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483 Mar 13
St. Felix began his reign as Catholic Pope.
Links: Vatican     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1599 Mar 13
Johannes Berchmans, Jesuit, saint, was born in Belgium.
Links: Belgium     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1615 Mar 13
Innocent XII, Roman Catholic Pope, was born.
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1719 Mar 13
German alchemist Johann Friedrich Bottger (b.1682) died. He was generally acknowledged as the inventor of European porcelain. Sources later ascribed this to Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus. Böttger is still credited with the industrial manufacturing process of Meißen porcelain.
Links: Germany, Ceramics     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1733 Mar 13
Joseph Priestly (d.1804), English chemist, author and clergyman, was born. He is credited with the discovery of oxygen.
Links: Britain, Chemistry     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1741 Mar 13
Jozef II, arch duke of Austria, Roman Catholic German emperor (1765-90), was born.
Links: Austria     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1781 Mar 13
Astronomer William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus, which he named 'Georgium Sidus,' in honor of George III. He initially though it was a comet. It is the 7th planet from the sun and revolves around the sun every 84.02 years. It is 14.6 time the size of Earth and has five satellites.
Links: Britain, Astronomy, Uranus     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1835 Mar 13
Charles Darwin departed Valparaiso for Andes crossing.
Links: Chile     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1836 Mar 13
Refugees from the Alamo arrived in Gonzales, Texas, and informed Gen. Sam Houston of the March 6 fall of the Alamo. Houston immediately ordered a retreat.
Links: USA, Mexico, Texas     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1845 Mar 13
Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64, had its premiere in Leipzig, Germany.
Links: Germany, Classical Music     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1848 Mar 13
Metternich was overthrown by a mob in Vienna. This ended his career as foreign minister of Austria and Emp. Francis I elevated him to the rank of prince.
Links: Austria     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1862 Mar 13
The US Congress passed a bill prohibiting the military from returning slaves to their masters.
Links: USA, Black History, Slavery     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1865 Mar 13
Confederate Pres. Jefferson Davis signed a measure allowing black slaves to enlist in the Confederate States Army with the promise they would be set free.
Links: USA, Black History, Slavery, Civil War (US)     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1881 Mar 13
Alexander II (b.1818), Tsar of Russia, was assassinated. A bomb was thrown at him near his palace by the anarchist group People’s Will led by Sophia Perovskaya. He was succeeded by his son Alexander III (36). A wave of repression and persecution followed. In 2005 Edvard Radzinsky authored the biography “Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar.”
Links: Russia, Biography     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1894 Mar 13
The Dynamite Squadron of ships, purchased and outfitted in the US, steamed into the harbor of Rio de Janeiro. Rebel sailors immediately surrendered in exchange for safe passage to Argentina aboard Portuguese warships. The rebellion ended a weeks later when the rebel flagship, Aquidbada, was captured off Desterro by the American crew of the Nictheroy, the former Morgan steamship El Cid.
Links: Brazil, USA, Ship     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1920 Mar 13
The Kapp Putsch took place, involving a group of Freikorps troops who gained control of Berlin and installed Wolfgang Kapp (a right-wing journalist) as chancellor. The national government fled to Stuttgart and called for a general strike. The strike crippled Germany's ravaged economy and the Kapp government collapsed after only four days on March 17.
Links: Germany, Labor     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1920 Mar 13
The 133-foot, iron-hulled tune trawler Ituna sank outside the Golden Gate of San Francisco as it headed from SF to Reedsport, Oregon. 12 of 14 crewmen escaped. Wreckage of the ship was found in 2015.
Links: USA, SF, Ship     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1930 Mar 13
The Lowell Observatory in Arizona announced Clyde Tombaugh’s Feb 18 discovery of a new planet, later named Pluto.
Links: USA, Arizona, Pluto     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1932 Mar 13
Hindenburg won 49.6% of the vote in the German presidential election, Hitler won 30.1%, and the rest of the votes went to other candidates. Since Hindenburg did not win a majority, a run-off election was set for April.
Links: Germany     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1937 Mar 13
Elihu Thomson (b.1853, English-born engineer and inventor, died in Massachusetts. He was instrumental in the founding of major electrical companies in the United States, the United Kingdom and France. He and Edwin J. Houston had co-founded the Thomson-Houston Electric Company which merged with Edison General Electric to form General Electric in 1892.
Links: USA, Inventor     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1940 Mar 13
The 105-day war between Russia and Finland ended with the signing of a treaty in Moscow. Finland capitulated conditionally to Soviet terms, but maintains its independence. Some 27,000 Finnish soldiers were killed and 43,000 wounded in a population of 3.7 million. The Soviet Union put its losses at 217,500 dead or wounded.
