Wednesday, June 24, 2015

This Day in History: June 24

109 – Roman emperor Trajan inaugurates the Aqua Traiana, an aqueduct that channels water from Lake Bracciano, 40 kilometres (25 miles) north-west of Rome.
474 – Julius Nepos forces Roman usurper Glycerius to abdicate the throne and proclaims himself Emperor of the Western Roman Empire.
637 – The Battle of Moira is fought between the High King of Ireland and the Kings of Ulster and Dalriada. It is claimed to be the largest battle in the history of Ireland.
972 – Battle of Cedynia, the first documented victory of Polish forces, takes place.
1128 – Battle of São Mamede, near Guimarães: forces led by Alfonso I defeat forces led by his mother Teresa of León and her lover Fernando Pérez de Traba. After this battle, the future king calls himself "Prince of Portugal", the first step towards "official independence" that will be reached in 1139 after the Battle of Ourique.
1230 – The Siege of Jaén started in the context of the Spanish Reconquista.
1314 – First War of Scottish Independence: the Battle of Bannockburn concludes with a decisive victory by Scottish forces led by Robert the Bruce, though England did not recognize Scottish independence until 1328 with the signing of the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton.
1340 – Hundred Years' War: Battle of Sluys – The French fleet is almost completely destroyed by the English Fleet commanded in person by King Edward III.
1374 – A sudden outbreak of St. John's Dance causes people in the streets of Aachen, Germany, to experience hallucinations and begin to jump and twitch uncontrollably until they collapse from exhaustion.
1497 – John Cabot lands in North America at Newfoundland leading the first European exploration of the region since the Vikings.
1509 – Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon are crowned King and Queen of England.
1531 – The city of San Juan del Río, Mexico, is founded.
1535 – The Anabaptist state of Münster is conquered and disbanded.
1571 – Miguel Lopez de Legazpi founds Manila, the capital of the Republic of the Philippines.
1597 – The first Dutch voyage to the East Indies reaches Bantam (on Java).
1604 – Samuel de Champlain discovers the mouth of the Saint John River, site of Reversing Falls and the present day city of Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.
1622 – Battle of Macau: The Dutch attempt but fail to capture Macau.
1717 – The Premier Grand Lodge of England, the first Masonic Grand Lodge in the world (now the United Grand Lodge of England), is founded in London.
1762 – Battle of Wilhelmsthal: The British-Hanoverian army of Ferdinand of Brunswick defeats French forces in Westphalia.
1779 – American Revolutionary War: The Great Siege of Gibraltar begins.
1793 – The first Republican constitution in France is adopted.
1812 – Napoleonic Wars: Napoleon's Grande Armée crosses the Neman River beginning the invasion of Russia.
1813 – Battle of Beaver Dams: a British and Indian combined force defeats the United States Army.
1821 – The Battle of Carabobo takes place. It is the decisive battle in the war of independence of Venezuela from Spain.
1859 – Battle of Solferino (Battle of the Three Sovereigns): Sardinia and France defeat Austria in Solferino, northern Italy.
1866 – Battle of Custoza: an Austrian army defeats the Italian army during the Austro-Prussian War.
1880 – First performance of O Canada, the song that would become the national anthem of Canada, at the Congrès national des Canadiens-Français.
1894 – Marie Francois Sadi Carnot is assassinated by Sante Geronimo Caserio.
1902 – King Edward VII of the United Kingdom develops appendicitis, delaying his coronation.
1913 – Greece and Serbia annul their alliance with Bulgaria.
1916 – Mary Pickford becomes the first female film star to sign a million dollar contract.
1916 – World War I: the Battle of the Somme begins with a week-long artillery bombardment on the German Line.
1918 – First airmail service in Canada from Montreal to Toronto.
1932 – A bloodless Revolution instigated by the People's Party ends the absolute power of King Prajadhipok of Siam (now Thailand).
1938 – Pieces of a meteor, estimated to have weighed 450 metric tons when it hit the Earth's atmosphere and exploded, land near Chicora, Pennsylvania.
1939 – Siam is renamed Thailand by Plaek Pibulsonggram, the country's third prime minister.
1940 – World War II: Operation Collar, the first British Commando raid on occupied France, by No 11 Independent Company.
1947 – Kenneth Arnold makes the first widely reported UFO sighting near Mount Rainier, Washington.
1948 – Start of the Berlin Blockade: the Soviet Union makes overland travel between West Germany and West Berlin impossible.
1949 – The first television western, Hopalong Cassidy, is aired on NBC starring William Boyd.
1954 – First Indochina War: Battle of Mang Yang Pass — Vietminh troops belonging to the 803rd Regiment ambush G.M. 100 of France in An Khê.
1957 – In Roth v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that obscenity is not protected by the First Amendment.
1963 – The United Kingdom grants Zanzibar internal self-government.
1973 – The UpStairs Lounge arson attack takes place at a gay bar located on the second floor of the three-story building at 141 Chartres Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Thirty-two people die as a result of fire or smoke inhalation.
1981 – The Humber Bridge is opens to traffic, connecting Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. It would be the world's longest single-span suspension bridge for 17 years.
1982 – "The Jakarta Incident": British Airways Flight 9 flies into a cloud of volcanic ash thrown up by the eruption of Mount Galunggung, resulting in the failure of all four engines.
1989 – Jiang Zemin succeeds Zhao Ziyang to become the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China after 1989 Tiananmen Square Protests.
1995 – "Rugby World Cup final": South Africa defeats New Zealand, Nelson Mandela presents Francois Pienaar with the Webb-Ellis trophy in an iconic post-apartheid moment.
2004 – In New York, capital punishment is declared unconstitutional.
2010 – John Isner of the United States defeats Nicolas Mahut of France at Wimbledon, in the longest match in professional tennis history.
2010 – Julia Gillard assumed office as the first female Prime Minister of Australia.
2012 – Lonesome George, the last known individual of Chelonoidis nigra abingdonii, a subspecies of the Galápagos tortoise, dies.
2013 – Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is found guilty of abusing his power and having sex with an underage prostitute, and is sentenced to seven years in prison.

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