Today in History for March 13

Today is Thursday, March 13, the 72nd day of 2014. There are 293 days left in the year.

Thursday, Mar 13, 2014  |  Updated 6:08 AM EDT
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In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln signed a congressional act authorizing the Navy Medal of Honor.

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Today's Highlight in History:

On March 13, 1964, bar manager Catherine "Kitty" Genovese, 28, was stabbed to death near her Queens, N.Y. home; the case generated controversy over the supposed reluctance of Genovese's neighbors to respond to her cries for help. (Genovese's killer, Winston Moseley, remains in prison.)

On this date:

In 1764, Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, who served as British Prime Minister from 1830 to 1834 (and for whom Earl Grey tea is named), was born in Falloden, Northumberland.

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 1901, the 23rd President of the United States, Benjamin Harrison, died in Indianapolis at age 67.

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.)

In 1933, banks in the U.S. began to reopen after a "holiday" declared by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

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 1947, the Lerner and Loewe musical "Brigadoon," about a Scottish village which magically reappears once every hundred years, opened on Broadway.

In 1954, the Battle of Dien Bien Phu began during the First Indochina War as communist 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 1980, Ford Motor Chairman Henry Ford II announced he was stepping down, the same day a jury in Winamac, Ind., found the company not guilty of reckless homicide in the fiery deaths of three young women in a Ford Pinto.

In 1996, a gunman burst into an elementary school in Dunblane, Scotland, and opened fire, killing 16 children and one teacher before killing himself.

Ten years ago: Iran froze inspections of its nuclear facilities after the U.N. atomic agency censured Tehran for hiding suspect activities. (Iranian officials relented two days later.) Luciano Pavarotti performed his final opera, receiving a 15-minute standing ovation following the conclusion of Puccini's "Tosca" at New York's Metropolitan Opera House. (Pavarotti went on to do a series of concerts as part of a farewell tour; he died in Sept. 2007.)

Five years ago: President Barack Obama met with former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, chairman of his Economic Recovery Advisory Board; the president then went before reporters to say his administration was working to create a "post-bubble" model for solid economic growth once the recession ended. Death claimed soprano Anne Wiggins Brown, the original Bess in George Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess," at age 96; actress Betsy Blair at age 85; and Detroit Pistons' Hall of Fame owner Bill Davidson at age 86. The Philadelphia 76ers played a final game at the Spectrum, their old home, beating Chicago 104-101.

One year ago: Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina was elected pope, choosing the name Francis; he became the first pontiff from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium.

Today's Birthdays: Jazz musician Roy Haynes is 89. Country singer Jan Howard is 84. Songwriter Mike Stoller is 81. Singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka is 75. Opera singer Julia Migenes is 65. Actor William H. Macy is 64. Comedian Robin Duke is 60. Actress Glenne Headly is 59. Actress Dana Delany is 58. Rock musician Adam Clayton (U2) is 54. Jazz musician Terence Blanchard is 52. Actor Christopher Collet is 46. Rock musician Matt McDonough (Mudvayne) is 45. Actress Annabeth Gish is 43. Actress Tracy Wells is 43. Rapper-actor Common is 42. Rapper Khujo (Goodie Mob, The Lumberjacks) is 42. Singer Glenn Lewis is 39. Actor Danny Masterson is 38. Actor Noel Fisher is 30. Actor Emile Hirsch is 29. Singers Nicole and Natalie Albino (Nina Sky) are 28.

Thought for Today: "Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." — John Stuart Mill, English philosopher and economist (1806-1873).

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