May 21st in history:
Michelangelo’s sculpture, the Pieta, was vandalized at the Vatican on May 21st, 1972 by a geologist named Laszlo Toth. He damaged the statue of the Virgin Mary with several blows from a hammer.
Writer and actor Don Novello, alias “Father Guido Sarducci”, used the name Lazlo Toth when writing prank letters to famous people. He published a few books containing many of the letters he received in return. Novello wrote and performed on “Saturday Night Live” in the late 1970s, along with actor, writer and U.S. Senator Al Franken, born May 21st, 1951.
“All My Children” star Susan Lucci has never run for public office, but she’s famous for being an also-ran. Her string of Emmy nominations without a win ended on May 21st, 1999, when she won a Daytime Emmy Award on her 19th try.
May 13th in history:
On May 13th, 1917, three young shepherds reported seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary for the first time at Fatima, Portugal.
One “Secret” reportedly revealed to the children by Mary has been interpreted as a prediction of an attack against a future Pope. On this date in 1981, Pope John Paul II was shot and wounded by a gunman in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican.
The founder of the Peoples Temple, Jim Jones, was born May 13th, 1931.
A segment on “The Daily Show” called “This Week in God” turned out to be a blessing for actor and comedian Stephen Colbert, born on this day in 1964. Colbert got his own late-night spinoff called “The Colbert Report,” and in 2015, he succeeded David Letterman as host of “The Late Show” on CBS.
Colbert was not born on a Friday, but singer Darius Rucker, formerly of Hootie and the Blowfish, was a Friday the 13th baby on this day in 1966. And Stevie Wonder, who had a hit record called “Superstition” in 1972, was born on May 13th in 1950.
October 13 in history:
On October 13th, 1884, Greenwich Mean Time was established, setting noon at the Greenwich observatory in England as the standard for time zones throughout the world. However, scientists say that doesn’t mean the sun is always directly overhead at 12 noon every day at Greenwich.
Many witnesses say the sun did unusual things over the town of Fatima, Portugal on October 13th, 1917, in what has been described as “The Miracle of the Sun.” As many as 100,000 people gathered in Fatima, expecting visions of the Virgin Mary. Watchers claimed the sun changed colors, spun around, and moved back and forth across the sky, seeming to speed toward the earth.
The rescue of 33 men trapped in a Chilean mine was considered a miracle by many. The miners at Copiapo had been underground for nearly 70 days when a rescue capsule was used to bring them back to the surface, one at a time. The successful rescue mission ended late in the day on October 13th, 2010.
The man who created the TV show “Mission: Impossible,” producer Bruce Geller, was born on this date in 1930. It’s also the birthday of TV producer Chris Carter (born 1957), best known for a series about two agents who investigated the seemingly impossible, or unexplainable: “The X-Files.”