spotlight Today In History, March 13: Battle of Dien Bien Phu Mar 13, 2019 0 Facebook Twitter SMS Email Print Save Today is Wednesday, March 13.Today's Highlight in History: 1954: Battle of Dien Bien Phu 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. AP 1865: Jefferson Davis 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. AP 1901: Benjamin Harrison In 1901, the 23rd President of the United States, Benjamin Harrison, died in Indianapolis at age 67. AP 1928: St. Francis Dam 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. AP 1933: Bank Holiday In 1933, banks in the U.S. began to reopen after a "holiday" declared by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. AP 1980: Henry Ford II 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. AP 1996: Dunblane, Scotland In 1996, a gunman burst into an elementary school in Dunblane, Scotland, and opened fire, killing 16 children and one teacher before killing himself. AP 2009: Barack Obama & Paul Volcker 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. AP 2009: Bill Davidson Ten years ago: Death claimed Detroit Pistons' Hall of Fame owner Bill Davidson at age 86. AP 2009: Spectrum Ten years ago: The Philadelphia 76ers played a final game at the Spectrum, their old home, beating Chicago 104-101. Matt Rourke 2013: Pope Francis 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. AP 2014: Obama Immigration 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. AP 2014: Reubin Askew Five years ago: 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. AP 2018: Donald Trump One year ago: 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. AP 2018: Joy Behar One year ago: 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. AP 2018: Rex Tillerson 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. 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