Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Friday, July 24, the 205th day of 2015. There are 160 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 24, 1915, the SS Eastland, a passenger ship carrying more than 2,500 people, rolled onto its side while docked at the Clark Street Bridge on the Chicago River; an estimated 844 people died in the disaster.

On this date:

In 1783, Latin American revolutionary Simon Bolivar (see-MOHN’ boh-LEE’-vahr) was born in Caracas, Venezuela.

In 1862, Martin Van Buren, the eighth president of the United States, and the first to have been born a U.S. citizen, died at age 79 in Kinderhook, New York, the town where he was born in 1782.

In 1866, Tennessee became the first state to be readmitted to the Union after the Civil War.

In 1923, the Treaty of Lausanne, which settled the boundaries of modern Turkey, was concluded in Switzerland.

In 1937, the state of Alabama dropped charges against four of the nine young black men accused of raping two white women in the “Scottsboro Case.”

In 1959, during a visit to Moscow, Vice President Richard Nixon engaged in his famous “Kitchen Debate” with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.

In 1969, the Apollo 11 astronauts — two of whom had been the first men to set foot on the moon — splashed down safely in the Pacific.

In 1974, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that President Richard Nixon had to turn over subpoenaed White House tape recordings to the Watergate special prosecutor.

In 1975, an Apollo spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific, completing a mission which included the first-ever docking with a Soyuz capsule from the Soviet Union.

In 1980, comedian-actor Peter Sellers died in London at 54.

In 1998, a gunman burst into the U.S. Capitol, killing two police officers before being shot and captured. (The shooter, Russell Eugene Weston Jr., is being held in a federal mental facility.)

In 2002, nine coal miners became trapped in a flooded tunnel of the Quecreek Mine in western Pennsylvania; the story ended happily 77 hours later with the rescue of all nine.

Ten years ago: Lance Armstrong won his seventh consecutive Tour de France (he was later stripped of all his titles after admitting to doping). Sir Richard Doll, the British scientist who first established a link between smoking and lung cancer, died in Oxford, England, at age 92.

Five years ago: A stampede inside a tunnel crowded with techno music fans left 21 people dead and more than 500 injured at the famed Love Parade festival in western Germany. Fourteen-year-old Jim Liu beat Justin Thomas 4 and 2 to become the youngest U.S. Junior Amateur champion at Egypt Valley Country Club in Ada, Michigan.

One year ago: Air Algerie Flight 5017, an MD-83 carrying 116 people, crashed in northern Mali, killing all on board; it was the third major international aviation disaster in a week. A psychiatrist’s patient opened fire at a medical complex in Media, Pennsylvania, killing his caseworker and grazing his psychiatrist before the doctor pulled out his own weapon and fired back, wounding the patient. Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice received a two-game suspension from the NFL following his offseason arrest for domestic violence after an altercation with then-fiancee (later wife) Janay Palmer in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor John Aniston is 82. Political cartoonist Pat Oliphant is 80. Comedian Ruth Buzzi is 79. Actor Mark Goddard is 79. Actor Dan Hedaya is 75. Actor Chris Sarandon is 73. Comedian Gallagher is 69. Actor Robert Hays is 68. Former Republican national chairman Marc Racicot (RAWS’-koh) is 67. Actor Michael Richards is 66. Actress Lynda Carter is 64. Movie director Gus Van Sant is 63. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is 62. Country singer Pam Tillis is 58. Actor Paul Ben-Victor is 53. Basketball Hall of Famer Karl Malone is 52. Retired MLB All-Star Barry Bonds is 51. Actor Kadeem Hardison is 50. Actress-singer Kristin Chenoweth is 47. Actress Laura Leighton is 47. Actor John P. Navin Jr. is 47. Actress-singer Jennifer Lopez is 46. Basketball player-turned-actor Rick Fox is 46. Actor Eric Szmanda is 40. Actress Rose Byrne is 36. Country singer Jerrod Niemann is 36. Actress Summer Glau is 34. Actress Elisabeth Moss is 33. Actress Anna Paquin is 33. Actress Megan Park is 29. Actress Mara Wilson is 28. Rock singer Jay McGuiness (The Wanted) is 25. Actress Emily Bett Rickards is 24. TV personality Bindi Irwin is 17.

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