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This Day in U.S. History: March 20


1616 – Sir Walter Raleigh is freed from the Tower of London after 13 years of imprisonment.

1760 – The Great Boston Fire of 1760 destroys 349 buildings.

1852 – Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin is published.

1854 – The Republican Party of the United States is organized in Ripon, Wisconsin.

1915 – Albert Einstein publishes his general theory of relativity.

1922 – The USS Langley is commissioned as the first United States Navy aircraft carrier.

1923 – The Arts Club of Chicago hosts the opening of Pablo Picasso's first United States showing, entitled Original Drawings by Pablo Picasso, becoming an early proponent of modern art in the United States.

1942 – World War II: General Douglas MacArthur, at Terowie, South Australia, makes his famous speech regarding the fall of the Philippines, in which he says: "I came out of Bataan and I shall return".

1952 – The United States Senate ratifies a peace treaty with Japan.

1985 – Canadian paraplegic athlete and humanitarian Rick Hansen begins his circumnavigation of the globe in a wheelchair in the name of spinal cord injury medical research.

1987 – The Food and Drug Administration approves the anti-AIDS drug, AZT.

1999 – Legoland California, the first Legoland outside of Europe, opens in Carlsbad, California.

2000 – Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, a former Black Panther once known as H. Rap Brown, is captured after murdering Georgia sheriff's deputy Ricky Kinchen and critically wounding Deputy Aldranon English.


1821 – Ned Buntline, American journalist, author, and publisher (d. 1886)

1904 – B. F. Skinner, American psychologist and author (d. 1990)

1906 – Pop Chalee, Native American painter (d. 1993)

1918 – Jack Barry, American game show host and producer, co-founded Barry & Enright Productions (d. 1984)

1922 – Larry Elgart, American saxophonist and bandleader

1928 – Fred Rogers, American television host and producer (d. 2003)


1974 – Chet Huntley, American journalist and actor (b. 1911)