Today in history


By The Associated Press



Today is Sunday, March 13, the 73rd day of 2016. There are 293 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 13, 1996, a gunman burst into an elementary school in Dunblane, Scotland, and opened fire, killing 16 children and one teacher before killing himself.

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 1946, U.S. Army Pfc. Sadao Munemori was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for sacrificing himself to save fellow soldiers from a grenade explosion in Seravezza, Italy; he was the only Japanese-American service member so recognized in the immediate aftermath of World War II.

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 1995, two Americans working for U.S. defense contractors in Kuwait, David Daliberti and William Barloon, were seized by Iraq after they strayed across the border; sentenced to eight years in prison, both were freed later the same year.

In 2013, Jorge Bergoglio (HOHR’-hay behr-GOHG’-lee-oh) of Argentina was elected pope, choosing the name Francis.

Ten years ago: Deadly tornadoes raked the Midwest while wildfires scorched the Texas Panhandle. Publisher McClatchy Co. agreed to buy Knight-Ridder, but planned to immediately sell 12 of its newspapers. Black Sabbath and Blondie entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Actress Maureen Stapleton died in Lenox, Massachusetts, at age 80; game show host Peter Tomarken, 63, and his wife, Kathleen, were killed when their small plane crashed into Santa Monica Bay.

Five years ago: The estimated death toll from Japan’s earthquake and tsunami climbed past 10,000 as authorities raced to combat the threat of multiple nuclear reactor meltdowns while hundreds of thousands of people struggled to find food and water. The NCAA men’s basketball selection committee released its 68-team draw which included a record 11 teams from the Big East, the deepest conference in the nation.

One year ago: In his first visit to the Phoenix Veterans Affairs hospital whose practices sparked a health care scandal, President Barack Obama acknowledged lingering weaknesses in the federal government’s response to the chronic delays and false waiting lists in the VA health system. Al Rosen, the muscular third baseman who won the 1953 AL MVP and played on the last Cleveland Indians team to win the World Series, died in Rancho Mirage, California, at age 91.

Today’s Birthdays: Jazz musician Roy Haynes is 91. Country singer Jan Howard is 86. Songwriter Mike Stoller (STOH’-ler) is 83. Singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka is 77. Opera singer Julia Migenes is 67. Actor William H. Macy is 66. Comedian Robin Duke is 62. Actress Glenne Headly is 61. Actress Dana Delany is 60. Rock musician Adam Clayton (U2) is 56. Jazz musician Terence Blanchard is 54. Actor Christopher Collet is 48. Rock musician Matt McDonough (Mudvayne) is 47. Actress Annabeth Gish is 45. Actress Tracy Wells is 45. Rapper-actor Common is 44. Rapper Khujo (Goodie Mob, The Lumberjacks) is 44. Singer Glenn Lewis is 41. Actor Danny Masterson is 40. Actor Noel Fisher is 32. Singers Nicole and Natalie Albino (Nina Sky) are 32. Actor Emile Hirsch is 31.

Thought for Today: “History repeats itself. That’s one of the things wrong with history.” — Clarence Darrow, American lawyer (born 1857, died this date in 1938).

By The Associated Press