On This Day in History, August 13

In 1553, Spanish theologian Michael Servetus attended a sermon by reformer John Calvin in Geneva, Switzerland. Following the sermon, he was arrest on the grounds of heresy. His heretical belief was a rejection of the Trinity doctrine, the belief that God was a single entity, along with the rejection of baptizing infants. He was eventually burnt at the stake.

In 1889, United States Patent Number 408,709 is issued to William Gray of Hartford, Connecticut for a “coin-controlled apparatus for telephones.” The invention for which his patent was granted would be used for payphones across the world, advanced and developed further by others, as the technology grew more commonplace.

In 1961, construction on the infamous Berlin Wall began, as a means to prevent emigration from Eastern Europe to Western Europe. Before the Wall was constructed, West Berlin was a common means for those fleeing communist tyranny to defect and then travel to West Germany and the rest of Western Europe and the free world. Its fall would lead to German reunification.

A Notable Birth

1818 – Lucy Stone (d. 1893) was an American orator, who was especially vocal in the abolitionist and suffrage movements. She was the first woman in Massachusetts to receive a college degree and had a significant influence upon American feminism.

A Notable Death

1946 – Herbert George Wells (b. 1866) was an English writer, best remembered for his science fiction work. Throughout his entire career, he often pursued a forward thinking mindset, even embracing newer ideas of his time like socialism and pacifism.

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