Today is Saturday, March 20, the 79th day of 2010. There are 286 days left in the year. Spring arrives at 1:32 p.m. Eastern time.
On March 20, 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte returned to Paris after escaping his exile on Elba, beginning his “Hundred Days” rule.
ON THIS DATE
In 1413, England’s King Henry IV died; he was succeeded by Henry V.
In 1727, physicist, mathematician and astronomer Sir Isaac Newton died in London.
In 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s influential novel about slavery, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” was first published in book form after being serialized.
In 1899, Martha M. Place of Brooklyn, N.Y., became the first woman to be executed in the electric chair as she was put to death at Sing Sing for the murder of her stepdaughter.
In 1956, union workers ended a 156-day strike at Westinghouse Electric Corp.
In 1969, John Lennon married Yoko Ono in Gibraltar.
In 1977, voters in Paris chose former French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac to be the French capital’s first mayor in more than a century.
In 1985, Libby Riddles of Teller, Alaska, became the first woman to win the Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race.
In 1995, in Tokyo, 12 people were killed, more than 5,500 others sickened when packages containing the poisonous gas sarin were leaked on five separate subway trains by Aum Shinrikyo (ohm shin-ree-kyoh) cult members.
In 1999, Bertrand Piccard of Switzerland and Brian Jones of Britain became the first aviators to fly a hot-air balloon around the world nonstop.
In 2000, Pope John Paul II embarked on a strenuous and spiritual tour of the Holy Land, beginning with a stop in Jordan. President Bill Clinton arrived in Bangladesh on the first such visit by an American president. Former Black Panther Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, once known as H. Rap Brown, was captured in Alabama for the killing of a sheriff’s deputy. (Al-Amin was later convicted and sentenced to life in prison without parole.)
In 2005, a visibly frustrated Pope John Paul II made a brief but silent appearance at his Vatican apartment window after missing his first Palm Sunday Mass in 26 years as pontiff. Liz Johnson became the first woman to advance to the championship match of a Professional Bowlers Association tour event, but lost by 27 pins to Tommy Jones in the final of the PBA Banquet Open in Wyoming, Mich.
In 2009, President Barack Obama reached out to the Iranian people in a video with Farsi subtitles, saying the U.S. was prepared to end years of strained relations if Tehran toned down its bellicose rhetoric.