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This Day in U.S. History: April 24


1704 – The first regular newspaper in British Colonial America, The Boston News-Letter, is published.

1800 – The United States Library of Congress is established when President John Adams signs legislation to appropriate $5,000 to purchase "such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress".

1885 – American sharpshooter Annie Oakley is hired by Nate Salsbury to be a part of Buffalo Bill's Wild West.

1895 – Joshua Slocum, the first person to sail single-handedly around the world, sets sail from Boston, Massachusetts aboard the sloop "Spray".

1907 – Hersheypark, founded by Milton S. Hershey for the exclusive use of his employees, is opened.

1913 – The Woolworth Building skyscraper in New York City is opened.

1933 – Nazi Germany begins its persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses by shutting down the Watch Tower Society office in Magdeburg.

1967 – Vietnam War: American General William Westmoreland says in a news conference that the enemy had "gained support in the United States that gives him hope that he can win politically that which he cannot win militarily."

1980 – Eight U.S. servicemen die in Operation Eagle Claw as they attempt to end the Iran hostage crisis.

1990 – STS-31: The Hubble Space Telescope is launched from the Space Shuttle Discovery.

1996 – In the United States, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 is passed into law.

2004 – The United States lifts economic sanctions imposed on Libya 18 years previously, as a reward for its cooperation in eliminating weapons of mass destruction.


1880 – Gideon Sundback, Swedish-American engineer and businessman, developed the zipper (d. 1954)

1897 – Benjamin Lee Whorf, American linguist, anthropologist, and engineer (d. 1941)

1904 – Willem de Kooning, Dutch-American painter and educator (d. 1997)

1905 – Robert Penn Warren, American novelist, poet, and literary critic (d. 1989)

1982 – Kelly Clarkson, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actress


1779 – Eleazar Wheelock, American minister and academic, founded Dartmouth College (b. 1711)

1947 – Willa Cather, American novelist (b. 1873)

1974 – Bud Abbott, American comedian and producer (b. 1895)

1986 – Wallis Simpson, American wife of Edward VIII (b. 1896)

1997 – Pat Paulsen, American comedian and activist (b. 1927)

2004 – Estée Lauder, American businesswoman, co-founded Estée Lauder Companies (b. 1906)

2016 – Tommy Kono, American weightlifter and coach (b. 1930)