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24 past introduction Whilst history is often considered a broad and extensive area to cover, this book takes a different approach towards explaining some of the key events that have occured in time and shaped our history as humans. Over the course of 12 dedicated spreads for each month, each will focus on an event that has occured on the 24th day in history, from historic moments to births and deaths of iconic figures. Through this it should become easier to understand and remember what humans have achieved in the past whilst thinking about what we’re capable of in the future.

contents January 1965

Winston Churchill’s Death

1-2

February 1942

Battle of Los Angeles

3-4

March 1874

Birth of Harry Houdini

5-6

April 1800

Creation of the Library of Congress

7-8

May 1844

The first telegraph message

9-10

June 1374

The Dancing Plague

11-12

July 1969

Apollo 11 splashdown

13-14

August 79 AD

Mount Vesuvius erupts

15-16

September 1988

The dirtiest race in history

17-18

October 2003

Concorde’s last commercial flight

19-20

November 1963

Jack Ruby

21-22

December 1914

The Christmas truce

23-24


the date is january 24TH 1965 S

ir Winston Churchill has died at the age of 90 with his wife Lady Clementine Churchill and other members of the family at his bedside. He suffered a stroke 15 days ago and gradually slipped into a deep sleep from which he never awakened. Sir Winston died in his London home at Hyde Park Gate. Earlier in his illness, there had been crowds anxiously waiting for news at the top of the quiet Kensington cul-de-sac - but when the announcement finally came there was only a handful of journalists in the street.

The Chartwell, Churchill’s home

01


winston churchill’s death “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”

Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a British politician who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 (that is, for most of the Second World War) and again from 1951 to 1955. Widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, a writer, and an artist. He is the only British Prime Minister to have received the Nobel Prize in Literature, and was the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the United States. Out of office and politically “in the wilderness” during the 1930s, Churchill took the lead in warning about Nazi Germany and in campaigning for rearmament. On the outbreak of the Second World War, he was again appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. Following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain on 10 May 1940, Churchill became Prime Minister. His steadfast refusal to consider defeat, surrender, or a compromise peace helped inspire British resistance, especially during the difficult early days of the War when Britain stood alone among European countries in its active opposition to Adolf Hitler. Churchill was particularly noted for his speeches and radio broadcasts, which helped inspire the British people. He led Britain as Prime Minister until victory over Nazi Germany had been secured.

02


Feb 24 1942

03


At 3:16 am the 37th Coast Artillery Brigade began firing

The Battle of Los Angeles, also known as The Great Los Angeles Air Raid, is the name given by contemporary sources to the rumored enemy attack and subsequent anti-aircraft artillery barrage which took place from late 24 February to early 25 February 1942 over Los Angeles, California. Initially, the target of the aerial barrage was thought to be an attacking force from Japan, but speaking at a press conference shortly afterward, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox called the incident a “false alarm.” Newspapers of the time published a number of reports and speculations of a cover-up. Some modernday UFOlogists have suggested the targets were extraterrestrial spacecraft. while officials state “war nerves” likely triggered by a lost weather balloon and exacerbated by stray flares.

At 3:16 am the 37th Coast Artillery Brigade began firing .50 caliber machine guns and 12.8-pound anti-aircraft shells into the air at reported aircraft; over 1,400 shells would eventually be fired. Pilots of the 4th Interceptor Command were alerted but their aircraft remained grounded. The artillery fire continued sporadically until 4:14 am. The “all clear” was sounded and the blackout order lifted at 7:21 am. Mystery surrounds the cause.

04


harry houdini March 24th 1874

and on that day, a magician was born that would change the world. Harry Houdini was a Hungarian-American illusionist and stunt performer, noted for his sensational escape acts. He first attracted notice as “Harry Handcuff Houdini� on a tour of Europe, where he challenged different police forces to try to keep him locked up. This revealed a talent for gimmickry and for audience involvement that characterized all his work. Soon he extended his repertoire to include chains, ropes slung from skyscrapers, straitjackets under water, and having to hold his breath inside a sealed milk can.

05

In 1912, Houdini introduced perhaps his most famous act, the Chinese Water Torture Cell, in which he was suspended upsidedown in a locked glass-and-steel cabinet full to overflowing with water. The act required that Houdini hold his breath for more than three minutes. At times, he carried concealed lockpicks or keys, being able to regurgitate small keys at will. When tied down in ropes or straitjackets, he gained wiggle room by enlarging his shoulders and chest, moving his arms slightly away from his body, and then dislocating his shoulders.


