Today in History

Today is Thursday, April 24, the 114th day of 2014. There are 251 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On April 24, 1916, some 1,600 Irish nationalists launched the Easter Rising by seizing several key sites in Dublin. (The rising was put down by British forces almost a week later.)

On this date:

In 1792, the national anthem of France, “La Marseillaise,” was composed by Captain Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle.

In 1800, Congress approved a bill establishing the Library of Congress.

In 1898, Spain declared war on the United States. (The United States responded in kind the next day.)

In 1913, the 792-foot Woolworth Building, at that time the tallest skyscraper in the world, officially opened in Manhattan as President Woodrow Wilson pressed a button at the White House to signal the lighting of the towering structure.

In 1915, what’s regarded as the start of the Armenian genocide began as the Ottoman Empire rounded up Armenian political and cultural leaders in Constantinople.

In 1932, in the Free State of Prussia, the Nazi Party gained a plurality of seats in parliamentary elections.

In 1953, British statesman Winston Churchill was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

In 1962, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology achieved the first satellite relay of a television signal, using NASA’s Echo 1 balloon satellite to bounce a video image from Camp Parks, Calif., to Westford, Mass.

In 1970, the People’s Republic of China launched its first satellite, which kept transmitting a song, “The East Is Red.”

In 1974, comedian Bud Abbott, 78, died in Woodland Hills, Calif.

In 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.

In 1990, the space shuttle Discovery blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., carrying the $1.5 billion Hubble Space Telescope.

Associated Press

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