|March 20 in recent years
March 20 is the 79th day of the year (80th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 286 days remaining until the end of the year.
March 20 is also the usual date of the vernal equinox (first day of spring) in the Northern Hemisphere, and the autumnal equinox (first day of autumn) in the Southern Hemisphere, therefore it is frequently the date of traditional Iranian holiday Nowruz in many countries.
- 1602 - The Dutch East India Company is established.
- 1616 - Sir Walter Raleigh is freed from the Tower of London after 13 years imprisonment.
- 1739 - Nadir Shah occupies Delhi in India and sacks the city, stealing the jewels of the Peacock Throne.
- 1760 - The "Great Fire" of Boston destroys 349 buildings.
- 1815 - Napoleon enters Paris after escaping from Elba with a regular army of 140,000 and a volunteer force of around 200,000, beginning his "Hundred Days" rule.
- 1848 - Revolutions of 1848 in the German states: King Ludwig I of Bavaria abdicates.
- 1852 - Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin is published.
- 1856 - Costa Rican troops rout Walker's soldiers.
- 1861 - An earthquake completely destroys Mendoza, a city in western Argentina.
- 1883 - Signature of Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
- 1899 - At Sing Sing prison, Martha M. Place is sentenced to become the first woman executed in an electric chair.
- 1913 - Sung Chiao-jen, a founder of the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang), is wounded in an assassination attempt and dies 2 days later.
- 1914 - In New Haven, the first international figure skating championship takes place.
- 1916 - Albert Einstein publishes his general theory of relativity.
- 1922 - The USS Langley is commissioned as the first United States Navy aircraft carrier.
- 1933 - Giuseppe Zangara is executed in Florida's electric chair for fatally shooting Anton Cermak in an assassination attempt against Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
- 1942 - In Zgierz, Poland, 100 Poles are taken from a labor camp and shot by the Germans.
- 1942 - Holocaust: in Rohatyn, western Ukraine, German SS murder 3,000 Jews, including 600 children, annihilating 70% of Rohatyn's Jewish ghetto.
- 1942 - World War II: General Douglas MacArthur, at Terowie, South Australia, makes his famous speech regarding the fall of the Philippines, in which he says: "I came out of Bataan and I shall return".
- 1948 - With a Musicians Union ban lifted, the first telecasts of classical music in the United States, under Eugene Ormandy and Arturo Toscanini, are given on CBS and NBC.
- 1951 - Fujiyoshida, a city located in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, in the center of the Japanese main island of Honshū is founded.
- 1952 - The United States Senate ratifies a peace treaty with Japan.
- 1956 - Tunisia gains independence from France.
- 1964 - The precursor of the European Space Agency, ESRO (European Space Research Organization) is established per an agreement signed on June 14, 1962.
- 1974 - A failed kidnap attempt is made on Her Royal Highness Princess Anne and her husband Captain Mark Phillips in The Mall, outside Buckingham Palace, London.
- 1980 - The Radio Caroline ship, Mi Amigo founders in a gale off the English coast.
- 1985 - Libby Riddles becomes the first woman to win the 1,135-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
- 1986 - Jacques Chirac becomes Prime Minister of France.
- 1987 - The Food and Drug Administration approves anti-AIDS drug AZT.
- 1990 - Ferdinand Marcos's widow, Imelda Marcos, goes on trial for bribery, embezzlement, and racketeering.
- 1993 - A Provisional Irish Republican Army bomb explodes in Warrington, northwest England, killing two children.
- 1995 - A sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway kills 12 and wounds 1,300 persons.
- 1999 - Legoland California 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.
- 2003 - 2003 invasion of Iraq: In the early hours of the morning, the United States and three other countries begin military operations in Iraq.
- 2004 - Stephen Harper wins the leadership of the newly created Conservative Party of Canada, thus becoming the first leader in the party's history.
- 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.
