Today in History — March, 20, 2017

Published Mar 20, 2017 at 4:00pm

Today is Monday, March 20, the 79th day of 2017. There are 286 days left in the year. Spring arrives at 6:28 a.m. Eastern time.

Today in History

On March 20, 1942, U.S. Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur, having evacuated the Philippines at the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, told reporters at a train station in Terowie, Australia: “I came out of Bataan, and I shall return.”

On this date:

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

In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte returned to Paris after escaping his exile on Elba, beginning his “Hundred Days” rule.

In 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s influential novel about slavery, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” was first published in book form after being serialized.

In 1922, the decommissioned USS Jupiter, converted into the first U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, was re-commissioned as the USS Langley.

In 1933, the state of Florida electrocuted Giuseppe Zangara for shooting to death Chicago Mayor Anton J. Cermak at a Miami event attended by President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt, the presumed target, the previous February.

In 1952, the U.S. Senate ratified, 66-10, a Security Treaty with Japan. At the Academy Awards, “An American in Paris” won best picture; Humphrey Bogart received best actor for “The African Queen” while Vivien Leigh was named best actress, Kim Hunter best supporting actress and Karl Malden best supporting actor for “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

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

In 1995, in Tokyo, 12 people were killed, more than 5,500 others sickened when packages containing the deadly chemical sarin were leaked on five separate subway trains by Aum Shinrikyo (ohm shin-ree-kyoh) cult members.

In 1996, a jury in Los Angeles convicted Erik and Lyle Menendez of first-degree murder in the shotgun slayings of their wealthy parents. (They were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.)

In 1997, President Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin opened talks in Helsinki, Finland, on the issue of NATO expansion.

Ten years ago

Saddam Hussein’s former deputy, Taha Yassin Ramadan, was hanged in Baghdad, the fourth man to be executed in the killings of 148 Shiites. Rescuers found Michael Auberry, a 12-year-old Boy Scout, who was dehydrated and disoriented after four days in the wooded mountains of North Carolina.

Today’s Birthdays

Singer Dame Vera Lynn is 100. Producer-director-comedian Carl Reiner is 95. Actor Hal Linden is 86. Former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney is 78. Country singer Don Edwards is 78. TV producer Paul Junger Witt is 76. Country singer-musician Ranger Doug (Riders in the Sky) is 71. Hockey Hall-of-Famer Bobby Orr is 69. Blues singer-musician Marcia Ball is 68. Actor William Hurt is 67. Rock musician Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake and Palmer) is 67. Rock musician Jimmie Vaughan is 66. Country musician Jimmy Seales (Shenandoah) is 63. Actress Liza Snyder is 49. Actor Michael Rapaport is 47. Actor Michael Genadry is 39. Actress Bianca Lawson is 38. Comedian/actor Mikey Day (“Saturday Night Live”) is 37. Rock musician Nick Wheeler (The All-American Rejects) is 35. Actor Michael Cassidy is 34.

Thought for Today

“Tell me what you pay attention to and I will tell you who you are.” — Jose Ortega y Gasset, Spanish philosopher (1883-1955).