Today in History
Today is Monday, March 13, the 72nd day of 2017. There are 293 days left in the year.
On March 13, 1947, the Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe musical “Brigadoon,” about a Scottish village which magically reappears once every hundred years, opened on Broadway. “The Best Years of Our Lives” won the Academy Award for best picture of 1946; Oscars also went to its director, William Wyler, lead actor Fredric March and supporting actor Harold Russell; Olivia De Havilland won best actress for “To Each His Own”; Anne Baxter won best supporting actress for “The Razor’s Edge.”
On this date:
In 1781, the seventh planet of the solar system, Uranus, was discovered by Sir William Herschel.
In 1845, Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64, had its premiere in Leipzig, Germany.
In 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis signed a measure allowing black slaves to enlist in the Confederate States Army with the promise they would be set free.
In 1901, the 23rd President of the United States, Benjamin Harrison, died in Indianapolis at age 67.
In 1925, the Tennessee General Assembly approved a bill prohibiting the teaching of the theory of evolution. Gov. Austin Peay signed the measure on March 21.
In 1933, banks in the U.S. began to reopen after a “holiday” declared by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
In 1954, the Battle of Dien Bien Phu began during the First Indochina War as communist forces attacked French troops, who were defeated nearly two months later.
In 1964, bar manager Catherine “Kitty” Genovese, 28, was stabbed to death near her Queens, New York, home; the case gained notoriety over the supposed reluctance of Genovese’s neighbors to respond to her cries for help.
In 1980, Ford Motor Co. Chairman Henry Ford II announced he was stepping down, the same day a jury in Winamac, Indiana, found the company not guilty of reckless homicide in the fiery deaths of three young women in a Ford Pinto.
In 1996, a gunman burst into an elementary school in Dunblane, Scotland, and opened fire, killing 16 children and one teacher before killing himself.
In 1997, a Jordanian soldier fired on Israeli junior high school girls on a field trip, killing seven of them. The soldier, Cpl. Ahmed Daqamseh, was later sentenced by a military court to life in prison.
In 2013, Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina was elected pope, choosing the name Francis.
Ten years ago: Attorney General Alberto Gonzales admitted mistakes in the way the Justice Department handled the dismissal of eight federal prosecutors, which Democrats charged were a politically motivated purge, but said he wouldn’t resign. President George W. Bush, on the last stop of a five-nation Latin American tour, sought to soothe strained ties with Mexico by promising to prod Congress to overhaul tough U.S. immigration policies; but his host, Mexican President Felipe Calderon, criticized U.S. plans for a 700-mile border fence. Lance Mackey won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, in 9 days, 5 hours, 8 minutes.
Five years ago: A resurgent Rick Santorum swept to victory in Republican presidential primaries in Alabama and Mississippi. Twenty-two young people returning from a ski holiday and six adults died when their bus crashed inside a tunnel in southern Switzerland. A ferry carrying more than 200 people collided with a cargo boat and sank just short of Dhaka, Bangladesh; most on board died. Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc. said it would stop publishing print editions of its flagship encyclopedia. Dallas Seavey, at age 25, became the youngest winner of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska, finishing in 9 days, 4 hours and 29 minutes.