EVENTS, birthdays and anniversaries on March 20.
Vernal equinox – the start of spring.
1602: The Dutch East India Company was founded by Netherlands government.
1616: Sir Walter Raleigh was released from Tower of London to seek gold in Guiana.
1780: The firm of James Watt & Co was founded to manufacture the world’s first duplicating machines.
1784: Holland ceded Negapatam, Madras, India, to Britain.
1815: Napoleon returned from banishment on Elba to regain power in France. It was his “Last 100 Days” and ended in his defeat at Waterloo.
1849: Second Sikh War between Sikhs and Britain began in India.
1852: Uncle Tom’s Cabin, written by Harriet Beecher Stowe, was published. The book sold a million copies in the first year.
1916: Allies agreed on partition of Turkey.
1917: Hospital ship Asturias was torpedoed by German U-boat.
1935: The British Council was established.
1945: Mandalay was recaptured from the Japanese by the British.
1956: Tunisia became independent sovereign state, under president Habib Bourguiba, having been French protectorate since 1881.
1957: Britain accepted Nato offer to mediate in Cyprus but Greece rejected.
1966: World Cup football trophy was stolen from Central Hall, Westminster.
1972: Nineteen climbers on Japan’s Mount Fuji were killed in an avalanche.
1974: An attempt was made to kidnap Princess Anne in the Mall in London.
1980: The pirate radio station Radio Caroline ceased broadcasting after 16 years, when its home, the ship Mi Amigo, sank.
1981: Isabel Peron, former president of Argentina, was jailed for eight years for corruption.
1990: Namibia gained independence from South Africa.
1993: A three-year-old boy died and 56 people were injured when an IRA bomb trap blasted shoppers in Warrington.
1996: The government admitted for the first time that there was a possible link between BSE or mad cow disease and the deaths of ten people.
2003: In the early hours of the morning, military operations began in Iraq.
2010: British Airways cabin crew began a three-day walkout over pay and working conditions.
2010: Pope Benedict XVI apologised to victims of child sex abuse by Catholic priests in Ireland in a pastoral letter.
Yvette Cooper, Labour MP, 46; Freema Agyeman, actress, 36; Liz Burnley CBE, Chief Guide of Girlguiding UK 2006-11, 56; Holly Hunter, actress, 57; William Hurt, actor, 65; Spike Lee, actor, film director and producer, 58; Dame Vera Lynn DBE, British singer, 98; Jane March, actress, 42; Ian Derek Francis Ogilvie-Grant, 13th Earl of Seafield, 76; Greg Searle MBE, British Olympic oarsman, 43.
Births: 43BC Ovid, poet; 1724 Duncan MacIntyre (Donnachadh Ban), Gaelic poet; 1828 Henrik Ibsen, playwright; 1873 Sergei Rachmaninov, composer; 1907 Hugh L Maclennan, novelist; 1908 Sir Michael Redgrave, actor; 1911 Ginger Rogers, actress and dancer; 1914 Wendell Corey, actor.
Deaths: AD687 St Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne; 1727 Sir Isaac Newton, scientist; 1964 Brendan Behan, playwright; 1997 Sir Victor (VS) Pritchett, author and critic; 2010 Harry Carpenter OBE, sports commentator; 2014 Kate O’Mara, actress.
UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF: Burden on Scottish Distressed Areas
20 March, 1935
TODAY a deputation representing the distressed areas in the West of Scotland had a meeting with Scottish Unionist members of Parliament in London, to whom they presented their case for more generous financial treatment in respect of unemployment assistance. Sir Robert Home presided.
Treasurer Dollan pointed out that in Scotland they had spent £17,000,000 on able-bodied relief since 1921, of which Glasgow’s share was £9,300,000. All the distressed areas, representing a total population of 2,000,000, were over-burdened with rates due to unemployment relief and in the view of the deputation the best way of affording the necessary assistance was not by appointing Special Commissioners, but by immediately transferring the burden of relief from the Local Authorities to the National Exchequer.