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Saturday, March 12, 2005

Today in history—March 13

1639: New College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, changes its name to "Harvard," in honor of a clergyman who bequeathed £800 and his library of 400 books. Today its endowment is $22.6 billion.

1865: A month before the war ends, the Confederate States finally decide that it might be a good idea to allow African-Americans to serve in the army.

1884: Fifteen-year-old Leland Stanford Jr. dies of typhoid fever. His parents decide that the best memorial for him will be a university.

1901: Benjamin Harrison, who gave up law practice to join the Union Army in the Civil War and later served as President of the United States, dies at Indianapolis. The city's Benjamin Harrison Law School will later become the Indiana University-Indianapolis School of Law.

1908: Media tycoon Walter H. Annenberg, who will take over the family business at 32 when his father dies in prison for tax evasion, is born at Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

1913: Future CIA Director William Joseph Casey (St. John's Law 1937) is born in Queens, New York.

1933: Banks in the U.S. begin to re-open after President Roosevelt's forced "bank holiday."

1991: The U.S. Justice Department announces that Exxon Corp. will pay $1 billion to clean up the spill from the Exxon Valdez. The bill will eventually go up to $2 billion, plus another billion for fines and untold tort damages, which are still being litigated.

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