Today's History Trivia for April 24
1980 Iranian Hostage Crisis - Rescue Disaster An attempt to rescue the hostages held at the U.S. Embassy in Teheran, Iran ends in disaster when a helicopter crashes into a transport plane killing eight Americans and wounding five others. The secret rescue mission, codenamed "Eagle Claw", had already been aborted due to equipment failures from severe dust storms. The helicopters were repositioned themselves for refueling when the crash occurred.
1992 McDonald's The hamburger giant opens its first Beijing, China restaurant.
1992 David Bowie marries supermodel Iman.
1990 Hubble Telescope NASA launches their $1.5 billion Earth-orbiting telescope into space. Although designed to view farther into space than any telescope on Earth, a flawed lens greatly reduced it capabilities.
1980 The Pennsylvania Lottery comes up 666 In an attempt to cheat the system, the balls had been weighted by the lottery host to increase the probability that fours and sixes would be selected. The film Lucky Numbers (2000), starring John Travolta and Lisa Kudrow, was loosely based on this event.
1967 First Person to Die During a Space Mission The Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Mikhaylovich Komarov dies when his spacecraft becomes entangled in its parachute and plummets to Earth.
1913 Woolworth Building What was at the time the world's tallest building, is opened. It was 792 feet high.
1888 Kodak The Eastman-Kodak company is founded.
1886 Middle Eastern Oil The first Middle Eastern oil is discovered. The first well to come in was on the Egyptian shore of the Red Sea.
1800 Library of Congress is established. It was started with the library of Thomas Jefferson.
1771 Highest recorded tidal wave 278 ft., off Ishigaki Island, Ryukyu Chain. Source: Guinness Book of World Records
1767 First Professionally-Performed Play in America The Prince of Parthia performed in Philadelphia.
1704 First regularly-published American newspaper The Boston News Letter by John Campbell is founded. It was published until Feb. 22, 1776.
Today's Birthdays for April 24
1982 Kelly Clarkson American Grammy-winning pop singer, first American Idol winner (2002).
1964 Cedric the Entertainer (Cedric Kyles), American comedian.
1945 Doug Clifford American drummer with Creedence Clearwater Revival.
1942 Barbra Streisand American Oscar-Emmy-winning actress, singer. Film: Funny Girl (1968, Oscar), What's Up Doc? (1972), The Way We Were (1973), and A Star is Born (1976, Oscar).
1940 Sue Grafton American author. Writings: A is for Alibi (1983), B is for Burglar (1985), C is for Corpse (1986), etc.
1936 Jill Ireland d. 1990 British-born American actress. After being diagnosed with cancer she became a spokesman for victims of the disease. Film: Death Wish II (1981).
1934 Shirley MacLaine (Shirley Beaty), American Oscar and Emmy-winning actress. Film: Terms of Endearment (1983).
1933 John Barbour Canadian-born actor, comic. TV: Real People (host).
1918 Fred Gehrke d. 2002 American NFL football player (1940-50). He designed the first NFL football helmet logo (Los Angeles Rams, 1948). He is also credited with creating the first helmet with a full facemask. This was after having broken his nose three times during the 1946 season.
1914 William Castle d. 1977 (William Schloss), American film producer, director, known for the use of gimmicks to promote his horror films, such as hot-wiring theater seats and issuing "life insurance" to patrons.
1905 Robert Porter Allen d. 1963 American conservationist. He saved the whooping crane from extinction by discovering the last remaining flock near the Arctic Circle (1955).
1905 Robert Penn Warren d. 1989 American author, first U.S. poet laureate, and the only person to win the Pulitzer for both fiction (All the King's Men, 1946) and poetry (Promises, 1958).
1815 Anthony Trollope d. 1882 English novelist. He was one of the most successful and prolific English novelists of the Victorian era. Writings: Chronicles of Barsetshire. He is also responsible for introducing the familiar red pillar mailboxes in Britain (1853).
1766 Robert Bailey Thomas d. 1846 American publisher. Founder of The Farmer's Almanac (1792, later called The Old Farmer's Almanack), which he published until his death.
1750 John Trumbull d. 1831 American poet. He was a political satirist during the American Revolution, with his epic satirical piece M'Fingal.
1743 Edmund Cartwright d. 1823 English inventor. He revolutionized weaving with his invention of the power loom (1785).
1620 John Graunt d. 1674 English statistician. He co-wrote the world's first book of statistics and is the founder of the science of demography (the statistical study of human populations).
Deaths for April 24
2004 Estée Lauder b. 1908 (Josephine Esther Mentzer), American cosmetics executive. Quote: "There are no ugly women - only women who don't care or who don't believe they are attractive."
1986 Wallis Warfield Simpson b. 1896 Duchess of Windsor, American divorcee, for whom King Edward VIII in 1936 abdicated his throne to marry. Famous quote: “A woman can't be too rich or too thin.”
1981 Alice Lon b. 1926 (Alice Lon Wyche), American singer, TV personality. Lawrence Welk's original Champagne Lady (1955-59). Welk fired her showing too much knee on camera.
1974 Bud Abbott b. 1897 (William Alexander Abbott), American comedian, Costello's partner.
1967 Vladimir Mikhaylovich Komarov b. 1927 Soviet cosmonaut. He became the first person to die during a space mission when his spacecraft became entangled in its parachute and plummeted to the Earth.
1964 Gerhard Domagk b. 1895 German bacteriologist. He was the first person to refuse a Nobel Prize (1939). He was awarded the prize for his discovery of the antibacterial effects of Prontosil, the first of the sulfonamide drugs. He used the drug to save his own daughter's arm from amputation. He was forced to refuse the award due to pressure from the Nazi government during WWII. He was able to accept the award after the war.
1936 Finley Peter Dunne b. 1867 American humorist, creator of Mr. Dooley.
1924 Granville Stanley Hall b. 1844 American psychologist, founder of child psychology. He was the first president of the American Psychological Association, the first president of Clark University, and founder of the American Journal of Psychology (1887).
1900 Andrew Smith Hallidie b. 1836 English-born American engineer, invented the first cable streetcar (1871, San Francisco).