Today in History

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Today is Tuesday, March 13, the 72nd day of 2018. There are 293 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 13, 1928, at least 400 people died when the San Francisquito Canyon in Southern California was inundated with water after the nearly two-year-old St. Francis Dam collapsed just before midnight the evening of March 12.

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On this date:

In 1639, New College was renamed Harvard College for clergyman John Harvard.

In 1781, the seventh planet of the solar system, Uranus, was discovered by Sir William Herschel.

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 (pee) 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 1947, the Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe musical “Brigadoon,” about a Scottish village which magically reappears once every hundred years, opened on Broadway.

In 1954, the Battle of Dien Bien Phu began during the First Indochina War as Viet Minh 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 1988, yielding to student protests, the board of trustees of Gallaudet University in Washington D.C., a liberal arts college for the hearing-impaired, chose I. King Jordan to become the school’s first deaf president.

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

Ten years ago: The body of Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho (POW’-loh fah-RAHJ’ rah-HOO’) was found in a shallow grave in northern Iraq, two weeks after he was kidnapped by gunmen in one of the most dramatic attacks against the country’s small Christian community. Gold hit a record, rising to $1,000 an ounce for the first time. Bode Miller clinched the men’s overall World Cup ski title in Bormio, Italy.

Five years ago: Jorge Bergoglio (HOHR’-hay behr-GOHG’-lee-oh) of Argentina was elected pope, choosing the name Francis; he was the first pontiff from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium.

One year ago: The Congressional Budget Office said that 14 million Americans would lose coverage the next year under House Republican legislation remaking the nation’s health care system, and that number would balloon to 24 million by 2026. Once the world’s most-wanted fugitive, Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, the man known as “Carlos the Jackal,” appeared in a French court for a deadly 1974 attack on a Paris shopping arcade that killed two people. (He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the third time.)

Today’s Birthdays: Jazz musician Roy Haynes is 93. Country singer Jan Howard is 88. Songwriter Mike Stoller (STOH’-ler) is 85. Singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka is 79. Opera singer Julia Migenes is 69. Actor William H. Macy is 68. Political commentator Charles Krauthammer is 68. Comedian Robin Duke is 64. Actress Dana Delany is 62. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., is 61. Rock musician Adam Clayton (U2) is 58. Jazz musician Terence Blanchard is 56. Actor Christopher Collet is 50. Rock musician Matt McDonough (Mudvayne) is 49. Actress Annabeth Gish is 47. Actress Tracy Wells is 47. Rapper-actor Common is 46. Rapper Khujo (Goodie Mob, The Lumberjacks) is 46. Singer Glenn Lewis is 43. Actor Danny Masterson is 42. Bluegrass musician Clayton Campbell (The Gibson Brothers) is 37. Actor Noel Fisher is 34. Singers Natalie and Nicole Albino (Nina Sky) are 34. Actor Emile Hirsch is 33. Olympic gold medal skier Mikaela Shiffrin is 23.