On This Date, December 13th
1. 1978: First U.S. coin minted honoring a woman
It was on this date in 1978 that the first Susan B. Anthony dollar was struck at the Philidelphia Mint to become the first circulating coin honoring a woman. Anthony was a well-known woman’s rights activist who played a major role in the women’s suffrage movement. When the dollar coin was released, Mint officials were concerned that people would hoard them so they decided to stockpile over 500 million before it was officially released to the public in 1979. However the coin wasn’t well received, it was extremely similar to the size and weight of a quarter and was commonly confused as such during transactions. It was the first point to have the “p” mint mark since the Jefferson nickels released during WWII. The “p” indicates that it was struck at the Philadelphia Mint. Just under three years after production began, circulation was halted due to the persistent unpopularity of the coin in the public. The U.S. Treasury ended up with a surplus of over 520 million coins that eventually had to be melted down. They can still be found in circulation today, and especially with collectors, but they’re rare.
2. 2000: Seven convicts break out of prison in Texas
A massive statewide manhunt breaks out across the state of Texas on this date in 2000 after seven convicts escape from a maximum security prison. The men were locked up in the Connally Unit in Kenedy, Texas when they suddenly overpowered the guards and civilian employees that worked in the maintenance shop where the prisoners also worked. They managed to get ahold of supplies like guns, clothing, and even a vehicle for their getaway. Upon leaving they left a note for law enforcement officials saying “You haven’t heard the last of us yet. ‘ On Christmas Eve, the men robbed a sporting good store where they made off with more weapons and gear, but in the process shot and killed police officer Aubrey Hawkins leaving him dead at the scene. They managed to avoid capture for over six weeks before an anonymous tip came in from the America’s Most Wanted program that led police straight to the fugitives in Colorado. Unfortunately one of the men committed suicide when he was cornered by police, but the following six were captured and by February 2001, they were indicted for the murder of Officer Hawkins and later sentenced to death.
3. 1983: Highest scoring NBA game in history
It’s not uncommon for NBA teams to score over 100 points in a single game, even 120 in some cases. But on this date in 1983, the Detroit Pistons played the Denver Nuggets in the highest scoring NBA game of all-time. After a triple overtime, the Nuggets had a painful loss by just two points with a final score of 186-184. Going into the game, both teams were on a three-game losing streak so if you would’ve said that game would go down in history as the highest scoring NBA game ever, people would’ve thought you were crazy. Isiah Thomas of the Pistons scored a total of 47 points and Vandeweghe of the Nuggets scored 51 as the two highest scoring players of the game. However, a total of 12 players, six from each team, would end up scoring double digits.