It happened today – this day in history – August 24

410: Rome is overrun by Visigoths under Alaric I.

1215: Pope Innocent III declares the Magna Carta invalid.

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

1349: 6,000 Jews, blamed for the Plague, are killed in Mainz.

1456: The printing of the Gutenberg Bible is completed.

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

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

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

1662: The Act of Uniformity requires the English to accept the Book of Common Prayer.

1682: The Duke of York gives Delaware to William Penn.

1704: The Battle of Málaga – the largest naval battle in the War of the Spanish Succession.

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

1789: The French National Assembly proclaims freedom of speech.

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

1816: The Treaty of St. Louis is signed by the USA and the united tribes of Ottawa, Ojibwa, and Potawatomi in St. Louis, Missouri.

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

1891: Thomas Edison patents the motion picture camera.

1909: Workers start pouring concrete for the construction of the Panama Canal.

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

1912: The District of Alaska becomes an organized incorporated territory of the United States.

1914: Germans defeat Belgian and 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, killing 44.

1932: Amelia Earhart completes the first non-stop transcontinental 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.

1939: German and Russia sign a 10-year non-aggression pact.

1940: The Luftwaffe bombs London.

1949: NATO goes into effect.


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1954: Brazilian president Getulio Vargas resigns under pressure from the military and then commits suicide. On the same day, President Dwight D Eisenhower pledges the US’s support to South Vietnam and signs the Communist Control Act, outlawing the Communist Party in the US. Also, Maserati driver Juan Manuel Fangio wins his second Formula 1 World Drivers Championship.

1956: The first non-stop transcontinental helicopter flight arrives in Washington, D.C.

1957: Seventeen-year old Jimmy Greaves makes his debut for Chelsea.

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

1966: The USSR launches Luna 11 for orbit around Moon.

1968: The First Division fixture between Nottingham Forest and eventual champions Leeds Utd is halted when a fire breaks out in the main stand at the City Ground. No one is injured. On the same day, Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull are busted for possession of pot and released on £50 bail. Also, the People’s Democracy (PD) stages a protest demonstration at Stormont, the Northern Ireland parliament building.

1975: Queen begin recording Bohemian Rhapsody at Rockfield studio’s in Monmouth, Wales.

1980: Jozef Pinkovski replaces Poland premier Babiuch. On the same day, actress, Yootha Joyce dies aged 53 of liver failure..

Singles chart:

  1. Ashes To Ashes – David Bowie
  2. Start – The Jam
  3. 9 To 5 – Sheena Easton
  4. The Winner Takes It All – ABBA
  5. Feels Like I’m In Love – Kelly Marie
  6. Tom Hark – The Piranhas
  7. Upside Down – Diana Ross
  8. I Die You Die – Gary Numan
  9. Oops Upside Your Head – The Gap Band
  10. The Sunshine Of Your Smile – Mike Berry
1980: Yes – Drama

Album chart:

  1. Flesh And Blood – Roxy Music
  2. Drama – Yes
  3. Back In Black – AC/DC
  4. Give Me The Night – George Benson
  5. Xanadu – Original Soundtrack
  6. Glory Road – Gillan
  7. Kaleidoscope – Siouxsie and the Banshees
  8. Me Myself I – Joan Armatrading
  9. Deepest Purple – Deep Purple
  10. Off The Wall – Michael Jackson

1981: Mark Chapman is given a life sentence with a minimum 20 years for the murder of John Lennon. He remains incarcerated after numerous unsuccessful applications for parole

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. On the same day, civil servant Dennis Nilsen goes on trial accused of six murders and two attempted murders.

1985: Five-year old John Shorthouse is shot dead in a police raid on his home in Birmingham. On the same day, Lásló Bíró, inventor of the ballpoint pen, dies aged 86.

1990: Teacher Brian Keenan is released in Beirut after more than four years in captivity. On the same day, Judas Priest successfully defend themselves against a lawsuit after two fans attempted suicide while listening to the Stained Class album. The prosecution claimed that there were subliminal messages in the group’s music that caused the two 17-year olds to carry out a suicide pact five years earlier. Also, Iraqi troops surround the US and other embassies in Kuwait City.

1991: Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as head of the USSR Communist Party and Ukraine declares independence.

1993: Police investigate allegations of child abuse made against Michael Jackson.

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 Argon compound ever known, is discovered by Finnish scientists at the University of Helsinki.

2004: 89 passengers die when Chechnyan suicide bombers explode two airliners flying out of Domodedovo International Airport, near Moscow.

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

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

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

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

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

2016: Astronomers announce 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, killing 268 and injuring 400.

2018: Scott Morrison becomes Prime Minister of Australia after defeating Peter Dutton in a leadership contest. On the same day, French Open Tennis bans Serena Williams’ black Nike catsuit from future tournaments citing ‘respect for the game and the place’.

2019: Prince Andrew denies knowing his friend Jeffrey Epstein was involved in sexual trafficking of underage girls after public accusations made against him.

BIRTHDAYS: Vince McMahon, wrestling promoter, 76; Jean-Michel Jarre, composer/musician, 73; Jeffrey Daniels, singer/dancer (Shalamar), 66; Kevin Dunn, actor, 65; Stephen Fry, actor/writer/director/broadcaster, 64; Ken Todd, footballer/manager, 64; Steve Guttenberg, actor, 63; Jared Harris, actor, 60; Mark Bedford, bassist (Madness), 60; David Koechner, actor/comedian, 59; Marlee Matlin, actress, 56; Michael Thomas, footballer, 54; Dave Chappelle, comedian, 48; Chad Michael Murray, actor, 40; Joanne Froggatt, actress, 40; Katie McGrath, actress, 38; Lisa Chambers, Irish politician, 35; Rupert Grint, actor, 33; Lucy Mecklenburgh, TV personality, 30.