06


library of congress


06


april 24 1800

06


The Library of Congress is the research library of the United States Congress, the de facto national library of the United States of America, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. Located in four buildings in Washington, D.C. as well as the Packard Campus in Culpeper, Virginia, it is one of the two largest libraries in the world by shelf space and number of books, the other being The British Library.

Thomas Jefferson - opened 1897

John Adams - opened 1939

James Madison - opened 1976

library of congress 08


MAY 24 1844

what hath god wrought?


Samuel Finley Breese Morse (April 27, 1791 – April 2, 1872) was an American painter who turned inventor. In his middle age he contributed to the invention of a single-wire telegraph system based on European telegraphs, was a co-inventor of the Morse code, and helped to develop the commercial use of telegraphy. In a demonstration witnessed by members of Congress, Morse dispatched a telegraph message from the U.S. Capitol to Alfred Vail at a railroad station in Baltimore. The message was telegraphed back to the Capitol a moment later by Vail. The question, taken from the Bible (Numbers 23:23), had been suggested to Morse by Annie Ellworth, the daughter of the commissioner of patents.

The above image shows the morse code used to spell out the message sent by Samuel F.B. Morse. 10


June 24 1374

the dancing plague Bizzarely, in 1374 the first recorded instance of St John’s Dance/Dancing Plague occured in Aachen, Germany. This spread throughout Europe between the 14th and 17th century. The affected, including men, women and children would dance until exhaustion. To this day, no consensus has been formed on the cause.

11


They hardly stopped, some danced until they broke their ribs and subsequently died, Waller, John (July 2009). The social phenomenon was studied by many due to the variety of characteristics shown by the ‘infected’. Some paraded around naked and made obscene gestures, some even had sexual intercourse. Others acted like animals and jumped, hopped and leaped about, all the while screaming and laughing. Another unusual theme was the odd reactions to the colour Red. To some, the colour was seemingly invisible, whilst others reacted violently upon seeing the colour. Pointed shoes were also seen as offensive to the dancers, whilst others enjoyed their feet being hit. As a result of the prolonged dancing, many suffered from chest pains, convulsions and hyperventilation with many being completely overwhelmed. Those that weren’t sometimes reached a state of ecstacy. The dancing mania was widely contagious and often struct families and individuals.

12


july 24 1969

169 9 west

13


13 19 north apollo 11 splashdown

Splashdown occured southeast of Japan and northeast of Australia.

Returning from the first successful mission to the moon, Apollo 11 splashed down at 16:51 UTC. The Command Module landed upside down but was righted within 10 minutes by flotation bags triggered by the astronauts. “Everything’s okay. Our checklist is complete. Awaiting swimmers,” was Armstrong’s last official transmission from the Columbia. A diver from the Navy helicopter hovering above attached a sea anchor to the Command Module to prevent it from drifting. Additional divers attached flotation collars to stabilize the module and position rafts for astronaut extraction.

14


august 24 79 AD

mount vesuvius erupts leaving only haze in the atmosphere through which the sun shone weakly.

15


Vesuvius, captured by the quickbird satellite on July 12, 2002 Pompeii, the buried city can be seen in the bottom right

what happened? Mount Vesuvius spawned a deadly cloud of volcanic gas, stones, ash and fumes to a height of 33 km (20.5 miles), spewing molten rock and pulverized pumice at the rate of 1.5 million tons per second, ultimately releasing a hundred thousand times the thermal energy released by the Hiroshima bombing. The towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum were obliterated and buried underneath massive pyroclastic flows and lava. An estimated 16,000 people died from the eruption.

