Sunday, March 20, 2005
1685: Composer Johann Sebastian Bach is born at Eisenach, Germany, the son of the town piper.
1804: The Code civil des francais, often called the "Code Napoléon," goes into effect.
1806: Lawyer Benito Pablo Juárez García, a Zapotec Indian who will become one of North America’s greatest statesmen, is born the son of peasants at San Pablo Guelatao, Oaxaca.
1869: Theater impresario Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr., is born at Chicago.
1952: Promoter Alan Freed puts on what is regarded as the first "rock and roll" concert, the "Moondog Coronation Ball," in Cleveland, Ohio.
1970: Slovenian ski jumper Vinko Bogataj has a spectacular fall which becomes the "agony of defeat" image on ABC television’s Wide World of Sports.
1980: In a stern protest of the USSR’s invasion of Afghanistan, President Carter bars U.S. Olympic hopefuls from attending the Moscow Olympic games. That evening, Texas oilman J.R. Ewing is shot on the television series Dallas.
1991: The father of the electric guitar, Clarence Leonidas "Leo" Fender, dies of complications arising from Parkinson’s disease at age 81. He never learned how to play the guitar.
2001: Korean industrialist Chung Ju-yung, who started Korea’s biggest conglomerate, Hyundai, as a construction company in 1947, dies at age 85.