Today in History

Today in History

Today is Sunday, Oct. 24, the 297th day of 2021. There are 68 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Oct. 24, 1940, the 40-hour work week went into effect under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

On this date:

In 1648, the Peace of Westphalia (west-FAY’-lee-uh) ended the Thirty Years War and effectively destroyed the Holy Roman Empire.

In 1861, the first transcontinental telegraph message was sent by Chief Justice Stephen J. Field of California from San Francisco to President Abraham Lincoln in Washington, D.C., over a line built by the Western Union Telegraph Co.

In 1931, the George Washington Bridge, connecting New York and New Jersey, was officially dedicated (it opened to traffic the next day).

In 1945, the United Nations officially came into existence as its charter took effect.

In 1962, a naval quarantine of Cuba ordered by President John F. Kennedy went into effect during the missile crisis.

In 1972, Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, who’d broken Major League Baseball’s modern-era color barrier in 1947, died in Stamford, Connecticut, at age 53.

In 1989, former television evangelist Jim Bakker (BAY’-kur) was sentenced by a judge in Charlotte, N.C., to 45 years in prison for fraud and conspiracy. (The sentence was later reduced to eight years; it was further reduced to four for good behavior.)

In 1992, the Toronto Blue Jays became the first non-U.S. team to win the World Series as they defeated the Atlanta Braves, 4-3, in Game 6.

In 2002, authorities apprehended John Allen Muhammad and teenager Lee Boyd Malvo near Myersville, Maryland, in the Washington-area sniper attacks. (Malvo was later sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, but Maryland's highest court has agreed to reconsider that sentence in 2022; Muhammad was sentenced to death and executed in 2009.)

In 2005, civil rights icon Rosa Parks died in Detroit at age 92.

In 2007, rapidly rising Internet star Facebook Inc. sold a 1.6 percent stake to Microsoft Corp. for $240 million, spurning a competing offer from online search leader Google Inc.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama offered mortgage relief to hundreds of thousands of Americans during a visit to Las Vegas. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, visiting Yokota Air Base in Japan, lashed out at North Korea for “reckless and provocative” acts and criticized China for a secretive expansion of its military power.

One year ago: A North Carolina health official ordered a large church to close its doors temporarily because of concerns it was helping spread the coronavirus by disregarding social distancing measures. Despite surging cases around the country and more infections at the White House, President Donald Trump assured supporters packed shoulder to shoulder at a trio of rallies that “we’re rounding the turn” on the coronavirus; he mocked challenger Joe Biden for raising alarms about the pandemic. Heavily protected crews in Washington state worked to destroy the first nest of so-called murder hornets discovered in the United States.

Today’s Birthdays: Rock musician Bill Wyman is 85. Actor F. Murray Abraham is 82. Movie director-screenwriter David S. Ward is 76. Actor Kevin Kline is 74. Congressman and former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume (kwah-EE’-see oom-FOO’-may) is 73. Actor Doug Davidson is 67. Actor B.D. Wong is 61. Actor Zahn McClarnon is 55. Singer Michael Trent (Americana duo Shovels & Rope) is 44. Rock musician Ben Gillies (Silverchair) is 42. Singer-actor Monica Arnold is 41. Actor-comedian Casey Wilson is 41. R&B singer, actor and “The Real” co-host Adrienne Bailon Houghton is 38. Actor Tim Pocock is 36. R&B singer-rapper-actor Drake is 35. Actor Shenae Grimes is 32. Actor Eliza Taylor is 32. Actor Ashton Sanders (Film: “Moonlight”) is 26. Olympic gold medal gymnast Kyla Ross is 25. Actor Hudson Yang is 18.