The eruption lasted for two days. The morning of the first day, August 24, was perceived as normal by the only eyewitness to leave a surviving document, Pliny the Younger. Around 1:00 PM, Vesuvius violently exploded, throwing up a high-altitude column from which ash began to fall, blanketing the area. Rescues and escapes occurred during this time. At some time in the night or early the next day, August 25, pyroclastic flows in the close vicinity of the volcano began. Lights were seen on the mountain interpreted as fires. People as far away as Misenum fled for their lives. By evening of the second day, the eruption was over, leaving only haze in the atmosphere through which the sun shone weakly. 16


september 24 1988

9.92 seconds carl lewis - 100m world record

17


Ben Johnson finishes first, whilst Carl Lewis comes second.

who is carl lewis?

the dirtiest race in history

Frederick Carlton “Carl� Lewis (born July 1, 1961) is an American former track and field athlete and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, who won 10 Olympic medals including 9 gold, and 10 World Championships medals, including 8 gold. His career spanned from 1979 when he first achieved a world ranking to 1996 when he last won an Olympic title and subsequently retired. Lewis became an actor and has appeared in a number of films.

The 100m final at the 1988 Summer Olympics was one of the most sensational sports stories of the year and its dramatic outcome would rank as one of the most infamous sports stories of the century. Rival Ben Johnson won in 9.79s, a new world record, while Lewis set a new American record with 9.92s. Three days later, Johnson tested positive for steroids, his medal was taken away and Lewis was awwarded gold and credited with a new olympic record.

18


october 24 2003

the last flight of the concorde

19


Les Evans co-pilot of the final flight.

the concorde The Concorde is a retired turbojet powered supersonic passenger airliner or supersonic transport. In total, 20 were made including prototypes. The Concorde flew at twice the speed of Mach 2, 4 times the speed of sound. This meant that compared to a normal plane journey of 7-8 hours from London to New York, the Concorde took on average 3 hours and 30 minutes.

The last transatlantic flight carried 100 celebrities from New York and touched down at 1605 BST. On disembarking, actress Joan Collins said there were “cheers and tears” among the passengers when the plane landed. British Airways decided to retire the famous aircraft after 27 years because it was no longer profitable. To celebrate the Concorde’s history, water cannon sprayed jets of red, white and blue water to evoke the colours of the British, American and French flags in a symbolic farewell on the runway.

20


november 24 1963

jack ruby - the killer of the killer The image of Jack Ruby firing a pistol at Lee Harvey Oswald is one of the most famous of the 20th Century. In that one swift moment, Lee Harvey Oswald, the killer of the 35th President of the USA John Fitzgerald Kennedy was shot dead. This was one of the earliest counts of a murder being shown on live television and was met with wide spread controversy. Many felt horrified, whilst others felt sympathy for Jack Ruby who is believed to have acted out of revenge, patriotism and pity for JFK’s wife.

21


Lee Harvey Oswald

A Dallas jury found Ruby guilty of murdering Oswald, and Ruby was sentenced to death. Later, Ruby appealed his conviction and death sentence and was granted a new trial. As the date for his new trial was being set, Ruby became ill and died of a pulmonary embolism due to lung cancer. Many theories surround Ruby’s involvement with Oswald, based on the nightclub owner’s possible connections to criminal organisations, some question the lack of blood and links to the wider conspiracy of JFK.

Jack Ruby

I am as innocent regarding any conspiracy as any of you gentlemen in the room. Jack Ruby

22


december 24 1914

the christmas truce


the joys of festivity on the battlefield The Christmas truce was a series of widespread, unofficial ceasefires that took place along the Western Front around Christmas 1914, during World War I. Through the week leading up to Christmas, parties of German and British soldiers began to exchange seasonal greetings and songs between their trenches; on occasion, the tension was reduced to the point that individuals would walk across to talk to their opposite numbers bearing gifts. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, many soldiers from both sides as well as, to a lesser degree, from French units— independently ventured into “no man’s land”, where they mingled, exchanging food and souvenirs. As well as joint burial ceremonies, several meetings ended in carol-singing. Troops from both sides were also friendly enough to play games of football with one another.

of ww1

In the early months of immobile trench warfare, the truces were not unique to the Christmas period, and reflected a growing mood of “live and let live”, where infantry units in close proximity to each other would stop overtly aggressive behaviour, and often engage in small-scale fraternisation, engaging in conversation or bartering for cigarettes. In some sectors, there would be occasional ceasefires to allow soldiers to go between the lines and recover wounded or dead comrades, while in others, there would be a tacit agreement not to shoot while men rested, exercised, or worked in full view of the enemy. The Christmas truces were particularly significant due to the number of men involved and the level of their participation – even in very peaceful sectors, dozens of men openly congregating in daylight was remarkable.

24


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