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This Day in History, September 24

Monday, September 24, 2012    

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Today is the 268th day of 2012. There are 98 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight

1932: The Poona Pact between Hindu religious leaders, forced by Mahatma Gandhi's hunger strike, gives new electoral rights to lowcaste

"untouchables" in India.

Other Events

1568: Spanish capture English ships at San Juan, Puerto Rico, from Sir John Hawkins' fleet.

1688: France's King Louis XIV declares war against Holy Roman Empire, called the War of the League of Augsburg.

1789: US Congress passes the First Judiciary Act, which provides for an Attorney General and a Supreme Court.

1852: French inventor Henri Giffard makes the first flight in a powered airship, cruising with steam power over Paris.

1932: The Poona Pact between Hindu religious leaders, forced by Mahatma Gandhi's hunger strike, gives new electoral rights to low-caste "untouchables" in India.

1969: The Chicago Seven trial begins. Five of the defendants are convicted of crossing state lines to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic national convention. The convictions are later overturned.

1971: Britain expels 90 Soviets for espionage activities.

1976: Newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst is sentenced to seven years in prison for her part in a 1974 bank robbery with members of a militant group who had earlier kidnapped her. She is granted clemency by US President Jimmy Carter and released after 22 months.

1982: The US government lifts the military sanctions that it had imposed on Argentina during the war with Great Britain over the Falkland Islands.

1990: Iraq declares the Kuwaiti dinar invalid and withdraws it from circulation; Soviet lawmakers endorse plan calling for market economy; East Germany formally withdraws from Warsaw Pact.

1993: Nelson Mandela asks the world community to lift economic and diplomatic sanctions against South Africa.

1995: After all-night talks, Israel and the PLO agree to sign a pact at the White House ending nearly three decades of Israeli occupation of West Bank cities.

1996: The United States and the world's major nuclear powers sign a treaty to end all testing and development of nuclear weapons. India objects.

2001: US President George W Bush issues an order instructing US financial institutions to freeze the assets of 27 groups and individuals suspected of supporting terrorists.

2006: Swiss voters ratify new asylum and immigration laws that make it more difficult for refugees to receive assistance and effectively block non-European unskilled workers from entering the country.

2007: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad questions the official version of the Sept 11 attacks and defends the right to cast doubt on the Holocaust in a tense appearance at Columbia University in New York.

2009: For the first time, an experimental vaccine prevents infection with the AIDS virus, a watershed event in the deadly epidemic and a surprising result for many scientists who thought previous failures meant such a vaccine might never be possible.

2010: Nigerian authorities open the gates at two swollen dams in the country's rain-soaked north, sending a flood into a neighboUring state that has displaced 2 million people.

Today's Birthdays:

Albrecht von Wallenstein, Bohemian soldier (1583-1634); Horace Walpole, British writer (1717-1797); F Scott Fitzgerald, US writer (1896-1940); Sir William Dobell, Australian artist (1899-1970); Jim Henson, US puppeteer (1936-1990); Jim McKay, US sportscaster (1921-2008); Anthony Newley, British actor-singer (1931-1999); Nia Vardalos, American-Canadian actress-writer (1962-).

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