This Day in History - July 24

July 24

1505 – On their way to India, a group of Portuguese explorers sack the city-state of Kilwa

1567 – Mary, Queen of Scots, is imprisoned and forced to abdicate her throne to her one-year-old son James VI

1701 – Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac establishes Fort Pontchartrain for France at present-day Detroit

1704 – At Fort Ontario, Canada, Ottawa chief Pontiac and William Johnson sign a peace agreement

1776 – Congressional President John Hancock accuses Major General Phillip Schuyler, in a letter, of tolerating discord among soldiers from different states under his command

1783 – South American soldier and statesman, Simon Bolivar, is born

1786 – French explorer, Jean-Louis Nicollet, is born

1791 – Robespierre expels all Jacobins opposed to the principles of the French Revolution

1802 – French author, Alexandre Dumas, is born

1832 – Benjamin Bonneville, an inept fur trader, leads the first wagon train to cross the Rocky Mountains at Wyoming’s South Pass

1847 – The first members of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints arrive in Utah

1862 – The eighth president of the US, Martin Van Buren, dies

1864 – Confederates defeat Union troops to keep the Shenandoah Valley clear of Yankees during the Battle of Kernstown, Virginia

1895 – Poet and novelist, Robert Graves, is born

1897 – Aviation pioneer, Amelia Earhart, is born

1897 – Black soldiers of the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps arrive in St. Louis, Missouri, after completing a 40-day bike ride from Missoula, Montana

1900 – Writer, Zelda Sayre, is born

1901 – William Sydney Porter, aka O. Henry, is released from prison, after serving three years for embezzlement from a bank in Austin, Texas

1908 – Sultan Abdul Hamid of Turkey decrees restoration of the Constitution, fulfilling the main demand from the Young Turks Party

1911 – Archeologist Hiram Bingham gets his first look at Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca settlement in Peru that is now one of the world’s top tourist destinations

1915 – The steamer Eastland overturns in the Chicago River, killing between 800 and 850 of its passengers

1916 – Author, John MacDonald, is born

1920 – The first Jewish woman elected to the US House of Representatives, Bella Abzug, is born

1941 – The US government denounces Japanese actions in Indochina

1942 – The Soviet city of Rostov is captured by German troops

1943 – British bombers raid Hamburg, Germany, by night in Operation Gomorrah, while Americans bomb it by day in their “Blitz Week”

1950 – The US Fifth Air Force relocates from Japan to Korea

1959 – Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev engage in a heated debate about capitalism vs communism in a model kitchen set up for the American National Exhibition in Moscow, and the event goes on to be known as the “kitchen debate,” and one of the most famous episodes of the Cold War

1965 – Four F-4C Phantom jets escorting a formation of US bombers on a raid over munitions manufacturing facilities at Kang Chi are fired at from an unknown launching site.  One plane was destroyed and the other three damaged.  This was the first time the enemy had launched anti-aircraft missiles at the US

1969 – Apollo 11 spacecraft safely returns to Earth

1969 – Actress, singer, dancer, and businesswoman, Jennifer Lopez, is born

1974 – The Supreme Court rules that President Richard Nixon must surrender the Watergate tapes

1980 – English actor, comedian, and singer, Peter Sellers, dies

1984 – Nine-year-old Dawn Hamilton is found dead in the woods of Rosedale, Maryland.  She had been raped and beaten to death with a rock.  An anonymous caller named Kirk Bloodsworth, an ex-Marine, as the man in a sketch that was drawn based on witness accounts of a suspicious man in the area.  With little evidence more than the sketch, Bloodsworth was accused of murder and despite having an alibi, he was sentenced to death.  After serving nine years, Bloodsworth was released due to forensic evidence proving that his DNA did not match the killers in FBI crime lab testing ordered by Bloodsworth’s attorneys

2005 – American cyclist Lance Armstrong wins a record-setting seventh consecutive Tour de France and retires

2010 – Irish snooker player, Alex Higgins, dies

2012 – American scientist who invented the full-body CT scanner, Robert Ledley, dies

2012 – 3rd President of Ghana, John Atta Mills, dies


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.

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