Saturday, September 25, 2010

July 24th in History

1148    Louis VII of France, with his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, lays siege to Damascus during the Second Crusade.

1534    French explorer Jacques Cartier plants a cross on the GaspĂ© Peninsula and takes possession of the territory that woul become Canada, in the name of Francis I of France.

1683  First ship of settlers from Germany to U.S. leave aboard the ship Concord.

1701   Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founds the trading post at Fort Pontchartrain, which later becomes the city of Detroit, Michigan.  His name and his coat of arms continue on a line of luxury cars produced by General Motors.

Dumas, in 1855

1802   Birth of Alexandre Dumas, pere, dramatist, author of  the classics "The Three Musketeers" and "The Count of Monte Cristo".

1823  Slavery is abolished in Chile.  Chile was only the second country, after Haiti, to ban slavery in the western hemisphere.

1824 Harrisburg Pennsylvanian newspaper publishes results of 1st public opinion poll. Clear lead for Andrew Jackson

1832   Benjamin Bonneville leads the first wagon train across the Rocky Mountains by using Wyoming's South Pass.

1847   After 17 months of travel, Brigham Young leads 148 Mormon pioneers into Salt Lake Valley, resulting in the establishment of Salt Lake City. Celebrations of this event include the Pioneer Day Utah state holiday and the Days of '47 Parade.

1851  Window tax abolished in Britain.  The window tax was introduced in 1696 as an alternative to the income tax, but still intended to tax the wealthier and not the less affluent.  It worked for over 100 years in the UK...I'm just saying.

1866   Tennessee becomes the first U.S. State to be readmitted to the Union following the American Civil War.

1870   Trans-U.S. rail service begins.  The eastern terminus was in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  It was a remarkably transforming development in the history of this country. 

1877 Federal troops are used to combat strikers for the first time. 

1883 Arabi Pasha declares a holy war in Egypt.

1886 China takes British protectorate of Burma.

1888  On this date, the House of Representatives approved a resolution to add legislative signal bells to the House wing of the Capitol to keep Members informed of House Floor proceedings.  It was part of adding electricity and lighting to the capitol building (courtesy of the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives Historical Highlights).

a young O. Henry

1900  Race riot in New Orleans, 2 white policemen killed

1901  William S. Porter, who wrote classic short stories under the name O. Henry, is released from prison in Austin, Texas after serving three years for embezzlement from a bank.  In 1881 he had been licensed as a pharmacist.  He also worked as a shepherd, draftsman, journalist, artist, and bank teller.  He denied the embezzlement charges.  His writing supported his daughter while he was in prison.  It was O. Henry who coined the term 'banana republic' in one of his stories.  The O. Henry award is given for excellence in short stories, much like the Edgar (named for Edgar Alan Poe is awarded for mystery writing and the Hugo is awarded for science fiction).

actual photo from the Machu Pichu
 expedition, hand tinted

1911   Hiram Bingham III re-discovers Machu Picchu, "the Lost City of the Incas".

1919   Race Riot in Washington D.C. (6 killed, 100 wounded)

dust storm in Texas 1935

1935   The dust bowl heat wave reaches its peak, sending temperatures to 109°F (44°C) in Chicago and 104°F (40°C) in Milwaukee, WI.

1936  The dust bowl heat wave continues, reaching
118 degrees F (48 degrees C), Minden, Nebraska (state record)  and
121 degrees F (49 degrees C), near Alton, Kansas (state record)

1937   Alabama drops rape charges against the so-called "Scottsboro Boys".

1941   Nazi execute entire Jewish population of Grodz, Lithuania

1943   World War II: Operation Gomorrah begins: British and Canadian aeroplanes bomb Hamburg by night, those of the Americans by day. By the end of the operation in November, 9,000 tons of explosives will have killed more than 30,000 people and destroyed 280,000 buildings.

1948  Soviets blockade access to Berlin from the Allies, resulting in the Berlin airlift, lasting nearly a year, a major event in the cold war.

1950   Cape Canaveral Air Force Station begins operations.

1952  President Truman settles 53-day steel strike
          112 degrees F (44 degrees C), Louisville, Georgia (state record)

1974   In theWatergate scandal: the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled President Richard Nixon did not have the authority to withhold subpoenaed White House tapes.  They order him to surrender the tapes to the Watergate special prosecutor.  Nixon eventually resigns.

2002  Democrat James Traficant is expelled from the United States House of Representatives on a vote of 420 to 1.  Trafficant has filed in January 2010 to run for office again.

2005   Lance Armstrong wins his seventh consecutive Tour de France.

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