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May 24, 2013

Today in History

Today is Friday, May 24, the 144th day of 2013. There are 221 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On May 24, 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge, linking Brooklyn and Manhattan, was dedicated by President Chester Alan Arthur and New York Gov. Grover Cleveland.

On this date:

  • In 1775, John Hancock was elected President of the Continental Congress, succeeding Peyton Randolph.
  • In 1844, Samuel F.B. Morse transmitted the message "What hath God wrought" from Washington to Baltimore as he formally opened America's first telegraph line.
  • In 1918, Bela Bartok's one-act opera "Bluebeard's Castle" had its premiere in Budapest.
  • In 1935, the first major league baseball game to be played at night took place at Cincinnati's Crosley Field as the Reds beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 2-1.
  • In 1937, in a set of rulings, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Social Security Act of 1935.
  • In 1941, the German battleship Bismarck sank the British battle cruiser HMS Hood in the North Atlantic, killing all but three of the 1,418 men on board.
  • In 1959, former U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles died in Washington, D.C. at age 71.
  • In 1961, a group of Freedom Riders was arrested after arriving at a bus terminal in Jackson, Miss., charged with breaching the peace for entering white-designated areas. (They ended up serving 60 days in jail.)
  • In 1962, astronaut Scott Carpenter became the second American to orbit the Earth as he flew aboard Aurora 7.
  • In 1976, Britain and France opened trans-Atlantic Concorde supersonic transport service to Washington.
  • In 1980, Iran rejected a call by the World Court in The Hague to release the American hostages.
  • In 2001, 23 people were killed when the floor of a Jerusalem wedding hall collapsed beneath dancing guests, sending them plunging several stories into the basement.

Ten years ago: Furious crowds hurled debris and insults at Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika (ahb-DUL'-ah-ZEEZ' boot-uh-FLEE'-kuh) when he visited a town devastated by a deadly earthquake. The U.S.-led coalition ordered Iraqis to give up their weapons by mid-June. British actress Rachel Kempson, matriarch of the Redgrave acting dynasty, died in Millbrook, N.Y., four days short of her 93rd birthday.

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