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This Day in History: October 24

Events

1590 – John White, the governor of the second Roanoke Colony, returns to England after an unsuccessful search for the "lost" colonists.

1861 – The first transcontinental telegraph line across the United States is completed, spelling the end for the 18-month-old Pony Express.

1901 – Annie Edson Taylor becomes the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

1911 – Orville Wright remains in the air nine minutes and 45 seconds in a Wright Glider at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.

1926 – Harry Houdini's last performance takes place at the Garrick Theatre in Detroit.

1929 – "Black Thursday" stock market crash on the New York Stock Exchange.

1944 – World War II: The Japanese aircraft carrier Zuikaku and the Japanese battleship Musashi are sunk by American aircraft in the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

1945 – Founding of the United Nations.

1946 – A camera on board the V-2 No. 13 rocket takes the first photograph of earth from outer space.

1947 – Famed animator Walt Disney testifies before the House Un-American Activities Committee, naming Disney employees he believes to be communists.

1949 – The cornerstone of the United Nations Headquarters is laid.

1954 – Dwight D. Eisenhower pledges United States support to South Vietnam.

1977 – Veterans Day is observed on the fourth Monday in October for the seventh and last time. (The holiday is once again observed on November 11 beginning the following year.)

1992 – The Toronto Blue Jays become the first Major League Baseball team based outside the United States to win the World Series.

1998 – Launch of Deep Space 1 comet/asteroid mission.

2002 – Police arrest spree killers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, ending the Beltway sniper attacks in the area around Washington, D.C.

2003 – Concorde makes its last commercial flight.

2005 – Hurricane Wilma makes landfall in Florida resulting in 35 direct 26 indirect fatalities and causing $20.6B USD in damage.

2008 – "Bloody Friday" saw many of the world's stock exchanges experience the worst declines in their history, with drops of around 10% in most indices.

2015 – A driver, arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), crashes into the Oklahoma State Homecoming parade in Stillwater, Oklahoma, killing four people and injuring 34.

Births

1788 – Sarah Josepha Hale, American author and poet (d. 1879)

1838 – Annie Edson Taylor, American stuntwoman and educator (d. 1921)

1840 – Eliza Pollock, American archer (d. 1919)

1855 – James S. Sherman, American lawyer and politician, 27th Vice President of the United States (d. 1912)

1903 – Melvin Purvis, American FBI agent (d. 1960)

1904 – Moss Hart, American director and playwright (d. 1961)

1915 – Bob Kane, American author and illustrator (d. 1998)

1930 – The Big Bopper, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1959)

Deaths

1824 – Israel Bissell, American patriot post rider during American Revolutionary War (b. 1752)

1852 – Daniel Webster, American lawyer and politician, 14th United States Secretary of State (b. 1782)

1917 – James Carroll Beckwith, American painter and academic (b. 1852)

1948 – Frederic L. Paxson, American historian and author (b. 1877)

1971 – Carl Ruggles, American composer (b. 1876)

1972 – Jackie Robinson, American baseball player and sportscaster (b. 1919)

1991 – Gene Roddenberry, American captain, screenwriter, and producer, created Star Trek (b. 1921)

2005 – Rosa Parks, American activist (b. 1913)

2012 – Jeff Blatnick, American wrestler and sportscaster (b. 1957)

2012 – Margaret Osborne duPont, American tennis player (b. 1918)