This day in history

Tuesday, March 19, is the 78th day of 2013. There are 287 days left in the year.

Today’s birthdays: Former White House national security adviser Brent Scowcroft is 88. Jazz musician Ornette Coleman is 83. Author Philip Roth is 80. Actress Ursula Andress is 77. Singer Ruth Pointer is 67. Actress Glenn Close is 66. Film producer Harvey Weinstein is 61. Actor Bruce Willis is 58. Playwright Neil LaBute is 50.

In 1687, French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle — the first European to navigate the length of the Mississippi River — was murdered by mutineers in present-day Texas.


In 1918, Congress approved daylight saving time.

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In 1945, 724 people were killed when a Japanese dive bomber attacked the carrier USS Franklin off Japan; the ship was saved.

In 1953, the Academy Awards ceremony was televised for the first time.

In 1979, the US House of Representatives began televising its day-to-day business.

In 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the start of war against Iraq. (Because of the time difference, it was early March 20 in Iraq.)


In 2012, a motorbike assailant opened fire in front of a Jewish school in the southern French city of Toulouse, killing a rabbi, his two young sons, and a girl. (The gunman, French-born Mohammed Merah, was killed in a gunfight with police after a 32-hour standoff at his apartment; he had also killed three French paratroopers.)