On July 13, 1985, at Wembley Stadium in London, Prince Charles and Princess Diana officially open Live Aid, a worldwide rock concert organized to raise money for the relief of famine-stricken Africans. Continued at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia and at other arenas around the world, the 16-hour “superconcert” was globally linked by satellite to more than a billion viewers in 110 nations. In a triumph of technology and good will, the event raised more than $125 million in famine relief for Africa.
Live Aid was the brainchild of Bob Geldof, the singer of an Irish rock group called the Boomtown Rats. In 1984, Geldof traveled to Ethiopia after hearing news reports of a horrific famine that had killed hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians and threatened to kill millions more. After returning to London, he called Britain’s and Ireland’s top pop artists together to record a single to benefit Ethiopian famine relief. “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” was written by Geldof and Ultravox singer Midge Ure and performed by “Band Aid,” an ensemble that featured Culture Club, Duran Duran, Phil Collins, U2, Wham!, and others. It was the best-selling single in Britain to that date and raised more than $10 million.
1099 – The Crusaders launch their final assault on Jerusalem.
1534 – Ottoman armies capture Tabriz in northwestern Persia.
1174 – William I of Scotland, a key rebel in the Revolt of 1173-1174, is captured at Alnwick by forces loyal to Henry II of England.
1558 – Battle of Gravelines: In France, Spanish forces led by Count Lamoral of Egmont defeat the French forces of Marshal Paul des Thermes at Gravelines.
1585 – A group of 108 English colonists, led by Sir Richard Grenville, reaches Roanoke Island, North Carolina.
1573 – Eighty Years’ War: The Siege of Haarlem ends after seven months.
1643 – English Civil War: Battle of Roundway Down – In England, Henry Wilmot, 1st Earl of Rochester, commanding the Royalist forces, wins a crushing victory over the Parliamentarian Sir William Waller.
1754 – George Washington surrenders Fort Necessity to the French, leaving them in control of the Ohio Valley.
1787 – The Continental Congress enacts the Northwest Ordinance establishing governing rules for the Northwest Territory. It also establishes procedures for the admission of new states and limits the expansion of slavery.
1794 – Battle of the Vosges between French forces and those of Prussia and Austria
1830 – The General Assembly’s Institution, now the Scottish Church College, one of the pioneering institutions that ushered the Bengal Renaissance, is founded by Alexander Duff and Raja Ram Mohan Roy, in Calcutta, India.
1854 – In the Battle of Guaymas, Mexico, General Jose Maria Yanez stops the French invasion led by Count Gaston de Raousset Boulbon.
1863 – New York Draft Riots: In New York City, opponents of conscription begin three days of rioting which will be later regarded as the worst in United States history.
1866 – The Great Eastern begins a two week voyage to complete a 12-year effort to lay telegraph cable across the Atlantic between Britain and the United States.
1878 – Treaty of Berlin: The European powers redraw the map of the Balkans. Serbia, Montenegro and Romania become completely independent of the Ottoman empire.
1919 – The British airship R34 lands in Norfolk, England, completing the first airship return journey across the Atlantic in 182 hours of flight.
1923 – The Hollywood Sign is officially dedicated in the hills above Hollywood, Los Angeles. It originally reads “Hollywoodland ” but the four last letters are dropped after renovation in 1949.
1941 – World War II: Montenegrins start popular uprising against the Axis Powers (Trinaestojulski ustanak).
1973 – Alexander Butterfield reveals the existence of the Nixon tapes to the special Senate committee investigating the Watergate break in.
1985 – The Live Aid benefit concert takes place in London and Philadelphia, as well as other venues such as Sydney and Moscow.
1985 – United States Vice President George H.W. Bush became the Acting President for the day when President Ronald Reagan underwent surgery to remove polyps from his colon.
1990 – An earthquake with its epicentre in Afghanistan resulted in the greatest number of fatalities in a mountaineering accident in High Asian mountains. An avalanche killed 43 climbers in Camp I on Pik Lenina.