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This Day in History: September 24


1780 – Benedict Arnold flees to British Army lines when the arrest of British Major John André exposes Arnold's plot to surrender West Point.

1789 – The United States Congress passes the Judiciary Act which creates the office of the United States Attorney General and the federal judiciary system, and orders the composition of the Supreme Court of the United States.

1846 – Mexican–American War: General Zachary Taylor captures Monterrey.

1869 – "Black Friday": Gold prices plummet after Ulysses S. Grant orders the Treasury to sell large quantities of gold after Jay Gould and James Fisk plot to control the market.

1890 – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints officially renounces polygamy.

1906 – U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt proclaims Devils Tower in Wyoming as the nation's first National Monument.

1946 – Clark Clifford and George Elsey, military advisers to U.S. President Harry S. Truman, present him with a top-secret report on the Soviet Union that first recommends the containment policy.

1950 – Forest fires black out the sun over portions of Canada and New England. A blue moon is seen as far away as Europe.

1957 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower sends 101st Airborne Division troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, to enforce desegregation.

1960 – USS Enterprise, the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, is launched.

1962 – United States court of appeals orders the University of Mississippi to admit James Meredith.

1968 – 60 Minutes debuts on CBS.

1979 – CompuServe launches the first consumer internet service, which features the first public electronic mail service.

2005 – Hurricane Rita makes landfall in the United States, devastating portions of southwestern Louisiana and extreme southeastern Texas.

2014 – The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), a Mars orbiter launched into Earth orbit by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), successfully inserted into orbit of Mars.


1755 – John Marshall, American captain, jurist, and politician, 4th United States Secretary of State (d. 1835)

1883 – Franklin Clarence Mars, American businessman, founded Mars, Incorporated (d. 1934)

1896 – F. Scott Fitzgerald, American novelist and short story writer (d. 1940)

1902 – Ruhollah Khomeini, Iranian religious leader and politician, 1st Supreme Leader of Iran (d. 1989)

1921 – Jim McKay, American sportscaster and journalist (d. 2008)

1930 – John W. Young, American captain, engineer, and astronaut

1936 – Jim Henson, American puppeteer, director, producer and screenwriter, created The Muppets (d. 1990)

1945 – Lou Dobbs, American journalist and author

1950 – John Kessel, American author, poet, and playwright

1976 – Stephanie McMahon, American wrestler and businesswoman


1889 – D. H. Hill, American general and academic (b. 1821)

1889 – Charles Leroux, American balloonist and skydiver (b. 1856)

1991 – Dr. Seuss, American children's book writer, poet, and illustrator (b. 1904)

1994 – Barry Bishop, American mountaineer, photographer, and scholar (b. 1932)