It happened today – this day in history – August 24

79: Mt Vesuvius erupts, burying Pompeii and Herculaneum, killing 15,000.

410: Rome is overrun by Visigoths under Alaric I for the first time in nearly 800 years – seen as the fall of the Roman Empire.

1215: Pope Innocent III declares the Magna Carta invalid.

1217: The English fleet beat France at the Battle of South Foreland.

1456: The printing of the Gutenberg Bible is completed.

1558: The English fleet beats the Spanish at the Battle of Gravelines.

1572: St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre of Protestants by Roman Catholics begins in Paris.

1608: The first English convoy lands at Surat, India.

1751: Chimney sweep Thomas Colley is executed for leading a mob which drowned a supposed witch, Ruth Osbourne, in Tring, Herts.

1759: Birth of abolitionist William Wilberforce in Kingston-upon-Hull.

1787: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart completes his violin and piano sonata in A.

1814: British forces capture Washington, D.C. and destroy many landmarks.

1847: Charlotte Bronte finishes the manuscript of “Jane Eyre”.

1857: The Panic of 1857 begins, setting off one of the most severe economic crises in US history.

1891: Thomas Edison patents the motion picture camera.

1908: Tommy Burns KOs Bill Squires in Round 13 for the heavyweight boxing title.

1909: Workers start pouring concrete for the Panama Canal.

1911: Manuel d’Arriaga is elected first president of Portugal.

1914: Germans defeat Belgian/British troops at the Battle of Bergen. On the same day, German troops occupy Namur, Belgium.

1920: With British approval, Greece is encouraged to take offensive action against Turkish nationalists in Asia Minor.

1921: British airship R-38 crashes in the River Humber. 44 die.

1925: Helen Wills Moody beats Kitty McKane of England 3-6, 6-0, 6-2 for her third straight US National singles title.

1932: Amelia Earhart sets off on the first transcontinental non-stop flight by a woman.

1936: President Franklin D Roosevelt gives the FBI authority to pursue fascists and communists.

1937: In the Spanish Civil War, the Basque Army surrenders to the Italian Corpo Truppe Volontarie following the Santoña Agreement.

1954: Brazilian president Getulio Vargas resigns under pressure from the military then commits suicide. On the sasme day, President Eisenhower signs the Communist Control Act, outlawing the Communist Party at the height of McCarthyism.

1956: Singles chart:

  1. Que Sera Sera – Doris Day
  2. Why Do Fools Fall In Love – Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers
  3. Sweet Old Fashioned Girl – Teresa Brewer
  4. Walk Hand In Hand – Tony Martin
  5. Mountain Greenery – Mel Torme
  6. Rockin’ Through The Rye – Bill Haley and his Comets
  7. Heartbreak Hotel – Elvis Presley
  8. I’ll Be Home – Pat Boone
  9. The Wayward Wind – Tex Ritter
  10. Serenade – Slim Whitman

1957: 17 year-old Jimmy Greaves plays his first game for Chelsea.

1961: Former South African nazi leader Johannes Vorster becomes South Africa’s minister of justice.

1966: USSR launches Luna 11 for orbit around Moon.

1969: Peru nationalizes US oil interests.

1969: Jethro Tull – Stand Up

Album chart:

  1. From Elvis In Memphis – Elvis Presley
  2. Stand Up – Jethro Tull
  3. According To My Heart – Jim Reeves
  4. The World of Val Doonican – Val Doonican
  5. His Orchestra, His Chorus, His Singers, His Sound – Ray Conniff
  6. Flaming Star – Elvis Presley
  7. The World Of Mantovani – Mantovani
  8. Hair – Original London Cast
  9. Oliver! – Original Soundtrack
  10. This Is Tom Jones – Tom Jones

1980: Comedy actress Yootha Joyce dies dies of liver failure at 53.

1981: Mark Chapman is given a minimum 20 year jail sentence for the murder of John Lennon. Despite numerous applications for parole he is still incarcerated.

1983: The fifth wife of Jerry Lee Lewis, Shawn Michelle Stevens, is found dead at their Mississippi home from a methadone overdose. They had been married less than three months.

1985: Five-year-old John Shorthouse is shot dead in a police raid on his home in Birmingham.

1990: Teacher Brian Keenan, is released in Beirut after more than four years in captivity. On the same day, Judas Priest successfully defended themselves against a lawsuit after two fans attempted suicide while listening to the Stained Class album. Both fans eventually died, one immediately from a shotgun blast, and the other from a second attempt three years later by a methadone overdose. The prosecution claimed that there were subliminal messages in the group’s music that caused the two 17 year-olds to carry out the suicide pact in 1985. Also, Iraqi troops surround the US and other embassies in Kuwait City.

1991: Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as head of the Soviet Communist Party. On the same day, Ukraine declares independence from the USSR.

1992: Diplomatic relations are established between the People’s Republic of China and South Korea.

1993: Police in Los Angeles investigate allegations of child abuse made against singer Michael Jackson by the father of 13-year old Jordie Chandler.

1995: Microsoft debuts Windows 95.

1998: The Netherlands is selected as the site for the trial of the two Libyan suspects of the 1988 Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland.

2000: Argon fluorohydride, the first ever Argon compound, is discovered at the University of Helsinki.

2004: Two airliners explode after flying out of Domodedovo International Airport, near Moscow, killing 89. The explosions were caused by Chechnyan suicide bombers.

2005: Justin Timberlake accepted libel damages for a fabricated News of the World story that he had an affair behind girlfriend Cameron Diaz’s back.

2007: The Athletics World Championships open at Osaka, Japan.

2009: The Los Angeles County Coroner ruled Michael Jackson’s death as homicide caused by a mix of drugs meant to treat insomnia.

2010: George Michael pleaded guilty at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court to driving under the influence of drugs. He had been arrested in July after crashing his car into the front of a Snappy Snaps store in Hampstead.

2011: Steve Jobs resigns as CEO of Apple Inc. through illness.

2012: A US jury finds that Samsung is guilty of patent infringement and awards over US$1 billion in damages to Apple.

2013: Four people are killed in a helicopter crash in the Shetland Islands.

2014: Death Row Records founder Marion ‘Suge’ Knight was injured in a shooting at a party that Chris Brown was hosting in Los Angeles. On the same day, director/acrot Sir Richard Attenborough dies aged 90.

2015: Prof Stephen Hawking presents a new theory on black holes at a lecture at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.

2016: Astronomers announce the discovery of earth-like planet named Proxima b orbiting star Proxima Centauri. On the same day, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake strikes central Italy, north east of Rome.

2018: Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler sends a cease-and-desist letter to President Donald Trump demanding he stop using the band’s songs at rallies. On the same day, the French Open bans Serena Williams’ black Nike catsuit from future tournaments.

2019: Prince Andrew denies knowing his friend Jeffrey Epstein was involved in sexual trafficking of underage girls.

BIRTHDAYS: Howard Jacobson, novelist, 78; Ken Hensley, keyboards (Uriah Heep) 75; Jean-Michel Jarre, keybards, 72; Jeffrey Daniels, singer/dancer (Shalamar), 65; Stephen Fry, comedian/writer/actor, 63; Steve Guttenberg, actor, 62; Mark “Bedders” Bedford, bassist (Madness) 59; Jared Harris, actor, 59; Marlee Matlin, actress, 55; Dave Chappelle, comedian/actor, 47; Chad Michael Murray, actor, 39; Christopher Parker, actor, 37; Rupert Grint, actor, 32.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]