March 20

Today's:


0141 - The 6th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet took place.

1413 - Henry V took the throne of England upon the death of his father Henry IV.

1525 - Paris' parliament began its pursuit of Protestants.

1602 - The United Dutch East Indian Company (VOC) was formed.

1616 - Walter Raleigh was released from Tower of London to seek gold in Guyana.

1627 - France & Spain signed an accord for fighting Protestantism.

1739 - In India, Nadir Shah of Persia occupied Delhi and took possession of the Peacock throne.

1760 - The great fire of Boston destroyed 349 buildings.

1792 - In Paris, the Legislative Assembly approved the use of the guillotine.

1800 - French army defeated the Turks at Helipolis, Turkey, and advanced into Cairo.

1814 - Prince Willem Frederik became the monarch of Netherlands.

1815 - Napoleon Bonaparte entered Paris after his escape from Elba and began his "Hundred Days" rule.

1816 - The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed its right to review state court decisions.

1833 - The U.S. and Siam signed a commercial treaty.

1852 - Harriet Beecher Stowe’s book "Uncle Tom’s Cabin," subtitled "Life Among the Lowly," was first published.

1854 - The Republican Party was organized in Ripon, WI. About 50 slavery opponents began the new political group.

1865 - A plan by John Wilkes Booth to abduct U.S. President Abraham Lincoln was ruined when Lincoln changed his plans and did not appear at the Soldier’s Home near Washington, DC.

1868 - Jesse James Gang robbed a bank in Russelville, KY, of $14,000.

1883 - The Unity treaty of Paris was signed to protect industrial property.

1885 - John Matzeliger of Suriname patented the shoe lacing machine.

1886 - The first AC power plant in the U.S. began commercial operation.

1888 - The Sherlock Holmes Adventure, "A Scandal in Bohemia," began.

1890 - The General Federation of Womans' Clubs was founded.

1891 - The first computing scale company was incorporated in Dayton, OH.

1896 - U.S. Marines landed in Nicaragua to protect U.S. citizens in the wake of a revolution.

1897 - The first U.S. orthodox Jewish Rabbinical seminary was incorporated in New York.

1897 - The first intercollegiate basketball game that used five players per team was held. The contest was Yale versus Pennsylvania. Yale won by a score of 32-10.

1899 - At Sing Sing prison, Martha M. Place became the first woman to be executed in the electric chair. She was put to death for the murder of her stepdaughter.

1900 - It was announced that European powers had agreed to keep China's doors open to trade.

1902 - France and Russia acknowledged the Anglo-Japanese alliance. They also asserted their right to protect their interests in China and Korea.

1903 - In Paris, paintings by Henri Matisse were shown at the "Salon des Independants".

1906 - In Russia, army officers mutiny at Sevastopol.

1911 - The National Squash Tennis Association was formed in New York City.

1914 - The first international figure skating championship was held in New Haven, CT.

1915 - The French called off the Champagne offensive on the Western Front.

1918 - The Bolsheviks of the Soviet Union asked for American aid to rebuild their army.

1922 - U.S. President Warren G. Harding ordered U.S. troops back from the Rhineland.

1922 - The USS Langley was commissioned. It was the first aircraft carrier for the U.S. Navy.

1932 - The German dirigible, Graf Zepplin, made the first flight to South America on regular schedule.

1933 - The first German concentration camp was completed at Dachau.

1934 - Rudolf Kuhnold gave a demonstration of radar in Kiel Germany.

1940 - The British Royal Air Force conducted an all-night air raid on the Nazi airbase at Sylt, Germany.

1943 - The Allies attacked Field Marshall Erwin Rommel's forces on the Mareth Line in North Africa.

1947 - A blue whale weighing 180-metric tons was caught in the South Atlantic.

1952 - The U.S. Senate ratified a peace treaty with Japan.

1956 - Mount Bezymianny on Kamchatka Peninsula (USSR) exploded.

1956 - Tunisia gained independence from France.

1963 - The first "Pop Art" exhibit began in New York City.

