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April 24, 2013

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, April 24, the 114th day of 2013. There are 251 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On April 24, 1913, the 792-foot Woolworth Building, at that time the tallest skyscraper in the world, officially opened in Manhattan as President Woodrow Wilson pressed a button at the White House to signal the lighting of the towering structure.

On this date:

  • In 1792, the national anthem of France, "La Marseillaise" (lah mahr-say-YEHZ'), was composed by Captain Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle.
  • In 1800, Congress approved a bill establishing the Library of Congress.
  • In 1898, Spain declared war on the United States. (The United States responded in kind the next day.)
  • In 1915, what's regarded as the start of the Armenian genocide began as the Ottoman Empire rounded up Armenian political and cultural leaders in Constantinople.
  • In 1916, some 1,600 Irish nationalists launched the Easter Rising by seizing several key sites in Dublin. (The rising was put down by British forces almost a week later.)
  • In 1932, in the Free State of Prussia, the Nazi Party gained a plurality of seats in parliamentary elections.
  • In 1953, British statesman Winston Churchill was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
  • In 1962, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology achieved the first satellite relay of a television signal, using NASA's Echo 1 balloon satellite to bounce a video image from Camp Parks, Calif., to Westford, Mass.
  • In 1963, the Boston Celtics won the NBA Finals in Game 6, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 112-109.
  • In 1970, the People's Republic of China launched its first satellite, which kept transmitting a song, "The East is Red."
  • In 1980, the United States launched an unsuccessful attempt to free the American hostages in Iran, a mission that resulted in the deaths of eight U.S. servicemen.
  • In 1993, former African National Congress president Oliver Tambo died in Johannesburg, South Africa, at age 75.

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