- 43 BC - Ovid, Roman poet (d. 17)
- 1469 - Princess Cecily of York (d. 1507)
- 1477 - Jerome Emser, German theologian (d. 1527)
- 1502 - Pierino Belli, Italian soldier and jurist (d. 1575)
- 1725 - Abdul Hamid I, Ottoman Sultan (d. 1789)
- 1735 - Torbern Bergman, Swedish chemist (d. 1784)
- 1737 - Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, King of Thailand (d. 1809)
- 1741 - Jean Antoine Houdon, French sculptor (d. 1828)
- 1770 - Friedrich Hölderlin, German writer (d. 1843)
- 1799 - Karl August Nicander, Swedish poet (d. 1839)
- 1811 - Napoleon II of France, (d. 1832)
- 1823 - Ned Buntline, American publisher (d. 1886)
- 1828 - Henrik Ibsen, Norwegian writer (d. 1906)
- 1831 - Solomon L. Spink, U.S. Congressman (d. 1881)
- 1834 - Charles W. Eliot, President of Harvard University (d. 1926)
- 1836 - Ferris Jacobs, American politician (d. 1886)
- 1836 - Sir Edward Poynter, British painter (d. 1919)
- 1840 - Illarion Pryanishnikov, Russian painter (d. 1894)
- 1856 - Sir John Lavery, Irish artist (d. 1941)
- 1856 - Frederick Winslow Taylor, American inventor (d. 1915)
- 1870 - Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck, German general (d. 1964)
- 1874 - Börries von Münchhausen, German poet (d. 1945)
- 1876 - Payne Whitney, American businessman (d. 1927)
- 1879 - Maud Menten, Canadian biochemist (d. 1960)
- 1882 - René Coty, French President (d.1962)
- 1890 - Beniamino Gigli, Italian tenor (d. 1957)
- 1890 - Lauritz Melchior, Danish tenor (d. 1973)
- 1895 - Fredric Wertham, German-born psychologist (d. 1981)
- 1897 - Ruby Muhammad, American matriarch of Black Islam
- 1903 - Edgar Buchanan, American actor (d. 1979)
- 1904 - B. F. Skinner, American psychologist (d. 1990)
- 1906 - Abraham Beame, American politician (d. 2001)
- 1906 - Ozzie Nelson, American bandleader and actor (d. 1975)
- 1908 - Michael Redgrave, English actor (d. 1985)
- 1911 - Alfonso García Robles, Nobel laureate (d. 1991)
- 1914 - Wendell Corey, American actor (d. 1968)
- 1915 - Rudolf Kirchschläger, President of Austria (d. 2000)
- 1915 - Sviatoslav Richter, Soviet pianist (d. 1997)
- 1916 - Pierre Messmer, French politician and Prime Minister (d. 2007)
- 1917 - Vera Lynn, English actress and singer
- 1918 - Jack Barry, American TV host (d. 1984)
- 1918 - Marian McPartland, British jazz pianist
- 1920 - Pamela Harriman, British-American diplomat (d. 1997)
- 1921 - Sister Rosetta Tharpe, American singer (d. 1973)
- 1922 - Ray Goulding, American comedian (d. 1990)
- 1922 - Carl Reiner, American film director
- 1923 - Shaukat Siddiqui, Pakistani Author, Journalist and Political Activist (d. 2006)
- 1924 - Jozef Kroner, Slovak actor (d. 1998)
- 1925 - John Ehrlichman, American political figure (d. 1999)
- 1927 - John Joubert, South African-born British composer
- 1928 - Fred Rogers, American TV host (d. 2003)
- 1929 - Germán Robles, Spanish actor
- 1931 - Hal Linden, American actor
- 1933 - George Altman, American baseball player
- 1933 - Alexander Gorodnitsky, Russian geologist and poet
- 1934 - Willie Brown, American politician
- 1935 - Ted Bessell, American actor (d. 1996)
- 1936 - Lee "Scratch" Perry, Reggae artist
- 1936 - Vaughn Meader, American comedian (d. 2004)
- 1937 - Jerry Reed, American singer and actor
