On This Day … 24 October


  • AD 69 – In the Second Battle of Bedriacum, troops loyal to Vespasian defeat those of Emperor Vitellius (refer to the Year of the Four Emperors).
  • 1260 – Chartres Cathedral is dedicated in the presence of King Louis IX of France.
  • 1360 – The Treaty of Brétigny is ratified, marking the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years’ War.
  • 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.
  • 1889 – Henry Parkes delivers the Tenterfield Oration, effectively starting the federation process in Australia.
  • 1900 – The US Government announces plans to buy Danish West Indies for $7 million.
  • 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.
  • 1918 – World War I: Italian victory in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto.
    • After having severely defeated Austro-Hungarian troops during the defensive Battle of the Piave River, the Italian army launches a great counter-offensive, capturing over 5,000 artillery pieces and over 350,000 enemy soldiers.
    • The allied victory (obtained by 52 Italian divisions, 3 British divisions, 2 French divisions and a US regiment against 61 Austro-Hungarian divisions) marked the end of the war on the Italian Front. The imperial disastrous defeat secured the dissolution of the Habsburg Monarchy, that was another major factor in the German Empire’s decision that they could no longer continue the war, according to German chief-of-staff Erich Ludendorff.
  • 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.
  • 1945 – The United Nations Charter comes into effect.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Azad Kashmir Day (Pakistan).
  • Day of Special Forces of the Armed Forces (Russia).
  • Independence Day, celebrates the independence of Zambia from United Kingdom in 1964.
  • United Nations Day, the anniversary of the 1945 Charter of the United Nations (International).

People (Births)

  • 1561 – Anthony Babington, English conspirator (Babington Plot) (d. 1586).
  • 1675 – Richard Temple, 1st Viscount Cobham, English field marshal and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire (d. 1749).
  • 1887 – Octave Lapize, French cyclist and pilot (d. 1917).
  • 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).
  • 1909 – Bill Carr, American runner (d. 1966).
  • 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).
  • 1925 – Ieng Sary, Vietnamese-Cambodian politician co-founded the Khmer Rouge (d. 2013).
  • 1937 – Petar Stipetić, Croatian general (d. 2018).
  • 1971 – Diane Guthrie-Gresham, Jamaican track and field athlete.
  • 1973 – Levi Leipheimer, American cyclist.
  • 1976 – Petar Stoychev, Bulgarian swimmer.
  • 1988 – Christopher Linke, German race walker.
  • 1990 – Elijah Greer, American middle-distance runner.

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).
  • 2014 – Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, South African runner (b. 1980).
  • 2015 – Michael Beetham, English commander and pilot (b. 1923).

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