On this day in history March 20, 1972 – 19 mountain climbers were killed on Japan’s Mount Fuji during an avalanche.
1976 – Patricia Hearst was convicted of armed robbery for her role in the hold up of a San Francisco Bank.
1980 – The U.S. made an appeal to the International Court concerning the American Hostages in Iran.
1981 – Argentine ex-president Isabel Peron was sentenced to eight years in a convent.
1982 – U.S. scientists’ return from Antarctica with the first land mammal fossils found there.
1984 – The U.S. Senate rejected an amendment to permit spoken prayer in public schools.
1985 – For the first time in its 99-year history, Avon representatives received a salary. Up to that time they had been paid solely on commissions.
1985 – CBS-TV presented “The Romance of Betty Boop.”
1985 – Libby Riddles won the 1,135-mile Anchorage-to-Nome dog race becoming the first woman to win the Iditarod.
1986 – Fallon Carrington and Jeff Colby were wed on the TV drama “The Colby’s”. “The Colby’s” was an offshoot of “Dynasty”.
1987 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved AZT. The drug was proven to slow the progress of AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).
1989 – A Washington, DC, district court judge blocked a curfew imposed by Mayor Barry and the City Council.
1989 – In Belfast, two policemen were killed. The IRA claimed responsibility.
1989 – It was announced that Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose was under investigation.
1990 – The Los Angeles Lakers retired Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s #33.
1990 – Namibia became an independent nation ending 75 years of South African rule.
1990 – Imelda Marcos, widow of ex-Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos, went on trial for racketeering, embezzlement and bribery.
1990 – In Rumania, tanks were sent to the town of Tirgu Mures to quell ethnic riots.
1991 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that employers could not exclude women from jobs where exposure to toxic chemicals could potentially damage a fetus.
1991 – The U.S. forgave $2 billion in loans to Poland.
1992 – Janice Pennington was awarded $1.3 million for accident on the set of the “Price is Right” TV show.
1993 – Russian President Boris Yeltsin declared emergency rule. He set a referendum on whether the people trusted him or the hard-line Congress to govern.
1993 – An Irish Republican Army bomb was detonated in Warrington, England. A 3-year-old boy and a 12-year-old boy were killed.
1995 – About 35,000 Turkish troops crossed the northern border of Iraq in pursuit of the separatist rebels of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
1995 – In Tokyo, 12 people were killed and more than 5,500 others were sickened when packages containing the nerve gas Sarin was released on five separate subway trains. The terrorists belonged to a doomsday cult in Japan.
1996 – In Los Angeles, Erik and Lyle Menendez were found guilty of first-degree murder in the killing of their parents.
1996 – The U.K. announced that humans could catch CJD (Mad Cow Disease).
1997 – Brian Grazer received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
1997 – Liggett Group, the maker of Chesterfield cigarettes, settled 22 state lawsuits by admitting the industry marketed cigarettes to teenagers and agreed to warn on every pack that smoking is addictive.
1998 – India’s new Hindu nationalist-led government pledges to “exercise the option to induct nuclear weapons.”
1999 – Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones became the first men to circumnavigate the Earth in a hot air balloon. The non-stop trip began on March 3 and covered 26,500 miles