Sunday, July 24, 2011

24th of July

Today is the 205th day of the year and only 160 days are remaining until the new year.

1148 - Louis VII of France lays siege to Damascus during the Second Crusade.

1411 - One of the bloodiest battles in Scotland takes place, known as the Battle of Harlaw.

1567 - Mary, Queen of Scots, is forced to abdicate and is therefore replaced at the throne by her one-year-old newborn.

1715 - A Spanish treasure fleet of ten ships under the order of Admiral Ubilla leaves the port of Havana, Cub in order to return to the home country.  One week later, nine of them sink in a horrific storm off the coast of Florida.  Centuries later, the treasure will be found and salvaged.

1783 - Simon Bolivar, the famed Venezuelan military commander is born.  He played a key role in Latin America's successful struggle for independence from the Spanish Empire.  He is easily considered one of the most influential politicians in all of South American history.

1823 - The institution of slavery is abolished in the South American expanse of Chile.

1847 - after nearly seventeen months of continuous travel, Brigham Young arrives in the Valley of Utah.  He leads one-hundred forty-eight Mormon pioneers to the site and establish Salt Lake City.

1862 - The 8th President of the United States, Martin Van Buren, passes away at the age of 79.

1864 - Battle of Kernstown is fought between Confederate General Jubal A. Early and Union General George Cook.  It is a Union defeat and a successful hold, in order to keep the bluecoats out of the Shenandoah Valley.

1866 - During the beginning phases of Reconstruction, Tennessee becomes the first state to be readmitted to the Union after the great American Civil War.

1897 - Famed American aviator and well-known woman flier Amelia Earhart is born.

1911 - Hiram Bingham III discovers the site of Machu Picchu, "The Lost City of the Incas."

1915 - S. S. Eastland, a passenger ship, capsizes while tied to the dock on the Chicago River, and kills 844 people.  It is the largest loss of life, from a single shipwreck on the Great Lakes.

1943 - Operation Gomorrah commences, where British and Canadian airplanes bomb the city of Hamburg, Germany by night, and the Americans bomb by day.  By the end of November, the operation reaches its conclusion and 9,000 tons of explosives will have killed 30,000 people and destroyed nearly 280,000 buildings.

1949 - American comedian, Michael Richards, well known for his portrayal of the character known as Kramer on Seinfeld.

1964 - American baseball outfielder and home-run hitter Barry Bonds is born.

1969 - The famed flight of Apollo 11 ends with the safe splash down in the Pacific Ocean.

1974 - The United States Supreme Court rules that President Richard Nixon did not have the authority to withhold subpoenaed White House tapes and they order him to surrender the tapes to the Watergate special prosecutor.

1982 - A severely heavy rain causes a mudslide the destroys a bridge in Nagasaki, Japan.  The disaster kills 299 people.

1983 - George Brett batting for the Kansas City Royals against the New York Yankees, hits a game-winning home run, to score two runs and make the score 5 to 4.  However, what would ensure would be known as the "Pine Tar Incident."

Yankees manager Billy Martin cited to the umpires a rule that stated that any foreign substance on a bat could extend no further eighteen inches from the knob.  The umpires measured the amount of pine tar, a legal substance used by hitters to improve their grip, on Brett's bat; the pine tar extended about twenty-four inches.  The home plate umpire, Tim McClelland, signaled the player out, ending the game in a Yankees win.  An angry Brett charged out of the dugout and was immediately ejected.  The Royals protested the game, and American League president Lee MacPhail uphewld the protest, reasoning that the bat should have been excluded from future use but the home run should not be nullified.  Amid much controversy, the game was resumed on August 18 of the same year, from the point of Brett's home run and ended with a Royals win.

2005 - Lance Armstrong wins his seventh consecutive Tour de France.

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