Today’s Highlight in History
On March 20, 1996: A jury in Los Angeles convicted Erik and Lyle Menendez of first-degree murder in the shotgun slayings of their wealthy parents. (They were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.)
On this date
In 1413: England’s King Henry IV died; he was succeeded by Henry V.
In 1815: Napoleon Bonaparte returned to Paris after escaping his exile on Elba, beginning his “Hundred Days” rule.
In 1852: Harriet Beecher Stowe’s influential novel about slavery, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” was first published in book form after being serialized.
In 1854: The Republican Party of the United States was founded by slavery opponents at a schoolhouse in Ripon, Wisc.
In 1922: The decommissioned USS Jupiter, converted into the first U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, was recommissioned as the USS Langley.
In 1952: The U.S. Senate ratified, 66-10, a Security Treaty with Japan.
In 1969: John Lennon married Yoko Ono in Gibraltar.
In 1976: Kidnapped newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst was convicted of armed robbery for her part in a San Francisco bank holdup carried out by the Symbionese Liberation Army. (Hearst was sentenced to seven years in prison; she was released after serving 22 months, and was pardoned in 2001 by President Bill Clinton.)
In 1995: In Tokyo, 12 people were killed, more than 5,500 others sickened when packages containing the deadly chemical sarin were leaked on five separate subway trains by Aum Shinrikyo (ohm shin-ree-kyoh) cult members.
In 2014: President Barack Obama ordered economic sanctions against nearly two dozen members of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle and a major bank that provided them support, raising the stakes in an East-West showdown over Ukraine.
In 2020: The governor of Illinois ordered residents to remain in their homes except for essential needs, joining similar efforts in California and New York to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Stocks tumbled again on Wall Street, ending their worst week since the 2008 financial crisis; the Dow fell more than 900 points to end the week with a 17 percent loss.
Ten years ago: Making his first visit to Israel since taking office, President Barack Obama affirmed Israel’s sovereign right to defend itself from any threat and vowed to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Five former elected officials of Bell, Calif., were convicted of misappropriating public funds by paying themselves huge salaries while raising taxes on residents; one defendant was acquitted. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed bills that put sweeping new restrictions on sales of firearms and ammunition.
Five years ago: Investigators pursuing a suspected serial bombing in Austin, Texas, shifted attention to a FedEx shipping center near San Antonio, where a package had exploded. In a phone call to Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump offered congratulations on Putin’s re-election victory; a senior official said Trump had been warned in briefing materials that he should not congratulate Putin.
One year ago: Ukrainian authorities said Russia’s military bombed an art school sheltering about 400 people in the port city of Mariupol, where refugees described how “battles took place over every street,” weeks into a devastating siege. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on Israel to take a stronger stand against Russia, delivering an emotional appeal that compared Russia’s invasion of his country to the actions of Nazi Germany. Yemen’s Houthi rebels unleashed an intense barrage of drone and missile strikes on Saudi Arabia’s critical energy facilities, sparking a fire at one site and temporarily cutting oil production at another. The salvo marked a serious escalation of rebel attacks on the kingdom as the war in Yemen raged into its eighth year.