- 1939 - Brian Mulroney, former Prime Minister of Canada
- 1941 - Pat Corrales, American baseball player
- 1943 - Gerard Malanga, American poet and photographer
- 1943 - Naima Neidre, Estonian graphic artist
- 1943 - Paul Junger Witt, American TV producer
- 1945 - Henry Bartholomay, American fighter pilot
- 1945 - Rick Berman, American TV and film producer
- 1945 - Jay Ingram, Canadian television host and author
- 1945 - Pat Riley, American basketball player and coach
- 1947 - John Boswell, American historian (d. 1994)
- 1948 - John de Lancie, American actor
- 1948 - Bobby Orr, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1949 - Marcia Ball, American singer and pianist
- 1950 - William Hurt, American actor
- 1950 - Carl Palmer, English drummer (Emerson)
- 1951 - Jimmie Vaughan, American blues guitarist
- 1952 - Geoff Brabham, Australian racing driver
- 1954 - Mike Francesa, American sports talk show host
- 1954 - Liana Kanelli, Greek journalist and politician
- 1957 - Vanessa Bell Calloway, American actress
- 1957 - David Foster, Australian world champion woodchopper
- 1957 - Spike Lee, American film director
- 1957 - Theresa Russell, American actress
- 1958 - Phil Anderson, Australian cyclist
- 1958 - Holly Hunter, American actress
- 1959 - Steve McFadden, British actor
- 1959 - Sting, American professional wrestler
- 1961 - Jesper Olsen, Danish footballer
- 1961 - Slim Jim Phantom, American musician (Stray Cats)
- 1962 - Stephen Sommers, American film director
- 1963 - Paul Annacone, American tennis player
- 1963 - Yelena Romanova, Russian athlete (d. 2007)
- 1963 - Manabu Suzuki, Japanese racing driver and broadcaster
- 1964 - Natacha Atlas, Belgian singer
- 1966 - Alka Yagnik, Indian singer
- 1969 - Caroline Brunet, Quebec kayaker
- 1969 - Mannie Fresh, American producer
- 1971 - Manny Alexander, Dominican baseball player
- 1971 - Touré, American writer
- 1972 - Alexander Kapranos, Greek-British musician (Franz Ferdinand)
- 1973 - Jung Woo-sung, South Korean actor
- 1973 - Cedric Yarbrough, American actor
- 1974 - Paula Garces, Colombian actress
- 1974 - Andrzej Pilipiuk, Polish writer
- 1976 - Chester Bennington, American musician (Linkin Park)
- 1979 - Bianca Lawson, American actress
- 1979 - Keven Mealamu, New Zealand rugby player
- 1980 - Jamal Crawford, American basketball player
- 1980 - Ock Ju-Hyun, South Korean singer
- 1982 - Terrence Duffin, Zimbabwean cricketer
- 1982 - Tomasz Kuszczak, Polish footballer
- 1982 - Nick Wheeler, American guitarist (The All-American Rejects)
- 1982 - José Moreira, Portuguese footballer
- 1984 - Christy Carlson Romano, American actress
- 1984 - Rami Malek, Egyptian-born actor
- 1984 - Justine Ezarik, American Internet personality
- 1984 - Markus Niemelä, Finnish racing driver
- 1984 - Fernando Torres, Spanish footballer
- 1984 - Marcus Vick, American football player
- 1984 - Winta, Norwegian musician
- 1987 - Patrick Boyle, Scottish footballer
- 1987 - Daniel Maa Boumsong, Cameroonian football player
- 1987 - João Alves de Assis Silva, Brazilian footballer
- 1239 - Hermann von Salza, Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights (c. 1179)
- 1413 - King Henry IV of England (b. 1367)
