Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Today in History....January 24

On this day in …

1848, James W. Marshall discovered a gold nugget at Sutter's Mill in northern California, a discovery that led to the gold rush of '49
1907, in Ormond Beach, Florida, Glenn Curtiss, an engineer who got his start building motors for bicycles, set an unofficial land-speed record on a self-built V-8 motorcycle on this day: 136.29mph. No automobile surpassed that speed until 1911

1908, the Boy Scouts movement begins in England with the publication of the first installment of Robert Baden-Powell's Scouting for Boys. The name Baden-Powell was already well known to many English boys, and thousands of them eagerly bought up the handbook. By the end of April, the serialization of Scouting for Boys was completed, and scores of impromptu Boy Scout troops had sprung up across Britain

1916, the Supreme Court handed down a decision ruling in favor of an amendment paving the way for the federal income tax. (The Constitution explicitly forbade direct taxation of citizens) 1924, the Russian city of Petrograd (formerly St. Petersburg) was renamed Leningrad in honor of the late revolutionary leader (however, it has since been renamed St. Petersburg)

1943, President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill concluded a wartime conference in Casablanca, Morocco

1972, the Supreme Court struck down laws that denied welfare benefits to people who had resided in a state for less than a year

1978, a nuclear-powered Soviet satellite, Cosmos 954, plunged through Earth's atmosphere and disintegrated, scattering radioactive debris over parts of northern Canada

1987, gunmen in Lebanon, practitioners of that "religion of peace", kidnapped educators Alann Steen, Jesse Turner and Robert Polhill and Mitheleshwar Singh (all were eventually released)

1989, confessed serial killer Theodore Bundy was put to death in Florida's electric chair

2003, the new Department of Homeland Security officially opened as its head, Tom Ridge, was sworn in

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