Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Today in History....March 20

On this day in …

* 1345, according to scholars at the University of Paris, the Black Death is created from what they call "a triple conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter and Mars in the 40th degree of Aquarius, occurring on the 20th of March 1345". The Black Death, also known as the Plague, swept across Europe, the Middle East and Asia during the 14th century, leaving an estimated 25 million dead in its wake

* 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte returned to Paris after escaping his exile on Elba, beginning his "Hundred Days" rule

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

* 1915, just two days after its navy suffered a demoralizing defeat against Turkish forces at the Dardanelles, the British government signs a secret agreement with Russia regarding the hypothetical post-World War I division of the former Ottoman Empire

* 1945, the 14th Army, under British Gen. William J. Slim, captures the Burmese city of Mandalay from the Japanese, bringing the Allies one step closer to liberating all of Burma

* 1953, the Soviet government announces that Nikita Khrushchev has been selected as one of five men named to the new office of Secretariat of the Communist Party. Khrushchev's selection was a crucial first step in his rise to power in the Soviet Union-an advance that culminated in Khrushchev being named secretary of the Communist Party in September 1953, and premier in 1958

* 1956, union workers ended a 156-day strike at Westinghouse Electric Corp

* 1977, voters in Paris chose former French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac to be the French capital's first mayor in more than a century

* 1995, in Tokyo, 12 people were killed and more than 5,500 others sickened when packages containing the poisonous gas sarin were leaked on five separate subway trains by Aum Shinrikyo cult members

* 1997, President Clinton and Boris Yeltsin opened talks in Helsinki, Finland, on the issue of NATO expansion. ALSO: Liggett Group, the maker of Chesterfield cigarettes, settled 22 state lawsuits by agreeing to warn on every pack that smoking is addictive and admitting the industry markets cigarettes to teenagers

* 2002, Three days ahead of a visit by President Bush, a car bomb exploded outside the U.S. Embassy in Lima, killing 10 people. ALSO:
Seven Israelis died when a practitioner of that "religion of peace"
blew himself up in a packed bus. AND: Congress approved the most far-reaching changes to the nation's campaign finance system since the Watergate era. AND: Accounting firm Arthur Andersen pleaded not guilty to charges it had shredded documents and deleted computer files related to Enron. (Andersen was later found guilty of obstruction of justice; it received probation and was fined
$500,000.)

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