This Day in History — June 24
Today is the 175th day of 2021. There are 190 days left in the year.
2003: The World Health Organization removes Beijing, China’s capital, from its list of areas where severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was spreading, and lifts advisory that travellers postpone all but essential travel there.
1497: Italian explorer Giovanni Caboto, also known as John Cabot, on a mission for the English crown, discovers Canada but thinks it is Asia. The discovery forms the basis for English claims to Canada.
1793: First republican constitution in France is adopted, providing for universal male suffrage and the right to free public education. The constitution is soon suspended when the Reign of Terror starts.
1812: Napoleon Bonaparte’s forces cross Niemen River and enter Russian territory.
1839: Ibrahim, son of Muhammad Ali of Egypt, routs Turkish forces at Nizip. The Ottoman Empire is saved by European intervention.
1894: France’s President Sadi Carnot is assassinated by an Italian anarchist at Lyon.
1917: Russia’s Black Sea fleet mutinies at Sevastopol in the Crimea.
1920: Greeks launch offensive in Asia Minor against Turkish nationalists.
1922: Germany’s Foreign Minister Walter Rathenau, a Jew, is slain by right-wingers.
1932: A bloodless coup ends absolute monarchy in Thailand, initiating the so-called Constitutional Era.
1944: A pro-Nazi Danish police group sets part of the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen on fire in revenge for Danish sabotage actions.
1947: Aeroplane pilot Kenneth Arnold sees a squadron of unidentified flying objects near Mount Rainier, in Washington state, and coins the phrase “flying saucers”.
1948: Soviet Union begins Berlin blockade, halting road and rail traffic between Berlin and West Germany, leading to start of Berlin airlift.
1978: Yemen’s President Ahmed Hussein Ghashami is killed by bomb planted in an envoy’s briefcase.
1989: China’s Communist Party replaces Zhao Ziyang as party chief, accusing him of serious errors by supporting democratic demands.
1997: Australian Prime Minister John Howard’s Government scraps plan for a constitutional convention to decide whether Australia should become a republic separate from Britain.
1992: Israel’s Labour party celebrates its election upset of hard-line Likud as Yitzhak Rabin promises to let Palestinians govern themselves.
1995: Riot police shoot and beat stone-throwing Palestinians demonstrating for the release of 5,000 prisoners in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
1999: Some 30 gunmen, demanding jobs, seize control of a Haitian orphanage they graduated from and hold it for about 12 hours before surrendering.
2001: Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic lashes out at a decree ordering his extradition to The Hague to stand trial for war crimes, calling it “legal savagery”.
2005: Record-high floods rush through the industrial heart of southern China, putting factories and railway lines in the path of torrents that had already killed at least 536 people nationwide. Jamaican-born Jeanine McIntosh becomes the first black female aviator in the history of the US Coast Guard.
2006: Thousands of protesters demand the ouster of East Timor’s prime minister, blaming him for provoking violence and political chaos.
2007: Iraqi court sentences Saddam Hussein’s cousin, known as Chemical Ali, and two other former regime officials to death by hanging for slaughtering up to 180,000 Kurds in the 1980s.
2010: Sperm whales feeding even in the most remote reaches of Earth’s oceans have built up stunningly high levels of toxic and heavy metals, according to American scientists who say the findings spell danger not only for marine life, but for the millions of humans who depend on seafood.
2011: The presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan fail to approve a set of basic principles for a peaceful settlement to their long-standing dispute over the breakaway territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
2012: Islamist Mohammed Morsi is declared the winner in Egypt’s first free presidential election in history, closing the first tumultuous phase of a democratic transition and opening a new struggle with the still-dominant military rulers.
2013: Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s flamboyant former premier, is sentenced to seven years in prison and banned from politics for life for paying an underage prostitute for sex during infamous “bunga bunga” parties.
2014: Former News of the World editor Andy Coulson is convicted of conspiracy to hack phones in the British scandal that led to the newspaper’s shutdown, split Rupert Murdoch’s powerful media empire and brought an apology from Prime Minister David Cameron, who employed Coulson as a spokesman.
Nuno Alvares Pereira, Portuguese leader (1360-1431); St John of the Cross, Spanish mystic (1542-1591); Ambrose Bierce, US writer (1842-1914); Lord Horatio Kitchener, British soldier (1850-1916); Victor Frances Hess, Austrian physicist (1883-1964); Jack Dempsey, US world heavyweight boxing champion (1895-1983); Al Molinaro, US actor (1919-2015)
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