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June 24, 2013

Today in History

Today is Monday, June 24, the 175th day of 2013. There are 190 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:

On June 24, 1983, the space shuttle Challenger — carrying America’s first woman in space, Sally K. Ride — coasted to a safe landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

On this date:

In 1314, the forces of Scotland’s King Robert I defeated the English in the Battle of Bannockburn.

In 1509, Henry VIII was crowned king of England; his wife, Catherine of Aragon, was crowned queen consort.

In 1793, the first republican constitution in France was adopted.

In 1813, American clergyman and social reformer Henry Ward Beecher was born in Litchfield, Conn.

In 1908, the 22nd and 24th presidents of the United States, Grover Cleveland, died in Princeton, N.J., at age 71.

In 1940, France signed an armistice with Italy during World War II.

In 1948, Communist forces cut off all land and water routes between West Germany and West Berlin, prompting the western allies to organize the Berlin Airlift. The Republican National Convention, meeting in Philadelphia, nominated New York Gov. Thomas E. Dewey for president.

In 1968, “Resurrection City,” a shantytown constructed as part of the Poor People’s March on Washington D.C., was closed down by authorities.

In 1973, President Richard Nixon concluded his summit with the visiting leader of the Soviet Union, Leonid Brezhnev, who hailed the talks in an address on American television.

In 1975, 113 people were killed when an Eastern Airlines Boeing 727 crashed while attempting to land during a thunderstorm at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

In 1982, a British Airways Boeing 747 lost power in all four engines while passing through volcanic ash generated by Mount Galunggung in Indonesia. (The crew managed to restart the engines and make a safe emergency landing in Jakarta.)

In 1993, David Gelernter, a Yale University computer scientist, was seriously injured by a mail bomb sent from the Unabomber, Theodore Kaczynski.

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