|John Wilkes Booth|
March 20, 43 BC – The Roman poet Ovid was born Publius Ovidius Naso in what is now Sulmo, Italy. He is best remembered for his work, “Metamorphoses.”
March 20, 141 AD - The sixth recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet took place.
March 20, 1773 – Scientist and author William Bartram departed Philadelphia, Pa. for the botanical expedition he would later chronicle in his book, “Travels.”
March 20, 1777 – Edmund P. Gaines was born in Culpepper County, Va. In February 1807, he and a detachment of mounted riflemen would arrest former Vice President Aaron Burr on the road north of Fort Stoddert and escorted him to Washington, D.C. for trial on charges of treason. Gaines would pass away on June 6, 1849 at the age of 76 in New Orleans, and he’s buried in the Church Street Graveyard in Mobile.
March 20, 1778 - Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane and Arthur Lee presented themselves to France's King Louis XVI as official representatives of the United States. Louis XVI was skeptical of the fledgling republic, but his dislike of the British eventually overcame these concerns and France officially recognized the United States in February 1778.
March 20, 1814 - Alabama author George Washington Harris was born near Pittsburgh, Pa.
March 20, 1818 – Capt. William Butler was killed near what is now Butler Springs Ala. when he and four others traveling from Fort Bibb to Fort Dale were attacked by Creek Indians led by Savannah Jack. Butler managed to kill one of the attackers, but was overpowered by their numbers. His body and those others killed were found horribly mutilated the next day and were buried in the woods.
March 20, 1828 – Playwright Henrik Ibsen was born in Norway. His most famous works include “Brand” (1865), “Peer Gynt” (1867), “A Doll’s House” (1879), “An Enemy of the People” (1882), “The Wild Duck” (1884) and “Hedda Gabler” (1890).
March 20, 1833 – Andrew Barclay Spurling was born in Cranberry Isles, Maine.
March 20, 1852 - Harriet Beecher Stowe’s book, "Uncle Tom’s Cabin," subtitled "Life Among the Lowly," was first published.
March 20, 1854 – The Republican Party was founded.
March 20, 1861 - U.S. President Abraham Lincoln's sons, Willie and Tad, were diagnosed with the measles.
March 20, 1865 - A plan by John Wilkes Booth to abduct U.S. President Abraham Lincoln was ruined when Lincoln changed his plans and did not appear at the Soldier’s Home near Washington, D.C.
March 20, 1865 - Union troops continued to arrive at Bentonville, N.C. to give Union General William T. Sherman a nearly three to one advantage over the Confederate army led by General Joseph Johnston.
March 20, 1865 - Federal forces departed Pensacola, Fla. for Mobile, Ala.
March 20, 1872 - Because of financial problems, the Methodist church transferred the grounds, buildings, and legal control of East Alabama Male College in Auburn to the State of Alabama. The institution was rechartered as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama, the first land-grant college in the South to be established separate from the state university. The school became Alabama Polytechnic Institute in 1899 and Auburn University in 1960.
March 20, 1888 - The Sherlock Holmes Adventure, "A Scandal in Bohemia," began.
March 20, 1892 - A logging railroad first reached Elba, Ala. on this date with the first permanent rail line arriving over six years later in October 1898.
March 20, 1895 – Lillie Irene Gibbons, the “mystery tombstone” lady of Evergreen, Ala, was born.
March 20, 1904 – Psychologist B.F. Skinner was born in Susquehanna, Pa.
March 20, 1905 – A number of hunters shot a “dozen or more” ducks inside the Monroeville, Ala. corporate limits on this Monday morning. “The birds were attracted by the ponds of water collected after the rains” on March 19.
March 20, 1915 – A “flurry of snow, lasting about 20 minutes” occurred in Evergreen, Ala. on this Saturday morning. The temperature dropped to 28 degrees on this day and the next.
March 20, 1915 – A “light fall of snow” fell in Monroeville, Ala.
March 20, 1917 – Hugh Hunter Allen, who is buried in the Belleville Baptist Church cemetery, was born. He served in World War II and Korea after enlisting in 1936. He was taken prisoner by the Japanese on April 15, 1942, and survived the Bataan Death March and prisoner of war camps in the Phillipines and Japan. He was a POW for three years and seven months and later received the Purple Heart. He retired in 1960 as a Master Sergeant in the Air Force and passed away on Nov. 9, 1995.
March 20, 1922 - U.S. President Warren G. Harding ordered U.S. troops back from the Rhineland.
March 20, 1928 – Beloved children’s television host Fred Rogers was born in Latrobe, Pa.
March 20, 1934 - Mildrid “Babe” Didrikson pitched one inning of exhibition baseball for the Philadelphia Athletics in a game against the Brooklyn Dodgers. She started the first inning, and allowed just one walk and no hits. Though Didrickson was not the first woman to play baseball with major league ballplayers, she had attained national-hero status with an unprecedented performance at the 1932 Olympics.
March 20, 1965 - U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered 4,000 troops to protect the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marchers.
March 20, 1980 – The Fort Dale Street Historic District in Greenville, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
March 20, 1981 - NFL owners adopted a disaster plan for re-stocking a team should a club be involved in a fatal accident.
March 20, 1989 - It was announced that Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose was under investigation.
March 20, 1995 - Tim Covin, brother of the late Tracy Covin, presented the first Tracy Covin Memorial Showmanship Award to Shannon Ballard, the top senior showman at the Conecuh County 4-H and FFA Steer Show.
March 20, 2000 – According to a survey released on this day by television station GMTV in London, 42 percent believe in ghosts and almost half of this number said that they had seen or felt the presence of a ghost.
March 20, 2001 – The Globald Underwater Search Team, led by Swedish journalist and lake monster hunter Jan Sundberg, began “Operation Clean Sweep” in which they planned to place a large funnel-shaped net in Loch Ness and use it to trap any “Nessies” swimming in the shallows.
March 20, 2003 - In the early hours of the morning, the United States and three other countries (the UK, Australia and Poland) begin military operations in Iraq, invading Iraq from Kuwait.
March 20, 2005 - Major League Baseball players and owners agreed to remove fines a possible discipline for positive testing of steroids. This left suspensions as the only punishment.
March 20, 2009 - Dave Holloway flew a search dog to Aruba to search a small reservoir in northern Aruba, previously identified by a supposed witness as a possible location of Natalee Holloway's remains. Aruban authorities indicated that they had no new information in the case, but that Holloway had been given permission to conduct the search.
March 20, 2010 – Alabama Appeals Court Judge Sam Welch issued the Oath of Office to Evergreen Mayor Pete Wolff at 3:45 p.m. on the steps of Evergreen City Hall, ending a 1-1/2 year long dispute over Evergreen’s mayoral election.
March 20, 2013 – New Zealand-born mountaineer, explorer, film director and educator Wallace George Lowe passed away at the age of 89 at a nursing home in Ripley, Derbyshire, England, after an illness. He was the last surviving member of the 1953 British Mount Everest Expedition, during which his friend Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first known people to summit the world's highest peak.