What happened on this day in history: Future United Kingdom prime minister Margaret Thatcher is born, construction on the White House begins, and other pivotal events on October 13th throughout history.
1792: Construction Begins On The White House
The first cornerstone is laid for the White House in Washington D.C. Then known as the “President’s House,” it was the first public building to be erected in the country’s capital. The building was designed by James Hoban, an Irish-born architect who modeled the residence after Leinster House in Dublin, today’s home of the Irish Parliament.
Most of the construction was performed by enslaved and free African Americans alongside European immigrants, most of whom lacked citizenship. Eight years after laborers first broke ground, John Adams became the first president to live in the White House, a tradition his successors have since followed.
1925: Margaret Thatcher Is Born
Margaret Hilda Roberts, later known as Margaret Thatcher, is born in Lincolnshire, England. The first female prime minister of the United Kingdom, Thatcher won three consecutive elections beginning in 1979 and instituted several conservative policies like deregulating businesses, privatizing state-owned companies, and crippling the power of labor unions like the National Union of Mineworkers.
In 1982, she led the country through the Falklands War, cementing her power until the end of the decade and earning her the moniker the “Iron Lady.”
1945: Milton Hershey Dies
Milton Hershey dies in Hershey, Pennsylvania, of pneumonia at the age of 88. The founder of the Hershey Company, Hershey introduced the world to candies like Hershey’s Kiss after inventing a new chocolate formula that allowed it to be transported long distances without melting.
In addition to founding the town of Hershey and an amusement park so his employees would have comfortable lives, he used his considerable fortune to establish a school for orphans, which still services low-income families today as the Milton Hershey School.
1972: Herbert Mullin Murders His First Victim
Herbert Mullin murders his first victim, 55-year-old Lawrence “Whitey” White. He beat White over the head with a baseball bat and later claimed that he looked like the Biblical Jonah and had telepathically told him, “Kill me so that others will be saved.”
Believing that human sacrifices could avert a cataclysmic earthquake, Mullin went on to murder 12 more people in the next four months. He was arrested in February 1973 after a witness saw him kill his 13th victim and he was subsequently sentenced to life in prison.
2010: Chilean Miners Are Rescued After 69 Days
Thirty-three miners trapped in the San Jose gold and copper mine in Santiago, Chile, are rescued after 69 days. Approximately two months earlier, they became trapped after the mine collapsed.
The men managed to survive in an underground emergency shelter, where rescuers sent them food and water. Incredibly, nearly all the men were in good health and suffered no long-term physical effects from being trapped in the mine.