Today in History: March 13, Pope Francis is elected
Today is Monday, March 13, the 72nd day of 2023. There are 293 days left in the year.
Today’s highlight in history:
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 Austin Peay signed the measure on March 21; Tennessee repealed the law in 1967.
On this date:
In 1781, the seventh planet of the solar system, Uranus, was discovered by Sir William Herschel.
In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed a measure prohibiting Union military officers from returning fugitive slaves to their owners.
In 1933, banks in the U.S. began to reopen after a “holiday” declared by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
In 1938, famed attorney Clarence S. Darrow died in Chicago.
In 1943, financier and philanthropist J.P. Morgan Jr., 75, died in Boca Grande, Florida.
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 Viet Minh forces attacked French troops, who were defeated nearly two months later.
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 1996, a gunman burst into an elementary school in Dunblane, Scotland, and opened fire, killing 16 children and one teacher before killing himself.
In 2011, 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.
In 2020, Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was fatally shot in her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky, during a botched raid by plainclothes narcotics detectives; no drugs were found, and the “no-knock” warrant used to enter by force was later found to be flawed. (A grand jury brought no charges against officers in her death, and prosecutors said two officers who fired at her were justified because her boyfriend shot at them; one officer was found not guilty of endangering Taylor’s neighbors by firing into the side of her apartment during the raid.)
Ten years ago: In 2013, Jorge Bergoglio 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. A man went on a shooting rampage in the small villages of Mohawk and Herkimer in New York state, killing four and wounding two more at a barbershop and a car wash. (Police would shoot and kill the suspect, 64-year-old Kurt Myers, the following day.)
Five years ago: President Donald Trump abruptly dumped Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — via Twitter — and moved CIA Director Mike Pompeo from the role of America’s spy chief to its top diplomat. On his first trip to California as president, Trump accused the state of putting “the entire nation at risk” by refusing to take tough action against illegal immigration. Joy Behar of “The View” apologized for suggesting that mental illness was behind claims by people that Jesus Christ talks to them; her comment had come during a discussion about Vice President Mike Pence.
One year ago: Russian missiles pounded a military base that served as a crucial hub between Ukraine and the NATO countries supporting its defense, killing 35 people. The barrage marked an escalation of Moscow’s offensive and moved the fighting perilously close to the Polish border. A year after holding its basketball tournament in isolated bubbles and two years after holding no tournament at all, the NCAA announced teams for a full-fledged March Madness. Former President Barack Obama announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Today’s Birthdays: Jazz musician Roy Haynes is 98. Songwriter Mike Stoller is 90. Singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka is 84. R&B/gospel singer Candi Staton is 83. Opera singer Julia Migenes is 74. Actor William H. Macy is 73. Comedian Robin Duke is 69. Actor Dana Delany is 67. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., is 66. Rock musician Adam Clayton (U2) is 63. Jazz musician Terence Blanchard is 61. Actor Christopher Collet is 55. Rock musician Matt McDonough (Mudvayne) is 54. Actor Annabeth Gish is 52. Actor Tracy Wells is 52. Rapper-actor Common is 51. Rapper Khujo (Goodie Mob, The Lumberjacks) is 51. Singer Glenn Lewis is 48. Actor Danny Masterson is 47. Actor Noel Fisher is 39. Singers Natalie and Nicole Albino (Nina Sky) are 39. Actor Emile Hirsch is 38. U.S. Olympic gold medal skier Mikaela Shiffrin is 28. Tennis star Coco Gauff is 19.