Today is Friday, March 13, the 72nd day of 2015. There are 293 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On March 13, 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis signed a measure allowing black slaves to enlist in the Confederate States Army with the promise they would be set free.
On this date:
In 1781, the seventh planet of the solar system, Uranus, was discovered by Sir William Herschel.
In 1845, Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64, had its premiere in Leipzig, Germany.
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 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 1964, bar manager Catherine “Kitty” Genovese, 28, was stabbed to death near her Queens, New York, home; the case gained notoriety over the supposed reluctance of Genovese’s neighbors to respond to her cries for help.
In 1975, the first Chili’s restaurant was opened in Dallas by entrepreneur Larry Lavine.
In 1980, Ford Motor Chairman Henry Ford II announced he was stepping down, the same day a jury in Winamac, Indiana, found the company not guilty of reckless homicide in the fiery deaths of three young women in a Ford Pinto.
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 the following July.
In 2013, Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina was elected pope, choosing the name Francis.
Ten years ago: Pope John Paul II was released from the hospital and returned to his Vatican apartment overlooking St. Peter’s Square. Robert Iger was named to succeed Michael Eisner as chief executive of The Walt Disney Co.
Five years ago: At least 30 people were killed in a series of Taliban suicide bombings in Afghanistan in what appeared to be a failed attempt to free inmates from a Kandahar prison. The Vatican denounced what it called aggressive attempts to drag Pope Benedict XVI into the spreading scandal of pedophile priests in his German homeland. With the biggest fight crowd in the U.S. in 17 years cheering him on at Cowboys Stadium, Manny Pacquiao dominated Joshua Clottey from the opening bell to retain his welterweight title.
One year ago: Seeking to pacify frustrated immigration advocates, President Barack Obama directed the government to find more humane ways to handle deportation for immigrants in the U.S. illegally. Former Florida Gov. Reubin Askew, who’d guided the state through a period of school busing to achieve integration in the 1970s, died in Tallahassee at age 85.
Today’s Birthdays: Jazz musician Roy Haynes is 90. Country singer Jan Howard is 85. Songwriter Mike Stoller is 82. Singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka is 76. Opera singer Julia Migenes is 66. Actor William H. Macy is 65. Comedian Robin Duke is 61. Actress Glenne Headly is 60. Actress Dana Delany is 59. Rock musician Adam Clayton (U2) is 55. Jazz musician Terence Blanchard is 53. Actor Christopher Collet is 47. Rock musician Matt McDonough (Mudvayne) is 46. Actress Annabeth Gish is 44. Actress Tracy Wells is 44. Rapper-actor Common is 43. Rapper Khujo (Goodie Mob, The Lumberjacks) is 43. Singer Glenn Lewis is 40. Actor Danny Masterson is 39. Actor Noel Fisher is 31. Actor Emile Hirsch is 30. Singers Natalie and Nicole Albino (Nina Sky) are 29.
Thought for Today: “Dare to err and to dream. Deep meaning often lies in childish plays.” – Friedrich von Schiller, German author (1759-1805).