Today in History

  • Thursday, October 24, 2019 1:30am
  • Life

Today is Thursday, Oct. 24, the 297th day of 2019. There are 68 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On Oct. 24, 1940, the 40-hour work week went into effect under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

On this date:

In 1861, the first transcontinental telegraph message was sent by Chief Justice Stephen J. Field of California from San Francisco to President Abraham Lincoln in Washington, D.C., over a line built by the Western Union Telegraph Co.

In 1931, the George Washington Bridge, connecting New York and New Jersey, was officially dedicated (it opened to traffic the next day).

In 1945, the United Nations officially came into existence as its charter took effect.

In 1962, a naval quarantine of Cuba ordered by President John F. Kennedy went into effect during the missile crisis.

In 1972, Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, who’d broken Major League Baseball’s color barrier in 1947, died in Stamford, Connecticut, at age 53.

In 1989, former television evangelist Jim Bakker was sentenced by a judge in Charlotte, N.C., to 45 years in prison for fraud and conspiracy. (The sentence was later reduced to eight years; it was further reduced to four for good behavior.)

In 1991, “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry died in Santa Monica, California, at age 70.

In 1992, the Toronto Blue Jays became the first non-U.S. team to win the World Series as they defeated the Atlanta Braves, 4-3, in Game 6.

In 1997, in Arlington, Virginia, former NBC sportscaster Marv Albert was spared a jail sentence after a grudging courtroom apology to the woman he’d bitten during a sexual romp.

In 2002, authorities apprehended Army veteran John Allen Muhammad and teenager Lee Boyd Malvo near Myersville, Maryland, in the Washington-area sniper attacks. (Malvo was later sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole; Muhammad was sentenced to death and executed in 2009.)

In 2005, civil rights icon Rosa Parks died in Detroit at age 92.

In 2008, singer-actress Jennifer Hudson’s mother and brother were found slain in their Chicago home; the body of her 7-year-old nephew was found three days later. (Hudson’s estranged brother-in-law was convicted of the murders and sentenced to life in prison.)

Ten years ago: Pakistani officials announced that their soldiers had captured Kotkai, the strategically located hometown of Pakistan’s Taliban chief, Hakimullah Mehsud, and one of his top deputies, after fierce fighting.

Five years ago: Jaylen Fryberg, a student at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington state, fatally shot four friends he had invited to lunch and wounded a fifth teen before killing himself. A coordinated militant assault on an army checkpoint in the Sinai Peninsula killed 31 Egyptian troops. Actress Marcia Strassman, who’d played Gabe Kaplan’s wife, Julie, on the 1970s sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter,” died in Sherman Oaks, California, at age 66.

One year ago: Authorities said they had intercepted pipe bombs packed with shards of glass that had been sent to several prominent Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama; none of the bombs went off, and nobody was hurt. Saudi Arabia’s crown prince told a business forum in his country that the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul was “heinous” and “painful to all Saudis;” some business leaders had pulled out of the conference after Turkish reports said a member of the prince’s entourage was involved in the killing of Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi royal family.

Today’s birthdays: Rock musician Bill Wyman is 83. Actor F. Murray Abraham is 80. Movie director-screenwriter David S. Ward is 74. Actor Kevin Kline is 72. Former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume is 71. Country musician Billy Thomas (Terry McBride and the Ride) is 66. Actor Doug Davidson is 65. Actor B.D. Wong is 59. Actor Zahn McClarnon is 53. Singer Michael Trent (Americana duo Shovels & Rope) is 42. Rock musician Ben Gillies (Silverchair) is 40. Singer-actress Monica Arnold is 39. Actress-comedian Casey Wilson is 39. R&B singer and actress Adrienne Bailon Houghton (3lw) is 36. Actor Tim Pocock is 34. R&B singer-rapper-actor Drake is 33. Actress Shenae Grimes is 30. Actress Eliza Taylor is 30. Actor Ashton Sanders (Film: “Moonlight”) is 24. Olympic gold medal gymnast Kyla Ross is 23. Actor Hudson Yang is 16.

Thought for today: “Seek not the favor of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest and lawful means. But seek the testimony of the few; and number not voices, but weigh them.” — Immanuel Kant, German philosopher (1724-1804).

—Associated Press

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