Today in History

Today is Saturday, March 13, the 72nd day of 2021. There are 293 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 13, 1933, banks in the U.S. began to reopen after a “holiday” declared by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

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 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed a measure prohibiting Union military officers from returning fugitive slaves to their owners.

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 1934, a gang that included John Dillinger and “Baby Face” Nelson robbed the First National Bank in Mason City, Iowa, making off with $52,344.

In 1938, famed attorney Clarence S. Darrow died in Chicago.

In 1947, the Lerner and Loewe musical “Brigadoon,” about a Scottish village that 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 1969, the Apollo 9 astronauts splashed down, ending a mission that included the successful testing of the Lunar Module.

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 2013, 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.

In 2018, 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.

Ten years ago: 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. The NCAA men’s basketball selection committee released its 68-team draw which included a record 11 teams from the Big East, the deepest conference in the nation.

Five years ago: A Kurdish woman blew herself up in a car at a busy transport hub in Ankara, Turkey, killing 37 people in an attack claimed by TAK, also known as the Kurdish Freedom Falcons.

One year ago: President Donald Trump declared the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency, freeing up money and resources for state and local governments to fight the outbreak. Stocks clawed back some of their losses on Wall Street and in Europe a day after the market’s worst session in more than three decades. Delta Air Lines said it would cut its passenger-carrying capacity by 40% to handle an unprecedented drop in air travel demand. Louisiana became the first state to delay a presidential primary because of the virus; the April 4 primary was delayed until June 20. (It was later delayed a second time, to July 11.)

Today’s Birthdays: Jazz musician Roy Haynes is 96. Songwriter Mike Stoller (STOH’-ler) is 88. Singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka is 82. R&B/gospel singer Candi Staton is 81. Opera singer Julia Migenes is 72. Actor William H. Macy is 71. Comedian Robin Duke is 67. Actor Dana Delany is 65. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., is 64. Rock musician Adam Clayton (U2) is 61. Jazz musician Terence Blanchard is 59. Actor Christopher Collet is 53. Rock musician Matt McDonough (Mudvayne) is 52. Actor Annabeth Gish is 50. Actor Tracy Wells is 50. Rapper-actor Common is 49. Rapper Khujo (Goodie Mob, The Lumberjacks) is 49. Singer Glenn Lewis is 46. Actor Danny Masterson is 45. Actor Noel Fisher is 37. Singers Natalie and Nicole Albino (Nina Sky) are 37. Actor Emile Hirsch is 36. Olympic gold medal skier Mikaela Shiffrin is 26. Tennis star Coco Gauff is 17.