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Today in History — March 20

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Tuesday, March 20, the 79th day of 2007. There are 286 days left in the year. Spring arrives at 8:07 p.m. ET.

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

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 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 1985, Libby Riddles of Teller, Alaska, became the first woman to win the Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race.

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 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.

Ten years ago: President Clinton and Boris Yeltsin opened talks in Helsinki, Finland, on the issue of NATO expansion. 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.

Five years ago: Three days ahead of a visit by President Bush, a car bomb exploded outside the U.S. Embassy in Lima, killing 10 people. Seven Israelis died when an Islamic militant blew himself up in a packed bus. Congress approved the most far-reaching changes to the nation’s campaign finance system since the Watergate era. 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.)

One year ago: Beginning the fourth year of an unpopular war, President Bush defended his Iraq record against skeptical questioning at the City Club in Cleveland. Anti-war activists marked the third anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq with a “Bring ’Em Home Now!” concert to benefit groups campaigning against the war. Paul Tagliabue announced he would step down as NFL commissioner after 16 years. Japan beat Cuba 10-6 in the title game of the inaugural World Baseball Classic.

Today’s Birthdays: Producer-director-comedian Carl Reiner is 85. Actor Hal Linden is 76. Singer Jerry Reed is 70. Former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney is 68. Country singer Don Edwards is 68. TV producer Paul Junger Witt is 64. Country singer-musician Ranger Doug (Riders in the Sky) is 61. Hockey Hall-of-Famer Bobby Orr is 59. Blues singer-musician Marcia Ball is 58. Actor William Hurt is 57. Rock musician Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake and Palmer) is 57. Rock musician Jimmie Vaughan is 56. Country musician Jimmy Seales (Shenandoah) is 53. Movie director Spike Lee is 50. Actress Theresa Russell is 50. Actress Vanessa Bell Calloway is 50. Actress Holly Hunter is 49. Rock musician Slim Jim Phantom (The Stray Cats) is 46. Actress-model Kathy Ireland is 44. Actor David Thewlis is 44. Rock musician Adrian Oxaal (James) is 42. Actress Liza Snyder is 39. Actor Michael Rapaport is 37. Actor Alexander Chaplin is 36. Rock singer Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) is 31. Actor Michael Genadry is 29. Actress Bianca Lawson is 28.

Thought for Today: “Spring has no language but a cry.” — Thomas Wolfe, American author (1900-1938).