August 13, 1655
Birth of Johann Christoph Denner in Leipzig, Germany. Denner was a musical instrument maker who invented the clarinet.
Denner was born in Leipzig to a family of horn-tuners. With his father, Heinrich Denner, a maker of game whistles and hunting horns, he moved to Nuremberg in 1666. J. C. Denner went into business as an instrument maker in 1678 and was granted rights for the “manufacture of French musical instruments consisting chiefly of oboes and recorders [flandadois]” in 1697. Two of his sons, Jacob and Johann David, also became instrument builders. At least sixty-eight instruments attributed to J. C. Denner have survived to the present day, although the surviving instruments with his name are believed to have come from his sons’ workshops.
August 13, 1844
Birth of Johann Friedrich Miescher in Basel, Switzerland. Miescher was a biochemist at the Universities of Tübingen and Basel who discovered nucleic acids.
August 13, 1851
August 13, 1872
Birth of Richard Willstätter in Karlsruhe, Germany. He was a professor of chemistry at the Universities of Zürich and Munich who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1915 for his work on the structure of chlorophyll.
August 13, 1902
He was gifted since childhood with an ingenous spatial imagination, and became interested in the world of machines, especially combustion engines. After his mother was widowed, Wankel could not afford university education or even an apprenticeship; however, he was able to teach himself technical subjects. At age 17, he told friends that he had dreamt of constructing a car with “a new type of engine, half turbine, half reciprocating. It is my invention!” True to this prediction, he conceived the idea of the Wankel engine in 1924 and opened a shop in Heidelberg to develop the idea, winning his first patent in 1929. He never had a driver’s license, because he was extremely near-sighted. He was, however, the owner of an NSU Ro 80 with a Wankel engine, which was chauffeured for him.
August 13, 1907
Death of Hermann Karl Vogel in Potsdam, Germany. Vogel was the astronomer who discovered spectroscopic binaries (close double stars). He was the director of the observatory at Bothkamp, Germany, after 1870 and of the observatory at Potsdam after 1882.
August 13, 1907
August 13, 1913
August 13, 1943
August 13, 1945
The allies allow Germans once again to form political parties.
August 13, 1961
The first phase of the Berlin Wall is started at 2:00 a.m. as barbed wire is placed on the border.
August 13, 1994
Death of Manfred Wörner in Brussels, Belgium. Wörner was the first German secretary-general of NATO, serving from 1988-1994). His major task was to start the redefinition of NATO after the end of the Soviet Union. Wörner was a member of the German CDU political party.
August 13, 1999
Death of Ignatz Bubis in Frankfurt. Bubis had been the Chairman of the Central Jewish Committee in Germany since 1992. As specified in his will, he was flown to Israel and buried there. The 72 year old Bubis died of cancer.