March 13 events in history

624 Battle of Badr: a key battle between Muhammad's army – the new followers of Islam and the Quraish of Mecca. The Muslims won this battle, known as the turning point of Islam, which took place in the Hejaz region of western Arabia
874 The bones of Saint Nicephorus are interred in the Church of the Holy Apostles, Constantinople
1138 Cardinal Gregorio Conti is elected Antipope as Victor IV, succeeding Anacletus II
1591 Battle of Tondibi: In Mali, Moroccan forces of the Saadi Dynasty led by Judar Pasha defeat the Songhai Empire, despite being outnumbered by at least five to one
1639 Harvard College is named after clergyman John Harvard
1697 Nojpetén, capital of the Itza Maya kingdom, fell to Spanish conquistadors, the final step in the Spanish conquest of Guatemala
1781 William Herschel discovers Uranus
1809 Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden is deposed in a coup d'état
1845 Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto receives its première performance in Leipzig with Ferdinand David as soloist
1862 American Civil War: The U.S. federal government forbids all Union army officers from returning fugitive slaves, thus effectively annulling the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and setting the stage for the Emancipation Proclamation
1865 American Civil War: The Confederate States of America agree to the use of African American troops
1881 Alexander II of Russia is killed near his palace when a bomb is thrown at him. (Gregorian date: it was March 1 in the Julian calendar then in use in Russia.)
1884 The Siege of Khartoum, Sudan begins, ending on January 26, 1885
1897 San Diego State University is founded
1900 Second Boer War: British forces occupy Bloemfontein, Orange Free State
1920 The Kapp Putsch briefly ousts the Weimar Republic government from Berlin
1921 Mongolia is proclaimed an independent monarchy, ruled by Russian military officer Roman von Ungern-Sternberg as a dictator
1930 The news of the discovery of Pluto is telegraphed to the Harvard College Observatory
1933 Great Depression: Banks in the U.S. begin to re-open after President Franklin D. Roosevelt mandates a "bank holiday"
1938 World News Roundup is broadcast for the first time on CBS Radio in the United States
1940 The Russo-Finnish Winter War ends
1943 The Holocaust: German forces liquidate the Jewish ghetto in Kraków
1954 First Indochina War: Viet Minh forces under Vo Nguyen Giap unleashed a massive artillery barrage on the French to begin the Battle of Điện Biên Phủ, the climactic battle in the First Indochina War
1957 Cuban student revolutionaries storm the presidential palace in Havana in a failed attempt on the life of President Fulgencio Batista
1962 Lyman Lemnitzer, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivers a proposal, called Operation Northwoods, regarding performing terrorist attacks upon Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. The proposal is scrapped and President John F. Kennedy removes Lemnitzer from his position
1963 Police in Phoenix, Arizona arrest Ernesto Miranda and charge him with kidnap and rape. His conviction is ultimately set aside by the United States Supreme Court in Miranda v. Arizona
1964 American Kitty Genovese is murdered, the media erroneously report that many of the victim's neighbours witnessed the crime yet failed to help, prompting research into the bystander effect
1969 Apollo program: Apollo 9 returns safely to Earth after testing the Lunar Module
1979 The New Jewel Movement, headed by Maurice Bishop, ousts Prime Minister Eric Gairy in a nearly bloodless coup d'etat in Grenada
1985 The Kenilworth Road riot takes place at an association football match at Kenilworth Road in Luton, England with disturbances before, during and after an F.A. Cup 6th Round tie between Luton Town F.C. and Millwall F.C
1988 The Seikan Tunnel, the longest undersea tunnel in the world, opens between Aomori and Hakodate, Japan
1991 The United States Department of Justice announces that Exxon has agreed to pay $1 billion for the clean-up of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska
1992 An earthquake registering 6.8 on the Richter scale kills over 500 in Erzincan, eastern Turkey
1996 Dunblane massacre: in Dunblane, Scotland, 16 primary school children and one teacher are shot dead by spree killer Thomas Watt Hamilton who then commits suicide
1997 India's Missionaries of Charity chooses Sister Nirmala to succeed Mother Teresa as its leader
1997 The Phoenix lights are seen over Phoenix, Arizona by hundreds of people, and by millions on television
2003 Human evolution: The journal Nature reports that 350,000-year-old footprints of an upright-walking human had been found in Italy
2008 Gold prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange hit $1,000 per ounce for the first time
2012 At least 28 people are killed in a bus crash in a motorway tunnel near the town of Sierre in the Swiss canton of Valais
2013 Pope Francis is elected, in the papal conclave, as the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church