I've already put up one post today, but the Today in History was too interesting not to post as well, so I'll just have to have two blog posts today, neither of which will probably be read by anyone :)
Today in History, August 24:
49 BCE – Gaius Curio, a general under the command of Julius Caesar, is killed in battle in Numidia, in northern Africa, during the Second Battle of the Bagradas River.
79 – Mount Vesuvius erupts in southern Italy, burying the towns of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae. Pliny the Elder, a writer and naturalist whose written works survive to this day, is killed in an effort to witness the eruption up close.
410 – The Visigoths, under the command of Alaric, begin a three-day pillaging of Rome. It is the first time Rome is sacked in over 700 years. (This, as you may know, is the subject of one of my books...as yet unfinished.)
1113 – Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou, is born in Normandy. He adopts the broom flower as his personal emblem, even wearing it sometimes in his hat, and earns the surname “Plantagenet,” which means “broom flower” in French. His son will become king of England as Henry II, thus making Geoffrey the patriarch of the English Plantagenet dynasty, which would last until the late 15th century.
1349 – 6,000 Jews in Mainz, Germany are executed, under the suspicion that they caused the Bubonic Plague.
1456 – The printing of the Gutenberg Bible is completed. Gutenberg, ironically, was from Mainz, Germany.
1459 – 30,000 Transylvanian merchants and officials are impaled under the orders of Vlad Dracul, also known as Vlad the Impaler.
1680 – Death of Thomas Blood who, 9 years earlier, had stolen the British Crown Jewels from the Tower of London, only to be captured as he tried to make his escape. Charles II, for reasons not fully known, pardoned him for the crime.
1814 – British troops enter Washington, D.C. and burn down the White House.
1891 – Thomas Edison patents his motion picture camera.
1932 – Amelia Earhart lands in Newark, New Jersey, having taken off from Los Angeles, California. She becomes the first woman to fly across the United States.
1942 – The Battle of the Eastern Solomons begins, in which the Japanese aircraft carrier Ryujo is sunk, and the U.S. carrier Enterprise is heavily damaged.
1958 – On the 502nd anniversary of the completion of the Gutenberg Bible, actor Steve Guttenberg is born.
1960 – Vostock, Antarctica, records a temperature of –127 degrees Fahrenheit, the lowest temperature ever recorded.
1971 – On the 1,892nd anniversary of the destruction of Pompeii, Pink Floyd performs a famous concert in a Pompeii amphitheater.
1989 – Pete Rose is given a lifetime ban from baseball by Commissioner A. Fartlett Giamatti. Giamatti died 8 days later.
1990 – Judas Priest is absolved from any responsibility for two teens who committed suicide after listening to their music.
1991 – Gorby resigns as head of the U.S.S.R.