1964 - The ESRO (European Space Research Organization) was established.

1965 - U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered 4,000 troops to protect the Selma-Montgomery civil rights marchers.

1967 - Twiggy arrived in the U.S. for a one-week stay.

1969 - U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy called on the U.S. to close all bases in Taiwan.

1972 - 19 mountain climbers were killed on Japan's Mount Fuji during an avalanche.

1976 - Patricia Hearst was convicted of armed robbery for her role in the hold up of a San Francisco Bank.

1980 - The U.S. made an appeal to the International Court concerning the American Hostages in Iran.

1981 - Argentine ex-president Isabel Peron was sentenced to eight years in a convent.

1982 - U.S. scientists' returned from Antarctica with the first land mammal fossils found there.

1984 - The U.S. Senate rejected an amendment to permit spoken prayer in public schools.

1985 - For the first time in its 99-year history, Avon representatives received a salary. Up to that time they had been paid solely on commissions.

1985 - CBS-TV presented "The Romance of Betty Boop."

1985 - Libby Riddles won the 1,135-mile Anchorage-to-Nome dog race becoming the first woman to win the Iditarod.

1986 - Fallon Carrington and Jeff Colby were wed on the TV drama "The Colby’s". "The Colby’s" was an offshoot of "Dynasty".

1987 - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved AZT. The drug was proven to slow the progress of AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).

1989 - A Washington, DC, district court judge blocked a curfew imposed by Mayor Barry and the City Council.

1989 - In Belfast, two policemen were killed. The IRA claimed responsibility.

1989 - It was announced that Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose was under investigation.

1990 - The Los Angeles Lakers retired Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's #33.

1990 - Namibia became an independent nation ending 75 years of South African rule.

1990 - Imelda Marcos, widow of ex-Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos, went on trial for racketeering, embezzlement and bribery.

1990 - In Rumania, tanks were sent to the town of Tirgu Mures to quell ethnic riots.

1991 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that employers could not exclude women from jobs where exposure to toxic chemicals could potentially damage a fetus.

1991 - The U.S. forgave $2 billion in loans to Poland.

1992 - Janice Pennington was awarded $1.3 million for accident on the set of the "Price is Right" TV show.

1993 - Russian President Boris Yeltsin declared emergency rule. He set a referendum on whether the people trusted him or the hard-line Congress to govern.

1993 - An Irish Republican Army bomb was detonated in Warrington, England. A 3-year-old boy and a 12-year-old boy were killed.

1995 - About 35,000 Turkish troops crossed the northern border of Iraq in pursuit of the separatist rebels of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

1995 - In Tokyo, 12 people were killed and more than 5,500 others were sickened when packages containing the nerve gas Sarin was released on five separate subway trains. The terrorists belonged to a doomsday cult in Japan.

1996 - In Los Angeles, Erik and Lyle Menendez were found guilty of first-degree murder in the killing of their parents.

1996 - The U.K. announced that humans could catch CJD (Mad Cow Disease).

1997 - Brian Grazer received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1997 - Liggett Group, the maker of Chesterfield cigarettes, settled 22 state lawsuits by admitting the industry marketed cigarettes to teenagers and agreed to warn on every pack that smoking is addictive.

1998 - India's new Hindu nationalist-led government pledges to "exercise the option to induct nuclear weapons."

1999 - Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones became the first men to circumnavigate the Earth in a hot air balloon. The non-stop trip began on March 3 and covered 26,500 miles.

1999 - Legoland California opened Carlsbad, California.

2000 - Former Black Panther Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, once known as H. Rap Brown, was captured following a shootout that left a sherriff's deputy dead.

2002 - Actress Pamela Anderson disclosed that she had hepatitis C.

2002 - Arthur Andersen pled innocent to charges that it had shredded documents and deleted computer files related to the energy company Enron.

2003 - Cisco Systems Inc. announced it was buying The Linksys Group INc. for $500 million in stock.

2003 - U.S. and British forces invaded Iraq from Kuwait.

Today's: