Today in History – June 24

1314 – First War of Scottish Independence: The Battle of Bannockburn concluded with a decisive victory by Scottish forces led by Robert the Bruce.

1340 – Hundred Years’ War: Battle of Sluys: The French fleet was almost completely destroyed by the English fleet commanded in person by King Edward III.

1374 – A sudden outbreak of St. John’s Dance caused people in the streets of Aachen, Germany, to experience hallucinations and begin to jump and twitch uncontrollably until they collapsed from exhaustion.

1497 – John Cabot landed in North America at Newfoundland and led the first European exploration of the region since the Vikings.

1509 – Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon were crowned King and Queen of England.

1540 – English King Henry VIII commanded his 4th wife, Anne of Cleves, to leave the court.

1604 – Samuel de Champlain discovered the mouth of the Saint John River, site of Reversing Falls and the present-day city of Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.

1717 – The Premier Grand Lodge of England was founded in London, the first Masonic Grand Lodge in the world (now the United Grand Lodge of England).

1779 – American Revolutionary War: The Great Siege of Gibraltar began.

1813 – Battle of Beaver Dams: A British and Indian combined force defeated the United States Army.

1880 – First performance of O Canada at the Congrès national des Canadiens-Français. The song later became the national anthem of Canada.

1916 – Mary Pickford became the first female film star to sign a million-dollar contract.

1922 – The American Professional Football Association was renamed the National Football League.

1938 – Pieces of a meteorite landed near Chicora, Pennsylvania. The meteorite was estimated to have weighed 450 metric tons when it hit the Earth’s atmosphere and exploded.

1943 – US military police attempted to arrest a black soldier in Bamber Bridge, England, and sparked the Battle of Bamber Bridge mutiny that left one dead and seven wounded.

1947 – Kenneth Arnold made the first widely reported UFO sighting near Mount Rainier, Washington.

1948 – Cold War: Start of the Berlin Blockade: The Soviet Union made overland travel between West Germany and West Berlin impossible.

1949 – The first television western, Hopalong Cassidy, starring William Boyd, was aired on NBC.

1950 – Apartheid: In South Africa, the Group Areas Act was passed, which formally segregated races.

1957 – In Roth v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that obscenity is not protected by the First Amendment.

1973 – The UpStairs Lounge arson attack took place at a gay bar located on the second floor of the three-story building at 141 Chartres Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. Thirty-two people died as a result of fire or smoke inhalation.

1974 – Lynyrd Skynyrd’s released the song “Sweet Home Alabama.”

1975 – Eastern Air Lines Flight 66 encountered severe wind shear and crashed on final approach to New York’s JFK Airport.  The crash killed 113 of the 124 passengers on board, which made it the deadliest U.S. plane crash at the time. This accident led to decades of research into downburst and microburst phenomena and their effects on aircraft.

1975 – Alice Cooper fell off the set of his “Welcome To My Nightmare” tour in Vancouver and broke six ribs.

2004 – In New York, capital punishment was declared unconstitutional.

2010 – At Wimbledon, John Isner of the United States defeated Nicolas Mahut of France, in the longest match in professional tennis history.

2021 – The Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Florida suffered a sudden partial collapse, and killed 98 people inside.

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