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On This Day In History - March 20

By CM Chaney · March 20, 2024

On This Day In History - March 20

"On This Day in History" is a captivating journey through time, revisiting the most significant events that have occurred on this very date throughout the years.

From monumental political decisions and groundbreaking scientific discoveries to unforgettable moments in sports and cultural milestones, each article in this series will transport you back to a specific day, offering a glimpse into the past and revealing how these events have shaped our world.

Join us as we uncover the fascinating stories that have left an indelible mark on history.  Wikimedia

1727: Sir Isaac Newton Dies

Sir Isaac Newton, author of the groundbreaking Principia (1687) and the culminating figure of the 17th century Scientific Revolution, passed away in London.  Wikimedia/Godfrey Kneller

1770: German Poet Friedrich Hölderlin Is Born

Friedrich Hölderlin, a renowned German lyric poet, was born on this day in Lauffen am Neckar, located in the Württemberg region of Germany.  Wikimedia/Franz Carl Hiemer

1815: Napoleon Returns to Paris, Launching the Hundred Days

Napoleon Bonaparte, having escaped exile on Elba, arrived in Paris on this day, marking the beginning of the Hundred Days, his final attempt to reclaim his French empire.  Wikimedia

1828: Henrik Ibsen, Pioneer of Modern Realism, Born in Norway

Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, known for introducing a new level of moral analysis set against realistic middle-class backgrounds to the European stage, was born in Skien.  Wikimedia/Sigsand03

1852: Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin Published

American author Harriet Beecher Stowe's influential novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, which greatly impacted the abolitionist movement, was released in book form on this day.CopyRetry  Wikimedia

1852: Birth of the Republican Party Proposed in Ripon, Wisconsin

A gathering of Whigs, anti-Nebraska Democrats, and Free-Soilers in Ripon, Wisconsin, suggested the creation of a new political party, which would become the Republican Party.  Wikimedia/Republican Party

1948: Hockey Legend Bobby Orr Born in Parry Sound, Ontario

Bobby Orr, the Canadian-American ice hockey defenseman who achieved legendary status with the Boston Bruins, was born on this day in Parry Sound, Ontario.  Wikimedia/Djcz

1957: Provocative Filmmaker Spike Lee Born

American filmmaker Spike Lee, renowned for his uncompromising and thought-provoking approach to controversial topics in his films, was born on this day.  Wikimedia/José Cruz/ABr

1965: LBJ Calls Up Alabama National Guard for Selma to Montgomery March

President Lyndon B. Johnson informed Alabama Governor George Wallace that he would federalize the Alabama National Guard to protect civil rights marchers from Selma to Montgomery, following voter intimidation and violence against protesters.  Wikimedia/Mitchumch

1969: John Lennon Weds Yoko Ono in Gibraltar

Beatles frontman John Lennon tied the knot with Japanese artist and musician Yoko Ono in Gibraltar on this day, marking a significant moment in their iconic relationship.  Wikimedia/Eric Koch/Anefo

1987: FDA Approves AZT, First Drug for AIDS Treatment

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved AZT (azidothymidine, also known as zidovudine), making it the first authorized drug for treating AIDS patients.  Wikimedia/US gov

1995: Tokyo Subway Sarin Attack by AUM Shinrikyo Cult

On this day in 1995, leaders of the Japanese Buddhist cult AUM Shinrikyo released sarin nerve gas in the Tokyo subway system, killing 12 and injuring thousands.  Wikimedia/United States Public Health Service

1999: Piccard and Jones Achieve First Nonstop Balloon Circumnavigation

Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones became the first to circumnavigate the globe in a balloon without stopping, passing longitude 9°27′ W over Mauretania before landing in Egypt the next day.  Wikimedia/John Mathew Smith

2015: Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser Dies at 84

Malcolm Fraser, who served as the prime minister of Australia from 1975 to 1983, passed away at the age of 84 on this day.  Wikimedia/National Archives of Australia

2020: Country Music Legend Kenny Rogers Passes Away at 81

Kenny Rogers, the American country music icon known for hits like "Lady" and "The Gambler," died on this day at the age of 81.  Wikimedia/Sheila Herman