- 1549 - Lord High Admiral Thomas Seymour, 4th. husband of Queen Catherine Parr (executed) (b. 1508)
- 1568 - Duke Albert of Prussia (b. 1490)
- 1586 - Richard Maitland, Scottish statesman and historian (b. 1496)
- 1619 - Mathias (b. 1557)
- 1673 - Augustyn Kordecki, Polish prior (b. 1603)
- 1727 O.S. - Sir Isaac Newton, English physicist (b. 1642)
- 1730 - Adrienne Lecouvreur, French actress (b. 1692)
- 1732 - Johann Ernst Hanxleden, German philologist (b. 1681)
- 1746 - Nicolas de Largillière, French painter (b. 1656)
- 1780 - Sir Benjamin Truman - English brewer (b. 1699/1700)
- 1793 - William Murray, Scottish judge and politician (b. 1705)
- 1835 - Louis-Leopold Robert, French painter (b. 1794)
- 1855 - Joseph Aspdin, English mason and inventor (b. 1788)
- 1865 - Keisuke Yamanami, Japanese samurai (b. 1833)
- 1874 - Hans Christian Lumbye, Danish composer (b. 1810)
- 1878 - Julius Robert von Mayer, German physician and physicist (b. 1814)
- 1890 - Alexander F. Mozhaiski, aviation pioneer (b. 1825)
- 1897 - Apollon Maykov, Russian poet (b. 1821)
- 1899 - Franz Ritter von Hauer, Austrian geologist (b. 1822)
- 1916 - Ota Benga, Congolese pygmy (b. 1884)
- 1918 - Lewis A. Grant, American Civil War General (b. 1828)
- 1925 - George Nathaniel Curzon, British statesman (b. 1859)
- 1929 - Ferdinand Foch, French commander of allied forces in World War I (b. 1851)
- 1931 - Hermann Müller, Chancellor of Germany (b. 1876)
- 1934 - Queen Emma of the Netherlands (b. 1858)
- 1940 - Alfred Ploetz, German physician, biologist, and eugenicist (b. 1860)
- 1947 - Sigurd Wallén, Swedish actor and filmdirector (b. 1884)
- 1964 - Brendan Behan, Irish playwright and author (b. 1923)
- 1970 - Manolis Chiotis, Greek bouzouki virtuoso and song writer (b. 1920)
- 1972 - Marilyn Maxwell, American actress (b. 1921)
- 1974 - Chet Huntley, American television journalist (b. 1911)
- 1983 - Ivan Matveyevich Vinogradov, Russian mathematician (b. 1891)
- 1990 - Lev Yashin, Soviet footballer (b. 1929)
- 1991 - Conor Clapton, son of Eric Clapton (b. 1986)
- 1992 - Georges Delerue, French film composer (b. 1925)
- 1993 - Polykarp Kusch, German-born American physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1911)
- 1994 - Lewis Grizzard, American humorist (b. 1946)
- 1995 - Big John Studd, American professional wrestler (b. 1948)
- 1997 - Tony Zale, American boxer (b. 1913)
- 1998 - George Howard, American jazz saxophone musician
- 2000 - Gene Eugene, Canadian actor and singer (b. 1961)
- 2001 - Luis Alvarado, Puerto Rican baseball player (b. 1949)
- 2003 - Sailor Art Thomas, American professional wrestler (b. 1924)
- 2004 - Queen Juliana of the Netherlands (b. 1909)
- 2004 - Pierre Sévigny, French Canadian military officer and politician (b. 1917)
- 2005 - Armand Lohikoski, Finnish film director (b. 1912)
- 2007 - Gilbert E. Patterson, presiding bishop of COGIC (born 1939)
- 2007 - Taha Yassin Ramadan, Iraqi politician (b. 1938)
- 2007 - Hawa Yakubu, Ghanaian politician (born 1948)
Holidays and observances
- ^ Holweck, F. G. A Biographical Dictionary of the Saints. St. Louis, MO: B. Herder Book Co. 1924.
135 Familypedia people were born on March 20
141 Familypedia people died on March 20
75 Familypedia people were first married on March 20