13 September 1759
British beat French forces at Plains of Abrahams (Quebec). After leading his men on an extraordinarily daring climb up the cliffs from the St Lawrence River, General James Wolfe deploys his troops against the French defenders on the Plains of Abraham. Wolfe is shot and fatally injured, but the French are routed – and Quebec is secured for the British crown.
13 September 1944: Noor Inayat Khan is executed at a concentration camp
The SOE agent had chosen to stay in Nazi-occupied France
At dawn on 13 (or possibly 12) September 1944, four women were led into a yard in Dachau concentration camp, where they were told to kneel and had their death sentences read to them. SS men then stepped forward and shot them one at a time in the back of their necks. One of the women had been badly beaten first, but in her final moments managed to utter the single word “liberté”.
Her name was Noor Inayat Khan. Having escaped German-occupied France in 1940, she trained for the British forces and later gained a post in the Special Operations Executive (SOE) as a wireless operator. In June 1943, Noor was inserted into France on a highly dangerous mission to aid the “Prosper” resistance network, under the codename “Madeleine”. She chose to stay even when the Germans rounded up the network’s agents, but was betrayed and arrested by the Gestapo four months later.
After several escapes and recaptures, Noor – who refused to give up anything in her interrogations – was sent to Dachau with three other SOE agents, Madeleine Damerment, Yolande Beekman and Eliane Plewman. After being executed, they were stripped and searched for jewellery. For displaying “the most conspicuous courage, both moral and physical”, Noor was posthumously awarded the George Cross in 1949. | Written by Helen Carr
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13 September 1971
A four-day riot at Attica Prison in New York state came to a violent end after the authorities opened fire, killing 29 inmates and ten hostages. More than 60 inmates were indicted and eight convicted.