On This Day in History: March 20

In British history on March 20, Henry V succeeded his father as King of England. What other events and birthdays happened today in history?

1345: The Supposed Creation of the Black Death

The Black Death is well documented in history in terms of symptoms experienced and the horror and fear at the time. What isn’t well documented is how it started or how it spread. Now known as the bubonic plague, the Black Death supposedly started in history today. University of Paris scholars say that the placement of Mars, Jupiter, and Henry V of EnglandSaturn in the 40th degree of Aquarius created the Plague, which swept nations throughout the 14th century, killing around 25 million. It returned in the 16th century, again killing millions. It’s now known that the plague was carried by fleas, likely on rats initially but later spread to other animals. A pneumonic form later developed, killing 95% of the people who came down with the disease. Minorities were regularly blamed for the plague — and many other natural disasters. The last major outbreak of the Black Death was in the 1700s, although none of the outbreaks were as deadly as the first.

1413: The Death of King Henry IV of England

England grieved for the loss of one king and celebrated the life of a new one. Henry V succeeded the throne, after the death of his father Henry of Bolingbroke. Henry was never supposed to be king, but had deposed his cousin Richard II decades earlier. Henry V continued the Lancaster line, with his own son Prince Henry. It would be his son who would fight against Richard, Duke of York with the official start of the Wars of the Roses.

1861: Willie and Tad Lincoln Get the Measles

Two sons of President Abraham Lincoln suffered from the measles, with their illness known from March 20, 1861. They both pulled through, but later died of other illnesses. Willie was the first of the two to succumb to an illness, dying from typhoid fever in 1862; a death Lincoln never got over. Tad died a decade after contracting measles.

1966: Stealing the World Cup TrophyTad Lincoln

The trophy for the football World Cup was stolen from Central Hall, Westminster on this day in history. A church service was taking place in another room in the building, but there were two guards from Alsa-Guard who were supposed to be keeping an eye on the prize. The next day the lid to the cup was returned with a ransom note. Eventually, the cup was found and Edward Betchley was convicted of his role in the ransom. The person who stole the cup was never found.

Famous Birthdays on March 20

Princess Cecily of York–1469

Ottoman Sultan, Abdul Hamid I–1725

Napoleon II—1811

Mechanical engineer Frederick Winslow Taylor–1856

Psychologist B.F. Skinner—1904

Singer Dame Vera Lynn—1917

White House advisor John Ehrlichman—1925

Holes writer Louis Sachar—1954

Malcolm X director Spike Lee—1957

Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington—1976

The Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars actress Bianca Lawson—1979

Doctor Who actress Freema Agyeman—1979


Birthdays from HistoryNet.com, OnThisDay.com, and FamousBirthdays.com

Featured image from Deposit Photos

Henry V: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_V_of_England#/media/File:King_Henry_V_from_NPG.jpg

Tad Lincoln: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tad_Lincoln#/media/File:Tad_Lincoln_in_uniform.jpg

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