On March 13, 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.
In1925, 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 Austin Peay (pee) signed the measure on March 21; Tennessee repealed the law in 1967.)
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.ADVERTISEMENT
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 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 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 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.)