Events in History on March 20

  • 141 6th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet
  • 1345 Saturn, Jupiter and Mars-conjunction: thought "cause of plague epidemic"
  • 1525 Paris' parliament begins pursuit of Protestants
  • 1569 Duke of Alva leads "tenth penning" in Les Ponts de Cé

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1598 Governor of Brittany, Philippe Emmanuel the Duke of Mercœur submits to French King Henry IV at Angers

  • 1600 The Linköping Bloodbath takes place on Maundy Thursday in Linköping, Sweden
  • 1602 United Dutch East Indian Company (VOC) forms

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Explorer Walter Raleigh
Walter Raleigh
  • 1627 France & Spain sign accord for fighting protestantism
  • 1697 Willem de Vlamingh returns to Batavia after exploring "South Land"
  • 1703 Akō incident: 46 of the 47 surviving Ronin commit seppuku (ritual suicide) as recompense for avenging their master's death in Edo
  • 1739 Iranian ruler Nadir Shah occupies Delhi in India and sacks the city, stealing the jewels of the Peacock Throne
  • 1760 Great Fire of Boston destroys 349 buildings
  • 1774 The British parliament passes first of the Intolerable Acts: the Boston Port Act, which closed Boston harbor until colonists would pay for damages following the Boston Tea Party
  • 1800 French army defeats Turks at Helipolis & advance to Cairo

InventionScientific Discovery

1800 Alessandro Volta reports his discovery of the electric battery in a letter to Joseph Banks, president of the Royal Society of London

Physicist and Inventor Alessandro Volta
Physicist and Inventor
Alessandro Volta
Botanist and explorer Joseph Banks
Botanist and explorer
Joseph Banks

  • 1813 Lady Hester Stanhope sets out for ancient city of Palmyra, the first western woman to visit
  • 1814 Prince Willem Frederik becomes monarch of Netherlands

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1815 Napoleon enters Paris after escape from Elba, begins 100-day rule

French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte
French Emperor
Napoléon Bonaparte
  • 1816 US Supreme Court affirms its right to review state court decisions
  • 1833 US & Siam sign commercial treaty

Book releaseHistoric Publication

1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" published in Boston

Abolitionist and Author Harriet Beecher Stowe
Abolitionist and Author
Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • 1861 An earthquake completely destroys Mendoza, Argentina
  • 1865 2nd day of Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina
  • 1865 Michigan authorizes workers' cooperatives

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1868 Jesse James Gang robs a bank in Russellville, Kentucky, of $14,000

Outlaw Jesse James
Jesse James
  • 1883 Unity treaty of Paris signed: protects industrial property
  • 1885 Jan Ernst Matzeliger received patent number 274,207 for his lasting machine which creates wood or stone molds of customers' feet
  • 1886 1st AC power plant in US begins commercial operation in Massachusetts
  • 1888 Start of the Sherlock Holmes Adventure "A Scandal in Bohemia"
  • 1890 General Federation of Womens' Clubs founded

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1890 German Emperor Wilhelm II fires chancellor Otto von Bismarck

German Statesman Otto von Bismarck
German Statesman
Otto von Bismarck
German Emperor and King of Prussia Wilhelm II
German Emperor and King of Prussia
Wilhelm II
  • 1896 Marines land in Nicaragua to protect US citizens
  • 1896 Uprising in Matabeleland
  • 1897 1st US orthodox Jewish Rabbinical seminary (RIETS) incorporates in NY
  • 1897 France signs treaty with Emperor Menelik II of Abyssinia
  • 1900 US Secretary of State John Hay announces that all nations to whom he sent notes calling for an 'open door' policy in China have essentially accepted his stand
  • 1902 France and Russia issue a joint declaration that approves the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, but stipulates that they have the right to protect interests in China and Korea

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1906 George Bernard Shaw's "Captain Brassbound's Conversion" premieres in London

  • 1911 Winter Garden Theater opens at 1634 Broadway NYC
  • 1914 1st international figure-skating tournament held in US, New Haven

  • 1916 Allies attack Zeebrugge Belgium

Conference meetingMeeting of Interest

1917 After the sinking of 3 more American merchant ships, US President Woodrow Wilson meets with cabinet, who agree that war is inevitable

28th US President Woodrow Wilson
28th US President
Woodrow Wilson
  • 1920 1st flight from London to South Africa lands (took 1½ months)
  • 1920 US Ladies' Figure Skating championship won by Theresa Weld
  • 1920 US Men's Figure Skating championship won by Sherwin Badger
  • 1921 Upper Silesia votes for amalgamation with Germany in a plebiscite that is 63% in favor
  • 1922 USS Langley is commissioned, US Navy's 1st aircraft carrier
  • 1922 WIP-AM in Philadelphia PA begins radio transmissions
  • 1923 Bavarian minister of interior refuses to forbid Nazi Sturm Abteilung
  • 1923 Belgian Senate rejects Dutch University in Ghent
  • 1924 Finnair begins scheduled flight of Helsinki-Tallinn
  • 1930 Clessie Cummins sets diesel engine speed record of 129.39 kph

