On This Day In History, This Happened In Showbiz

April 13th may seem like an ordinary day to most people, but some extraordinary things happened on this day throughout the years.

Here are just a few relating to The Arts and the business of Show:

In 1742, George Frideric Handel’s oratorio Messiah makes its world-premiere in Dublin, Ireland. Since its Dublin premiere in 1742, it has been performed by choirs across the land every year since at least 1745.
The rousing ‘Hallelujah’ Chorus is one of the most famous pieces of Baroque choral music, and by far the most widely-known section of the work. Audiences tend to stand during performances – a tradition that allegedly began when King George II stood up during the chorus at the oratorio’s debut London performance.
If you’re one of the very few people who haven’t heard it, have a listen here:

In 1796, the first elephant ever seen in the United States arrives from India.
Captain Jacob Crowninshield arrived in New York on April 12, 1796 with a two year-old elephant. Upon speculation, he had purchased the wonderful animal in India and brought it to America. The entire venture cost him $450.

The elephant was exhibited in New York at the corner of Beaver Street and Broadway on April 23, 1796. At that exhibition, a Welshman named Owen offered to buy it for $10,000. From there, it seems the elephant went of tour constantly for many years.
You can read about this in detail here


In 1870, The New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art is founded.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (colloquially The Met), located in New York City, is the largest art museum in the United States and one of the ten largest in the world.
Its permanent collection contains more than two million works, divided among seventeen curatorial departments.
The main building, located on the eastern edge of Central Park along Manhattan’s Museum Mile, is by area one of the world’s largest art galleries. There is also a much smaller second location at The Cloisters in Upper Manhattan that features medieval art.
The founders included businessmen and financiers, as well as leading artists and thinkers of the day, who wanted to open a museum to bring art and art education to the American people.[3] It opened on February 20, 1872, and was originally located at 681 Fifth Avenue.

In 1958, and during the Cold War between the United States and the (then) USSR, American, Harvey Lavan “Van” Cliburn, Jr wins the inaugural International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.
The International Tchaikovsky Competition is a classical-music competition held every four years in Moscow, Russia, for pianists, violinists, and cellists between 16 and 30 years of age, and singers between 19 and 32 years of age. The competition is named after Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and is an active member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions.

In 1964, and kind of a huge deal at the time, Sidney Poitier becomes the first African-American male to win the Best Actor award at The Academy Awards for the 1963 film, Lilies of the Field.
Prior to that, in 1939, Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American woman to win the award for Best Supporting Actress.
It wasn’t until 2001 – Halle Berry for Monster’s Ball – that an African-American woman would win an Academy Award for Best Actress.

In 1997, Tiger Woods becomes the youngest golfer to win the Masters Tournament.
Yes, we know it’s golf, and therefore a sport rather than The Arts and showbiz, but Woods’ shenanigans made him a bit of a celebrity. And maybe that was kind of the point…

April the 13th is also a special day for anyone who’s celebrating a birthday! So if that’s you, Happy Birthday from everyone at ShowWorld!

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