and TV dramas (Law & Order: Criminal Intent)and provided the voice for animated characters (Phil, “Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law”, “The Venture Bros.” and “The Simpsons”). His book, “I Am America (And So Can You!)”, was #1 on the NYT Best Seller. He was assistant team psychologist for the 2010 US Olympic Speed Skating team and was part of the NBC coverage.

Colbert is married to Evelyn McGee-Colbert, has three children, 2 boys and a girl, and lives in Montclair, New Jersey. He is a self proclaimed Democrat and stated in a speech at Kennedy School of Government at Harvard Institute of Politics, that “he has “no problems with Republicans, just Republican policies.”

Happy 46th Birthday, Stephen

1497 – Pope Alexander VI excommunicates Girolamo Savonarola.

1607 – [http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/jamestown-founded Some 100 English colonists settle along the west bank of the James River in Virginia to found Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in North America.

1515 – Mary Tudor, Queen of France and Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk are officially married at Greenwich.

1568Battle of Langside: the forces of Mary, Queen of Scots, are defeated by a confederacy of Scottish Protestants under James Stewart, Earl of Moray, her half-brother.

1779 – War of Bavarian Succession: Russian and French mediators at the Congress of Teschen negotiate an end to the war. In the agreement Austria receives the part of its territory that was taken from them (the Innviertel).

1780 – Cumberland Compact signed by leaders of the settlers in early Tennessee.

1787 – Captain Arthur Phillip leaves Portsmouth, England with eleven ships full of convicts (First Fleet) to establish a penal colony in Australia.

1804 – Forces sent by Yusuf Karamanli of Tripoli to retake Derne from the Americans attack the city.

1830 – Ecuador gains its independence from Gran Colombia.

1846Mexican-American War: The United States declares war on Mexico.

1848 – First performance of Finland’s national anthem.

1861 – American Civil War: Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom issues a “proclamation of neutrality” which recognizes the breakaway states as having belligerent rights.

1861 – American Civil War: Union troops occupy Baltimore.

1861 – The Great Comet of 1861 is discovered by John Tebbutt of Windsor, New South Wales, Australia.

1863American Civil War: Union General Ulysses S. Grant advances toward the Mississippi capital of Jackson during his bold and daring drive to take Vicksburg, the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River.

1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Resaca – the battle begins with Union General Sherman fighting toward Atlanta, Georgia.

1864 – American Civil War: Struggle for the Bloody Angle at Spotsylvania concludes.

1865 – American Civil War: Battle of Palmito Ranch – in far south Texas, more than a month after Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s surrender, the last land battle of the Civil War ends with a Confederate victory.

1880 – In Menlo Park, New Jersey, Thomas Edison performs the first test of his electric railway.

1888 – With the passage of the Lei Aurea (“Golden Law”), Brazil abolishes slavery.

1898Thomas Edison sues the American Mutoscope Company, claiming that the studio has infringed on his patent for the Kinetograph movie camera.

1907British writer Daphne Du Maurier is born on this day in 1907. Du Maurier wrote many romantic suspense novels, including the popular Rebecca  (1938).

1912 – The Royal Flying Corps (now the Royal Air Force) is established in the United Kingdom.

1913 – Igor Sikorsky becomes the first man to pilot a four-engine aircraft.

1917 – Three children report the first apparition of the Virgin Mary in Fatima, Portugal.

1939 – The first commercial FM radio station in the United States is launched in Bloomfield, Connecticut. The station later becomes WDRC-FM.

1940 – World War II: Germany’s conquest of France begins as the German army crosses the Meuse River. Winston Churchill makes his “blood, toil, tears, and sweat” speech to the House of Commons.

1940 – Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands flees the Nazi invasion in the Netherlands to Great Britain. Princess Juliana takes her children to Canada for their safety.

1940 Churchill announces: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.”

1941 – World War II: Yugoslav royal colonel Dragoljub Mihailovic starts fighting with German occupation troops, beginning the Serbian resistance.

1943 – World War II: German Afrika Korps and Italian troops in North Africa surrender to Allied forces.

1948 – 1948 Arab-Israeli War: the Kfar Etzion massacre is committed by Arab irregulars, the day before the declaration of independence of the state of Israel on May 14.

1950 – The first round of the Formula One World Championship is held at Silverstone.

1954 – The anti-National Service Riots, by Chinese Middle School students in Singapore, take place.

1958 – During a visit to Caracas, Venezuela, Vice President Richard Nixon’s car is attacked by anti-American demonstrators.

1958 – The trade mark Velcro is registered.

1958 – May 1958 crisis: a group of French military officers lead a coup in Algiers, demanding that a government of national unity be formed with Charles de Gaulle at its head in order to defend French control of Algeria.

1960 – Hundreds of UC Berkeley students congregate for the first day of protest against a visit by the House Un-American Activities Committee. Thirty-one students are arrested, and the Free Speech Movement is born.

1967 – Dr. Zakir Hussain becomes the third President of India. He is the first Muslim President of Indian Union. He held this position until August 24, 1969.

1971Still deadlocked, the Vietnam peace talks in Paris enter their fourth year.

1981Mehmet Ali Agca attempts to assassinate Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square in Rome. The Pope is rushed to the Agostino Gemelli University Polyclinic to undergo emergency surgery and survives.

1985Police storm MOVE headquarters in Philadelphia to end a stand-off, killing 11 MOVE members and destroying the homes of 250 city residents.

1989 – Large groups of students occupy Tiananmen Square and begin a hunger strike.

1992 – Li Hongzhi gave the first public lecture on Falun Gong in Changchun, People’s Republic of China.

1995 – New Zealand beats U.S. for the America’s Cup

1996 – Severe thunderstorms and a tornado in Bangladesh kill 600 people.

1998 – Race riots break out in Jakarta, Indonesia, where shops owned by Indonesians of Chinese descent are looted and women raped.

1998 – India carries out two nuclear tests at Pokhran, following the three conducted on May 11. The United States and Japan impose economic sanctions on India.


1924 – Theodore Mann, American theatre producer and director, 86

1930 – Mike Gravel, Americn politician, 80

1937 – Zohra Lampert, American actress, 73

1939 – Harvey Keitel, American actor, 71

1941 – Senta Berger, Austrian actress, 69

1944 – Armistead Maupin, American author, 66

1945 – Sam Anderson, American actor, 65

1950 – Bobby Valentine, baseball manager, 60

1950 – Danny Kirwan, rocker, Fleetwood Mac, 60

1950 – Peter Gabriel, rocker, Genesis-Against All Odds, 60

1957 – Alan Ball, American screenwriter, director, and producer, 53

1957 – Koji Suzuki, Japanese writer, 53

1961 – Dennis Rodman, American basketball player and actor, 49

1978 – Barry Zito, American baseball player, 32

1979 – Michael Madden, American musician (Maroon 5), 31


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  1. taoskier

  2. AndyS In Colorado

    I’m younger than Stephen Colbert.  By a month.

  3. TMC

    when he was born. I was only 17 but I’m still old enough to be his mother. Boohoo  😉

  4. AndyS In Colorado

    You’re an immortal.

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