March 13, 0607 A.D. - The 12th recorded passage of Halley's Comet occurred.
March 13, 1519 - Cortez landed in Mexico.
March 13, 1660 - A statute was passed limiting the sale of slaves in the colony of Virginia.
March 13, 1697 – Nojpetén, capital of the Itza Maya kingdom, fell to Spanish conquistadors, the final step in the Spanish conquest of Guatemala.
March 13, 1733 - Joseph Priestley, supporter of the American Revolution and leader of the Unitarian Church in Britain and America, was born in Yorkshire, England. His home and laboratory were burned on the second anniversary of Bastille Day due to his support. In 1794, he moved to Northumberland, Pennsylvania.
March 13, 1773 – French historian and explorer Philibert Commerson died at Mauritius at the age of 45.
March 13, 1777 - The U.S. Congress ordered its European envoys to appeal to high-ranking foreign officers to send troops to reinforce the American army.
March 13, 1778 - A French ambassador informed the British government that France had officially recognized the United States as an independent nation. England declared war on France four days later.
March 13, 1781 – English astronomer Sir William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus.
March 13, 1818 – The Ogly Massacre occurred as Jack “Savannah Jack” Hague attacked the Ogly family. Elizabeth Stroud, her infant, four other children and Mary Ann Ogly were killed by Hague’s band. Stroud was buried in the Middleton Cemetery in northern Monroe County. Hague was pursued by Col. Hunter but escaped to whereabouts unknown.
March 13, 1852 - The New York Lantern newspaper published the first "Uncle Sam cartoon". It was drawn by Frank Henry Bellew. The name “Uncle Sam” had been used to refer to the United States since about 1810, but this was the first time that someone thought to make him into a character and draw him in human form.
March 13, 1855 – Astronomer Percival Lowell was born in Boston, Mass.
March 13, 1862 – During the Civil War, the U.S. federal government forbid 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.
March 13, 1862 - Union General Ambrose Burnside landed 12,000 troops along the Neuse River, 15 miles south of New Bern, N.C. The next day Burnside captured New Bern.
March 13, 1865 – During the Civil War, the Confederate States of America agreed to the use of African American troops in the main Rebel armies. There was no stipulation for freedom for those slaves that fought. Several thousand blacks were enlisted in the Rebel cause, but they could not begin to balance out the nearly 200,000 blacks who fought for the Union.
March 13, 1886 – National Baseball Hall of Fame third baseman Home Run Baker was born in Trappe, Md. He went on to play for the Philadelphia Athletics and the New York Yankees. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1955.
March 13, 1870 - Alabama editor Seale Harris was born in Cedartown, Ga.
March 13, 1887 - Fugitive Alabama State Treasurer Isaac "Honest Ike" Vincent was arrested on a train in Big Sandy, Texas, and was returned to Alabama for trial. Four years earlier Vincent had absconded with more than $225,000 in state funds unaccounted for. Vincent was tried and convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to 15 years in the state penitentiary.
March 13, 1891 – Henrik Ibsen’s play “Ghosts” opend on the London stage.
March 13, 1892 – Writer and journalist Janet Flanner was born in Indianapolis, Indiana.
March 13, 1895 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture Weather Bureau Station at Claiborne, Ala. recorded 1.2 inches of rainfall.
March 13, 1900 – Noble Prize-winning author George Seferis was born Giorgos Seferiades in Smyrna, Asia Minor.
March 13, 1901 - The 23rd president of the United States, Benjamin Harrison, died at the age of 67 in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.
March 13, 1904 – On this Monday morning, Randolph Burnett, the son of H.K. Burnett of near Castleberry, Ala., died at the Magnolia Hotel on from “a strange affection” in an affair that was “shrouded in mystery.” He came to Evergreen on Sun., March 12, with his father and then boarded the train for Scranton, Miss, where he’d been in business for several years. He returned to Evergreen on March 13 on the early train, which reached Evergreen around 4 a.m. Before the train reached the station, Conductor Ham noticed Burnett, who was about 23 years old, in an “unconscious condition” and had him moved to the waiting room when the train reached the station. Burnett was later moved to the hotel and doctors were called. Despite their efforts, he never regained consciousness and died around 10 a.m. Doctors believed he’d been poisoned and how he came to return to Evergreen so soon by train could not be learned although the conductor said he’d bought his return ticket in Biloxi.
