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1995 Mar 20
A gas attack by the Aum Shinri Kyo cult on Tokyo's subways killed 12 people. More than 5,500 others sickened when packages containing the poisonous gas sarin leaked on five separate subway trains. Masato Yokoyama, a cult leader, was sentenced to death in 1999. In 2000 Robert Jay Lifton authored "Destroying the World To Save It: Aum Shinrikyo, Apocalyptic Violence, and the New Global Terrorism." In 2001 Haruki Murakami's "Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche" was published in English. In 2004 Shoko Asahara was convicted and sentenced to hang for masterminding the deadly nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway and other crimes that killed 27 people.
Links: Japan, Mad Man, Atrocities     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1995 Mar 20
In Nigeria General Sani Abacha appointed Dan Etete as Minister of Petroleum.
Links: Oil, Nigeria     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1996 Mar 20
Mathieu Kerekou, former Benin dictator, was elected over incumbent Nicephore Soglo.
Links: Benin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1996 Mar 20
In El Salvador 4 teenaged members of a youth gang were summarily executed in the provincial capital of Santa Ana.
Links: El Salvador     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1996 Mar 20
A jury in Los Angeles convicted Erik and Lyle Menendez of first-degree murder in the shotgun slayings of their millionaire parents.
Links: California, Murder     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1996 Mar 20
The Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Ruleville, Miss., burned down. Arson was suspected and investigations by the FBI and ATF were later begun.
Links: FBI, Mississippi, Fire     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1996 Mar 20
The British government said that a rare brain disease that had killed 10 people was probably linked to so-called "mad cow disease."
Links: Britain, Mad Cow, Brain     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1997 Mar 20
Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin met in Helsinki for talks on arms control and NATO expansion. They agreed to negotiate a new arms accord to reduce strategic warheads, and to give Russia a more formal role in the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations.
Links: Russia, USA, NATO, Finland, G7, ClintonB     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1997 Mar 20
The Liggett Group, a tobacco company, agreed to settle claims with 22 state attorneys general. The settlement included a payment of 25% of pretax earnings over the next 25 years, a "smoking is addictive" label, access to documents heretofore claimed to be privileged and admitting the industry marketed cigarettes to teen-agers.
Links: USA, Smoking, Lawsuit     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1997 Mar 20
A Houston jury awarded the MMAR Group, a bond firm, $222.7 million in a libel verdict against Dow Jones & Co. based on a 1993 article that portrayed the firm as reckless and destroyed its business.
Links: Texas, Lawsuit     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1997 Mar 20
In Serbia the state telecommunications authority cut independent BK TVís transmission lines from Belgrade. Hours later a Belgrade court ordered the authority and state-run TV to carry BK.
Links: Serbia, Telecom     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1998 Mar 20
At least 400 firefighters were sent to fight the fires in the northern Amazon. Firefighters from Argentina and Venezuela were also brought in. A UN offer of assistance was accepted to combat thousands of fires raging out of control.
Links: Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, UN, Fire     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1998 Mar 20
President Clinton's lawyer, appearing before a federal court, declared that Paula Jones' evidence of sexual harassment was "garbage" unworthy of a trial.
Links: USA, ClintonB     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1998 Mar 20
The Wall Street Journal published its first Friday cultural section, "Weekend Journal."
Links: Journalism     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1998 Mar 20
George Tenet, director of the CIA, disclosed that $26.7 billion was the 1998 budget secret intelligence activities, one-tenth the overall US military budget.
Links: USA, CIA, Espionage     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1998 Mar 20
An Indiana man, Chris Dean (35), was arrested for sending the pipe bomb that killed Christopher Marquis of Vermont. Marquis had defrauded Dean in a $400 trade of Citizens Band radio equipment arranged on the Internet.
Links: Vermont, Internet, Indiana     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1998 Mar 20
A twister killed 11 people in northeast Georgia and 2 people in North Carolina and injured 100.
