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Saturday, March 20, 2004


Today is Saturday, March 20th

The 80th day of 2004.

There are 286 days left in the year.

Spring arrives.


Today's Highlight in History:

On March 20, 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte entered Paris, beginning his "Hundred Days" rule.


On this date:

In 1413, England's King Henry IV died; he was succeeded by Henry V.

In 1549, Sir Thomas Seymour, Lord High Admiral of the English Navy, fell in love with a girl named Elizabeth, who happened to be the princess, later to become the Queen of England. She didn't reciprocate his love, yet he kept pestering the girl. He became so much of an annoyance that he was charged with treason and beheaded on this day.

In 1602, The Dutch East India Company is chartered to establish bases and fortifications against Spain and Portugal, in return for a monopoly of trade in the Indian and Pacific oceans.

In 1727, physicist, mathematician and astronomer Sir Isaac Newton died in London.

In 1780, The firm of James Watt & Co. was formed for the manufacture of the first duplicating machines, invented by Watt to cope with the large amount of copying involved in his steam engine business.

In 1800, French army defeated the Turks at Helipolis, Turkey, and advanced into Cairo.

In 1828, Norwegian poet-dramatist Henrik Ibsen was born.

In 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe's influential novel about slavery, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," was first published.

In 1865, A plan by John Wilkes Booth to abduct U.S. President Abraham Lincoln was ruined when Lincoln changed his plans and did not appear at the Soldier’s Home near Washington, DC.

In 1886, the first AC power plant in the U.S. began commercial operation in Mass.

In 1896, U.S. Marines landed in Nicaragua to protect U.S. citizens in the wake of a revolution.

In 1899, At Sing Sing prison, Martha M. Place becomes the first woman to be executed in the electric chair. She was sentenced to death for the murder of her stepdaughter.

In 1906, TV/Radio Actor, Producer/Director, Bandleader, Attorney/Lawyer, Songwriter, Multi-instrumentalist Oswald "Ozzie" Nelson was born in Jersey City, NJ. He died on June 3, 1975 at the age of 69

In 1908, British stage and motion-picture actor Sir Michael Scudamore Redgrave was born in Bristol, England. Father of actors Vanessa Redgrave, Lynn Redgrave and Corin Redgrave. He was knighted in 1959. He died on March 21, 1985 at the age of 77.

In 1922, The first United States Navy aircraft carrier, the USS Langley, is commissioned.

In 1922, U.S. President Warren G. Harding ordered U.S. troops back from the Rhineland.

In 1933, The first German concentration camp is completed at Dachau.

In 1940, The British Royal Air Force conducted an all-night air raid on the Nazi airbase at Sylt, Germany.

In 1943, The Allies attacked Field Marshall Erwin Rommel's forces on the Mareth Line in North Africa.

In 1952, The United States Senate ratifies a peace treaty with Japan.

In 1956, France recognizes the independence of its protectorate of Tunisia. The bey of Tunis is head of state with Habib ben Ali Bourguiba as prime minister.

In 1965, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson orders 4,000 troops to protect the Selma-Montgomery civil rights marchers.

In 1968, President Johnson signed a bill removing gold backing from U.S. paper money.

In 1969, John Lennon married Yoko Ono in Gibraltar.

In 1974, The White House announces the ban on Sunday Gasoline Sales will be lifted, with the end of the Arab oil embarge.

In 1976, kidnapped newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst was convicted of armed robbery for her part in a San Francisco bank holdup.

In 1980 The U.S. made an appeal to the International Court concerning the American Hostages in Iran.

In 1984, The United States Senate rejects an amendment to allow spoken prayer in public schools.

In 1987, the Food and Drug Administration approved the sale of AZT, a drug shown to prolong the lives of some AIDS patients.

In 1989, The news media announces that Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose is under investigation for betting on Major League Baseball games.

In 1990, The Los Angeles Lakers retire Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s number 33.

In 1990, Namibia became an independent nation as the former colony marked the end of 75 years of South African rule.

In 1992, Congress passed, and President Bush immediately vetoed, a Democratic tax cut for the middle class that would have been funded by a tax hike on the rich.

In 1995, In Tokyo, 12 people were killed and more than 5,500 others were sickened when packages containing the nerve gas Sarin was released on five separate subway trains. The terrorists belonged to a doomsday cult in Japan.

In 1995, About 35,000 Turkish troops crossed the northern border of Iraq in pursuit of the separatist rebels of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

In 2000, Former Black Panther Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, once known as H. Rap Brown, was captured in Alabama; he was wanted in the fatal shooting of a Fulton County, Georgia, sheriff's deputy. (Al-Amin maintains his innocence.)

In 2001, Power-strapped California saw a second day of rolling blackouts.

In 2002, Arthur Andersen plead innocent to charges that it had shredded documents and deleted computer files related to the energy company Enron.

In 2002, The final Whitewater report was issued by Independent Counsel Robert Ray. The five-volume report cost $70 million over six years. The conclusion was that former U.S. President Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton had given factually inaccurate testimony, but there was not enough evidence to prove any wrongdoing.

In 2002, The U.S. Congress passed a campaign finance reform bill. U.S. President George W. Bush said that he would sign the bill even though he thought it was "flawed in some areas."

Ten years ago (1994):

El Salvador held its first presidential election following the country's 12-year-old civil war. Armando Calderon Sol of the ARENA party led the vote but needed to win a run-off to achieve the presidency.

Five years ago (1999):

Bertrand Piccard of Switzerland and Brian Jones of Britain became the first aviators to fly a hot-air balloon around the world nonstop.

The Yugoslav army, taking advantage of the departure of international monitors from Kosovo, launched a furious offensive against outgunned ethnic Albanian rebels.

One year ago (2003):

A subdued Saddam Hussein appeared on state-run television after the initial U.S. air strike on Baghdad, accusing the United States of a "shameful crime" and urging his people to "draw your sword" against the invaders. American combat units rumbled across the desert into Iraq from the south and U.S. and British forces bombed limited targets in Baghdad. The start of war in Iraq triggered one of the heaviest days of anti-government protesting in years, leading to thousands of arrests across the United States and prompting pro-war counter-demonstrations.

The New York Stock Exchage opened with 2 minutes of silence to show support for U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf.


Today's Birthdays:

Producer-director-comedian Carl Reiner is 82.

Actor Hal Linden is 73.

Singer Jerry Reed is 67.

Former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney is 65.

Country singer Don Edwards is 65.

TV producer Paul Junger Witt is 61.

Country singer-musician Ranger Doug (Riders in the Sky) is 58.

Hockey Hall-of-Famer Bobby Orr is 56.

Blues singer-musician Marcia Ball is 55.

Actor William Hurt is 54.

Rock musician Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake and Palmer) is 54.

Rock musician Jimmie Vaughan is 53.

Country musician Jimmy Seales (Shenandoah) is 50.

Movie director Spike Lee is 47.

Actress Theresa Russell is 47.

Actress Vanessa Bell Calloway is 47.

Actress Holly Hunter is 46.

Rock musician Slim Jim Phantom (The Stray Cats) is 43.

Actor-auto racer John Clark Gable is 43.

Actress-model Kathy Ireland is 41.

Rock musician Adrian Oxxal (James) is 39.

Actress Liza Snyder is 36.

Actor Michael Rapaport ("Boston Public") is 34.

Actor Alexander Chaplin is 33.

Rock singer Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) is 28.

Actor Michael Genadry is 26.

Actress Bianca Lawson is 25.


Thought for Today:

"In the republic of mediocrity, genius is dangerous." -

- Robert S. Ingersoll, American lawyer and politician (1833-1899).