13 March 1569

A French Catholic army defeats the Huguenots at the Battle of Jarnac in western France. The Huguenot commander, Louis de Bourbon, Prince of Condé, is shot after surrendering.


13 March 1781

Using a telescope of his own design, astronomer William Herschel observed the planet later named Uranus from the back garden of his house in New King Street, Bath. He originally thought it was a comet.

13 March 1842

British soldier and inventor Henry Shrapnel died in Southampton. In 1784 he had started to develop a shot-filled cannonball, which exploded in mid-air. This later became known as 'shrapnel'.

13 March 1863

An explosion at the Confederate Ordinance Laboratory on Brown’s Island on the James river, Richmond, killed about 50 people, most of them young women.

13 March 1877

Chester Greenwood from Maine is granted a patent to make earmuffs.

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13 March 1938

Twenty-one communist leaders including former Comintern head Nikolai Bukharin are found guilty in a Moscow show trial of conspiring against Stalin. The majority will be executed two days later.


13 March 1940

The Russo-Finnish War was brought to an end by the Moscow Peace Treaty. Finland was forced to give up ten per cent of its territory including Viipuri, its second-largest city.

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