Today in History

  • Mon Jul 23rd, 2012 2:55pm
  • Life

Today is Tuesday, July 24, the 206th day of 2012. There are 160 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On July 24, 1862, Martin Van Buren, the eighth president of the United States, and the first to have been born a U.S. citizen, died at age 79 in Kinderhook, N.Y., the town where he was born in 1782.

On this date:

In 1783, Latin American revolutionary Simon Bolivar was born in Caracas.

In 1847, Mormon leader Brigham Young and his followers arrived in the Great Salt Lake Valley in present-day Utah.

In 1866, Tennessee became the first state to be readmitted to the Union after the Civil War.

In 1911, Yale University history professor Hiram Bingham III found the “Lost City of the Incas,” Machu Picchu, in Peru.

In 1923, the Treaty of Lausanne, which settled the boundaries of modern Turkey, was concluded in Switzerland.

In 1937, the state of Alabama dropped charges against four of the nine young black men accused of raping two white women in the “Scottsboro Case.”

In 1952, President Harry S. Truman announced a settlement in a 53-day steel strike.

In 1959, during a visit to Moscow, Vice President Richard Nixon engaged in his famous “Kitchen Debate” with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.

In 1969, the Apollo 11 astronauts — two of whom had been the first men to set foot on the moon — splashed down safely in the Pacific.

In 1974, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that President Richard Nixon had to turn over subpoenaed White House tape recordings to the Watergate special prosecutor.

In 1983, a two-run homer by George Brett of the Kansas City Royals was disallowed after New York Yankees manager Billy Martin pointed out there was too much pine tar on Brett’s bat. However, American League president Lee MacPhail reinstated the home run. (The game was completed Aug. 18, 1983 with the Royals beating the Yankees, 5-4.)

In 1987, Hulda Crooks, a 91-year-old mountaineer from California, became the oldest woman to conquer Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest peak.

Ten years ago: Nine coal miners became trapped in a flooded tunnel of the Quecreek Mine in western Pennsylvania; the story ended happily 77 hours later with the rescue of all nine. The House, by a vote of 420-1, expelled Rep. James Traficant, D-Ohio, who’d been convicted of bribery, racketeering and tax evasion; it was only the second time a sitting member had been banished since the Civil War.

Five years ago: President George W. Bush, speaking at Charleston Air Force Base in South Carolina, sought to justify the Iraq war by citing intelligence reports he said showed a link between al-Qaida’s operation in Iraq and the terror group that attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. A grand jury in New Orleans refused to indict Dr. Anna Pou (poh), who was accused of murdering four seriously ill hospital patients wth drug injections during the desperate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor, sentenced to life in prison in Libya for allegedly infecting children with HIV, were released after 8½ years behind bars. The U.S. minimum wage rose 70 cents to $5.85 an hour, the first increase in a decade.

One year ago: Thousands of protesters angry about Spain’s brutal economic woes once again filled Madrid’s downtown Sol square after many had spent weeks marching hundreds of miles from far-flung cities across the country. Cadel Evans won the Tour de France, becoming the first Australian champion in cycling’s greatest race.

Associated Press