UPI Almanac for Sunday, March 20, 2016

Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" is published, military operations begin in Iraq as part of an effort to oust Saddam Hussein ... on this date in history.
By United Press International  |  March 20, 2016 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Sunday, March 20, the 80th day of 2016 with 286 to follow.

This is the first day of spring.

The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Mercury, Neptune, Saturn. Evening stars are Jupiter, Mars, Uranus and Venus.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include adventurer/writer Edward Judson, originator of the dime novel, writing as Ned Buntline, in 1823; Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen in 1828; psychologist B.F. Skinner in 1904; actor/bandleader Ozzie Nelson in 1906; former New York Mayor Abe Beame in 1906; actor Michael Redgrave in 1908; actor Vera Lynn in 1917; television host Jack Barry in 1918; diplomat Pamela Harriman in 1920; actor/producer/director Carl Reiner in 1922 (age 92); Fred Rogers (TV's "Mister Rogers") in 1928; actor Hal Linden in 1931 (age 85); singer/songwriter Jerry Reed in 1937; former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in 1939 (age 77); basketball Hall of Fame member Pat Riley in 1945 (age 71); hockey Hall of Fame member Bobby Orr in 1948 (age 68); actor William Hurt in 1950 (age 66); filmmaker Spike Lee in 1957 (age 59); actor Theresa Russell in 1957 (age 59); actor Holly Hunter in 1958 (age 58); actor David Thewlis in 1963 (age 53); model/actor Kathy Ireland in 1963 (age 53); blogger iJustine in 1984 (age 32); model and actor Ruby Rose in 1986 (age 30); tennis player Sloane Stephens in 1993 (age 23).

On this date in history:

In 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe's anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin was published.

In 1854, in what is considered the founding meeting of the Republican Party, former members of the Whig Party met in Ripon, Wis., to establish a new party to oppose the spread of slavery into the western territories.

In 1963, a volcano on the East Indies island of Bali began erupting. The death toll exceeded 1,500.

In 1976, San Francisco newspaper heiress and kidnapping victim Patty Hearst was convicted of bank robbery. Hearst served 22 months in prison and eventually was granted a full pardon.

In 1987, the U.S. government approved the sale of AZT, a treatment, but not a cure, for AIDS.

In 1995, 12 people were killed, and more than 5,000 made ill in a nerve-gas attack on the Tokyo subway system.

In 1996, the world learned of "mad cow" disease from a British government report questioning the safety of beef in Britain.

In 1997, the Liggett Group, fifth-largest U.S. tobacco company, agreed to admit that smoking was addictive and caused health problems and that the tobacco industry had sought for years to sell its products to children as young as 14.

In 2001, five days after explosions destroyed one of its support beams and killed 11 people, the largest oil rig in the world collapsed and sank off the coast of Brazil.

In 2003, U.S.-led coalition forces begin military operations in Iraq.

Also in 2003, Brian Patrick Regan, a retired Air Force master sergeant, was sentenced to life in prison for offering to sell intelligence secrets to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and the Chinese government.

In 2004, after narrowly escaping assassination the day before, Chen Shui-bian was re-elected president of Taiwan with about 50 percent of the vote.

In 2007, former Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan was hanged in Baghdad for his part in the 1982 deaths of 148 Shiites.

In 2010, accusations of sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests were reported on the increase in Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and Brazil.

In 2014, authorities in Afghanistan said Taliban attackers killed ten police officers and another person at a police station in Jalalabad and nine people at a luxury hotel in Kabul. Officials said all of the gunmen in the two attacks also died.

A thought for the day: "Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!" -- Robin Williams

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