Today in History - March 20

Today is Thursday, March 20, the 80th day of 2008. There are 286 days left in the year. Spring's arrival: 1:48 a.m. Eastern time.

Today's Highlight in History:

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 1828, poet-dramatist Henrik Ibsen was born in Skien, Norway.

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

In 1908, British actor Sir Michael Redgrave was born in Bristol, England.

In 1908, American broadcasting pioneer Frank Stanton, the president of CBS for 26 years, was born in Muskegon, Mich.

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 1988, 8-year-old DeAndra Anrig found herself airborne when the string of her kite was snagged by an airplane flying over Shoreline Park in Mountain View, Calif. (DeAndra was lifted 10 feet off the ground and carried some 100 feet until she let go; she was not seriously hurt.)

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 cult members.

Ten years ago: President Clinton's lawyer, appearing before a federal court in Little Rock, Ark., declared that Paula Jones' evidence of sexual harassment was "garbage" unworthy of a trial. A tornado in rural northeast Georgia killed at least 13 people and injured 100.

Five years ago: 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.

One year 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: Producer-director-comedian Carl Reiner is 86. Actor Hal Linden is 77. Singer Jerry Reed is 71. Former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney is 69. Country singer Don Edwards is 69. TV producer Paul Junger Witt is 65. Country singer-musician Ranger Doug (Riders in the Sky) is 62. Hockey Hall-of-Famer Bobby Orr is 60. Blues singer-musician Marcia Ball is 59. Actor William Hurt is 58. Rock musician Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake and Palmer) is 58. Rock musician Jimmie Vaughan is 57. Country musician Jimmy Seales (Shenandoah) is 54. Movie director Spike Lee is 51. Actress Theresa Russell is 51. Actress Vanessa Bell Calloway is 51. Actress Holly Hunter is 50. Rock musician Slim Jim Phantom (The Stray Cats) is 47. Actress-model Kathy Ireland is 45. Actor David Thewlis is 45. Rock musician Adrian Oxaal (James) is 43. Actress Liza Snyder is 40. Actor Michael Rapaport is 38. Actor Alexander Chaplin is 37. Rock singer Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) is 32. Actor Michael Genadry is 30. Actress Bianca Lawson is 29.

Thought for Today: "In the republic of mediocrity, genius is dangerous." - Robert S. Ingersoll, American lawyer and politician (1833-1899).


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