Links: Russia, Finland, USSR     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1946 Mar 13
US Army Private First Class Sadao Munemori was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for sacrificing himself to save fellow soldiers from a grenade at Seravezza, Italy.
Links: Italy, USA, Japan, Hero     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1947 Mar 13
The Lerner and Loewe musical "Brigadoon" opened on Broadway for 581 performances.
Links: USA, NYC, Theater     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1954 Mar 13
Viet Minh General Giap opened an assault on French forces at Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam. In 2010 Ted Morgan (aka Sanche Armand Gabriel de Gramont) authored “Valley of Death: The Tragedy at Dien Bien Phu That Led America into the Vietnam War.”
Links: France, Vietnam, Historian, Major Event     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1957 Mar 13
Bloody battles followed an anti-Batista demonstration in Havana, Cuba.
Links: Cuba     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1962 Mar 13
John F. Kennedy met Cameroon President Ahmadou Ahidjo.
Links: Cameroon     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1963 Mar 13
China invited Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev to visit Peking.
Links: China     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1964 Mar 13
In a notorious case 38 residents of a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens reportedly failed to respond to the cries of Kitty Genovese (28), a gay woman, as she was being stabbed to death. Winston Mosely was later convicted and sentenced to life in prison. In 2014 Kevin Cook authored “Kitty Genovese: The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime That Changed America.” Here he refutes the story of 38 witnesses and details the what happened.
Links: USA, NYC, Murder, Books     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1965 Mar 13
Corrado Gini (b.1884), Italian statistician, died. He developed the Gini coefficient, a measure of the income inequality in a society. Gini was also a leading fascist theorist and ideologue who wrote “The Scientific Basis of Fascism” in 1927.
Links: Italy     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1968 Mar 13
Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) and Humble Oil and Refining Company (now Exxon Company, U.S.A.) announced the discovery of oil on Alaska’s North Slope (Prud-hoe Bay). The oil companies soon began efforts to construct a pipeline, but work was sus-pended due to environmental concerns.
Links: USA, Oil, Alaska     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1969 Mar 13
The Apollo 9 astronauts splashed down, ending a mission that included the successful testing of the lunar module.
Links: USA, NASA, Moon     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1969 Mar 13
In Vietnam Navy Lt. John Kerry rescued Jim Rassman on the Bay Hap River while under Viet Cong fire. In 2004 Kerry became the Democratic nominee for President.
Links: USA, Vietnam     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1970 Mar 13
Cambodia ordered Hanoi and Viet Cong troops to get out.
Links: Vietnam, Cambodia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1971 Mar 13
Rockwell Kent (b.1882), artist, illustrator and printmaker, died in New York. He was a member of the rugged realist school of landscape painters. In the 1930s he created a set of illustrations for "Moby Dick." In 1935 he authored “Salamina,” a memoir of his first Arctic winter (1931–32) painting and exploring while based in the settlement of Igdlorssuit, Greenland. In 1960 he donated 80 paintings and 800 watercolors to the people of the Soviet Union.
Links: Artist, USA, New York     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1973 Mar 13
George Norman skipped out of Denver on a 2-year sentence for embezzling more than $500,000 from the now defunct Rocky Mountain Bank. He evaded arrest for 23 years and made millions by legal means until his capture in Knoxville, Tenn., in 1996.
Links: USA, Tennessee, Colorado, Robbery     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1974 Mar 13
The Dow Jones dropped to 577.60.
Links: USA, DJIA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1975 Mar 13
Bernard Slade's "Same Time, Next Year," premiered in NYC. In 1978 it was made into a film starring Ellen Burstyn and Alan Alda.
Links: USA, NYC, Theater     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1976 Mar 13
In California a jury convicted 4 Black Muslims for 3 murders and 4 assaults out of a total of 23 Bay Area crimes that included 14 murders. Jessie Lee Cooks, Larry Craig Green, Manuel Moore and J.C.X. Simon were given life sentences.
Links: USA, California, SF Bay Area     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1977 Mar 13
Jan Patocka (b.1907), Czech philosophy professor and one of the three founding spokesmen of “Charter 77,” died following a grueling 11-hour interrogation.
Links: Czechoslovakia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1979 Mar 13
European Monetary System (EMS) entered into force.
Links: EU, Money     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1980 Mar 13
Ford Motor Chairman Henry Ford II announced he was stepping down.
Links: USA, Michigan, Cars     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1980 Mar 13
A jury in Winamac, Ind., found Ford Motor Company innocent of reckless homicide in the fiery deaths of three young women riding in a Ford Pinto.
