Friday, August 24, 2007

Today in History....August 24

On this day in …

* 79, long-dormant Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in volcanic ash. An estimated 20,000 people died

* 410, Rome was overrun by the Visigoths, an event that symbolized the fall of the Western Roman Empire

* 1814, British forces invaded Washington, setting fire to the Capitol and the White House, among other buildings

* 1857, the New York branch of the Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Co.
failed, sparking the "Panic of 1857"

* 1932, Amelia Earhart embarked on a 19-hour flight from Los Angeles to Newark, N.J., making her the first woman to fly solo non-stop from coast to coast

* 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty came into force

* 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Communist Control Act, outlawing the Communist Party in the United States

* 1970, a bomb planted by anti-war extremists exploded at the University of Wisconsin's Sterling Hall in Madison, killing 33-year-old researcher Robert Fassnacht

* 2002, in Oregon City, Ore., the FBI uncovered human remains in an outbuilding behind the house of Ward Weaver III, a suspect in the case of two missing girls who lived across the street. (Authorities recovered the remains of 12-year-old Ashley Pond and 13-year-old Miranda Gaddis; Weaver later pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and was sentenced to two consecutive life terms in prison.)

* 2006, the International Astronomical Union declared that Pluto was no longer a planet, demoting it to the status of a "dwarf planet."


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