This Day in History

October 24


996      first King of the Franks of the House of Capet Hugh Capet dies after a reign of 9 years, age 55   1022
1147      Christian forces led by Afonso I of Portugal retake Lisbon from over 400 years of Moorish rule   871
1260      Cathedral of Chartres dedicated   758
1360      Treaty of Brétigny signed in the previous May by Edward III of England and John II of France is ratified as the Treaty of Calais   658
1537      Jane Seymour, King Henry VIII third wife and Queen of England dies following postnatal complications, age 28   481
1601      Tycho Brahe, astronomer, dies, age 54   417
1632      birth of Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, biologist, in Delft, Dutch Republic   386
1655      French mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher Pierre Gassendi dies in Paris, age 63   363
1725      Italian composer and founder of the Neopolitan school of opera Alessandro Scarlatti dies, age 65   293
1851      English astronomer William Lassell discovers Ariel and Umbriel, two moons of Uranus   167
1852      American statesman Daniel Webster dies in Marshfield, Massachusetts, age 70   166
1857      Sheffield Football Club is founded in Sheffield, England—world's oldest club now playing Association football   161
1901      Anne Edson Taylor becomes first person to "go over" Niagara Falls in a barrel—she survives   117
1911      lighthouse keeper Idawalley Zorada Lewis-Wilson (Ida Lewis), credited with saving 18 lives, dies on Lime Rock Island, Rhode Island   107
1926      artist of the American West Charles M. Russell dies in Great Falls, Montana, age 62   92
1931      George Washington Bridge connecting Manhattan to New Jersey opens   87
1939      Nylon stockings go on sale publicly for the first time   79
1945      United Nations charter goes into effect   73
1946      first photographs of earth above atmosphere—camera aboard a V-2 rocket   72
1960      Nedelin Catastrophe: R-16 ballistic missile explodes on the launch pad at the Soviet Union's Baikonur Cosmodrome killing over 100   58
1971      Detroit Lion Charles Frederick "Chuck" Hughes is the only NFL player to die (heart atack) on the field during a game, age 28   47
1972      American baseball player Jackie Robinson dies, age 53   46
1991      American screenwriter, producer, and creator of Star Trek Eugene Wesley Roddenberry dies in Santa Monica, California, age 70   27
1992      Toronto Blue Jays become the first MLB team outside the U.S. to win the World Series—in 6 games over the Atlanta Braves   26
1998      launch of NASA's Deep Space 1 to flyby asteroid 9969 Braille and comet Borrelly—first use of an ion engine   20
2003      last commercial flight of the Concorde—New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport to London's Heathrow Airport   15
2004      Michael Schumacher wins a record 7th Formula One world championship title   14
2004      New England Patriots set NFL record 21 consecutive wins including play-off games   14
2004      Arsenal Football Club loses to Manchester United, ending a streak of unbeaten matches at a record 49   14
2005      American civil-rights activist Rosa Louise McCauley Parks dies in Detroit, age 92   13
2007      British newspaper reporter and romance writer Jay Blakeney (Anne Weale and Andrea Blake) dies, age 78   11
2007      China launches lunar orbiter Chang'e 1 from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province   11
2007      comet Holmes unexpectedly brightens and the coma expands to the sun's size as it receeds from perihelion   11
2010      American comic book artist Mike Esposito dies, age 83   8
2010      American playwright Joseph Stein dies in New York City, age 98   8
2011      computer pioneer John McCarthy dies in Palo Alto, California, age 84   7
2012      the U.K. completes switchover from analog to digital televison broadcasting   6
2014      China launches Chang'e 5-T1 to loop around moon and return—test of re-entry system to return lunar samples   4
2014      Alan Eustace breaks the two-year old altitude record for a manned balloon flight and skydive:  135,890 ft   4
2015      Irish actress and singer Maureen O'Hara (born Maureen FitzSimons) dies in Boise, Idaho, age 95   3
2016      American rock and roll and pop singer Robert Thomas Velline (Bobby Vee) dies in Rogers, Minnesota, age 73   2
2017      American pianist and singer-songwriter Antoine "Fats" Domino Jr. dies in Harvey, Louisiana, age 89   1
2017      American actor Robert Guillaume (born Robert Peter Williams) dies in Los Angeles, age 89   1

Dates are always somewhat ambiguous, the exact date depends on whether local time is used (and local time where) or Universal Time—for events on the surface of the Earth, local time is probably best but for an event that spans across the planet, it is not clear which local time to use!. For events in space it is more ambiguous. Further for dates after the original adoption of the Gregorian calendar but before it became accepted in different countries, the date given may be a Julian date or a Gregorian date depending upon where the event occurred. And, even the year may be different since the first of the year has not always been January 1 in all countries! The attempt is to use a date that is the one that is typically given.

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