What Happened on August 24?

  • John Lennon's murderer was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison. (1981) Mark David Chapman shot Lennon in the back four times while he stood in front of his apartment building with his wife, Yoko Ono, on December 8, 1980.

  • The British burned down Washington D.C. (1814) In a War of 1812 battle that became known as "The Burning of Washington," the British Army captured Washington D.C. and set many buildings on fire, including the US Capitol building and the White House.

  • Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the US nonstop. (1932) Earhart flew from Los Angeles, California, to Newark, New Jersey. The flight, which takes about 5 hours today, took Earhart about 19 hours.

  • Captain Matthew Webb became the first person to successfully swim across the English Channel. (1875) Webb's first attempt to swim the channel on August 12 was thwarted by bad weather. His successful swim took 21 hours and 45 minutes. Subsequent swimmers have successfully swam across the Channel in under 7 hours.

  • The first woman raced in a Formula One car race. (1958) Maria Teresa de Filippis of Italy raced in a Maserati at Oporto in the Portuguese Grand Prix. Unfortunately, she had to quit the race because of engine trouble.

  • The printing of the Gutenberg Bible was completed. (1456) The Gutenberg Bible was the first edition of the Bible to be created by a movable printing press.

  • Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as the head of the Soviet Union's Communist Party. (1991) Gorbachev's reform efforts (i.e., demokratizatsiya (democratization), glasnost (openness), perestroika (restructuring), and uskoreniye (acceleration)) helped lead to the fall of the Soviet Union.

  • Pluto was demoted from "planet" status to mere "dwarf planet" status. (2006) The demotion was declared by the International Astronomical Union. The dwarf planet can, however, claim status as the second-largest known dwarf planet. The largest dwarf planet is Eris.

  • Hurricane Andrew hit Florida, killing 65 people and causing $26.5 billion US Dollars in damages. (1992) Hurricane Andrew, a Category 5 hurricane, was the third most powerful hurricane to hit the US in the 20th century and was the second costliest in US history.

  • Mount Vesuvius erupts, burying the Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. (79) The volcanic eruption killed more than 20,000 people.

  • The lowest temperature in world history was recorded. (1960) Temperatures measured at the Vostok, Antarctica research station dipped to -128.6 degrees Fahrenheit (-89.2 degrees Celsius).

Discussion Comments


How can it get that cold? After all, wouldn't something that cold make everything around it cold and eventually freeze the entire earth and maybe even our closest neighbor, the moon. Then we'd never be able to go back there.


Viranty: History doesn't remain the same. "History" remains in the hands of the person writing the history and their political/religious agenda.


@Viranty - This is just my opinion, but I think one reason why there are so many versions is because language is always getting updated. Also, don't forget that there's more than just the English language, which includes French, Spanish, Chinese, etc. Taking all these factors into consideration, it's not hard to see why there are so many versions. In regards to language getting updated, also notice how in the earlier versions of the Bible, though they're English translations, it's very broken and antique. However, since many people in this day and age speak in fluent English (and other languages), it's important that the source material is updated to their standards.


Reading the sixth bullet point has always made me wonder why the Bible so many different translations. After all, considering how all of history stays the same, would there really be a need to change so much? For example, I hear that they're working on some more versions even now, which seems to be very unnecessary.


The last bullet point certainly interests me, as I have never heard of temperatures so low before. However, considering how that happens to be in Antarctic, that makes a lot of sense, which can apply to many forms of weather as well. If we don't live in that specific area, we won't be all too familiar with the weather conditions, which may lead to some questions about why it's like that in the first place. However, one thing we need to realize is that there can be two sides of the extreme. On one hand, you have areas like Antarctica, which are extremely cold. However, you also have areas that get extremely hot, this is especially the case for deserts. It really makes me wonder how some of the animals manage to adapt in the first place.

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