It happened today – this day in history – March 20

Mick Ferris
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1413: Death of Henry IV.

1616: Walter Raleigh is released from the Tower of London to seek gold in Guyana.

1760: The Great Fire of Boston destroys 349 buildings.

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

1815: Napoleon enters Paris after escaping from Elba.

1852: “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe, published.

1861: An earthquake completely destroys Mendoza, Argentina.

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

1873: Birth of composer Sergei Rachmaninov in Starorussky Uyezd, Russia.

1888: Premiere of the first Romani language operetta staged in Moscow.

1892: Capt. Roddy Owen wins the Grand National aboard 20/1 chance Father O’Flynn.

1916: The Allies attack Zeebrugge, Belgium.

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

1930: Fast food restaurant chain “KFC” [Kentucky Fried Chicken] is founded by Colonel Harland Sanders.

1933: Dachau the first Nazi concentration camp, is completed.

1937: England beats Scotland, 6-3 at Murrayfield, Edinburgh to clinch the Home Nations Rugby Championship and Triple Crown.

1944: Mt Vesuvius erupts in Italy.

1952: Humphrey Bogart wins the Oscar for best actor at the Academy Awards for his role in The African Queen.

1956: Tunisia gains independence from France.

1964: Author and poet Brendan Behan dies aged 41.

1969: John Lennon married Yoko Ono in Gibraltar. On the same day, Ethiopian athlete Abebe Bikila is paralysed in a car accident near Addis Ababa.

1970: David Bowie and Mary Angela Barnett were married at Beckenham Register Office.

1971: Northern Ireland Prime Minister James Chichester-Clark resigns in protest at what he views as a limited security response by the British government to The Troubles.

1972: The Provisional IRA detonates its first car bomb on Donegall Street, Belfast; four civilians, two RUC officers and a UDR soldier are killed, 148 people were wounded.

1976: Heiress Patti Hearst is convicted of armed robbery. On the same day, rocker Alice Cooper weds choreographer Sheryl Goddard in Acapulco, Mexico.

1977: Former French prime minister Jacques Chirac becomes Paris’ first mayor in a century.

1988: Mike Tyson KO’s Tony Tubbs in Round 2 for the world heavyweight boxing title. On the same day, jazz composer/arranger Gil Evans dies aged 75.

1990: Gloria Estefan’s tour bus was rammed by a tractor-trailer on the way to a concert. She suffered a serious back injury. On the same day, legendary Russian goalkeeper Lev Yashin died,

1991: Eric Clapton’s four year old son, Conor, fell to his death from the 53rd story of a New York City apartment after a housekeeper who was cleaning the room left a window open. On the same day, Michael Jackson signed a $1billion deal with Sony – the richest deal in recording history. On the same day, a court awards Peggy Lee $3million in a lawsuit against Disney.

1993: An IRA-bomb kills a 3 year old in Warrington.

1995: A poison gas attack in a Japanese subway kills 12 and injures 4,700.

1996: Brothers Erik and Lyle Menendez are found guilty of killing their parents. On the same day, the UK admits humans can catch CJD (Mad Cow Disease).

2001: Jon, Paul and Bradley from pop group S Club 7 were apprehended by police as they walked through Covent Garden openly smoking a marijuana joint.

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

2005: A 6.6 magnitude earthquake hits Fukuoka, Japan, its first major quake in over 100 years.

2008: Death of German musician Klaus Dinger (Neu!) aged 61.

2013: Death of Horror writer James Herbert aged 69.

2016: Barack Obama becomes the first US President to visit Cuba since 1928.

BIRTHDAYS: Dame Vera Lynn, singer, 103; Carl Reiner, comedy writer, 98; Hal Linden, director, 89; Lee (Rainford) ‘Scratch’ Perry, reggae musician/producer, 84; William Hurt, actor, 70; Carl Palmer, drummer (ELP), 69; Jimmie Vaughan, guitarist (The Fabulous Thunderbirds) 69; Fonso (Alphonso) Martin, percussionist (Steel Pulse) 64; Spike Lee, director, 63; Holly Hunter, actress, 62; Richard Drummie, musician (Go West) 61; Steve McFadden, actor, 61; Slim Jim Phantom, (James McDonnell) drummer (The Stray Cats) 59; David Thewlis, actor, 57; David Shuttleworth, drummer (Terrorvision) 53; Alex Kapranos, guitar/vocals (Franz Ferdinand) 48; Freema Agyeman, actress, 41; Ruby Rose, actress/musician 34.


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