On This Day … 24 October


  • AD 69 – In the Second Battle of Bedriacum, troops loyal to Vespasian defeat those of Emperor Vitellius.
  • 1360 – The Treaty of Brétigny is ratified, marking the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years’ War.
  • 1590 – John White, the governor of the second Roanoke Colony, returns to England after an unsuccessful search for the “lost” colonists.
  • 1641 – Felim O’Neill of Kinard, the leader of the Irish Rebellion, issues his Proclamation of Dungannon, justifying the uprising and declaring continued loyalty to King Charles I of England.
  • 1648 – The Peace of Westphalia is signed, marking the end of the Thirty Years’ War.
  • 1795 – Poland is completely consumed by Russia, Prussia and Austria.
  • 1812 – Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Maloyaroslavets takes place near Moscow.
  • 1861 – The first transcontinental telegraph line across the United States is completed.
  • 1911 – Orville Wright remains in the air nine minutes and 45 seconds in a glider at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.
  • 1912 – First Balkan War: The Battle of Kirk Kilisse concludes with a Bulgarian victory against the Ottoman Empire.
  • 1912 – First Balkan War: The Battle of Kumanovo concludes with the Serbian victory against the Ottoman Empire.
  • 1917 – World War I: Italy suffers a disastrous defeat on the Austro-Italian front.
  • 1930 – A bloodless coup d’état in Brazil ends the First Republic, replacing it with the Vargas Era.
  • 1944 – World War II: Japan’s centre force is temporarily repulsed in the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
  • 1946 – A camera on board the V-2 No. 13 rocket takes the first photograph of earth from outer space.
  • 1947 – Famed animator Walt Disney testifies before the House Un-American Activities Committee, naming Disney employees he believes to be communists.
  • 1954 – President Eisenhower pledges United States support to South Vietnam.
  • 1956 – At the request of the Stalinist regime of Ernő Gerő, a massive Soviet force invades Budapest during the Hungarian Revolution.
    • Imre Nagy is reinstalled as Prime Minister.
  • 1957 – The United States Air Force starts the X-20 Dyna-Soar manned space programme.
  • 1960 – A ballistic missile explodes on the launch pad in the Soviet Union, killing over 100 people.
  • 1963 – An oxygen leak from an R-9 Desna missile at the Baikonur Cosmodrome triggers a fire that kills seven people.
  • 1964 – Northern Rhodesia gains independence from the United Kingdom and becomes Zambia.
    • Independence Day, celebrates the independence of Zambia from United Kingdom in 1964.
  • 1990 – Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti reveals to the Italian parliament the existence of Gladio, the Italian NATO force formed in 1956, intended to be activated in the event of a Warsaw Pact invasion.
  • 2016 – A French surveillance aircraft flying to Libya crashes on takeoff in Malta, killing all five people on board.
  • Day of Special Forces of the Armed Forces (Russia).

People (Births)

  • 1675 – Richard Temple, 1st Viscount Cobham, English field marshal and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire (d. 1749).
  • 1891 – Rafael Trujillo, Dominican soldier and politician, 36th President of the Dominican Republic (d. 1961).
  • 1898 – Peng Dehuai, Chinese general, 1st Minister of National Defence of the People’s Republic of China (d. 1974).
  • 1910 – Gunter d’Alquen, German SS officer and journalist (d. 1998).
  • 1910 – James K. Woolnough, American general (d. 1996).
  • 1914 – Charles Craig Cannon, American colonel (d. 1992).
  • 1914 – Lakshmi Sahgal, Indian Independence movement revolutionary and Officer of Indian National Army (d. 2012).
  • 1923 – Robin Day, English lieutenant and journalist (d. 2000).
  • 1937 – Petar Stipetić, Croatian general (d. 2018).

People (Deaths)

  • 1572 – Edward Stanley, 3rd Earl of Derby, English admiral and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire (b. 1508).
  • 1824 – Israel Bissell, American patriot post rider during American Revolutionary War (b. 1752).
  • 1945 – Vidkun Quisling, Norwegian soldier and politician, Minister President of Norway (b. 1887).
  • 1991 – Gene Roddenberry, American captain, screenwriter, and producer, created Star Trek (b. 1921).
  • 2002 – Winton M. Blount, American soldier and politician, 59th United States Postmaster General (b. 1921).
  • 2015 – Michael Beetham, English commander and pilot (b. 1923).

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