Today in History

Article excerpt

TODAY is Monday, April 13, the 103rd day of 2009. There are 262 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

* 1059 - Pope Nicholas II issues a decree on the election of popes, declaring that only cardinals will be allowed to elect them.

* 1589 - Britain's Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Norris undertake expedition of 150 ships and 18,000 men to Portugal.

* 1742 - George Frederick Handel conducts first performance of his work Messiah in Dublin.

* 1910 - Australian Labor Party wins federal election and Andrew Fisher becomes prime minister.

* 1935 - London-to-Australia airline service is introduced by Imperial Airways and Qantas.

* 1964 - Sidney Poitier becomes the first black actor to win an Oscar, taking the best actor award for Lilies of the Field.

* 1969 - Last tram service in Brisbane closes.

* 1970 - Apollo 13, four-fifths of the way to the moon, is crippled when a tank containing liquid oxygen bursts. The astronauts managed to return safely.

* 1985 - The Australian War Memorial changes the title plaques of a bronze statue by Leslie Bowles and a painting by Horace Moore-Jones from `Simpson and his Donkey' to `The Man with the Donkey', in the interests of historical accuracy. …