On This Day, Feb. 13, 1633 – Galileo Galilei Arrives in Rome to Face the Inquisition


1633 – Galileo Galilei arrived in Rome for trial before the Inquisition.

Galileo’s belief in the Copernican System eventually got him into trouble with the Catholic Church. A committee of consultants declared to the Inquisition, a permanent institution in the Catholic Church charged with the eradication of heresies, that the Copernican proposition that the Sun is the center of the universe was a heresy. Because Galileo supported the Copernican system, he was warned by Cardinal Bellarmine, under order of Pope Paul V, that he should not discuss or defend Copernican theories.

In 1624, Galileo was assured by Pope Urban VIII that he could write about Copernican theory as long as he treated it as a mathematical proposition. However, with the printing of Galileo’s book, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, Galileo was called to Rome in 1633 to face the Inquisition again. Galileo was found guilty of heresy for his Dialogue, and was sent to his home near Florence where he was to be under house arrest for the remainder of his life.

In 1638, the Inquisition allowed Galileo to move to his home in Florence, so that he could be closer to his doctors. By that time he was totally blind. In 1642, Galileo died at his home outside Florence.

1542 – Catherine Howard was executed for adultery. She was the fifth wife of England’s King Henry VIII.

1741 – “The American Magazine,” the first magazine in the U.S., was published in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1889 – Norman Coleman became the first U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

1914 – The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (known as ASCAP) was formed in New York City. The society was founded to protect the copyrighted musical compositions of its members.

1920 – The League of Nations recognized the continued neutrality of Switzerland.


1920 – The National Negro Baseball League was organized.

1935 – In Flemington, New Jersey, a jury found Bruno Richard Hauptmann guilty of the kidnapping and death of the infant son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh. Hauptmann was later executed for the crimes.

1945 – During World War II, the Soviets captured Budapest, Hungary, from the German army.

1945 – During World War II, Allied aircraft began bombing the German city of Dresden.

1955 – Israel acquired 4 of the 7 Dead Sea scrolls.

1960 – France detonated its first atomic bomb.

1965 – Sixteen-year-old Peggy Fleming won the ladies senior figure skating title at Lake Placid, NY.

1971 – South Vietnamese troops invaded Laos. They were backed by U.S. air and artillery support.

1990 – In Ottawa, the United States and its European allies forged an agreement with the Soviet Union and East Germany on a two-stage formula to reunite Germany.

1991 – Hundreds of Iraqis were killed by two laser-guided bombs that destroyed an underground facility in Baghdad. U.S. officials identified the facility as a military installation, but Iraqi officials said it was a bomb shelter.

1997 – Astronauts on the space shuttle Discovery brought the Hubble Space Telescope aboard for a tune up. The tune up allowed the telescope to see further into the universe.

2000Charles M. Schulz‘s last original Sunday “Peanuts” comic strip appeared in newspapers. Schulz had died the day before.

2008 – Roger Clemens denied having taken performance-enhancing drugs in testimony before Congress.


Source: galileo.rice.edu; On-This-Day.com