Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Today in History....October 24

* 1648, the Peace of Westphalia is signed, marking the end of the Thirty Years' War.

* 1795, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is completely divided between Austria, Prussia and Russia

* 1861, the First Transcontinental Telegraph line across the United States is completed, spelling the end for the 18-month-old Pony Express

* 1901, Annie Edson Taylor becomes the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel

* 1911, Orville Wright remained in the air 9 minutes and 45 seconds in a glider at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina setting a new world record that stood for 10 years

* 1912, the Battle of Kumanovo concludes with the Serbian victory

* 1917, Battle of Caporetto starts on the Austro-Italian front of World War I

* 1926, Harry Houdini's last performance, which was at the Garrick Theater in Detroit, Michigan

* 1929, "Black Thursday" stock market crash on the New York Stock Exchange

* 1930, a bloodless coup d'état in Brazil ousts Washington Luís Pereira de Sousa, the last President of the First Republic. Getúlio Dornelles Vargas is then installed as "provisional president"

* 1931, the George Washington Bridge, connecting New York and New Jersey, was officially dedicated (it opened to traffic the next day)

* 1940, the 40-hour work week went into effect under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938

* 1945, founding of the United Nations

* 1952, Republican presidential candidate Dwight D. Eisenhower pledges United States support to South Vietnam

* 1962, the U.S. blockade of Cuba during the missile crisis officially began under a proclamation signed by President John F.
Kennedy

* 1973, Yom Kippur War ends

* 1977, Veterans Day is observed on the fourth Monday in October for the seventh and last time. (The holiday is once again observed on November 11 beginning the following year.)

* 1980, government of Poland legalizes Solidarity trade union

* 1986, Nezar Hindawi, a practitioner of that "religion of peace", is sentenced to 45 years in prison, the longest sentence handed down by a British court, for the attempted bombing on an El Al flight at Heathrow. After the verdict, the United Kingdom breaks diplomatic relations with Syria, claiming that Hindawi was helped by Syrian officials

* 2002, police arrest spree killers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, ending the Beltway sniper attacks in the area around Washington, DC.

* 2003, the Concorde makes its last commercial flight, bringing the era of airliner supersonic transport to a close, at least for the time being

* 2001, the Provisional Irish Republican Army of Northern Ireland commences disarmament after peace talks

* 2002, Chechen rebels seize the House of Culture theater in Moscow and take approximately 700 theater-goers hostage

* 2006, American officials unveiled a timeline for Iraq's Shiite-led government to take specific steps to calm Baghdad and said more U.S.
troops might be needed to quell the bloodshed

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