Today in History: July 24, Apollo 11 returns home from the moon


Today is Monday, July 24, the 205th day of 2023. There are 160 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 24, 1915, the SS Eastland, a passenger ship carrying more than 2,500 people, rolled onto its side while docked at the Clark Street Bridge on the Chicago River. An estimated 844 people died in the disaster.

On this date:

In 1847, Mormon leader Brigham Young and his followers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in present-day Utah.

In 1866, Tennessee became the first state to be readmitted to the Union after the Civil War.

In 1911, Yale University history professor Hiram Bingham III found the “Lost City of the Incas,” Machu Picchu, in Peru.

In 1937, the state of Alabama dropped charges against four of the nine young Black men accused of raping two white women in the “Scottsboro Case.”

In 1959, during a visit to Moscow, Vice President Richard Nixon engaged in his famous “Kitchen Debate” with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.

In 1969, the Apollo 11 astronauts — two of whom had been the first men to set foot on the moon — splashed down safely in the Pacific.

In 1974, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that President Richard Nixon had to turn over subpoenaed White House tape recordings to the Watergate special prosecutor.

In 1975, an Apollo spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific, completing a mission which included the first docking with a Soyuz capsule from the Soviet Union.

In 1998, the movie “Saving Private Ryan,” starring Tom Hanks and directed by Steven Spielberg, was released.

In 2010, a stampede inside a tunnel crowded with techno music fans left 21 people dead and more than 500 injured at the famed Love Parade festival in western Germany.

In 2016, Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

In 2019, in a day of congressional testimony, Robert Mueller dismissed President Donald Trump’s claim of “total exoneration” in Mueller’s probe of Russia’s 2016 election interference.

Ten years ago: The House narrowly rejected a challenge to the National Security Agency’s secret collection of hundreds of millions of Americans’ phone records. A high-speed train crash outside Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain killed 79 people. Pope Francis made an emotional plea in Aparecida, Brazil, for Roman Catholics to shun materialism in the first public Mass of his initial international trip as pontiff. It was announced that the newborn son of Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, would be named George Alexander Louis. Virginia Johnson, half of the renowned Masters and Johnson team of sex researchers, died in St. Louis at age 88.

Five years ago: The Trump administration said it would provide $12 billion in emergency relief to farmers hurt by trade disputes with China and other countries. Brian Kemp, a self-described “politically incorrect conservative” carrying the endorsement of President Donald Trump, won Georgia’s GOP gubernatorial runoff; he would go on to defeat Democrat Stacey Abrams in the general election. A federal judge in New York ordered the release of an Ecuadorean immigrant, Pablo Villavicencio, who’d been held for deportation after delivering pizza to a U.S. Army installation in Brooklyn; the immigrant had applied to stay in the country after marrying a U.S. citizen with whom he had two young girls. Ivanka Trump announced the shutdown of her fashion line, which had been targeted by boycotts and prompted concerns about conflicts of interest.

One year ago: Pope Francis began a visit to Canada to apologize to Indigenous peoples for abuses by missionaries at residential schools, a key step in the Catholic Church’s efforts to reconcile with Native communities and help them heal from generations of trauma. Francis flew from Rome to Edmonton, Alberta, where his welcoming party included Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mary May Simon, an Inuk who was Canada’s first Indigenous governor general. The top American military officer said the Chinese military had become significantly more aggressive and dangerous over the previous five years as he began a trip to the Indo-Pacific, where the United States aimed to strengthen ties as a counterbalance to Beijing.

Today’s Birthdays: Political cartoonist Pat Oliphant is 88. Comedian Ruth Buzzi is 87. Actor Mark Goddard is 87. Actor Dan Hedaya is 83. Actor Chris Sarandon is 81. Comedian Gallagher is 77. Actor Robert Hays is 76. Former Republican national chairman Marc Racicot (RAWS’-koh) is 75. Actor Michael Richards is 74. Actor Lynda Carter is 72. Movie director Gus Van Sant is 71. Former Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is 70. Country singer Pam Tillis is 66. Actor Paul Ben-Victor is 61. Basketball Hall of Famer Karl Malone is 60. Retired MLB All-Star Barry Bonds is 59. Actor Kadeem Hardison is 58. Actor-singer Kristin Chenoweth is 55. Actor Laura Leighton is 55. Actor John P. Navin Jr. is 55. Actor-singer Jennifer Lopez is 54. Basketball player-turned-actor Rick Fox is 54. Director Patty Jenkins (“Wonder Woman”) is 52. Actor Jamie Denbo (TV: “Orange is the New Black”) is 50. Actor Eric Szmanda is 48. Actor Rose Byrne is 44. Country singer Jerrod Niemann is 44. Actor Summer Glau is 42. Actor Sheaun McKinney is 42. Actor Elisabeth Moss is 41. Actor Anna Paquin is 41. Actor Sarah Greene is 39. NHL center Patrice Bergeron is 38. Actor Megan Park is 37. Actor Mara Wilson is 36. Actor Sarah Steele is 35. Rock singer Jay McGuiness (The Wanted) is 33. Actor Emily Bett Rickards is 32. Actor Lucas Adams is 30. TV personality Bindi Irwin is 25.

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