By The Associated Press
2013-08-17 09:01 AM
Today is Saturday, August 24, the 236th day of 2013.There are 129 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1516 - Turkish Ottoman army vanquishes Arab Mameluke forces north of Aleppo, sealing conquest of Syria.
1572 - The slaughter of French Protestants at the hands of Catholics begins in Paris.
1654 - French, under Prince of Conde, raise siege of Arras, Belgium.
1814 - British forces invade Washington and set fire to the Capitol and the White House.
1821 - The Spanish captain general of Mexico, Juan O'Donoju, signs the Treaty of Cordoba, giving Mexico independence.
1921 - Turkish forces beat back the Greeks at the Battle of the Sakarya River, preventing them from reaching Ankara.
1932 - Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly nonstop across the United States, traveling from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey, in 19 hours.
1949 - NATO goes into effect.
1954 - President Getulio Vargas of Brazil kills himself with a gunshot to the heart.
1959 - The exiled Dalai Lama charges more Chinese than Tibetans live in Tibet and the extermination of the Tibetan race is in progress. About 80,000 Tibetans have been killed during the Tibetan revolt.
1964 - Fireworks explosion in Atlatahuca, Mexico, during religious celebration kills 45 people and injures 33.
1965 - United Arab Republic and Yemen sign cease-fire agreement.
1968 - France explodes a hydrogen bomb at South Pacific testing ground and becomes world's fifth thermonuclear power.
1969 - Iraq executes 15 people on charge of spying for United States and Israel.
1973 - The United States agrees to reduce its armed forces in Thailand; immediately withdrawing 3,500 servicemen and more than 100 planes.
1976 - Two Soviet cosmonauts return to Earth after 48 days in orbit in space laboratory.
1981 - Mark David Chapman is sentenced in New York to 20 years to life in prison for the murder of British rock star John Lennon.
1985 - The pilot of a Chinese military aircraft crash lands his plane in South Korea and asks for political asylum in Taiwan. The plane's navigator and a farmer working in a rice paddy are killed.
1990 - Irish hostage Brian Keenan is freed by Lebanese kidnappers after more than four years in captivity.
1991 - Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as head of Communist Party and urges its leadership to disband the party; Ukraine becomes the seventh of 15 Soviet republics to declare independence.
1992 - South Korea and China establish diplomatic relations. The two have been ideological enemies since Korea was divided after World War II. China invaded South Korea during the Korean War and remains one of the staunchest allies of communist North Korea.
1993 - Demonstrators oust pro-Iranian warlord Alikram Gumbatov from the capital of his self-proclaimed "republic" in southern Azerbaijan.
1994 - The United Nations suspends efforts to repatriate Rwandan refugees after Hutu extremists mob the first group to agree to be brought home.
1997 - More than 1 million people attend Pope John Paul II's mass at World Youth Day ceremony in Paris.
1998 - Congo's Angolan allies drive rebels from a string of Atlantic coast towns in a stunning reversal of rebel gains.
1999 - At least 100,000 public workers march in cities around South Africa, in the largest mass labor action since apartheid ended, to demand wage increases.
2000 - Rev. John Kaiser, an outspoken American priest critical of the Kenyan government's human rights record, is found dead in western Kenya. The circumstances of his death are unclear.
2004 - Chechen suicide bombers destroy two Russian airliners killing a combined total of 90 passengers and crew.
2005 - A Hong Kong judge sides with a 20-year-old gay man who challenged laws against homosexuality -- including one that demands a life sentence for sodomy when one or both men are younger than 21. The judge rules the laws are demeaning.
2006 - Philippine lawmakers defeat an impeachment bid against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, but a debilitating political crisis stemming from corruption accusations against her continues.
2007 - Chinese authorities bar Yuan Weijing, the wife of imprisoned human rights activist Chen Guangcheng, from leaving the country to accept a humanitarian award on her husband's behalf.
2008 - An Iran-bound passenger jet carrying 90 people crashes near Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, killing at least 65 people.
2009 - Scotland's justice minister defends his much-criticized decision to free the Lockerbie bomber, as the U.S. State Department says that though it disagrees "passionately" the move will not affect relations between America and Britain.
2010 - Scientists say they have identified a sun-like star with as many as seven different planets -- including one that might be the smallest ever found outside the solar system.
2011 - The U.S. says China is on track to achieve its goal of building a modern, regionally focused military by 2020, bolstered by the development of a new stealth fighter, an aircraft carrier and a record number of space launches over the past year.
2012 - A court in Norway finds Anders Behring Breivik, a 33-year-old right find extremist, guilty of terrorism and premeditated murder for twin attacks on a government headquarters and a youth camp that left 77 people dead, most of them teenagers, a tragedy that shook the Nordic country to its core.
George Stubbs, English painter (1724-1806); Max Beerbohm, English author-artist (1872-1956); William Gibbs, American naval architect (1886-1967); Jorge Luis Borges, Argentine writer (1899-1986); Angie Brooks, Liberian diplomat (1928--2007); Kenny Baker, English actor, Star Wars' R2D2 (1934--); Cal Ripken, U.S. ex-baseball player (1960--).
Thought For Today:
There is no adequate defense, except stupidity, against the impact of a new idea -- Percy Williams Bridgeman, American scientist (1882-1961).