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This Day in History - March 13

March 13

483 – St. Felix begins reign as Pope

607 – The 12th recorded passage of Halley’s Comet occurs

624 – Muslim forces defeat the Meccan army at the Battle of Badr

1519 – Hernando Cortez lands in what will become Mexico

1591 – The Moroccan army defeats Sultan Askia Ishaq II of Songhai in the Battle of Tondibi

1615 – Pope Innocent XII is born

1639 – Cambridge College is renamed to Harvard University

1660 – A statue is passed limiting the sale of slaves in the colony of Virginia

1733 – Scientist who discovered oxygen, Joseph Priestly, is born

1764 – British Prime Minister Charles Earl Grey is born

1777 – Congress orders its European envoys to appeal to foreign officers to send troops to reinforce the American army

1781 – Astronomer William Herschel discovers the planet Uranus

1793 – Eli Whitney patents the cotton gin

1798 – Wife of President Millard Fillmore, Abigail Powers Fillmore is born

1836 – In an effort to buy time for training his army, Texas General Sam Houston begins retreating from Santa Anna’s army

1842 – English army officer Henry Shrapnel dies

1845 – Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto premieres

1852 – “Uncle Sam” cartoon appears for the first time

1855 – Astronomer who predicted the discovery of Pluto, Percival Lowell, is born

1861 – Jefferson Davis signs a bill authorizing the use of slaves as soldiers for the Confederacy

1868 – The US Senate begins the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson

1879 – German chess player Adolf Anderssen dies

1881 – Czar Alexander II is assassinated when a bomb is thrown at him near his palace

1884 – Mahdist forces lay siege to Khartoum, Sudan

1886 – Balloonist and photographer Albert William Stevens is born

1891 – Henrik Ibsen’s play Ghosts opens in London

1892 – Writer Janet Flanner is born

1900 – Greek poet George Seferis is born

1901 – 23rd President of the US, Benjamin Harrison, dies

1903 – Britain defeats the Sokoto Caliphate in Northern Nigeria

1906 – Suffragist Susan B. Anthony dies

1907 – Romanian historian and author Mircea Eliade is born

1911 – Founder of the Church of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard is born

1915 – The Germans repel a British Expeditionary Force attack in France during the Battle of Neuve Chapelle

1918 – Women are scheduled to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York due to a shortage of men

1925 – Tennessee passes a bill prohibiting the teaching of evolution in schools

1930 – Clyde Tombaugh announces his discovery of the planet Pluto

1935 – A three-thousand-year-old archive is found in Jerusalem confirming Biblical history

1939 – Singer, songwriter, and pianist, Neil Sedaka is born

1940 – Finland agrees conditionally to Soviet terms but maintains independence

1941 – Adolf Hitler issues an edict calling for the invasion of the Soviet Union

1942 – Julia Fikke of the Nurse Corps becomes the first woman colonel in the US Army

1942 – The QMC of the US Army begins training dogs for the “K-9 Corps”

1943 – Japanese forces end their attack on the American troops on Hill 700 in Bougainville

1943 – German troops liquidate the Jewish ghetto in Krakow

1944 – Britain announces that all travel between Ireland and the UK is suspended due to the Irish government’s refusal to expel Axis diplomats within its borders

1951 – Israel demands German reparations for the cost of caring for war refugees

1954 – Viet Minh surround French troops at Dien Bien Phu

1957 – The FBI arrests Jimmy Hoffa on bribery charges

1961 – President John Kennedy proposes a 10-year, multibillion-dollar aid program for Latin America known as the Alliance for Progress

1963 – China invites Nikita Khrushchev of the Soviet Union to Beijing

1965 – Eric Clapton leaves the band Yardbirds

1969 – Walt Disney’s “The Love Bug” opens in theaters

1970 – Cambodia orders Hanoi and Viet Cong troops to get out

1972 – Britain and China resume full diplomatic relations and Britain withdraws its consulate from Taiwan

1974 – The US Senate votes to restore the death penalty

1974 – Arab nations decide to end the oil embargo on the US

1975 – The capital of Darlac Province in the Central Highlands, Ban Me Thuot, falls to the North Vietnamese

1979 – Future pitcher Johan Santana is born

1981 – The US plans to send 15 Green Berets to El Salvador as military advisors

1985 – Upon the death of Konstantin Chernenko, Mikhail Gorbachev becomes the new leader of the Soviet Union

1985 – Wrestler Matt Jackson is born

1989 – Cult leader Adolpho de Jesus Constanzo ritually sacrifices a human at a desert compound known as Rancho Santa Elena in Mexico. When the victim didn’t beg for mercy, Constanzo sent his people to find another, and they abducted Mark Kilroy, an American college student. A drug smuggler who purchased a black magic potion of protection from Constanzo inadvertently led police to the compound where they found 27 mutilated bodies, including Mark Kilroy, as well as a torture chamber and homosexual pornography. It would be until May 6 before authorities would find Constanzo, accidentally, while searching door to door for a missing child. He ordered a friend to shoot him as police were closing in, and he was found dead

1991 – Exxon pays $1 billion in expenses for the clean-up of the Alaskan oil spill

1992 – A 6.8-magnitude earthquake near Erzincan, Turkey and a very powerful aftershock kill 500 and leave 50.000 homeless

1996 – 16 children and their teacher are fatally shot by Thomas Hamilton in the gymnasium of the Dunblane Primary School. Twelve others and an adult were injured, and Hamilton turned the gun on himself. Dunblane is a 13th-century village in the Scottish Highlands

1997 – A series of unidentified lights in Phoenix, Arizona, stirs up controversy. The event, known as the Phoenix Lights, turned out to be a series of illumination flares dropped from a US Air Force plane

2003 – The journal Nature reports that 350,000-year-old footprints of an upright-walking human being have been discovered in Italy

2005 – The board of directors of the Walt Disney Company announces Roger Iger to become Disney’s CEO

2012 – The Encyclopedia Britannica discontinues its print edition after 244 years

2013 – Pope Francis succeeds Pope Benedict XVI


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.


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