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This Day in History is DUE’s daily dose of trivia for all the history buffs out there. So sit back and take a ride of all the fascinating things that happened today!

People are trapped in history and history is trapped in people, and hence, every day has been a significant one in the foibles of history. Now, let’s take a tour of “This Day in History – 13th March”. 

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1781: Uranus was discovered

English astronomer, William Herschel discovered Uranus on this day by accident. He had spent nine years surveying the sky thoroughly. Soon he realised that a celestial body which he considered to be a nebulous star or a comet was actually a planet, Uranus. He earnt the title of ‘Court Astronomer’ in George III’s reign. Uranus was the first planet to be discovered since antiquity. He was also elected as the Fellow of the Royal Society. 

Herschel's Telescope
Source –

1855: Percival Lowell was born

Percival Lowell was a businessman, author, mathematician, and astronomer. He is remembered for his speculations that there were canals on Mars. He founded the Lowell Observatory in Arizona to prove his theory. As his search became fruitless he started his search for Planet X, which was discovered after his death and named after his initials, Pluto.

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Percival Lowell
Source – APS Physics

1930: Clyde Tombaugh’s discovery of Pluto was announced

Clyde Tombaugh, a farm boy from Kansas with no formal training in astronomy discovered Pluto on this day. The announcement date was chosen to coincide with both the anniversary of Herschel’s discovery of Uranus in 1781 and Percival Lowell’s birthday in 1855. 

Clyde Tombaugh
Source – APS Physics

1940: Udham Singh shot General O’ Dwyer

Indian Revolutionary, Udham Singh shot Michael O’Dwyer in London in a meeting of the Central Asian Society and East India Association, where O’Dwyer was one of the speakers. O’Dwyer was responsible for the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre of 1919, which took the lives of more than 1500 people. Udham Singh was soon convicted and sentenced to death. He was hanged on 31 July 1940 at Pentonville Prison.

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Udham Singh
Source – MythicalIndian

2012 – Encyclopædia Britannica discontinued its print edition.

After 244 years of publication, Britannica decided to stop the production of its multi-volume book sets on this day. Accordingly, they amounted to only 1% of the company’s total sales. “Our mission hasn’t changed, just the method”, said The President of Britannica, Jorge Cauz while mentioning that it was a part of the company’s evolution process.

Britannica Encyclopedias
Source – Canadian Business
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