Today in History

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Today is Tuesday, April 24, the 114th day of 2018. There are 251 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 24, 1800, Congress approved a bill establishing the Library of Congress.

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On this date:

In 1792, Capt. Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle began composing “War Song for the Rhine Army,” later known as “La Marseillaise” (lah mahr-say-YEHZ’), the national anthem of France.

In 1877, federal troops were ordered out of New Orleans, ending the North’s post-Civil War rule in the South.

In 1915, in what’s considered the start of the Armenian genocide, the Ottoman Empire began rounding up Armenian political and cultural leaders in Constantinople.

In 1916, some 1,600 Irish nationalists launched the Easter Rising by seizing several key sites in Dublin. (The rising was put down by British forces five days later.)

In 1932, in the Free State of Prussia, the Nazi Party gained a plurality of seats in parliamentary elections.

In 1947, novelist Willa Cather died in New York at age 73.

In 1953, British statesman Winston Churchill was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

In 1962, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology achieved the first satellite relay of a television signal, using NASA’s Echo 1 balloon satellite to bounce a video image from Camp Parks, California, to Westford, Massachusetts.

In 1967, Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov was killed when his Soyuz 1 spacecraft smashed into the Earth after his parachutes failed to deploy properly during re-entry; he was the first human spaceflight fatality.

In 1970, the People’s Republic of China launched its first satellite, which kept transmitting a song, “The East Is Red.”

In 1980, the United States launched an unsuccessful attempt to free the American hostages in Iran, a mission that resulted in the deaths of eight U.S. servicemen.

In 1990, the space shuttle Discovery blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying the $1.5 billion Hubble Space Telescope.

Ten years ago: The White House accused North Korea of assisting Syria’s secret nuclear program, saying a Syrian nuclear reactor destroyed by Israel in 2007 was not intended for “peaceful purposes.”

Five years ago: In Bangladesh, a shoddily constructed eight-story commercial building housing garment factories collapsed, killing more than 1,100 people.

One year ago: Two inmates received lethal injections on the same gurney about three hours apart as Arkansas completed the nation’s first double execution since 2000, just days after the state ended a nearly 12-year hiatus on administering capital punishment. Astronaut Peggy Whitson broke the U.S. record for most time in space and talked up Mars during a congratulatory call from President Donald Trump; the International Space Station’s commander surpassed the record of 534 days, two hours and 48 minutes for most accumulated time in space by an American.

Today’s Birthdays: Movie director-producer Richard Donner is 88. Actress Shirley MacLaine is 84. Actress-singer-director Barbra Streisand is 76. Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley is 76. Country singer Richard Sterban (The Oak Ridge Boys) is 75. Rock musician Doug Clifford (Creedence Clearwater Revival) is 73. Rock singer-musician Rob Hyman is 68. Former Irish Taoiseach (TEE’-shuk) Enda Kenny is 67. Actor-playwright Eric Bogosian is 65. Rock singer-musician Jack Blades (Night Ranger) is 64. Actor Michael O’Keefe is 63. Rock musician David J (Bauhaus) is 61. Actor Glenn Morshower is 59. Rock musician Billy Gould is 55. Actor-comedian Cedric the Entertainer is 54. Actor Djimon Hounsou (JEYE’-mihn OHN’-soo) is 54. Rock musician Patty Schemel is 51. Actress Stacy Haiduk is 50. Rock musician Aaron Comess (Spin Doctors) is 50. Actor Aidan Gillen is 50. Actress Melinda Clarke is 49. Actor Rory McCann is 49. Latin pop singer Alejandro Fernandez is 47. Country-rock musician Brad Morgan (Drive-By Truckers) is 47. Rock musician Brian Marshall (Creed; Alter Bridge) is 45. Actor Derek Luke is 44. Actor-producer Thad Luckinbill is 43. Actor Eric Balfour is 41. Actress Rebecca Mader is 41. Country singer Rebecca Lynn Howard is 39. Country singer Danny Gokey is 38. Actress Reagan Gomez is 38. Actor Austin Nichols is 38. Actress Sasha Barrese is 37. Contemporary Christian musician Jasen Rauch (Red) is 37. Singer Kelly Clarkson is 36. Rock singer-musician Tyson Ritter (The All-American Rejects) is 34. Actor Joe Keery is 26. Actor Jack Quaid is 26. Actor Doc Shaw is 26. Golfer Lydia Ko is 21.