May 24 in History Events, Birthdays, & News

To know what happened today in history, famous events occurred,  famous birthdays, death day, legend quotes, and historical news on May 24.


Events on May 24

1689 The English parliament passed the Act of Toleration for the relief of Dissenters.

1809 Dartmoor Prison was opened in England to house French prisoners of war.

1814 Pope Pius VII, exiled by Napoleon Bonaparte, returns to Rome.

1833 Brooklyn Bridge was opened.

1856 American anti-slavery campaigner John Brown leads the Free-Starters in a massacre of the pro-slavers at Pottawattamie Creek.

1862 London’s Westminster Bridge was opened.

1973 In Britain, Lord Lambton and Earl Jellicoe resign from the government in a call girl/security scandal.

1988 Snow falls on the Syrian desert and on Damascus for the first time in 50 years.

Famous Birthdays on May 24

Gabriel Fahrenheit  1686, German physicist who invented the mercury thermometer.

Jean Paul Marat 1763, French politician, journalist and physician.

Queen Victoria 1819, English monarch whose ideas of duty and discipline influenced the nation for nearly a century.

Sir Arthur Wing Pinero 1855, British dramatist who wrote highly successful farces and later, more serious plays about contemporary social problems.

Jan Smuts 1870, South African statesman and general, twice prime minister.

Rash Behari Bose 1886, Indian freedom fighter, social reformer and leader.

William Trevor 1928, Irish novelist and playwright.

Bob Dylan 1941, American singer, songwriter and poet who became a cult figure writing folk songs such as “The times They are A-Changing” and went on to use electronic instruments in the album “Highway 61 Revisited”.

Quotes from Legend

The Catholic Church has always refused and continues today to refuse to make the market the supreme regulator and almost the model or synthesis of social life.

- Pope John Paul II, on this day, 1991.

Historical News on May 24

Copernicus Turns Heavens Upside Down

Nicolaus Copernicus turns heavens upside down on may 24
Nicolaus Copernicus

1543 As he lay dying today, the canon of Frauenburg cathedral in Poland was brought the first copy of a treatise he has written that overturns church doctrine on man’s place in the universe.

According to Nicolaus Copernicus, our world is not the center about which all else in the heavens turns, as Aristotle and Ptolemy claimed.

His book, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, claims that the Earth and the other planets revolve around the sun, which itself doesn’t stay in one place.

The universe, he says, is much bigger than was thought and man’s place in it is far from central.

In fact, Copernicus’s scheme of things sounds very plausible.

The book is bound to cause immense controversy.

Copernicus is aware of this, he first wrote about his theories in 1514 but was very discreet about them.

Duke Leaves Legacy of Pure Genius

1974 Duke Ellington, one of the greatest of all jazz musicians, died of lung cancer.

He was 75.

Perhaps more than any other musician, Ellington helped bring jazz out of the black ghettos of America and put it on the world map.

It was through Ellington, Fletcher Henderson, and Count Basie and their syncopated big band arrangements that most white Americans first heard jazz.

Ellington won popularity in New York when his 11-piece band took up residence at the famous Cotton Club in Harlem in 1927, and live broadcasts from the club soon made the unique Ellington sound famous.

Virtually all the jazz greats have played with Ellington, who usually wrote special pieces to show off their skills.

With some 8000 works to his credit, he is now acknowledged as America’s greatest composer.

Three years ago he toured Europe, Russia, and Latin America, and his New Orleans Suite was awarded the title of record of the year.

Hard an Robespierre Cheats Death Twice

1794 French revolutionary leader Maximilien Robespierre survived the second attempt on his life in two days when 25-year-old Cecile Renault tried to assassinate him today.

Robespierre, a slight man with a reedy voice, wields the power of life and death in France.

He demanded the execution of King Louis XVI and of the moderate Girondists, and his election to the Committee of Public Safety last year has brought bloody repression as he eliminated rival factions.

Private Eye’s Ed. May Be A Banana

1989 A British jury today awarded libel damages of £6,00,000 ($11,10,000) to Sonia Sutcliffe, wife of sex killer Peter Sutcliffe, the “Yorkshire Ripper”, against the satirical magazine Private Eye.

Private Eye had said Mrs. Sutcliffe had sold a newspaper the story of her marriage for £2,50,000 ($4,62,500).

The magazine will appeal against the award, the highest in British legal history.

Editor Ian Hislop commented, “If this is justice, I’m a banana.”

1941 The Royal Navy’s pride, the 42,000-ton battleship HMS Hood, has been sunk in a duel with the German battleship Bismarck in the North Atlantic.

Nearly all the crew of 1400 have drowned.

Marx Lunacy Goes Celluloid

marx lunacy goes celluloid on may 24
Marx Lunacy

1929 After six years on Broadway, the anarchic lunacy of the Marx Brothers now has movie audiences roaring.

“Your eyes shine like the pants of my blue serge suit,” leers Groucho Marx round his cigar in The Coconuts, premiered in New York tonight.

Fast-talking Groucho (born Julius) with his bushy eyebrows and thick black mustache, Chico (Leonard), who mostly plays an Italian, Harpo (Adolph), who plays the harp but doesn’t say a word, and fourth brother Zeppo (Herbert) who provides romantic relief, get full Marx for zaniness.

The brothers are now making a film version of Animal Crackers, which opened on Broadway last year.

The big money is in the movies.

More than 80 million Americans go to the country’s 28,000 cinemas every week.

As Groucho says in The Coconuts, “What’s a thousand dollars?

Mere chicken-feed-a poultry matter.”

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