Today is Wednesday, March 20, the 79th day of 2019 with 286 to follow.

This is the first day of spring.

The moon is full. Morning stars are Jupiter, Saturn and Venus. Evening stars are Mars and Uranus.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Pisces. They include Roman poet Ovid in 43 B.C.; adventurer/writer Edward Judson, originator of the dime novel, writing as Ned Buntline, in 1821; Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen in 1828; actor/bandleader Ozzie Nelson in 1906; actor Michael Redgrave in 1908; actor Vera Lynn in 1917 (age 102); diplomat Pamela Harriman in 1920; actor/producer/director Carl Reiner in 1922 (age 97); Fred Rogers (TV's Mister Rogers) in 1928; actor Hal Linden in 1931 (age 88); author Lois Lowry in 1937 (age 82); former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in 1939 (age 80); basketball Hall of Fame member Pat Riley in 1945 (age 74); hockey Hall of Fame member Bobby Orr in 1948 (age 71); actor William Hurt in 1950 (age 69); filmmaker Spike Lee in 1957 (age 62); actor Theresa Russell in 1957 (age 62); actor Holly Hunter in 1958 (age 61); actor David Thewlis in 1963 (age 56); model/actor Kathy Ireland in 1963 (age 56); singer Chester Bennington in 1976; actor Bianca Lawson in 1979 (age 40); actor Freema Agyeman in 1979 (age 40); model/actor Ruby Rose in 1986 (age 33); tennis player Sloane Stephens in 1993 (age 26); Barron Trump, son of President Donald Trump, in 2006 (age 13).


On this date in history:

In 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe's anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin was published.

In 1854, in what is considered the founding meeting of the Republican Party, former members of the Whig Party met in Ripon, Wis., to establish a new party to oppose the spread of slavery into the western territories.

In 1963, a volcano on the East Indies island of Bali began erupting. The death toll exceeded 1,500.

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In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered the Alabama National Guard to provide security at a planned civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery the next day. Earlier marches turned violent and deadly, but the third march was considered more of a success both in terms of safety and in spreading the message of the right to vote for black Americans.

In 1976, San Francisco newspaper heiress and kidnapping victim Patty Hearst was convicted of bank robbery. Hearst served 22 months in prison and eventually was granted a full pardon.

In 1987, the U.S. government approved the sale of AZT, a treatment, but not a cure, for AIDS.

In 1995, 12 people were killed, and more than 5,000 made ill in a nerve-gas attack on the Tokyo subway system.

In 1996, the world learned of "mad cow" disease from a British government report questioning the safety of beef in Britain.

In 1997, the Liggett Group, fifth-largest U.S. tobacco company, agreed to admit that smoking was addictive and caused health problems and that the tobacco industry had sought for years to sell its products to children as young as 14.

In 2001, five days after explosions destroyed one of its support beams and killed 11 people, the largest oil rig in the world collapsed and sank off the coast of Brazil.

In 2003, U.S.-led coalition forces begin military operations in Iraq.

In 2004, after narrowly escaping assassination the day before, Chen Shui-bian was re-elected president of Taiwan with about 50 percent of the vote.

In 2007, former Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan was hanged in Baghdad for his part in the 1982 deaths of 148 Shiites.

In 2016, President Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Cuba since 1928 after normalizing relations between the two countries.

In 2018, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with President Donald Trump at the White House, where the two discussed Iran's influence in the Middle East, the Iran nuclear deal, military equipment sales and the Islamic State.

A thought for the day: "We cannot have government for all the people until we first make certain it is government of and by all the people." -- President Lyndon B. Johnson