Today in History: March 13
by Staff | March 13, 2019 12:36 am
Last Updated: March 13, 2019 at 9:39 am
624 – Battle of Badr: a key battle between Muhammad’s army – the new followers of Islam and the Quraysh of Mecca. The Muslims won this battle, known as the turning point of Islam, which took place in the Hejaz region of western Arabia.
874 – The bones of Saint Nicephorus are interred in the Church of the Holy Apostles, Constantinople.
1138 – Cardinal Gregorio Conti is elected Antipope as Victor IV, succeeding Anacletus II.
1567 – The Battle of Oosterweel, traditionally regarded as the start of the Eighty Years’ War, commences.
1591 – Battle of Tondibi: In Mali, Moroccan forces of the Saadi dynasty led by Judar Pasha defeat the Songhai Empire, despite being outnumbered by at least five to one.
1639 – Harvard College is named after clergyman John Harvard.
1697 – Nojpetén, capital of the last independent Maya kingdom, fell to Spanish conquistadors, the final step in the Spanish conquest of Guatemala.
1781 – William Herschel discovers Uranus.
1809 – Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden is deposed in a coup d’état.
1845 – Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto receives its première performance in Leipzig with Ferdinand David as soloist.
1848 – The German revolutions of 1848–49 begin in Vienna.
1862 – American Civil War: The U.S. federal government forbids all Union army officers from returning fugitive slaves, thus effectively annulling the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and setting the stage for the Emancipation Proclamation.
1865 – American Civil War: The Confederate States of America agree to the use of African-American troops.
1881 – Alexander II of Russia is killed near his palace when a bomb is thrown at him (this is the Gregorian date; it was March 1 in the Julian calendar then in use in Russia).
1884 – The Siege of Khartoum begins. It lasts until January 26, 1885.
1900 – Second Boer War: British forces occupy Bloemfontein, Orange Free State.
1920 – The Kapp Putsch briefly ousts the Weimar Republic government from Berlin.
1921 – Mongolia is proclaimed an independent monarchy, ruled by Russian military officer Roman von Ungern-Sternberg as a dictator.
1930 – The news of the discovery of Pluto is telegraphed to the Harvard College Observatory.
1933 – Great Depression: Banks in the U.S. begin to re-open after President Franklin D. Roosevelt mandates a “bank holiday”.
1940 – The Russo-Finnish Winter War ends.
1943 – The Holocaust: German forces liquidate the Jewish ghetto in Kraków.
1954 – First Indochina War: Viet Minh forces under Võ Nguyên Giáp unleashed a massive artillery barrage on the French to begin the Battle of Điện Biên Phủ, the climactic battle in the First Indochina War.
1957 – Cuban student revolutionaries storm the presidential palace in Havana in a failed attempt on the life of President Fulgencio Batista.
1962 – Lyman Lemnitzer, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivers a proposal, called Operation Northwoods, regarding performing terrorist attacks upon Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. The proposal is scrapped and President John F. Kennedy removes Lemnitzer from his position.
1969 – Apollo program: Apollo 9 returns safely to Earth after testing the Lunar Module.
1979 – The New Jewel Movement, headed by Maurice Bishop, ousts Prime Minister Eric Gairy in a nearly bloodless coup d’état in Grenada.
1985 – The Kenilworth Road riot takes place at an association football match at Kenilworth Road in Luton, England with disturbances before, during and after an FA Cup 6th Round tie between Luton Town F.C. and Millwall F.C..
1988 – The Seikan Tunnel, the longest undersea tunnel in the world, opens between Aomori and Hakodate, Japan.
1991 – The United States Department of Justice announces that Exxon has agreed to pay $1 billion for the clean-up of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.
1992 – The Mw 6.7 Erzincan earthquake strikes eastern Turkey with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe). At least 498 were killed in this strike-slip event on the North Anatolian Fault.
1996 – Dunblane school massacre: in Dunblane, Scotland, 16 primary school children and one teacher are shot dead by a spree killer, Thomas Watt Hamilton, who later commits suicide.
1997 – India’s Missionaries of Charity chooses Sister Nirmala to succeed Mother Teresa as its leader.
1997 – The Phoenix Lights are seen over Phoenix, Arizona by hundreds of people, and by millions on television.
2003 – The journal Nature reports that 350,000-year-old footprints have been found in Italy.
2008 – Gold prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange hit $1,000 per ounce for the first time.
2012 – At least 28 people are killed in a bus crash in a motorway tunnel near the town of Sierre in the Swiss canton of Valais.
2013 – Pope Francis is elected, in the papal conclave, as the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church.
2016 – An explosion occurs in central Ankara, Turkey, with at least 37 people killed and 127 wounded.
2016 – Three gunmen attack two hotels in the Ivory Coast town of Grand-Bassam, killing at least 18 people and injuring 33 others.