What Happened on March 20?

  • President Lyndon Johnson sent Federal troops to Alabama to protect Civil Rights marchers. (1965) Johnson was responding to Alabama Governor George Wallace's refusal to provide protection for those involved in the Civil Rights Movement. Under the protection of the Federal troops, more than 50,000 people marched from Selma to Montgomery, marking a major turning point in the Civil Rights Movement.

  • The Tokyo subways were attacked with sarin gas. (1995) One of the major terrorist attacks of the late 20th century, it was carried out by a doomsday cult known as the Supreme Truth. Police eventually caught the leader in a secret compound near Mt. Fuji, and he was charged with murder.

  • The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first anti-AIDS drug. (1987) Zidovudine, also known as AZT, was the first anti-AIDS drug to be approved for use in the US. The drug dramatically altered the prognosis of AIDS, and prolonged the lifespan of many with the disease.

  • The Black Death is said to have been created. (1345) University of Paris scholars claimed that the bubonic plague was created by a "triple conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter and Mars in the 40th degree of Aquarius." At its peak the disease wiped out over a third of Europe, and still occurs in isolated instances.

  • The Dutch East India Company was founded. (1602) The company was extremely powerful in its day, and greatly contributed to the exploration and development of several Asian nations. It was also the first multinational corporation, and the first to issue stock.

  • Picasso's works were first shown in the US. (1923) The Arts Club of Chicago hosted the modernist's first US show, entitled "Original Drawings by Pablo Picasso." The gallery would go on to become one of the leaders in the modern art movement in the US.

  • King Louis XVI received American representatives. (1778) American ambassadors, including Benjamin Franklin, were officially received for the first time in France on this day, although they had been making secret visits since 1776. The French king was afraid to associate the country with America in the beginning, and only recognized the ambassadors when it looked like the colonists would lose without French help.

  • Uncle Tom's Cabin was published. (1852) Harriet Beecher Stowe's influential novel about slavery was published for the first time on this day. It was phenomenally popular during the build-up to the Civil War, and remains a classic work of literature.

  • Nikita Khrushchev began his rise to power. (1953) Khrushchev's political career greatly advanced when he was named one of five men appointed to the Secretariat of the Communist Party. It was a major leap in his political career which culminated in him becoming the premier of Russia in 1958.

  • Napoleon entered Paris, beginning his Hundred Days Rule. (1815) The former emperor escaped from exile on Elba and made it as far as Paris before being declared an outlaw by international powers. He was eventually defeated again, and sent into exile on the island of St. Helena.

Discussion Comments


@Hazali - Unfortunately, no. I don't think a cure has been found. However, looking on the bright side of things, it may be a possibility in the future. In the past, I have known a lot of diseases that seemed practically incurable, but a discovery was found years later. As an example, research the disease known as sickle cell anemia.


About the bullet point that discusses the first anti-AIDS drug, has a cure been found yet? I'm sure this question has been asked quite a bit, but I still can't help but wonder.


Until reading the article, I had actually never heard about this terrorist attack. That's quite shocking. I'm glad the leader was caught though. Usually, when attacks like these occur, the person kills him/herself in order to avoid getting caught.

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