This Day in History — January 24

Thursday, January 24, 2019

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Today is the 24th day of 2019 There are 341 days left in the year.

TODAY'S HIGHLIGHT

1995: The prosecution gives its opening statement at the O J Simpson murder trial.

OTHER EVENTS

661: Islam's Caliph Ali, one of Shiite Islam's key saints, is killed by a murderer with a poisoned saber.

1634: Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II secretly deprives Duke of Wallenstein of his command and declares him a traitor.

1798: Irish rebellion breaks out.

1848: James Marshall finds gold nugget in US territory of California, touching off Gold Rush of '49.

1859: Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza is elected ruler of the principalities of Wallachia and Moldova, which unite and form Romania.

1908: The first Boy Scout troop is organised in England by Robert Baden-Powell.

1924: Petrograd is renamed Leningrad in honour of founder of Soviet Union.

1935: Canned beer goes on sale for the first time in the United States.

1943: US President Franklin D Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill conclude a wartime conference in Casablanca, Morocco.

1946: UN General Assembly votes to create UN Atomic Energy Commission.

1967: South Vietnam's Premier Nguyen Cao Ky runs into wild anti-war demonstration on visit to New Zealand.

1972: The US Supreme Court strikes down laws that deny welfare benefits to people who have resided in a state for less than a year.

1973: US negotiator Henry Kissinger says Vietnam peace agreement worked out in Paris also means end to fighting in Laos and Cambodia. Hanoi's Le Duc Tho calls agreement “a great victory for the Vietnamese people”.

1978: A nuclear-powered Soviet satellite plunges through Earth's atmosphere and disintegrates, scattering radioactive debris over parts of northern Canada.

1985: The space shuttle Discovery is launched in NASA's first secret military flight.

1986: Guerrillas advance into Ugandan capital of Kampala as army opposition crumbles, pushing military government to edge of collapse; the Voyager 2 space probe sweeps past Uranus, coming within 81,542 kilometres (50,679 miles) of the seventh planet of the solar system.

1991: Lithuania asks Soviet Union to withdraw its troops from buildings seized in the Baltic republic.

1992: Judge sentences army colonel and lieutenant to 30 years in prison for 1989 massacre of six Jesuit priests in El Salvador.

1995: In a move of uncertain efficacy, US President Bill Clinton freezes assets of suspected terrorist groups in American banks.

1998: The government of Mexican state of Chiapas frees 300 prisoners as a way of opening talks with the indigenous rebels.

1999: Olympic leaders recommend the expulsion of six members of the International Olympic Committee in an unprecedented response to the biggest corruption scandal in the history of the games.

2001: Japan's military dumped swarms of infected fleas on China that triggered outbreaks of bubonic plague in the 1940s, two Chinese doctors testify at a trial in Tokyo. Nearly 200 Chinese plaintiffs demand compensation and an apology from the Japanese Government for the deaths of their relatives.

2002: John Walker Lindh, a US citizen captured while fighting alongside Afghanistan's deposed Taliban militia, appears in US District Court to face charges of conspiring to kill Americans and supporting terrorist groups.

2003: Former President Alberto Fujimori denies accusations by Peruvian human rights groups that he has a bank account in Japan that he used to hide embezzled government funds. Fujimori abandoned his office and fled to Tokyo in November 2000 amid a corruption scandal.

2005: With calls of “never again”, the UN General Assembly commemorates the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps with a special session, a stark change for a body that has been reluctant to address the extermination of the Jews during World War II.

2007: Israeli President Moshe Katsav, facing charges of rape and abuse of power, asks parliament to temporarily remove him from office in an effort to blunt a growing demand for his resignation.

2008: French bank Societe Generale uncovers an alleged 4.9 billion-euro (US$7.14-billion) fraud by a futures trader, Jerome Kerviel, who fooled regulators and overstepped his authority.

2009: Hundreds of migrants and refugees break out of an overcrowded immigration facility on a Sicilian island to protest their treatment. About 2,000 people have been crammed into a facility built for 850.

2010: Osama bin Laden endorses the failed attempt to blow up a US airliner on Christmas Day and threatens new attacks against the United States in an audio message that appeared aimed at asserting he maintains some direct command over al-Qaeda-inspired offshoots.

2011: Human Rights Watch singles out UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for especially harsh criticism as it takes world leaders to task for what it calls their failure to be tougher on rights offenders.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS

E T A Hoffmann, German author (1776-1822); John Belushi, US actor (1949-1982); Neil Diamond, US singer (1941- ); Aaron Neville, US singer with The Neville Brothers (1941- ); Michael Ontkean, Canadian actor (1946- ); Tatyana Ali, US actress/singer (1979- )

— AP


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