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This Day in History: August 24


1682 – William Penn receives the area that is now the state of Delaware, and adds it to his colony of Pennsylvania.

1781 – American Revolutionary War: A small force of Pennsylvania militia is ambushed and overwhelmed by an American Indian group, which forces George Rogers Clark to abandon his attempt to attack Detroit.

1814 – British troops invade Washington, D.C. and during the Burning of Washington the White House, the Capitol and many other buildings are set ablaze.

1816 – The Treaty of St. Louis is signed in St. Louis, Missouri.

1857 – The Panic of 1857 begins, setting off one of the most severe economic crises in United States history.

1891 – Thomas Edison patents the motion picture camera.

1909 – Workers start pouring concrete for the Panama Canal.

1932 – Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly across the United States non-stop (from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey).

1941 – Adolf Hitler orders the cessation of Nazi Germany's systematic T4 euthanasia program of the mentally ill and the handicapped due to protests, although killings continue for the remainder of the war.

1942 – World War II: The Battle of the Eastern Solomons. Japanese aircraft carrier Ryūjō is sunk and US carrier USS Enterprise heavily damaged.

1944 – World War II: Allied troops begin the attack on Paris.

1949 – The treaty creating the North Atlantic Treaty Organization goes into effect.

1950 – Edith Sampson becomes the first black U.S. delegate to the United Nations.

1954 – The Communist Control Act goes into effect, outlawing the American Communist Party.

1963 – Buddhist crisis: As a result of the Xá Lợi Pagoda raids, the US State Department cables the United States Embassy, Saigon to encourage Army of the Republic of Vietnam generals to launch a coup against President Ngô Đình Diệm if he did not remove his brother Ngô Đình Nhu.

1967 – Led by Abbie Hoffman, the Youth International Party temporarily disrupts trading at the New York Stock Exchange by throwing dollar bills from the viewing gallery, causing trading to cease as brokers scramble to grab them.

1981 – Mark David Chapman is sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for murdering John Lennon.

1989 – Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose is banned from baseball for gambling by Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti.

1992 – Hurricane Andrew makes landfall just south of Miami as a Category 5 hurricane.

1994 – Initial accord between Israel and the PLO about partial self-rule of the Palestinians on the West Bank.

1995 – Microsoft Windows 95 was released to the public in North America.

2006 – The International Astronomical Union (IAU) redefines the term "planet" such that Pluto is now considered a dwarf planet.

2014 – A 6.0 magnitude earthquake strikes Napa, California, in the northern San Francisco Bay area, killing one person and injuring over 200 others. Estimated damage in the southern Napa Valley and Vallejo areas was between $362 million to 1 billion. It was the largest earthquake to strike northern California since 1989.


1890 – Duke Kahanamoku, American swimmer, actor, and surfer (d. 1968)

1922 – Howard Zinn, American historian, author, and activist (d. 2010)

1942 – Max Cleland, American captain and politician, 23rd Secretary of State of Georgia

1944 – Bill Goldsworthy, Canadian-American ice hockey player and coach (d. 1996)

,1944 – Gregory Jarvis, American captain, engineer, and astronaut (d. 1986)

1945 – Vince McMahon, American wrestler, promoter, producer, and actor, co-founded WWE

1960 – Cal Ripken, Jr., American baseball player and coach

1965 – Marlee Matlin, American actress and producer

1973 – Dave Chappelle, American comedian, actor, producer and screenwriter


1967 – Henry J. Kaiser, American businessman, founded Kaiser Shipyards and Kaiser Aluminum (b. 1882)

1974 – Alexander P. de Seversky, Russian-American pilot and businessman, co-founded Republic Aviation (b. 1894)

1983 – Scott Nearing American economist, educator, and activist (b. 1883)

1998 – E. G. Marshall, American actor (b. 1910)