March 13, 1911 – Marie Rudisill, aka “The Fruitcake Lady,” was born in Monroeville, Ala.
March 13, 1911 – Science fiction writer and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard was born in Tilden, Nebraska. In 1950, he published “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health” (1950), which promised that a therapeutic process called auditing could erase a person’s cellular traces of traumatic experiences, and that this would cure any physical or mental ailment and increase intelligence. Hubbard used his ideas about Dianetics to found the Church of Scientology in 1954.
March 13, 1914 – B.B. Comer spoke at the Conecuh County (Ala.) Courthouse during his campaign for Alabama governor.
March 13, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Alma M. Martin of Castleberry, Ala. “died from wounds.”
March 13, 1934 – The Civil Service Commission in Washington, D.C. announced the three candidates eligible for the Castleberry, Ala. postmaster’s job. The candidates included E.H. Carter, Forrest Castleberry and Allen T. Weaver, the top three finalists in an exam given on Sept. 16, 1933.
March 13, 1935 – 3,000-year-old archives were found in Jerusalem confirming some biblical history.
March 13, 1941 - Adolf Hitler issued an edict calling for an invasion of the U.S.S.R.
March 13, 1941 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Evergreen High School’s varsity boys basketball team, under Coach James Smith, closed out their 1940-41 season with a 13-7 overall record by beating Monroe County High School, 47-28, in their season finale. The Aggies outscored their opponents, 512-410, with victories ranging from 75-14 to 26-8. The five leading scorers on the squad and their points are Derrill Moorer, 158 points; Fred Owens, 101; Randy Moorer, 73; Judson Murphy, 73; and Knud Nielsen, 35.
March 13, 1941 – The Monroe Journal reported that Monroe County Probate Judge Millsap had announced that for the first time in county history, a fireproof vault was being installed in the Monroe County Courthouse in Monroeville, Ala. Millsap said that plans were underway for the construction of the vault for the protection of records in the Probate Office. A flight of stairs were to be built beginning at the back end of the Probate Office, leading down to the basement room in the northwest corner of the building. All windows in the basement were to be closed up, and the walls of the vault were to be of reinforced concrete as well as a concrete slab on top of the vault. The labor was to be performed by N.Y.A. boys under the supervision of Mr. N.B. McNeil.
March 13, 1954 - Bobby Thomson of the Milwaukee Braves broke his ankle sliding into a base during a spring training game. The Braves replaced him with a rookie named Hank Aaron.
March 13, 1954 – During the First Indochina War, Viet Minh forces under Võ Nguyên Giáp unleashed a massive artillery barrage on the French to begin the Battle of Điện Biên Phủ, the climactic battle in the First Indochina War. A force of 40,000 Viet Minh with heavy artillery then surround 15,000 French troops at Dien Bien Phu. French General Henri Navarre had positioned these forces 200 miles behind enemy lines in a remote area adjacent to the Laotian border. He hoped to draw the communists into a set-piece battle in which he hoped superior French firepower would destroy the enemy. He underestimated the enemy.
March 13, 1955 – Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Cynthia Tucker was born in Monroeville, Ala.
March 13, 1957 - Jimmy Hoffa was arrested by the FBI on bribery charges.
March 13, 1960 - The NFL's Chicago Cardinals transferred to St. Louis.
March 13, 1962 - A single engine private plane was destroyed by fire on this Tuesday at Middleton Field in Evergreen, Ala., shortly after its pilot landed to check a sputtering engine. Alabama Highway Patrol Cpl. B.J. Gatlin said pilot of the plane was Carl T. (Shorty) Carden, 44-year-old employee of Wright Contracting Co., Columbus, Ga. Carden, a Brewton resident, was burned on the hands when he attempted to check the engine on a taxi strip of the main landing lane. Cpl. Gatlin said Carden told him he had been flying over a section of pavement under construction on new Interstate Highway between Georgiana and Greenville. Carden said the motor was sounding funny and when he got out to check it after landing, the engine caught fire.
