Today in History – August 24

410 – The Visigoths under king Alaric I began to pillage Rome.

1200 – King John of England, signer of the first Magna Carta, married Isabella of Angoulême in Angoulême Cathedral.

1215 – Pope Innocent III issued a bill declaring Magna Carta invalid.

1349 – Six thousand Jews were killed in Mainz after being blamed for the bubonic plague.

1482 – The town and castle of Berwick-upon-Tweed was captured from Scotland by an English army.

1662 – The Act of Uniformity required England to accept the Book of Common Prayer.

1682 – William Penn received the area which is now the state of Delaware, and added it to his colony of Pennsylvania.

1781 – American Revolutionary War: A small force of Pennsylvania militia was ambushed and overwhelmed by an American Indian group, which forced George Rogers Clark to abandon his attempt to attack Detroit.

1814 – British troops invaded Washington, D.C. and during the Burning of Washington the White House, the Capitol and many other buildings were set ablaze.

1816 – The Treaty of St. Louis, signed between the United States and various Native American tribes, was signed in St. Louis, Missouri.

1857 – The Panic of 1857 began, which set off one of the most severe economic crises in United States history.

1870 – The Wolseley expedition reached Manitoba to end the Red River Rebellion.

1909 – Workers started pouring concrete for the Panama Canal.

1914 – World War I: The Battle of Cer ended as the first Allied victory in the war.

1932 – Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the United States non-stop (from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey).

1933 – The Crescent Limited train derailed in Washington, D.C. after the bridge it was crossing was washed out by the 1933 Chesapeake–Potomac hurricane.

1941 – The Holocaust: Adolf Hitler ordered the cessation of Nazi Germany’s systematic T4 euthanasia program of the mentally ill and the handicapped due to protests, although killings continued for the remainder of the war.

1942 – World War II: The Battle of the Eastern Solomons. Japanese aircraft carrier Ryūjō was sunk with the loss of seven officers and 113 crewmen. The US carrier USS Enterprise was heavily damaged.

1944 – World War II: Allied troops began the attack on Paris.

1949 – The treaty which created the North Atlantic Treaty Organization went into effect.

1950 – Edith Sampson became the first black U.S. delegate to the United Nations.

1954 – The Communist Control Act, which outlawed the American Communist Party, went into effect.

1967 – Led by Abbie Hoffman, the Youth International Party temporarily disrupted trading at the New York Stock Exchange by throwing dollar bills from the viewing gallery, which caused trading to cease as brokers scrambled to grab them.

1970 – Vietnam War protesters bombed Sterling Hall at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, which led to an international manhunt for the perpetrators.

1978 – Bruce Springsteen appeared on the cover of “Rolling Stone.”

1979 – “I Wanna Be Your Lover” by Prince was released. It was his first U.S. hit.

1979 – The Cars performed at New York’s Central Park for an audience of a half million people.

1981 – Mark David Chapman was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for murdering John Lennon.

1983 – Jerry Lee Lewis’ wife, Shawn, was found dead at the couple’s home in Mississippi. An autopsy revealed she died of a methadone overdose.

1989 – The Who performed Tommy at the Universal Amphitheatre with special guests Steve Winwood, Elton John, Phil Collins, Patti LaBelle and Billy Idol.

1990 – It was ruled by a judge in Reno, NV, that the band Judas Priest was not responsible for the suicides of two youths after they had listened to the band’s music.

1990 – Sinead O’Connor refused to perform if the United States National Anthem was played before her show at the Garden State Arts Plaza in Homdel, NJ, as is custom. A patriotic uproar ensued which led to several radio stations banning her music.

1991 – Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as head of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

1991 – Ukraine declared itself independent from the Soviet Union.

1992 – Hurricane Andrew made landfall in Homestead, Florida as a Category 5 hurricane, and caused up to $25 billion (1992 USD) in damages.

1995 – Microsoft Windows 95 was released to the public in North America.

1998 – First radio-frequency identification (RFID) human implantation tested in the United Kingdom.

1998 – A Shania Twain concert in Syracuse, NY was halted when lightning hit the ground 40 yards behind the stage. The concert was almost over at the time of the lightning strike.

1998 – Ingrid Pederson came forward claiming to be the half-sister of John Lennon. The delay in information she said was to spare her adopted mother’s feelings.

1999 – Christina Aguilera’s self-titled debut album was released.

2006 – The International Astronomical Union (IAU) redefined the term “planet” such that Pluto is now considered a dwarf planet.

2016 – An earthquake struck Central Italy with a magnitude of 6.2, with aftershocks felt as far as Rome and Florence. Around 300 people were killed.

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