It happened today – this day in history – April 24

1731: Death of novelist Daniel Defoe.

1801: First performance of Joseph Haydn’s oratorio “Die Jahreszeiten”.

1872: Mt Vesuvius erupts in Italy.

1880: Amateur Athletic Association, governing body for men’s athletics in England & Wales, is founded in Oxford.

1888: Eastman Kodak is founded by George Eastman.

1898: Spain declares war on the US after rejecting an ultimatum to withdraw from Cuba.

1913: The Woolworth Building in New York City is opened – world’s tallest building at the time.

1915: The German army uses chloroform gas at Ypres.

1916: The Easter Rising of Irish republicans against British occupation begins in Dublin. On the same day, Ernest Shackleton and five men of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition launch a lifeboat from uninhabited Elephant Island in the Southern Ocean to organise a rescue for ice-trapped ship Endurance.

1920: Polish troops attack Ukraine.

1929: The first non-stop flight from England to India takes-off.

1942: Exeter is bombed by the Luftwaffe for a second night.

1950: US President Harry Truman denies there are communists in the US government. On the same day, Jordan annexes the West Bank.

1953: Winston Churchill is knighted by The Queen.

1954: Security forces round up more than 10,000 men in the biggest anti Mau Mau operation since the state of emergency was declared in Kenya 18 months ago.

1961: The 17th century Swedish warship Vasa, which sank on her maiden voyage in 1628, is salvaged after more than 350 years.

1965: Military coup under Donald Reid Cabral in Dominican Republic.

1967: The Soviet Union announces the catastrophic failure of its latest space mission, with the crash of Soyuz 1 and the death of cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov, the first known fatality in space.


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1968: The Beatles’ new company, Apple Records turns down David Bowie. On the same day, leftist students take over Columbia University in New York.

1969: Paul McCartney says there is no truth to rumours he is dead. On the same day, British Leyland launches the Austin Maxi. Also, loyalist members of the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and the Ulster Protestant Volunteers (UPV) explode a bomb at a water pipeline between Lough Neagh and Belfast.

1970: Gambia becomes a republic within the Commonwealth.

1974: Death of comedian Bud Abbott aged 78.

1975: The Baader-Meinhof gang of terrorists blow up the West German embassy in Stockholm after a 12-hour stand-off. On the same day, singer-songwriter Pete Ham of Badfinger commits suicide aged 27 by hanging himself in the garage of his Surrey home.

1976: Paul and Linda McCartney spend the evening with John Lennon at his New York apartment and watch Saturday Night Live on TV. Producer Lorne Michaels made an offer on air asking The Beatles to turn up and play three songs live. Lennon and McCartney thought about taking a short cab ride to the studio, but decided they were too tired.

1986: The Duchess of Windsor dies aged 89.

1990: The space shuttle Discovery takes off, carrying the revolutionary Hubble Telescope into orbit.

1992: David Bowie marries supermodel and actress Iman in Switzerland.

1993: A massive IRA bomb rips through Bishopsgate in the heart of the City of London, killing a news photographer and injuring 44 others.

1994: Singles chart:

  1. The Most Beautiful Girl In The World – TAFKAP
  2. Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm – Crash Test Dummies
  3. The Real Thing – Tony Di Bart
  4. Always – Erasure
  5. Sweets For My Sweet – C J Lewis
  6. Dedicated To The One I Love – Bitty McLean
  7. Everything Changes – Take That
  8. I Like To Move It – Reel 2 Real ft Mad Stuntman
  9. Streets Of Philadelphia – Bruce Springsteen
  10. I’ll Stand By You – The Pretenders
1994: Pink Floyd – The Division Bell

Album chart:

  1. The Division Bell – Pink Floyd
  2. Our Town: Greatest Hits – Deacon Blue
  3. The Very Best Of – Marvin Gaye
  4. Toni Braxton – Toni Braxton
  5. Crash Boom Bang – Roxette
  6. Happy Nation – Ace Of Base
  7. D:Ream On Vol 1 – D:Ream
  8. A Night In San Francisco – Van Morrison
  9. His ‘N’ Hers – Pulp
  10. Blues – Jimi Hendrix

2004: Marion “Suge” Knight, founder of Death Row records, is released from prison in California after serving 10 months for breaking parole on a 1997 assault. Knight was sent back to prison on August 4 for a second parole violation after he punched a parking attendant outside a Hollywood night-club in 2003. On the same day, cosmetics entrepreneur Estee Lauder dies aged 97.

2016: Soul singer Billy Paul dies from pancreatic cancer at the age of 81.

2020: TV presenter Lynn Faulds Wood dies from a stroke aged 72.

2021: President Joe Biden becomes the first US President to officially recognize killing of Armenians in the Ottoman empire during WWII as ‘genocide’.

BIRTHDAYS: Shirley MacLaine (Beaty), 88; Barbra Streisand, actress/director/singer, 80; Tony Visconti, record producer, 78; Doug Clifford, drummer (Credence Clearwater Revival) 77; Mick Jones, footballer, 77; Nigel Harrison, bassist (Blondie) 71; Jean Paul Gaultier, fashion designer, 70; Stuart Pearce, football coach, 60; Paul Ryder, bassist, (The Happy Mondays) 58; Djimon Honsou, actor, 58; Cedric The Entertainer (Kyles), actor/comedian, 58; Patty Schemel, drummer (Hole) 55; Aidan Gillen (Murphy) actor, 54; Sachin Tendulkar, cricketer, 49; Gabby Logan, broadcaster, 49; Brian Marshall, bassist (Creed) 48; Eric Balfour, actor, 45; Kelly Clarkson, singer/TV host, 40; Ben Howard, singer-songwriter, 35; Jan Vertonghen, footballer, 35; Jack Quaid, actor, 30.