History: March 13, 2019

1781

European astronomer William Hershel discovers Uranus.

It’s the 7th planet from the sun, and the first discovery of a new planet in centuries.

It was also the first to be found using a telescope. Previous astronomers believed it to be a star.

Voyager 2 was the first spacecraft to reach the eighth planet, in 1986. It also discovered 10 new moons and rings around the planet.

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1865

In a last ditch effort to rally troops, the Confederacy allows black men to fight.

This also meant these men could hardly be forced back into slavery when they were armed with guns, and was a way of granting them freedom.

Several thousand black men were enlisted for the south. Meanwhile, more than 200,000 fought for the Union.

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1868

Andrew Johnson’s impeachment trial begins.

He’s the first president to face trial by the Senate.

He was accused of violating the Tenure of Office Act through removing Edwin M. Stanton from his cabinet seat.

Contemporary accounts described the trial as pure theatrics — a political show to make a political point.

In May, the a majority of senators voted to remove Johnson from office, but failed to get the two-thirds majority to do so, by only one vote.

In 1926, the Tenure of Office Act was declared unconstitutional.

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1944

The British and Irish government clash over Ireland’s failure to expel Axis-power diplomats from their country, and Britain shuts down all travel between it and Ireland.

Ireland had only recently become an independent republic, 22 years earlier.

Ireland remained neutral throughout World War II. While the move chilled relations with the rest of the UK, it was friendly with all other countries involved.

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1950

The Federal Bureau of Investigation releases its first “Ten Most Wanted” list.

The initiative was meant to inform average citizens of the worst criminals out on the run.

Since then 465 have been captured, and 153 of those were results of tips from the general public.

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2005

Robert Iger takes over at Disney.

He succeeds Michale Eisner, and is hoped to breathe new life and vigor into the company. Disney was struggling to keep up with creative powerhouse Pixar, which had recently turned out the family blockbuster Finding Nemo.

Iger was the first big-four network CEO to agree to sell its TV shows on the iTunes store.

He was also instrumental in coordinating the purchase of Lucasfilm by Disney in 2012.