Links: GeorgiaUS, North Carolina, Tornado     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1998 Mar 20
In Germany thousands of protestors attempted to halt a train of atomic waste from southern Germany from reaching its final destination of Ahaus in northern Germany.
Links: Germany, Nuclear     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1998 Mar 20
In Mexico a new law, the Nationality Act, went into effect that allowed Mexican-born Americans and their children to hold Mexican nationality and US citizenship. The law permitted dual nationality but not dual citizenship.
Links: USA, Mexico     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1999 Mar 20
A war crimes tribunal at the Hague recommended that 3 Croatian generals be indicted for war crimes for "Operation Storm" in Aug, 1995.
Links: Netherlands, Croatia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1999 Mar 20
Balloonists Bertrand Piccard of Switzerland and Brian Jones of Britain became the first aviators to fly a hot-air balloon around the world nonstop. They established an around the world record after floating over Mauritania at 1:54 a.m. PST and won a $1 million prize from Anheuser-Busch as the first aviators to fly a hot-air balloon around the world nonstop.
Links: Britain, Switzerland, Balloon     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1999 Mar 20
In Paris thousands of French teachers marched to demand a greater say in educational reform.
Links: France     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1999 Mar 20
Serb forces in Kosovo launched a new offensive along a 20-mile arc west and northwest of Pristina. The Yugoslav army, taking advantage of the departure of international monitors from Kosovo, launched a furious offensive against outgunned ethnic Albanian rebels.
Links: Albania, Serbia, Yugoslavia, Kosovo     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1999 Mar 20
In Spain some 60,000 people marched in Bilbao to protest recent arrests of members and supporters of the ETA.
Links: Spain, Basques, ETA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2000 Mar 20
Pres. Clinton stopped in Bangladesh, but only stood for a reception at the US Embassy due to security reasons.
Links: Bangladesh, USA, ClintonB     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2000 Mar 20
World Citizenship Day.
Links: World     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2000 Mar 20
The Clinton administration moved to phase out the fuel additive MTBE to avoid further contamination of groundwater.
Links: USA, Environment, ClintonB     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2000 Mar 20
Former Black Panther Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, once known as H. Rap Brown, was captured in Alabama; he was wanted in the fatal shooting of a Fulton County, Georgia, sheriffís deputy. Al-Amin maintains his innocence.
Links: GeorgiaUS, Murder, Alabama     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2000 Mar 20
Some 2,000 farmers, ranchers and rural businessmen converged on Washington DC to lobby for an overhaul of farm programs and to strengthen antitrust enforcement on agribusiness.
Links: USA, DC     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2000 Mar 20
In Texas Robert Wayne Harris (28) shot 5 people to death and critically injured one person at the Mi-T-Fine Car Wash in Irving. Harris was arrested the next day. He had recently been fired for exposing himself to 2 women at the business. Harris was sentenced to death on Sep 29.
Links: Murder, Texas, Mad Man     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2000 Mar 20
Pope John Paul II arrived in Jordan for the beginning of his Holy land tour. He prayed at Mt. Nebo where the bible says Moses first viewed the Promised Land.
Links: Vatican, Jordan, Bible     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2000 Mar 20
In Germany Angela Merkel (45) became the first woman to head the Christian Democratic Union.
Links: Germany     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2000 Mar 20
In Kashmir gunmen massacred 35 Sikhs in Chati Sionghpura Mattan.
Links: Kashmir     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2000 Mar 20
In the Philippines the Abu Sayyaf Muslim rebel group seized over 50 hostages from 2 schools in Basilan province. Most of the hostages were children.
Links: Philippines     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2000 Mar 20
In Senegal Pres. Abdou Diouf conceded defeat to rival Abdoulaye Wade. The elections ended 40 years of Socialist Party rule.
Links: Senegal     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2000 Mar 20
Natalya Estemirova (1959-2009), Chechen rights activist, went to the village of Aldi and counted 47 victims.
