This Day in History

June 24


217BC  Battle of Lake Trasimene—Hannibal enacts a disasterous defeat on Roman forces under Gaius Flaminius   2233
109      Emperor Trajan inagurates the Aqua Traiana that brings water into the city of Rome from Lake Bracciano   1908
637      Battle of Moira is largest battle in Irish history—victory for Domnail II over kingdoms Ulster and Dalriada   1380
1314      Battle of Bannockburn concludes with a decisive victory by the Scottish forces led by Robert the Bruce   703
1340      Battle of Sluys—French fleet is destroyed by the English fleet commanded in person by Edward III   677
1398      Hongwu Emperor, founder and first emperor of the Ming Dynasty of China, dies, age 69   619
1441      Eton College founded by Henry VI   576
1478      Las Palmas on Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands is founded as "Real de Las Palmas" by Castilian Juan Rejón   539
1497      first recorded sighting of North America by explorer John Cabot   520
1509      Henry VIII is crowned King of England in Westminster Abbey   508
1519      Italian aristocrat Lucrezia Borgia dies in Ferrara, Itally, age 39   498
1571      Miguel López de Legazpi founds Manila, the capital of the Republic of the Philippines   446
1604      Samuel de Champlain reaches the mouth of a river in the Bay of Fundy which he names Saint John River   413
1812      Napolean's Grand Armée of 685,000 men crosses the Neman River invading Russia—six months later 22,000 return   205
1821      forces led by Simón Bolivar defeat Spanish Royalist forces in the Battle of Carabobo—leads to the independence of Venezuela   196
1880      'O Canada' is first performed at a Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day banquet in Quebec City—now the national anthem of Canada   137
1893      Fridtjof Nansen departs in Fram to explore arctic region   124
1908      Stephen Grover Cleveland, 22nd and 24th president, dies, age 71   109
1916      Mary Pickford becomes first actress to sign a million-dollar contract   101
1922      the American Professional Football Association, formed two years earlier, changes its name to the National Football League   95
1938      meteoroid explodes approximately 12 miles above Chicora, Pennsylvania—only a few small fragments are found   79
1948      U.S.S.R. halts all surface traffic to Berlin—leads to the Berlin airlift   69
1949      "Hopalong Cassidy" airs as the first network (NBC) Western television series   68
1974      U.S.S.R. discontinues its development program to lead to manned lunar exploration   43
1981      Humber Bridge near Kingston upon Hull, England, opens—span of 4626 ft is longest in the world at the time   36
1999      NASA's Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) satellite is launched   18
1999      daily recital of the Pledge of Allegiance in the U.S. Senate begins 11 years after the House   18
2002      near Igandu, Tanzania, a passenger train rolls backwards into a slow moving freight train killing 281 and injuring 500 others   15
2008      German mathematician Gerhard Ringel dies in Santa Cruz, California, age 88   9
2010      at Wimbledon John Isner beats Nicolas Mahut in the longest match in tennis history—fifth set ended 70-68; match over 11 hours   7
2012      Jim Thome of the Phillies sets the MLB walk-off homeruns record hitting his 13th—5 players have 12   5
2013      British Information Technology consultant and author James Martin dies in Bermuda, age 79   4
2013      ESA's COnvection ROtation and planetary Transits satellite COROT retired after 6 year 6 month mission (2.5 years nominal)   4
2013      Italian mathematician Mauro Francaviglia dies, age 60   4
2015      Susan Ahn Cuddy, the first Asian American woman and the first female gunnery officer in the U.S. Navy, dies in Los Angeles, age 100   2

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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