On This Day

On This Day in History for March 20 (Part 2)

Events in History

  • 1981 Argentine ex-president Isabel Peron sentenced to 8 years
  • 1981 Jean Harris sentenced 15-to-life for slaying of Scarsdale Diet Dr
  • 1982 1st-class debut of Richie Richardson, Leeward Is v Barbados
  • 1982 France performs nuclear test
  • 1982 Rev A Treurnicht forms Conservative Party of South Africa
  • 1984 Andy Kaufman & Fred Blassie's "My Breakfast With Blassie" premieres
  • 1984 Senate rejects amendment to permit spoken prayer in public schools
  • 1984 Nigerian Major-General Babatunde Idiagbon launches a campaign on ‘National Consciousness and Enlightenment’
  • 1985 Libby Riddles is 1st woman to win Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race
  • 1986 228 KPH gust of wind strikes Cairngorm (UK record)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1986 Jacques Chirac forms French government

President of France Jacques Chirac
President of France
Jacques Chirac
  • 1986 New York City passes its first lesbian and gay rights legislation
  • 1987 FDA approves sale of AZT (AIDS treatment)
  • 1987 NASA launches Palapa B2P
  • 1987 Yvonne van Gennip skates ladies' world record 5 km (7:20.36)
  • 1988 David Henry Hwang's "M. Butterfly," premieres in NYC

  • 1988 Eritrean War of Independence: Having defeated the Nadew Command, the Eritrean People's Liberation Front enters the town of Afabet, victoriously concluding the Battle of Afabet.
  • 1989 Richard J Kerr replaces Robert M Gates as deputy director of CIA
  • 1991 Supreme Court rules unanimously employers can't exclude women from jobs where exposure to toxic chemicals could potentially damage fetus
  • 1991 US forgives $2 billion in loans to Poland
  • 1992 Janice Pennington is awarded $1.3M for accident on Price is Right set

A First Lady Goes ShopliftingA First Lady Goes Shoplifting

1992 Manuel Noriega's wife Felicidad arrested for stealing buttons from dresses

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Manuel Noriega's mug shot in 1990
Manuel Noriega's mug shot in 1990
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  • 1993 Dan Jansen skates world record 500m (36.02 sec)
  • 1993 IRA-bomb kills 3 year old in Warrington, England
  • 1994 El Salvador's 1st presidential election following 12-year-old civil war
  • 1994 Mashonaland U-24 beat Matabeleland on 1st inning to win Logan Cup
  • 1994 Zulu-king Goodwill Zwelithini founds realm in South Africa
  • 1995 Dow-Jones hits record 4083.68
  • 1995 Members of the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo release sarin gas on three lines of the Tokyo subway, killing 13 people and injuring over 1,000
  • 1996 Erik & Lyle Menendez found guilty of killing their parents
  • 1996 UK admits humans can catch CJD (Mad Cow Disease)
  • 1997 Liggett admits cigarettes are addictive
  • 1997 World Mens Figure Skating Championship in Lausanne won by Elvis Stojko of Canada
  • 1999 Legoland, California, the first Legoland outside of Europe, opens in Carlsbad, California
  • 2000 Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, a former Black Panther once known as H. Rap Brown, is captured after a gun battle that leaves a Georgia sheriff's deputy dead

BeatificationPapal Visit

2000 Pope John Paul II visits Holy Land - Jordan, Israel, Palestine

264th Pope John Paul II
264th Pope
John Paul II

  • 2001 Petrobras 36 Oil Platform, the world's largest oil rig, sinks with 400,000 US gallons of fuel and crude oil aboard, after suffering three explosions on March 15

IraqInvasion of Iraq

2003 A US-led coalition launches a ground invasion of Iraq after an ultimatum for Saddam Hussein and his sons to leave Iraq expires

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US troops in a sandstorm during the invasion of Iraq in 2003
US troops in a sandstorm during the invasion of Iraq in 2003
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Event of interestEvent of Interest

2004 Stephen Harper wins the leadership of the newly created Conservative Party of Canada, becoming the party's first leader.

22nd Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper
22nd Prime Minister of Canada
Stephen Harper
  • 2005 A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hits Fukuoka, Japan, its first major quake in over 100 years. One person is killed, hundreds are injured and evacuated.
  • 2006 Cyclone Larry makes landfall in eastern Australia, destroying most of the country's banana crop.
  • 2006 Over 150 Chadian soldiers are killed in eastern Chad by members of the rebel UFDC. The rebel movement sought to overthrow Chadian president Idriss Deby.
  • 2012 50 people are killed and 240 injured in a wave of terror attacks across 10 cities in Iraq
  • 2013 Pierre Deligne wins the 2013 Abel Prize in mathematics
  • 2013 First Breakthrough Prizes, world's most generous science prize worth $3 million, awarded in Mathematics, Life Sciences and Physics established by Julia and Yuri Milner

CubaObama Family Visit Cuba

2016 Barack Obama becomes the first US President to visit Cuba since 1928, arriving for a 3 day tour

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Barack and Michelle Obama walk through the rainy streets of Havana, Cuba
Barack and Michelle Obama walk through the rainy streets of Havana, Cuba
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  • 2017 Indian rivers Yamuna and the Ganges declared "living entities" by court in the state of Uttarakhand

Conference meetingMeeting of Interest

2018 Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman meets with US President Donald Trump at the White House

Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman
Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia
Mohammed bin Salman
45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality Donald Trump
45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality
Donald Trump
  • 2019 Finland is the world's happiest country, South Sudan is world's least happy, according to annual World Happiness Report
  • 2019 A woman who can smell Parkinson's disease has helped researchers identify molecules on the skin of people with the disease in Manchester, England
  • 2019 Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts calls the state's flooding "the most widespread destruction we have ever seen in our state's history"
  • 2020 India hangs four men for 2012 gang rape and murder of woman on a bus in New Delhi, country's first hanging since 2013
  • 2020 Smoke from Australian bushfires killed more people than the fires - 417 vs 33 according to new study published in "Medical Journal of Australia"

Birthdays in History


Weddings in History


Deaths in History