Links: Russia, Chechnya     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2001 Mar 20
In Buenos Aires thousands demonstrated against plans to cut government spending. Domingo Cavallo was named to succeed Ricardo Lopez Murphy as economy minister.
Links: Argentina     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2001 Mar 20
The damaged Brazilian P-36 Petrobras oil platform sank 75 miles offshore. 400,000 gallons of fuel and crude oil began leaking into the sea. An immediate revenue loss of $50 million per month was expected.
Links: Brazil, Oil, Environment     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2001 Mar 20
Senegalís highest court said that it has no authority to prosecute Hissene Habre, Chadís former president, on charges of torture.
Links: Chad     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2001 Mar 20
Pres. Bush met with Israelís Ariel Sharon and urged him avoid provocative acts.
Links: USA, Israel, BushGW     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2001 Mar 20
The skipper of the USS Greeneville took the stand in a Navy court and accepted sole responsibility for the Feb. 9 collision of his submarine with a Japanese trawler off Hawaii that killed nine Japanese.
Links: USA, Japan, Submarine     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2001 Mar 20
New York native Lori Berenson, accused of aiding guerrillas in Peru, received a retrial in civilian court. She was later convicted of "terrorist collaboration."
Links: Peru, USA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2001 Mar 20
The US Federal Reserve lowered interest rates 0.5% but stocks dropped. The DJIA fell 238 to 9,720; the Nasdaq fell 93 to 1,857.
Links: DJIA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2001 Mar 20
Power-strapped California saw a second day of rolling blackouts.
Links: California     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2001 Mar 20
Now-Ruz, the traditional Afghan New Year, passed without fanfare. The holiday is also observed in Iran.
Links: Iran, Calendar, Afghan     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2001 Mar 20
Britain reported 46 new confirmed cases of foot-and-mouth disease, the largest daily number to date.
Links: Britain, Microbiology     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2001 Mar 20
In Haiti violence flared in Port-au-Prince as Aristide supporters attacked an opposition party office with firebombs.
Links: Haiti     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2001 Mar 20
Liberia ordered its security forces to seal its border with Sierra Leone.
Links: Liberia, Sierra Leone     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2001 Mar 20
In Macedonia security forces began a heavy attack against guerrilla fighters and issued an ultimatum that weapons be laid down.
Links: Macedonia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2001 Mar 20
In Spain Froilan Elespe, Socialist deputy mayor of Lasarte, was shot and killed. The ETA was blamed.
Links: Spain, ETA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2001 Mar 20
In South Africa new AIDS statistics indicated that 25% of the adult population, one of every 9 people, was infected with HIV.
Links: South Africa, AIDS     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2002 Mar 20
Militants attacked the Khost airport and another base north of the city and killed 3 Afghans. Coalition troops called in air strikes.
Links: Afghan     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2002 Mar 20
China deployed military police to at least 2 northeast cities to quell labor pro-tests.
Links: China, Labor     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2002 Mar 20
The US Senate approved the bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. It was better remembered as the McCain-Feingold bill on campaign finance reform after its senatorial sponsors. Pres. Bush planned to sign it. In 2003 a 3-judge panel ruled most of the provisions unconstitutional.
Links: USA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2002 Mar 20
US began war games with South Korea, the biggest ever.
Links: USA, South Korea     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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2002 Mar 20
Arthur Andersen pleaded innocent 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.
Links: USA, Enron, Corp. Scandal     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2002 Mar 20
Heavy storms and severe flooding extended to West Virginia. Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton declared 12 counties emergencies.
Links: West Virginia     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2002 Mar 20
At Fort Drum, NY, a soldier was killed and 14 were injured when 2 artillery shells fell far short of their target.
Links: New York     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2002 Mar 20
In Bosnia the US Embassy was shut down to the public due to a possible terrorist threat.
Links: Bosnia, USA     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2002 Mar 20
In Israel a suicide bomber blew himself up on a crowded bus and 7 people were killed. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.
Links: Israel, Palestine, Suicide     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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