IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Today in history: April 24

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Sunday, April 24, the 114th day of 2005. There are 251 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 24, 1800, Congress approved a bill establishing the Library of Congress.

On this date:
In 1792, the national anthem of France, “La Marseillaise,” was composed by Capt. Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle.

In 1877, federal troops were ordered out of New Orleans, ending the North’s post-Civil War rule in the South.

In 1898, Spain declared war on the United States after rejecting America’s ultimatum to withdraw from Cuba.

In 1915, the Ottoman Turkish Empire began the brutal mass deportation of Armenians during World War I.

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 several days later.

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, between Camp Parks, Calif., and Westford, Mass.

In 1968, leftist students at Columbia University in New York began a weeklong occupation of several campus buildings.

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 abortive attempt to free the American hostages in Iran, a mission that resulted in the deaths of eight U.S. servicemen.

Ten years ago: The final bomb linked to the Unabomber exploded inside the Sacramento, Calif., offices of a lobbying group for the wood products industry, killing chief lobbyist Gilbert B. Murray. (Theodore Kaczynski was later sentenced to four lifetimes in prison for a series of bombings that killed three men and injured 29 others.)

Five years ago: Concerned about the disappearance of a laptop computer with highly sensitive documents, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright announced a five-point plan to help guard against such lapses in the future. A teen gunman opened fire at Washington’s National Zoo, wounding seven children.

One year ago: Suicide boat bombers attacked Iraqi oil facilities in the Persian Gulf, killing three Americans and disabling Iraq’s biggest terminal for more than 24 hours. A U.N. plan to reunify the war-divided island of Cyprus collapsed when Greek Cypriots rejected the proposal in one referendum and Turkish Cypriots endorsed it in another. In Los Angeles, Vitali Klitschko stopped Corrie Sanders late in the eighth round to win the WBC heavyweight title vacated by the retirement of Lennox Lewis.

Today’s Birthdays: Critic Stanley Kauffmann is 89. Actor J.D. Cannon is 83. Actress Shirley MacLaine is 71. Author Sue Grafton is 65. Actress-singer-director Barbra Streisand is 63. Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley is 63. Country singer Richard Sterban (The Oak Ridge Boys) is 62. Rock musician Doug Clifford (Creedence Clearwater Revival) is 60. Actor-playwright Eric Bogosian is 52. Actor Michael O’Keefe is 50. Rock musician David J (Bauhaus) is 48. Rock musician Billy Gould is 42. Actor-comedian Cedric the Entertainer is 41. Actor Djimon Hounsou is 41. Rock musician Patty Schemel is 38. Rock musician Aaron Comess (Spin Doctors) is 37. Actor Derek Luke is 31. Country singer Rebecca Lynn Howard is 26. Singer Kelly Clarkson (“American Idol”) is 23.

Thought for Today: “To change and to improve are two different things.” — German proverb.