Today in History
Today is Saturday, April 24, the 114th day of 2021. There are 251 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 24, 1980, the United States launched an unsuccessful attempt to free the American hostages in Iran, a mission that resulted in the deaths of eight U.S. servicemen.
On this date:
In 1800, Congress approved a bill establishing the Library of Congress.
In 1877, federal troops were ordered out of New Orleans, ending the North’s post-Civil War rule in the South.
In 1915, in what’s considered the start of the Armenian genocide, the Ottoman Empire began rounding up Armenian political and cultural leaders in Constantinople.
In 1960, rioting erupted in Biloxi, Miss., after Black protesters staging a “wade-in” at a whites-only beach were attacked by a crowd of hostile whites.
In 1962, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology achieved the first satellite relay of a television signal, between Camp Parks, California, and Westford, Massachusetts.
In 1967, Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov was killed when his Soyuz 1 spacecraft smashed into the Earth after his parachutes failed to deploy properly during re-entry; he was the first human spaceflight fatality.
In 1974, comedian Bud Abbott, 78, died in Woodland Hills, Calif.
In 2003, U.S. forces in Iraq took custody of Tariq Aziz (TAH’-rihk ah-ZEEZ’), the former Iraqi deputy prime minister. China shut down a Beijing hospital as the global death toll from SARS surpassed 260.
In 2005, Pope Benedict XVI formally began his stewardship of the Roman Catholic Church; the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said in his installation homily that as pontiff he would listen to the will of God in governing the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics.
In 2009, Mexico shut down schools, museums, libraries and state-run theaters across its overcrowded capital in hopes of containing a deadly swine flu outbreak.
In 2013, in Bangladesh, a shoddily constructed eight-story commercial building housing garment factories collapsed, killing more than 1,100 people.
In 2019, avowed racist John William King was executed in Texas for the 1998 slaying of James Byrd Jr., who was chained to the back of a truck and dragged along a road outside Jasper, Texas; prosecutors said Byrd was targeted because he was Black.
Ten years ago: Pope Benedict XVI offered an Easter Sunday prayer for diplomacy to prevail over warfare in Libya and for citizens of the Middle East to build a new society. Taliban militants staged a massive jailbreak in Kandahar, Afghanistan, as some 480 inmates escaped through a tunnel that had been dug over a matter of months.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama, visiting Hannover, Germany, defended international trade deals in the face of domestic and foreign opposition, saying it was “indisputable” that they strengthened the economy and made Americans businesses more competitive. Billy Paul, 80, a jazz and soul singer best known for the No. 1 hit ballad and “Philadelphia Soul” classic “Me and Mrs. Jones,” died in Blackwood, New Jersey.
One year ago: The recorded U.S. death toll from the coronavirus passed the 50,000 mark. Republican governors in Georgia, Oklahoma and Alaska allowed some businesses to reopen with restrictions, although health experts warned that it was too soon to ease lockdown orders. President Donald Trump signed a $484 billion measure to aid employers and hospitals under stress from the pandemic. The Food and Drug Administration issued an alert about the dangers of using a malaria drug that Trump had repeatedly promoted for coronavirus patients. The parent company of Lysol and another disinfectant warned that its products should not be used as an internal treatment for the coronavirus, a day after Trump wondered aloud about that prospect during a White House briefing. Harold Reid, who sang bass for the Grammy-winning country group the Statler Brothers, died in Virginia at the age of 80.
Today’s Birthdays: Movie director-producer Richard Donner is 91. Actor Shirley MacLaine is 87. Actor-singer-director Barbra Streisand is 79. Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley is 79. Country singer Richard Sterban (The Oak Ridge Boys) is 78. Rock musician Doug Clifford (Creedence Clearwater Revival) is 76. R&B singer Ann Peebles is 74. Former Irish Taoiseach (TEE’-shuk) Enda Kenny is 70. Actor-playwright Eric Bogosian is 68. Rock singer-musician Jack Blades (Night Ranger) is 67. Actor Michael O’Keefe is 66. Rock musician David J (Bauhaus) is 64. Actor Glenn Morshower is 62. Rock musician Billy Gould is 58. Actor-comedian Cedric the Entertainer is 57. Actor Djimon Hounsou (JEYE’-mihn OHN’-soo) is 57. Rock musician Patty Schemel is 54. Actor Stacy Haiduk is 53. Rock musician Aaron Comess (Spin Doctors) is 53. Actor Aidan Gillen is 53. Actor Melinda Clarke is 52. Actor Rory McCann is 52. Latin pop singer Alejandro Fernandez is 50. Country-rock musician Brad Morgan (Drive-By Truckers) is 50. Rock musician Brian Marshall (Creed; Alter Bridge) is 48. Actor Derek Luke is 47. Actor-producer Thad Luckinbill is 46. Actor Eric Balfour is 44. Actor Rebecca Mader is 44. Country singer Rebecca Lynn Howard is 42. Country singer Danny Gokey is 41. Actor Reagan Gomez is 41. Actor Austin Nichols is 41. Actor Sasha Barrese is 40. Contemporary Christian musician Jasen Rauch (Red) is 40. Singer Kelly Clarkson is 39. Rock singer-musician Tyson Ritter (The All-American Rejects) is 37. Country singer Carly Pearce is 31. Actor Joe Keery is 29. Actor Jack Quaid is 29. Actor Doc Shaw is 29. Actor Jordan Fisher is 27. Golfer Lydia Ko is 24.