Today in History

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Posted: Oct 24, 2010 12:02 AM
Today in History

Today is Sunday, Oct. 24, the 297th day of 2010. There are 68 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Oct. 24, 1945, the United Nations officially came into existence as its charter took effect. (On this date in 1949, construction began on U.N. headquarters in New York.)

On this date:

In 1537, Jane Seymour, the third wife of England's King Henry VIII, died 12 days after giving birth to Prince Edward, later King Edward VI.

In 1648, the Peace of Westphalia (west-FAY'-lee-uh) ended the Thirty Years War and effectively destroyed the Holy Roman Empire.

In 1861, the first transcontinental telegraph message was sent as Chief Justice Stephen J. Field of California transmitted a telegram to President Abraham Lincoln.

In 1901, widow Anna Edson (correct) Taylor became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

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

In 1939, Benny Goodman and his orchestra recorded their signature theme, "Let's Dance," for Columbia Records in New York. Nylon stockings were sold publicly for the first time, in Wilmington, Del.

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

In 1952, Republican presidential candidate Dwight D. Eisenhower declared in Detroit, "I shall go to Korea" as he promised to end the conflict. (He made the visit over a month later.)

In 1980, the merchant freighter SS Poet departed Philadelphia bound for Port Said (sah-EED'), Egypt, with a crew of 34 and a cargo of grain; it disappeared en route and has not been heard from since.

In 2002, authorities arrested Army veteran John Allen Muhammad and teenager Lee Boyd Malvo near Myersville, Md., in connection with the Washington-area sniper attacks.

Ten years ago: Secretary of State Madeleine Albright ended two days of historic talks with North Korea's Kim Jong Il, with the Communist leader indicating a willingness to restrain his country's long-range missile program.

Five years ago: Hurricane Wilma knifed through Florida with winds up to 125 mph. Civil rights icon Rosa Parks died in Detroit at age 92. President George W. Bush nominated economic adviser Ben Bernanke (bur-NANG'-kee) to succeed Alan Greenspan as Federal Reserve chairman. Bombs went off near the Palestine and Sheraton hotels in Baghdad, killing as many as 17 Iraqi pedestrians and security guards.

One year ago: Pakistani officials announced that their soldiers had captured the strategically located hometown of Pakistan's Taliban chief after fierce fighting.

Today's Birthdays: Football Hall-of-Famer Y.A. Tittle is 84. Rock musician Bill Wyman is 74. Actor-producer David Nelson is 74. Actor F. Murray Abraham is 71. Actor Kevin Kline is 63. Former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume (kwah-EE'-see oom-FOO'-may) is 62. Country musician Billy Thomas (Terry McBride and the Ride) is 57. Actor B.D. Wong is 50. Rock musician Ben Gillies (Silverchair) is 31. Singer-actress Monica Arnold is 30. Rhythm-and-blues singer Adrienne Bailon (3lw) is 27. Actress Shenae Grimes (TV: "90210") is 21.

Thought for Today: "History must always be taken with a grain of salt. It is, after all, not a science but an art." _ Phyllis McGinley, American poet and author (1905-1978).

(Above Advance for Use Sunday, Oct. 24)

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