Two vials containing the HIV vaccine.
Two vials containing the HIV vaccine.

Today in History: September 24

Highlights in history on this date:

1143: Death of Innocent II, pope from 1130 to 1143.

1568: Spanish capture English ships and booty at San Juan, Puerto Rico.

1688: France's King Louis XIV declares war against Holy Roman Empire, called the War of the League of Augsburg.

1 852: French inventor Henri Giffard makes the first flight in a powered airship, cruising with steam power over Paris.

1869: Thousands of businesses are ruined in a Wall Street panic that becomes known as Black Friday, after financiers Jay Gould and James Fisk attempt to corner the gold market.

1932: The Poona Pact between Hindu religious leaders, forced by Mahatma Gandhi's hunger strike, gives new electoral rights to "untouchables".

1943: Soviet army crosses Dnieper River north of Kiev as Germans retreat in World War II.

1968: In the US, the CBS current affairs program 60 Minutes premieres on television.

1971: Britain expels 90 Soviets for espionage activities.

1973: Sydney Opera House Official Opening Citizens' Committee receives 4000 applications for free tickets for the official opening of the House by the Queen on October 20.

Queen Elizabeth at the opening of the Sydney Opera House in 1973.
Queen Elizabeth at the opening of the Sydney Opera House in 1973.

1975: Britons Dougal Haston and Doug Scott become the first to climb Mount Everest by the southwest face.

1976: American newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst is sentenced to seven years in prison for her part in a 1974 bank robbery.

1984: Secret Australian Government papers on the Petrov affair are released publicly for first time.

1988: Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson sets a world record of 9.79 seconds to win the men's 100m sprint gold medal at the Seoul Summer Olympics. He is later stripped of the medal for taking drugs.

1993: Former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos is convicted of corruption and sentenced to at least 18 years in jail.

1994: Officials stop trucks and hand out antibiotics to those fleeing a deadly plague outbreak in western India in an effort to keep the disease from spreading to major cities.

1995: Thirteen people are killed in the southern French town of Cuers when Eric Borel runs amok with a rifle a day after killing his mother, stepfather and half-brother.

1996: The US and the world's major nuclear powers override the objections of India and sign a treaty to end all testing and development of nuclear weapons.

1998: Britain and Iran reach a landmark deal to upgrade diplomatic relations after Tehran dissociates itself from the "fatwa" death edict against British author Salman Rushdie.

2002: Two gunmen attack a Hindu temple complex in Gandhinagar, the capital of western Gujarat state in India, killing at least 30 people and wounding 74 before being killed by commandos.

An injured man is helped from a temple in Gandhinagar, after it was attacked by gunmen on this day in 2002.
An injured man is helped from a temple in Gandhinagar, after it was attacked by gunmen on this day in 2002.

2002: Britain publishes a dossier on Iraq's weapons program which claims Saddam Hussein can launch a weapon of mass destruction at just 45 minutes' notice.

2005: The International Atomic Energy Agency passes a resolution requiring that Iran be reported to the UN Security Council over its nuclear program.

2009: For the first time, an experimental vaccine prevents infection with the AIDS virus, a watershed event in the deadly epidemic.

2010: Nigerian authorities open the gates at two swollen dams in the country's rain-soaked north, sending a flood into a neighbouring state that displaces two million people.

2013: A 7.7-magnitude earthquake strikes southern Pakistan, killing more than 327 people.

2 014: Disgraced former Australian House of Representatives speaker Peter Slipper is given 300 hours of community service for dishonestly using taxpayer-funded taxi vouchers.

2015: The federal government commits $100 million to boost domestic violence services.

2016: Jeremy Corbyn is re-elected leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, ending a "coup" attempt by more moderate MPs who said his left-wing agenda could never deliver victory at the polls.

2017: Disturbing images of a Tasmanian devil with large portions of fur missing have emerged from the north of the state, alarming authorities who suspect a type of skin cancer is causing the fur loss.

2018: Hawthorn star Tom Mitchell wins the 2018 Brownlow Medal.

Happy Birthday, F. Scott Fitzgerald, who would’ve turned 123 today.
Happy Birthday, F. Scott Fitzgerald, who would’ve turned 123 today.


Horace Walpole, British writer (1717-1797); F Scott Fitzgerald, US writer (1896-1940); Lord (Howard Walter) Florey, Australian scientist (1898-1968); Sir William Dobell, Australian artist (1899-1970); Konstantin Chernenko, Soviet politician (1911-1985); Anthony Newley, English actor-singer (1931-1999); Linda McCartney, US-born wife of Beatle Sir Paul (1941-1998); Gerry Marsden, British singer (1942-); Phil Hartman, US actor (1948-1998); Kevin Sorbo, US actor (1958-); Collette Dinnigan, Australian fashion designer (1965-); Liam Finn, New Zealand musician and songwriter (1983-).


"Fear cannot be without hope nor hope without fear" - Baruch Spinoza, Dutch philosopher (1632-1677).