Today in History – October 24

1632 – Scientist Anthony van Leeuwenhoek was born in Delft, Holland. He created the first microscope lenses that were powerful enough to observe single-celled animals.

1648 – The Holy Roman Empire was effectively destroyed by the Peace of Westphalia that brought an end to the Thirty Years War.

1795 – The country of Poland was divided up between Austria, Prussia, and Russia.

1836 – Alonzo D. Phillips received a patent for the phosphorous friction safety match.

1861 – The first transcontinental telegraph message was sent when Justice Stephen J. Field of California transmitted a telegram to U.S. President Lincoln.

1901 – Daredevil Anna Edson Taylor became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a wooden barrel. She was 63 years old.

1929 – In the U.S., investors dumped more than 13 million shares on the stock market. The day is known as “Black Tuesday.”

1931 – The upper level of the George Washington Bridge opened for traffic between New York and New Jersey.

1939 – Nylon stockings were sold to the public for the first time in Wilmington, DE.

1940 – In the U.S., the 40-hour workweek went into effect under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

1945 – The United Nations (UN) was formally established less than a month after the end of World War II. The Charter was ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and by a majority of other signatories.

1948 – The term “cold war” was used for the first time. It was in a speech by Bernard Baruch before the Senate War Investigating Committee.

1949 – The cornerstone for the U.N. Headquarters was laid in New York City.

1960 – All remaining American-owned property in Cuba was nationalized. The process of nationalizing all U.S. and foreign-owned property in Cuban had begun on August 6, 1960.

1962 – During the Cuban Missile Crisis, U.S. military forces went on the highest alert in the postwar era in preparation for a possible full-scale war with the Soviet Union. The U.S. blockade of Cuba officially began on this day.

1969 – Richard Burton bought his wife Elizabeth Taylor a 69-carat Cartier diamond ring for $1.5 million. Burton presented the ring to Taylor several days later.

1986 – Britain broke off relations with Syria after a Jordanian was convicted in an attempted bombing. The evidence in the trial led to the belief that Syria was involved in the attack on the Israeli jetliner.

1992 – The Toronto Blue Jays became the first non-U.S. team to win the World Series.

2001 – The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation that gave police the power to secretly search homes, tap all of a person’s telephone conversation and track people’s use of the Internet.

2001 – The U.S. stamp “United We Stand” was dedicated.

2001 – NASA’s 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft successfully entered orbit around Mars.

2002 – Microsoft Corp. and Walt Disney Co. announced the release of an upgraded MSN Internet service with Disney content.
Disney movies, music and books

2003 – In London, the last commercial supersonic Concorde flight landed.

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