This Day in History

March 24


1396      English Augustinian mystic and writer Walter Hilton dies, age roughly 52   621
1401      Turko-Mongol forces led by emperor Timur (Tamerlane) sack Damascus   616
1603      Elizabeth I, Queen of England for 44 years dies, age 69—James VI of Scotland becomes James I of England   414
1663      Province of Carolina is chartered as a reward to loyal supporters by Charles II of England   354
1721      Brandenburg Concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach are dedicated to Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt   296
1765      Parliment passes the Quartering Act requiring the Thirteen Colonies to house British troops   252
1776      English clockmaker John Harrison dies on his birthday in London, age 83   241
1809      birth of French mathematician Joseph Liouville   208
1820      birth of American poet, lyricist, and composer Frances 'Fanny' Jane Crosby in Putnam County, New York   197
1832      group of men in Hiram, Ohio beat, tar and feather, and leave for dead Mormon leader Joseph Smith   185
1878      training ship HMS Eurydice sinks in a storm off Isle of Wight—only 2 of 319 crew and trainees survive   139
1882      American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow dies, age 75   135
1882      Robert Koch announces the discovery of mycobacterium tuberculosis   135
1896      Russian physicist Alexander Stepanovich Popov makes first radio telegraph transmission   121
1898      first American built automobile sold—Winton   119
1905      French author Jules Verne dies, age 77   112
1915      Irish-English astronomer and pioneer in the field of spectroscopy Margaret Lindsay Huggins dies in London, age 66   102
1915      Polish chemist, mathematician, and physicist Karol Stanislaw Olszewski dies, age 69   102
1936      longest game in NHL history is played between Detroit and Montreal—Detroit scores at 16:30 of the sixth overtime, wins 1-0   81
1944      Allied prisoners of war stage "great escape" from Stalag Luff III   73
1948      Swedish modernist painter Sigrid Hjertén dies in Stockholm, age 62   69
1962      Swiss physicist and explorer Auguste Antoine Piccard dies in Lausanne, Switzerland, age 78   55
1965      Ranger 9 impacts lunar surface—its cameras provide first real-time television broadcast of a lunar approach   52
1989      Exxon Valdez runs aground in Prince William Sound, Alaska—over 10 million gallons oil spilled   28
1993      American writer and Pulitzer Prize recipient John Richard Hersey dies in Key West, Florida, age 78   24
1993      discovery of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9—first comet observed orbiting a planet (Jupiter)   24
1998      two middle school students shoot and kill five and injure ten others at Westside Middle School near Jonesboro, Arkansas   19
1999      truck carrying flour and margarine catches fire in the Mont Blanc Tunnel—38 die and the tunnel is closed for 3 years   18
2008      Bhutan becomes a democracy with its first ever general election   9
2011      with a "burn to depletion" NASA deactivates and retires 12 year old comet explorer Stardust   6
2012      New Zealand physicist Paul Terence Callaghan dies in Wellington, age 64   5
2013      Soviet and Russian physicist and mathematician Gury Ivanovich Marchuk dies, age 87   4
2015      Opportunity travel reaches 42.195 km (26.219 mi)—a Martian marathon   2
2015      copilot of Germanwings Flight 9525 locks pilot out of the cockpit and deliberately crashes the plane in the Alps killing all 150 aboard   2

Dates are always somewhat ambiguous, the exact date depends on whether local time is used (and local time where) or Universal Time—for events on the surface of the Earth, local time is probably best but for an event that spans across the planet, it is not clear which local time to use!. For events in space it is more ambiguous. Further for dates after the original adoption of the Gregorian calendar but before it became accepted in different countries, the date given may be a Julian date or a Gregorian date depending upon where the event occurred. And, even the year may be different since the first of the year has not always been January 1 in all countries! The attempt is to use a date that is the one that is typically given.

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