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1930 American fast food restaurant chain "KFC" [Kentucky Fried Chicken] is founded by Colonel Harland Sanders in North Corbin, Kentucky

Businessman and Restaurateur Colonel Sanders
Businessman and Restaurateur
Colonel Sanders
  • 1931 Bishop Schreiber warns against national-socialism in Berlin
  • 1932 Kara-Kalpak Autonomous Region in RSFSR becomes Kara-Kalpak ASSR
  • 1933 Dachau the first Nazi concentration camp, is completed
  • 1934 Rudolf Kuhnold demonstrates radar in Kiel Germany

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1937 Franco offensive at Guadalajara, Spain

Spanish Dictator and General Francisco Franco
Spanish Dictator and General
Francisco Franco
  • 1939 7,000 Jews flee German occupied Memel Lithuania
  • 1940 Paul Reynoud becomes French premier
  • 1941 Nazi-German Yugoslav pact drawn
  • 1942 Convoy PQ13 departs Reykjavik Iceland to Russia
  • 1942 Major German assault on Malta
  • 1943 German U-384 bombed & sinks
  • 1944 Bus falls off bridge into Passaic River NJ, killing 16
  • 1944 Mount Vesuvius in Italy erupts
  • 1945 US 70th Infantry division and 7th Armour division attack Saar
  • 1947 180 tonne blue whale (record) caught in South Atlantic
  • 1951 Indonesian army offensive against Darul Islam on Java
  • 1951 Fujiyoshida, a city located in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, in the center of the Japanese main island of Honshū is founded
  • 1952 Final ratification of peace treaty restoring sovereignty to Japan by US Senate
  • 1954 1st newspaper vending machine used (Columbia Pennsylvania)
  • 1956 E Ochab succeeds Beirut as 1st secretary of Polish CP
  • 1956 Mount Bezymianny on Kamchatka Peninsula (USSR) explodes
  • 1956 Tunisia gains independence from France
  • 1956 USSR performs nuclear test
  • 1956 Union workers ended a 156-day strike at Westinghouse Electric Corp
  • 1957 Britain accepts NATO offer to mediate in Cyprus, but Greece rejects it
  • 1958 50" snow across the Mason-Dixon line
  • 1958 Clandestine Burasi Bizim Radio (communist) begins transmitting
  • 1958 Greek Clandestine Radio (communist), Voice of Truth 1st transmission
  • 1963 1st "Pop Art" exhibition (NYC)
  • 1964 ESRO established, European Space Research Organization
  • 1965 Venkataraghavan takes 8-72 v NZ at Delhi

Book releaseHistoric Publication

1965 Civil and Women's Rights Activist Dorothy Height has her first column published in the weekly African-American newspaper called the "New York Amsterdam News"

Women's and Civil Rights Activist Dorothy Height
Women's and Civil Rights Activist
Dorothy Height

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1968 LBJ signs a bill removing gold backing from US paper money

36th US President Lyndon B. Johnson
36th US President
Lyndon B. Johnson
  • 1968 Military intervene in South-Yemen (leftist ministers resign)
  • 1971 Northern Ireland Prime Minister James Chichester-Clark resigns in protest at what he views as a limited security response by the British government
  • 1972 19 mountain climbers killed on Japan's Mount Fuji during an avalanche
  • 1972 S Mansholt succeeds Malfatti as chairman of European Committee
  • 1972 Donegall Street bombing: the Provisional Irish Republican Army detonate its first car bomb on Donegall Street in Belfast; four civilians, two RUC officers and a UDR soldier killed while 148 people were wounded
  • 1974 "The Super Cops" directed by Gordon Parks premieres in NYC, New York
  • 1976 Jevgeni Kulikov skates world record 1000m (1:15.70)
  • 1976 Patricia Hearst convicted of armed robbery
  • 1977 Communists and socialists win French municipal elections
  • 1977 Parisians elect former PM Jacques Chirac as 1st mayor in a century

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

1977 Premier Indira Gandhi loses election in India

4th Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi
4th Prime Minister of India
Indira Gandhi
  • 1979 Columbia flies on Shuttle carrier aircraft to Kennedy Space Center
  • 1980 The Mi Amigo ship containing England's pirate radio Caroline sinks
  • 1980 US appeals to International Court on hostages in Iran
  • 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)
  • 1986 Jacques Chirac forms French government
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Panamanian General and Dictator Manuel Noriega
Panamanian General and Dictator
Manuel Noriega
  • 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 Poison Gas released in Tokyo subway 12 killed, 4,700 injured
  • 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 Mens Figure Skating Championship in Lausanne won by Elvis Stojko (CAN)
  • 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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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

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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  • 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