Wednesday, March 13, the 72nd day of 2019. There are 293 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 13, 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.

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 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.

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 (pee) signed the measure on March 21.)

In 1928, at least 400 people died when the San Francisquito Canyon in Southern California was inundated with water after the nearly two-year-old St. Francis Dam collapsed just before midnight the evening of March 12.

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 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 Co. 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 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.

Ten 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.

Five years 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.

One year ago: 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. On his first trip to California as president, Trump accused the state of putting “the entire nation at risk” by refusing to take tough action against illegal immigration. Joy Behar of “The View” apologized for suggesting that mental illness was behind claims by people that Jesus Christ talks to them; her comment had come during a discussion about Vice President Mike Pence.

A third powerful nor’easter in two weeks slammed the Northeast, bringing blizzard conditions and two feet of snow to some communities. Prosecutors announced plans to seek the death penalty against the former student charged with killing 17 people at a Florida high school.

Today’s Birthdays: Jazz musician Roy Haynes is 94. Country singer Jan Howard is 89. Songwriter Mike Stoller (STOH’-ler) is 86. Singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka is 80. R&B/gospel singer Candi Staton is 79. Opera singer Julia Migenes is 70. Actor William H. Macy is 69. Comedian Robin Duke is 65. Actress Dana Delany is 63. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., is 62. Rock musician Adam Clayton (U2) is 59. Jazz musician Terence Blanchard is 57. Actor Christopher Collet is 51. Rock musician Matt McDonough (Mudvayne) is 50. Actress Annabeth Gish is 48. Actress Tracy Wells is 48. Rapper-actor Common is 47. Rapper Khujo (Goodie Mob, The Lumberjacks) is 47. Singer Glenn Lewis is 44. Actor Danny Masterson is 43. Bluegrass musician Clayton Campbell (The Gibson Brothers) is 38. Actor Noel Fisher is 35. Singers Natalie and Nicole Albino (Nina Sky) are 35. Actor Emile Hirsch is 34. Olympic gold medal skier Mikaela Shiffrin is 24.

Thought for Today: “Dare to err and to dream. Deep meaning often lies in childish plays.” — Friedrich von Schiller, German author (1759-1805).

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Today is Thursday, March 14, the 73rd day of 2019. There are 292 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On March 14, 1964, a jury in Dallas found Jack Ruby guilty of murdering Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy, and sentenced him to death. (Both the conviction and death sentence were overturned, but Ruby died before he could be retried.)

On this date:

In 1794, Eli Whitney received a patent for his cotton gin, an invention that revolutionized America's cotton industry.

In 1883, German political philosopher Karl Marx died in London at age 64.

In 1885, the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera "The Mikado" premiered at the Savoy Theatre in London.

In 1900, Congress ratified the Gold Standard Act.

In 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt signed an executive order designed to prevent Japanese laborers from immigrating to the United States as part of a "gentlemen's agreement" with Japan.

In 1962, Democrat Edward M. Kennedy officially launched in Boston his successful candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts once held by his brother, President John F. Kennedy. (Edward Kennedy served in the Senate for nearly 47 years.)

In 1965, Israel's cabinet formally approved establishment of diplomatic relations with West Germany.

In 1967, the body of President John F. Kennedy was moved from a temporary grave to a permanent memorial site at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

In 1980, a LOT Polish Airlines jet crashed while attempting to land in Warsaw, killing all 87 people aboard, including 22 members of a U.S. amateur boxing team.

In 1990, the Soviet Congress of People's Deputies held a secret ballot that elected Mikhail S. Gorbachev to a new, powerful presidency.

In 1998, India's Congress party picked Sonia Gandhi, the Italian-born widow of assassinated prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, as its new president.

In 2008, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama denounced inflammatory remarks from his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who had railed against the United States and accused its leaders of bringing on the Sept. 11 attacks by spreading terrorism.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama met at the White House with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (loo-EEZ' ee-NAH'-see-oh LOO'-luh duh SEEL'-vuh); afterward, Obama downplayed divisions between the U.S. and Europe over how to tackle the world's financial crisis. Finance officials from rich and developing countries, meeting in Horsham, England, pledged to do "whatever is necessary" to fix the global economy. Altovise Joanne Gore Davis, a dancer and actress and the widow of Sammy Davis Jr., died in Los Angeles at age 65.

Five years ago: The West braced for a vote by the Crimean Peninsula to secede from Ukraine; calling the results all but a foregone conclusion, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Russia's parliament against accepting any offer to claim Crimea as its own. Tony Benn, 88, a committed socialist who irritated and fascinated Britons through a political career spanning five decades, died in London.

One year ago: Tens of thousands of students across the country walked out of their classrooms to demand action on gun violence and school safety; the action came a month after the shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Stephen Hawking, the best-known theoretical physicist of his time, died at his home in Cambridge, England, at the age of 76; he had stunned doctors by living with the normally fatal illness ALS for more than 50 years. President Donald Trump chose Larry Kudlow, a longtime fixture on the CNBC business news network, to be his top economic aide.

Today's Birthdays: Singer Phil Phillips (Song: "Sea of Love") is 93. Former astronaut Frank Borman is 91. Actor Michael Caine is 86. Composer-conductor Quincy Jones is 86. Actor Raymond J. Barry is 80. Movie director Wolfgang Petersen is 78. Country singer Michael Martin Murphey is 74. Rock musician Walt Parazaider (payr-ah-ZAY'-der)(formerly with Chicago) is 74. Actor Steve Kanaly is 73. Comedian Billy Crystal is 71. Former Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., is 71. Actor-writer-comedian-radio personality Rick Dees is 68. Country singer Jann Browne is 65. Actor Adrian Zmed is 65. Prince Albert II, the ruler of Monaco, is 61. Actress Laila Robins is 60. Actress Tamara Tunie (tuh-MAH'-ruh TOO'-nee) is 60. Actress Penny Johnson Jerald is 59. Producer-director-writer Kevin Williamson is 54. Actress Elise Neal is 53. Actor Gary Anthony Williams is 53. Actress Megan Follows is 51. Rock musician Michael Bland is 50. Country singer Kristian Bush is 49. Rock musician Derrick is 47. Actress Betsy Brandt is 46. Actress Grace Park is 45. Actor Daniel Gillies is 43. Actor Corey Stoll is 43. Actor Jake Fogelnest is 40. Actor Chris Klein is 40. Actor Ryan Cartwright (TV: "Kevin Can Wait") is 38. Actress Kate Maberly is 37. Singer-musician Taylor Hanson (Hanson) is 36. Actor Jamie Bell is 33. Rock musician Este Haim (HY'-uhm) (Haim) is 33. Actor Ansel Elgort is 25. Olympic gold medal gymnast Simone Biles is 22. Actor James Freedson-Jackson (Film: "The Strange Ones") is 17.

Thought for Today: "Achieving life is not the equivalent of avoiding death." — Ayn Rand, American author (1905-1982).

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