Today In History

An eruption of Vesuvius seen from Portici, by Joseph Wright (ca. 1774-6).
An eruption of Vesuvius seen from Portici, by Joseph Wright (ca. 1774-6).

Associated Press

On Aug. 24, 1992, Hurricane Andrew smashed into Florida, causing record damage; 55 deaths in Florida, Louisiana and the Bahamas were blamed on the storm.

On this date in:
79- Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in volcanic ash. An estimated 20,000 people died.
1572- The slaughter of French Protestants at the hands of Catholics began in Paris.
1814- British forces invaded Washington, D.C., and set fire to the Capitol and the White House.
1857- The New York branch of the Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Co. failed, sparking the Panic of 1857.
1932- Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly nonstop across the United States, traveling from Los Angeles to Newark, N.J., in just over 19 hours.
1949- The North Atlantic Treaty went into effect.
1954- The Communist Control Act went into effect, virtually outlawing the Communist Party in the United States.
1968- France became the world’s fifth thermonuclear power as it exploded a hydrogen bomb in the South Pacific.
1970- A bomb planted by anti-war extremists exploded at the University of Wisconsin’s Army Math Research Center in Madison, killing a researcher.
1981- Mark David Chapman was sentenced in New York to 20 years to life in prison for the murder of rock musician John Lennon.
1989- Baseball Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti banned Pete Rose from the game for gambling.
2006- The International Astronomical Union declared that Pluto was no longer a planet, demoting it to the status of a “dwarf planet.”
2007- A judge in Inverness, Fla., sentenced John Evander Couey to death for kidnapping 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford, raping her and burying her alive.
2007- James Ford Seale, a reputed Ku Klux Klansman, was sentenced to three life terms for his role in the 1964 abduction and murder of two black teenagers in Mississippi.
2007- The NFL suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick for his involvement in dogfighting.
2011- Steve Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple Inc.

Today’s Birthdays:
Actor Rupert Grint (“Harry Potter” movies) turns 27 years old today.
Kenny Baker, Actor (R2D2 in “Star Wars”), 81
Max Cleland, Former U.S. senator, D-Ga., 73
Anne Archer, Actress, 68
Joe Manchin, U.S. senator, D-W.Va., 68
Joe Regalbuto, Actor (“Murphy Brown”), 66
Bob Corker, U.S. senator, R-Tenn., 63
Mike Shanahan, Football coach, 63
Mike Huckabee, Former governor of Arkansas, 60
Gerry Cooney, Boxer, 59
Stephen Fry, Actor, 58
Steve Guttenberg, Actor, 57
Cal Ripken Jr., Baseball Hall of Famer, 55
Jared Harris, Actor (“Mad Men”) 54
Craig Kilborn Talk show host, 53
Reggie Miller, Basketball Hall of Famer, 50
David Gregory, Broadcast journalist (“Meet the Press”), 45
Dave Chappelle, Actor, comedian (“Chappelle’s Show”), 42
Chad Michael Murray, Actor (“One Tree Hill”), 34
Actress Marlee Matlin turns 50 years old today.


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