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20th March

1602 The Dutch East India Company was established. During its 196-year history, it became one of the world's most powerful companies.

1727 English physicist/astronomer Sir Isaac Newton died in London at age 84.

1780 James Watt began manufacturing the first duplicator.

1815 After exile in Elba, Napoleon Bonaparte returned to France to take power.

1823 * Henrik Ibsen, Norwegian poet and playwright.

1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe's 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' was published.

1917 * Dame Vera Lynn, English singer, the 'Forces Sweetheart' during the World War 2.

1934 Radar was first demonstrated in Kiel Harbour, Germany by Dr. Rudolf Kuhold.

1950 * William Hurt, US film actor.

1957 * Spike Lee, US film actor and director.

1969 John Lennon married Yoko Ono in Gibraltar.

1974 An attempt was made to kidnap Princess Anne in Pall Mall, London.

1990 Namibia becomes an independent nation.

1995 Members of the Japanese cult Aum Sinrikyo released poisonous gas in a Tokyo subway stop during rush hour, killing 12 people and sending over 5,000 to the hospital for treatment.

1999 British Success! Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones became the first to fly a hot-air balloon non-stop around the world.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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