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March 20, 2014 / 18 AdarII 5774
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- 537 – Siege of Rome: King Vitiges attempts to assault the northern and eastern city walls, but is repulsed at the Praenestine Gate, known as the Vivarium, by the defenders under the Byzantine generals Bessas and Peranius.
- 630 – Emperor Heraclius returns the True Cross, one of the holiest Christian relics, to Jerusalem.
- 1188 – Emperor Antoku accedes to the throne of Japan.
- 1413 – Henry V becomes King of England.
- 1556 – In Oxford, Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer is burned at the stake.
- 1800 – With the church leadership driven out of Rome during an armed conflict, Pius VII is crowned Pope in Venice with a temporary papal tiara made of papier-mâché.
- 1801 – The Battle of Alexandria is fought between British and French forces near the ruins of Nicopolis in Egypt.
- 1804 – Code Napoléon is adopted as French civil law.
- 1844 – The Bahá'í calendar begins. This is the first day of the first year of the Bahá'í calendar. It is annually celebrated by members of the Bahá'í Faith as the Bahá'í New Year or Náw-Rúz.
- 1871 – Otto von Bismarck is appointed Chancellor of the German Empire.
- 1871 – Journalist Henry Morton Stanley begins his trek to find the missionary and explorer David Livingstone.
- 1918 – World War I: The first phase of the German Spring Offensive, Operation Michael, begins.
- 1921 – The New Economic Policy is implemented by the Bolshevik Party in response to the economic failure as a result of War Communism.
- 1925 – The Butler Act prohibits the teaching of human evolution in Tennessee.
- 1928 – Charles Lindbergh is presented with the Medal of Honor for the first solo trans-Atlantic flight.
- 1933 – Construction of Dachau, the first Nazi concentration camp, is completed.
- 1935 – Shah of Iran Reza Shah Pahlavi formally asks the international community to call Persia by its native name, Iran, meaning "Land of the Aryans".
- 1943 – Wehrmacht officer Rudolf von Gersdorff plots to assassinate Adolf Hitler by using a suicide bomb, but the plan falls through. Von Gersdorff is able to defuse the bomb in time and avoid suspicion.
- 1945 – World War II: British troops liberate Mandalay, Burma.
- 1945 – World War II: Operation Carthage: Royal Air Force planes bomb Gestapo headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark. They also hit a school and 125 civilians are killed.
- 1946 – The Los Angeles Rams sign Kenny Washington, making him the first African American player in the American football since 1933.
- 1965 – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. leads 3,200 people on the start of the third and finally successful civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
- 1980 – US President Jimmy Carter announces a United States boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow to protest the Soviet war in Afghanistan.
- 1980 – Dallas aired its "A House Divided" episode which led to eight months of international intrigue regarding Who shot J.R.?
- 1989 – Sports Illustrated reports allegations tying baseball player Pete Rose to baseball gambling.
- 2000 – Pope John Paul II makes his first ever pontifical visit to Israel.
- 1417 – Nicholas of Flüe, Swiss saint (d. 1487)
- 1716 – Josef Seger, Bohemian organist, composer, and educator (d. 1782)
- 1768 – Joseph Fourier, French mathematician and physicist (d. 1830)
- 1835 – Thomas Hayward, English cricketer (d. 1876)
- 1854 – Alick Bannerman, Australian cricketer (d. 1924)
- 1904 – Forrest Mars, Sr., American candy maker, created M&M's and Mars bar (d. 1999)
- 1906 – John D. Rockefeller III, American philanthropist (d. 1978)
- 1943 – Vivian Stanshall, English singer-songwriter, guitarist, and painter (Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and Grimms) (d. 1995)
- 1944 – Timothy Dalton, Welsh-English actor
- 1946 – Ray Dorset, English singer-songwriter and guitarist (Mungo Jerry)
- 1958 – Gary Oldman, English actor, singer, director, and producer
- 1978 – Charmaine Dragun, Australian journalist (d. 2007)
- 1983 – Bonfire, German race horse (d. 2013)
- 2004 – Count Claus-Casimir of Orange-Nassau, Jonkheer van Amsberg