This Day in History: U.S. begins invasion of Iraq with overnight air strikes. hang Saddam Hussein 4 years later

The following are some of the major events to have occurred on March 20:

1890 – Herbert Bismarck resigns as German Foreign Secretary.

1933 – The first concentration camp in Germany was opened at Dachau near Munich, six weeks after Adolf Hitler came to power.

1956 – France granted full independence to Tunisia.

1964 – The Irish playwright Brendan Behan, author of “The Quare Fellow” and the autobiographical “Borstal Boy”, died. A member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), he was imprisoned twice for political activity.

1995 – Twelve people died and over 6,000 were injured in a nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway carried out by the Aum Shinri Kyo religious sect.

2001 – The world’s largest offshore oil platform sank off Brazil in just a few minutes, five days after explosions on the rig killed 11 people.

2002 – The favourite son of the former Indonesian autocrat Suharto, Tommy, went on trial accused of masterminding the killing of a judge. He was later sentenced to 15 years in jail.

2003 – The United States began its war on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq with overnight air strikes on Baghdad, targeting senior leaders. Hours later, U.S. and British troops began invading Iraq from Kuwait.

2004 – Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, often called the “People’s Queen” for her role in the Netherlands’ post-war recovery and in overseeing the independence of its colonies, died aged 94.

2007 – Saddam Hussein’s former vice president Taha Yassin Ramadan was hanged for crimes against humanity on the fourth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

2009 – U.S. President Barack Obama sent Iran an unprecedented videotaped message offering a “new beginning” of diplomatic engagement after decades of U.S. hostility to the Islamic Republic.


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