Today in History


Today is Monday, April 24, the 114th day of 2023. There are 251 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 24, 1962, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology achieved the first satellite relay of a television signal, between Camp Parks, California, and Westford, Massachusetts.

On this date:

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 1960, rioting erupted in Biloxi, Mississippi, after Black protesters staging a “wade-in” at a whites-only beach were attacked by a crowd of hostile whites.

In 1961, in the wake of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, the White House issued a statement saying that President John F. Kennedy “bears sole responsibility for the events of the past few days.”

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 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.

In 1995, the final bomb linked to the Unabomber exploded inside the Sacramento, California, offices of a lobbying group for the wood products industry, killing chief lobbyist Gilbert B. Murray. (Theodore Kaczynski was later sentenced to four lifetimes in prison for a series of bombings that killed three people and injured 29 others.)

In 2005, Pope Benedict XVI formally began his stewardship of the Roman Catholic Church; the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said in his installation homily that as pontiff he would listen to the will of God in governing the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics.

In 2013, in Bangladesh, a shoddily constructed eight-story commercial building housing garment factories collapsed, killing more than 1,100 people.

In 2019, avowed racist John William King was executed in Texas for the 1998 slaying of James Byrd Jr., who was chained to the back of a truck and dragged along a road outside Jasper, Texas; prosecutors said Byrd was targeted because he was Black.

In 2020, the Food and Drug Administration issued an alert about the dangers of using a malaria drug that President Donald Trump had repeatedly promoted for coronavirus patients. The parent company of Lysol and another disinfectant warned that its products should not be used as an internal treatment for the coronavirus, a day after Trump wondered aloud about that prospect during a White House briefing.

Ten years ago: A magnitude-5.7 earthquake near Jalalabad, Afghanistan killed more than 30 people and injured more than 100. The 11th-century minaret of a famed mosque in Aleppo, Syria collapsed as rebels and government troops clashed in the streets around it, depriving the city of one of its most important landmarks. The Umayyad Mosque was a UNESCO world heritage site and the centerpiece of Aleppo’s walled Old City.

Five years ago: Former police officer Joseph DeAngelo was arrested at his home near Sacramento, California, after DNA linked him to crimes attributed to the so-called Golden State Killer; authorities believed he committed 13 murders and more than 50 rapes in the 1970s and 1980s. (DeAngelo is awaiting trial.) Scientists announced that they had used infrared spectroscopy data from the Gemini North telescope to determine that hydrogen sulfide is present in the clouds of Uranus.

One year ago: French President Emmanuel Macron comfortably won reelection to a second term. The victory for the 44-year-old centrist spared France and Europe from the seismic upheaval of a shift of power to firebrand populist, far-right challenger Marine Le Pen. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the highest-level visit to the war-torn country’s capital by an American delegation since the start of Russia’s invasion. The death toll from accidents at two coal mines in southern Poland increased to nine after four miners were brought to the surface and pronounced dead.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Shirley MacLaine is 89. Actor-singer-director Barbra Streisand is 81. Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley is 81. Country singer Richard Sterban (The Oak Ridge Boys) is 80. Rock musician Doug Clifford (Creedence Clearwater Revival) is 78. R&B singer Ann Peebles is 76. Former Irish Taoiseach (TEE’-shuk) Enda Kenny is 72. Actor-playwright Eric Bogosian is 70. Rock singer-musician Jack Blades (Night Ranger) is 69. Actor Michael O’Keefe is 68. Rock musician David J (Bauhaus) is 66. Actor Glenn Morshower is 64. Rock musician Billy Gould is 60. Actor-comedian Cedric the Entertainer is 59. Actor Djimon Hounsou (JEYE’-mihn OHN’-soo) is 59. Rock musician Patty Schemel (Hole) is 56. Actor Stacy Haiduk is 55. Rock musician Aaron Comess (Spin Doctors) is 55. Actor Aidan Gillen is 55. Actor Melinda Clarke is 54. Actor Rory McCann is 54. Latin pop singer Alejandro Fernandez is 52. Country-rock musician Brad Morgan (Drive-By Truckers) is 52. Rock musician Brian Marshall (Creed; Alter Bridge) is 50. Actor Derek Luke is 49. Actor-producer Thad Luckinbill is 48. Actor Eric Balfour is 46. Actor Rebecca Mader is 46. Country singer Rebecca Lynn Howard is 44. Country singer Danny Gokey is 43. Actor Reagan Gomez is 43. Actor Austin Nichols is 43. Actor Sasha Barrese is 42. Contemporary Christian musician Jasen Rauch (Red) is 42. Singer Kelly Clarkson is 41. Rock singer-musician Tyson Ritter (The All-American Rejects) is 39. Country singer Carly Pearce is 33. Actor Joe Keery is 31. Actor Jack Quaid is 31. Actor Doc Shaw is 31. Actor Jordan Fisher is 29. Golfer Lydia Ko is 26.

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