This Day in History — June 24

This is the 175th day of 2022. There are 190 days left in the year.


1947: American businessman Kenneth Arnold sees a number of objects “flying like saucers” while piloting a small plane over Mount Rainier in Washington; it is considered the first modern sighting of UFOs and gives rise to the term flying saucer.


1497: Italian explorer Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot), on a mission for the English crown, becomes the first European to set foot in North America, after the Vikings, when he discovers Canada and mistakes it for 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.

1795: William Smellie, Scottish compiler of the first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, dies at age 55.

1894: France’s President Sadi Carnot is assassinated by an Italian anarchist at Lyon.

1901: First exhibition by Pablo Picasso, aged 19, opens in Paris.

1916: Mary Pickford becomes the first female film star to get a million-dollar contract.

1922: Germany’s Foreign Minister Walter Rathenau, a Jew, is slain by right-wingers.

1930: First detection of aeroplanes using reflected radio waves, a precursor to radar, is carried out by US Naval Research Laboratory engineers in Anacostia, Washington, D.C.

1948: Soviet Union begins Berlin blockade which leads to the start of Berlin’s airlift service.

1958: Nina Simone releases her debut jazz album Little Girl Blue.

1963: First demonstration of home video recorder takes place at BBC Studios, London.

1978: Yemen’s President Ahmed Hussein Ghashami is killed by a bomb planted in an envoy’s briefcase.

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: Thirty 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”.

2003: World Health Organization removes Beijing, China’s capital, from its list of areas where severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is spreading, and lifts advisory that travellers postpone all but essential travel there.

2005: Record-high floods rush through industrial heart of southern China as at least 536 people are killed nationwide.

2006: Thousands of protesters demand 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: American scientists say sperm whales feeding even in the most remote reaches of Earth’s oceans have built up stunningly high levels of toxic and heavy metals that endanger not only for marine life, but for millions of humans who depend on seafood. Australian politician Julia Gillard is sworn in as Australia’s first female prime minister.

2012: Islamist Mohammed Morsi is declared the winner in Egypt’s first free presidential election in history.

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); Theodore Beza, an author, translator, educator, and theologian who assisted and later succeeded John Calvin as a leader of the Protestant Reformation centred at Geneva (1519-1605); 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); Rupert Hoilette, former sprinter who competed in 1964 Summer Olympics (1946- ). Lionel Messi, soccer player and one of the game’s premier players (1987- )

– AP and Jamaica Observer

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