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Today in History: Jan. 24

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AD 41 – Roman Emperor Caligula, known for his eccentricity and sadistic despotism, is assassinated by his disgruntled Praetorian Guards. The Guard then proclaims Caligula's uncle Claudius as Emperor 1438 – The Council of Basel suspends Pope Eugene IV. 1458 – Matthias Corvinus becomes king of Hungary. 1624 – Afonso Mendes, appointed by Pope Gregory XV as Prelate of Ethiopia, arrives at Massawa from Goa. 1679 – King Charles II of England dissolves the Cavalier Parliament. 1739 – Peshva warrior Chimnaji Appa defeats Portuguese forces and captures Tarapur Fort, India. 1742 – Charles VII Albert becomes Holy Roman Emperor. 1758 – During the Seven Years' War the leading burghers of Königsberg submit to Elizabeth of Russia, thus forming Russian Prussia (until 1763) 1817 – Crossing of the Andes: Many soldiers of Juan Gregorio de las Heras are captured during the Action of Picheuta. 1835 – Slaves in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, stage a revolt, which is instrumental in ending slavery there 50 years later. 1848 – California Gold Rush: James W. Marshall finds gold at Sutter's Mill near Sacramento. 1857 – The University of Calcutta is formally founded as the first fully fledged university in South Asia. 1859 – The United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia (later named Romania) formed as a personal union under the rule of Domnitor Alexandru Ioan Cuza. 1862 – Bucharest is proclaimed the capital of Romania. 1900 – Second Boer War: Boers stop a British attempt to break the Siege of Ladysmith in the Battle of Spion Kop. 1908 – The first Boy Scout troop is organized in England by Robert Baden-Powell. 1915 – World War One: British Grand Fleet battle cruisers under Vice-Admiral Sir David Beatty engage Rear-Admiral Franz von Hipper's battle cruisers in the Battle of Dogger Bank. 1916 – In Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad Co., the Supreme Court of the United States declares the federal income tax constitutional.

1918 – The Gregorian calendar is introduced in Russia by decree of the Council of People's Commissars effective February 14(NS) 1933 – The 20th Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, changing the beginning and end of terms for all elected federal offices. 1939 – The deadliest earthquake in Chilean history strikes Chillán, killing approximately 28,000 people. 1942 – World War II: The Allies bombard Bangkok, leading Thailand, then under Japanese control, to declare war against the United States and United Kingdom. 1943 – World War II: Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill conclude a conference in Casablanca. 1946 – The United Nations General Assembly passes its first resolution to establish the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission. 1960 – Algerian War: Some units of European volunteers in Algiers stage an insurrection known as the "barricades week", during which they seize government buildings and clash with local police. 1961 – Goldsboro B-52 crash: A bomber carrying two H-bombs breaks up in mid-air over North Carolina. The uranium core of one weapon remains lost. 1968 – Vietnam War: The 1st Australian Task Force launches Operation Coburg against the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong during wider fighting around Long Bình and Biên Hòa 1972 – Japanese Sgt. Shoichi Yokoi is found hiding in a Guam jungle, where he had been since the end of World War II. 1977 – Atocha massacre occurs in Madrid during the Spanish transition to democracy. 1978 – Soviet satellite Kosmos 954, with a nuclear reactor on board, burns up in Earth's atmosphere, scattering radioactive debris over Canada's Northwest Territories. Only 1% is recovered. 1984 – Apple Computer places the Macintosh personal computer on sale in the United States. 1989 – Notorious serial killer Ted Bundy, with over 30 known victims, is executed by the electric chair at the Florida State Prison 1990 – Japan launches Hiten, the country's first lunar probe, the first robotic lunar probe since the Soviet Union's Luna 24 in 1976, and the first lunar probe launched by a country other than Soviet Union or the United States. 2003 – The United States Department of Homeland Security officially begins operation. 2009 – Cyclone Klaus makes landfall near Bordeaux, France, causing 26 deaths as well as extensive disruptions to public transport and power supplies. 2011 – At least 35 die and 180 are injured in a bombing at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport.

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