updated 10/24/2006 12:11:48 AM ET 2006-10-24T04:11:48

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Oct. 24, 1945, the United Nations officially came into existence as its charter took effect.

On this date:

In 1537, Jane Seymour, the third wife of England’s King Henry VIII, died 12 days after giving birth to Prince Edward, later King Edward VI.

In 1648, the Peace of Westphalia ended the Thirty Years War and effectively destroyed the Holy Roman Empire.

In 1861, the first transcontinental telegraph message was sent as Justice Stephen J. Field of California transmitted a telegram to President Lincoln.

In 1901, widow Anna Edson Taylor became the first person to survive going over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

In 1931, the George Washington Bridge, connecting New York and New Jersey, opened to traffic.

In 1939, nylon stockings were sold publicly for the first time, in Wilmington, Del.

In 1940, the 40-hour work week went into effect under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

In 1952, Republican presidential candidate Dwight D. Eisenhower declared, “I shall go to Korea” as he promised to end the conflict. (He made the visit over a month later.)

In 1962, the U.S. blockade of Cuba during the missile crisis officially began under a proclamation signed by President Kennedy.

In 1991, “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry died in Santa Monica, Calif., at age 70.

Ten years ago: Rioting erupted in St. Petersburg, Fla., after a white police officer fatally shot a black man during a traffic stop. The New York Yankees took the lead in the World Series, defeating the Atlanta Braves 1-0 in Game 5.

Five years ago: The House passed a $100 billion on economic stimulus package. Two trucks crashed head-on in a main tunnel through the Alps, igniting a fire and killing 11 people. O.J. Simpson was acquitted in Miami of grabbing another driver’s glasses and scratching the man’s face in a road-rage argument.

One year ago: Hurricane Wilma knifed through Florida with winds up to 125 mph. Civil rights icon Rosa Parks died in Detroit at age

92. President Bush nominated economic adviser Ben Bernanke to succeed Alan Greenspan as Federal Reserve chairman. Three bombs exploded near the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad, where journalists worked, killing at least a half-dozen passers-by.

Today’s Birthdays: Football Hall-of-Famer Y.A. Tittle is 80. Rock musician Bill Wyman is 70. Actor-producer David Nelson is 70. Actor F. Murray Abraham is 67. Actor Kevin Kline is 59. Former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume is 58. Country musician Billy Thomas (Terry McBride and the Ride) is 53. Actor B.D. Wong is 44. Rock musician Ben Gillies (Silverchair) is 27. Singer-actress Monica Arnold is 26. Rhythm-and-blues singer Adrienne Bailon (3lw) is 23.

Thought for Today: “History must always be taken with a grain of salt. It is, after all, not a science but an art.” — Phyllis McGinley, American poet and author (1905-1978).

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