March 13, 1964 – Major League Baseball first baseman Will Clark was born in New Orleans, La. He would go on to play for Mississippi State, the 1984 U.S. Olympic Baseball Team, the San Francisco Giants, the Texas Rangers, the Baltimore Orioles and the St. Louis Cardinals.
March 13, 1964 – On this Friday morning, Elmer L. Peacock of Owassa, Ala. caught a 6-1/4 pound bass out of the Conecuh County Lake while fishing with Alvin Peacock and Frank Johnson of Evegreen. In all, they caught five bass, the others weighing 1 to 1-1/2 pounds each. Elmer Peacock’s photo with his large bass appeared on the front page of the March 19, 1964 edition of The Evergreen Courant.
March 13-16, 1967 – The Spring Term of Conecuh County Circuit Court was held in Evergreen, Ala. with Circuit Judge Robert E.L. Key presiding. District Attorney Ralph L. Jones of Monroeville and County Solicitor Henry J. Kinzer of Evergreen prosecuted for the state. Twelve cases were set for trial on the docket, according to Circuit Clerk Leon A. Salter.
March 13, 1972 – NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer was born in Santa Cruz, Calif. He would go on to play for Fresno State, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Baltimore Ravens, the Seattle Seahawks, the Cleveland Browns and the San Francisco 49ers.
March 13, 1974 - A television version of Alabama author William Bradford Huie's book “The Execution of Private Slovick” was broadcast.
March 13, 1976 – Pro and college basketball player Troy Hudson was born in Carbondale, Ill. He went on to play for Missouri, Southern Illinois, the Utah Jazz, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Orlando Magic, the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Golden State Warriors.
March 13, 1976 – Actor Danny Masterson, best known for his role as Steven Hyde in “That ‘70s Show,” was born in East Williston, New York.
March 13, 1979 – Major League Baseball power pitcher Johan Santana was born in Tovar Merida, Venezuela. He went on to become the dominant left-handed pitcher in baseball from 2003 to 2006 and won the coveted Cy Young Award as the American League’s top pitcher following the 2004 season and again in a unanimous vote in 2006. He played for the Minnesota Twins and the New York Mets during his career.
March 13, 1982 – Japanese-English explorer, author and photographer Jeremy Curl was born in Tokyo, Japan.
March 13, 1984 – Eddie Salter of Evergreen, Ala. won the state crown at the Alabama State Turkey Calling Contest in Jackson, Ala. Hannis Williams of Bay Minette finished second, and Danny Baggett of Evergreen finished third. Jeff Fountain, 14, of Jackson won top honors in the Junior Division; Eddie Davis, 14, of Prattville finished second; and Jerry Cotton, 10, of Evergreen finished third.
March 13, 1986 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Marine Cpl. Robert H. (Bobby) Mason, son of Robert and Hazel Mason of Evergreen, Ala., had recently participated in an exercise as a member of 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, N.C. A 1981 graduate of Sparta Academy, he joined the Marine Corps in March 1983.
March 13, 1995 – National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Leon Day died at the age of 78 in Baltimore, Md. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995.
March 13, 1996 – Hawkins’ Quarters near Forest Home in Butler County was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
March 13, 1997 – The Phoenix lights were seen over Phoenix, Arizona by hundreds of people and by millions on television. This huge triangular formation of lights was reported by countless witnesses, some who called in to Art Bell that night. Gov. Fife Symington, who initially made fun of the incident, belatedly publicly admitted he, too, saw the lights.
March 13, 2003 - A report in the journal "Nature" reported that scientists had found 350,000-year-old human footprints in Italy. The 56 prints were made by three early, upright-walking humans that were descending the side of a volcano.
March 13, 2007 – The Old Sullivan Community Cemetery in Escambia County was added to the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.
March 13, 2008 – The “Mystery Tombstone” story was first published in The Evergreen Courant.
March 13, 2011 – Jeff Daniels of Evergreen, Ala. began his successful 2,181-mile thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail.
March 13, 2012 - After 244 years of publication, the Encyclopædia Britannica announced it would discontinue its print edition.
March 13, 2014 – “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” made its world premiere at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, Calif.