Links: Michigan, Cars, Indiana     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 Mar 13
Pres. Reagan granted Atlanta $1.5 million to search for the murderer of some 20 black children.
Links: GeorgiaUS, USA, Black History, ReaganR     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 Mar 13
In the Poletown case the Michigan Supreme Court allowed Detroit to take 1,000 homes and 600 businesses to make way for a General Motors Corp. plant. The decision was overturned in 2004 when the court ruled that state and local governments may not take property from one private owner and give it to another purely for the purpose of economic development.
Links: USA, Michigan, Real Estate     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1982 Mar 13
In Guatemala at the Massacre of Rio Negro 177 Achi Maya women and children were killed by Xococ patrolmen. On Nov 30, 1998, three Xococ pro-government fighters, Carlos Chen, Pedro Gonzalez and Fermin Lajuj, were sentenced to death for their war crimes in the massacre. In 2003 the PBS documentary "Discovering Dominga" told the story of a Mayan girl who survived the massacre and her struggle to discover what happened to her family. In 2008 5 former paramilitary members were sentenced to 780 years each in prison for massacring 26 people at Rio Negro.
Links: Guatemala, Mass murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1983 Mar 13
"Woman of the Year" closed at Palace Theater NYC after 770 performances.
Links: USA, NYC, Theater     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1985 Mar 13
Konstantin Chernenko was buried near the Kremlin Wall in Moscow. Mikhail Gorbachev became the new leader of the Soviet Union. He oversaw the dismantling of the Soviet nuclear arms stockpile and the end of the Soviet Union itself.
Links: Russia, USSR     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1986 Mar 13
Microsoft Corp., an 11-year-old company, went public and rose from $21 to $28 on opening day. Revenues for the year were $197 million and it employed 1,153 people. At its debut Microsoft was worth $519 mil. with just over $85 mil. in revenue for the prior six months.
Links: USA, Computer, IPO     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1986 Mar 13
The US submarine Nathaniel Green was severely damaged when it ran aground in the Irish Sea. It was deactivated in May, 1986.
Links: USA, Submarine     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1986 Mar 13
Ed Balatti (62), a San Francisco used car dealer, was arrested and charged with fencing everything from TVs to vintage wines. This climaxed an 11-month undercover investigation. Balatti had played as an end on the original 49-er football team in 1946-48.
Links: USA, SF, Robbery     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1987 Mar 13
The president of Ecuador announced his country had suspended payments on its foreign debt after earthquakes killed hundreds of people and ruptured the country's main oil pipeline. The quake destroyed nearly 25 miles of oil pipeline.
Links: Ecuador     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1987 Mar 13
John Gotti was acquitted of racketeering.
Links: USA, Mafia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1987 Mar 13
Gerald Moore (b.1899), pianist, died in England. The book: “Am I Too Loud?, Memoirs of Gerald Moore” was published in 1962.
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1988 Mar 13
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, replacing Elisabeth Ann Zinser, a hearing woman.
Links: USA, DC, Education     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1988 Mar 13
John Curtis Holmes, former porn star, died of an AIDS-related illness. In 2003 the film "Wonderland" starred Val Kilmer as Holmes.
Links: USA, Sex, AIDS, Film     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1989 Mar 13
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration began a quarantine of all fruit imported from Chile after traces of cyanide were found in two Chilean grapes.
Links: Chile, USA, Food, FDA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1989 Mar 13
In Canada a transformer failure on one of the main power transmission lines in the HydroQuebec system precipitated a catastrophic collapse of the entire power grid. The string of events that produced the collapse took only 90 seconds from start to finish. The transformer failure was a direct consequence of ground induced currents from a solar flare. 6 million people lost electrical power for 9 or more hours.
Links: Canada, Sun     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1989 Mar 13
The space shuttle Discovery blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on a five-day mission.
Links: USA, NASA, Florida     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1990 Mar 13
Bruno Bettelheim (86), Austrian-US psychoanalyst, committed suicide. His books included "The Empty Fortress" (1967), on infantile autism and "the Use of Enchantment" (1976), a study of fairy tales. In 1996 Richard Pollak wrote: "The Creation of Dr. B: A Biography of Bruno Bettelheim." In 2002 Theron Raines authored "Rising to the Light: A Portrait of Bruno Bettelheim."

Links: Austria, USA, Suicide, Psychiatry     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1990 Mar 13
President Bush lifted trade sanctions against Nicaragua in a show of support for President-elect Violeta Chamorro.
Links: Nicaragua, USA, BushHW     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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