Today in History: March 20 | HistoryNet MENU

Today in History: March 20

What Happened This Day In History.

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.


1413   Henry IV of England is succeeded by his son Henry V.
1739   In India, Nadir Shah of Persia occupies Delhi and takes possession of the Peacock throne.
1760   The Great Fire of Boston destroys 349 buildings.
1792   In Paris, the Legislative Assembly approves the use of the guillotine.
1815   Napoleon Bonaparte enters Paris and begins his 100-day rule.
1841   Edgar Allan Poe’s The Murders in the Rue Morgue, considered the first detective story, is published.
1852   Harriet Beecher Stowe‘s Uncle Tom’s Cabin is published.
1906   Army officers in Russia mutiny at Sevastopol.
1915   The French call off the Champagne offensive on the Western Front.
1918   The Bolsheviks of the Soviet Union ask for American aid to rebuild their army.
1922   President Warren G. Harding orders U.S. troops back from the Rhineland.
1922   The USS Langley is commissioned as the first U.S. Navy aircraft carrier. Converted in 1920 from the collier USS Jupiter (AC-3), it is the Navy’s first turbo-electric-powered ship. [From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]
1932   The German dirigible, Graf Zepplin, makes the first flight to South America on regular schedule.
1939   President Franklin D. Roosevelt names William O. Douglas to the Supreme Court.
1940   The British Royal Air Force conducts an all-night air raid on the Nazi airbase at Sylt, Germany.
1943   The Allies attack Field Marshall Erwin Rommel‘s forces on the Mareth Line in North Africa.
1965   President Lyndon B. Johnson orders 4,000 troops to protect the Selma-Montgomery civil rights marchers.
1969   Senator Edward Kennedy calls on the United States to close all bases in Taiwan.
1976   Patty Hearst is convicted of armed robbery.
1982   U.S. scientists return from Antarctica with the first land mammal fossils found there.
1987   The United States approves AZT, a drug that is proven to slow the progress of AIDS.
Born on March 20
43BC   Ovid, Roman poet.
1811   Napoleon II, son of Napoleon Bonaparte, Duke of Reichstadt.
1828   Henrik Ibsen, Norwegian dramatist (Peer Gynt, Hedda Gabler).
1904   B.F. Skinner, American psychologist.
1917   Dame Vera Lynn , British singer.
1922   Raymond Walter Goulding, Radio comedian of Bob and Ray fame.
1925   John Ehrlichman, White House advisor to President Nixon.
1928   Fred Rogers, television performer (Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood).
1957   Shelton ‘Spike’ Lee, film director (Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X).