March 12, 2014 / 10 AdarII 5774
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- 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 for clergyman John Harvard.
- 1781 – William Herschel discovers Uranus.
- 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 to return fugitive slaves, thus effectively annulling the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and setting the stage for the Emancipation Proclamation.
- 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 inRussia.)
- 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.
- 1943 – The Holocaust: German forces liquidate the Jewish ghetto in Kraków.
- 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, reportedly in view of neighbors who did nothing to help her, prompting research into the bystander effect.
- 1969 – Apollo program: Apollo 9 returns safely to Earth after testing the Lunar Module.
- 1996 – Dunblane massacre: in Dunblane, Scotland, 16 Primary School children and one teacher are shot dead by a spree killer, Thomas Watt Hamilton who then committed suicide.
- 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 have been found in Italy.
- 1372 – Louis I, Duke of Orléans (d. 1407)
- 1683 – John Theophilus Desaguliers, French-English philosopher (d. 1744)
- 1700 – Michel Blavet, French flute player and composer (d. 1768)
- 1733 – Joseph Priestley, English chemist, minister, and philosopher (d. 1804)
- 1770 – Daniel Lambert, English animal breeder (d. 1809)
- 1815 – James Curtis Hepburn, American physician, linguist, and missionary (d. 1911)
- 1855 – Percival Lowell, American astronomer and mathematician (d. 1916)
- 1857 – B. H. Roberts, English-American historian and politician (d. 1933)
- 1860 – Hugo Wolf, Slovene-Austrian composer (d. 1903)
- 1884 – Hugh Walpole, English author (d. 1941)
- 1898 – Henry Hathaway, American director and producer (d. 1985)
- 1910 – Sammy Kaye, American saxophonist, bandleader, and songwriter (d. 1987)
- 1911 – L. Ron Hubbard, American religious leader and author, founded the Church of Scientology (d. 1986)
- 1939 – Neil Sedaka, American singer-songwriter and pianist
- 1946 – Yonatan Netanyahu, American-Israeli soldier (d. 1976)
- 1960 – Adam Clayton, English-Irish bass player and songwriter (U2 and Automatic Baby)
- 1999 – Wiktoria Gąsiewska, Polish actress