Oct. 24, 1590 – John White, the governor of the second Roanoke Colony, returned to England after an unsuccessful search for the "lost" colonists.
Oct. 24, 1632 – Amateur scientist Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, who perfected the microscope and was the first person to observe bacteria, was born in Delft, the Netherlands.
Oct. 24, 1775 - Virginia’s last royal governor, Lord John Murray Dunmore, ordered a British naval fleet of six ships to sail up the James River and into Hampton Creek to attack Patriot troops and destroy the town of Norfolk, Virginia. British Captain Matthew Squire led the six ships into Hampton Creek and began bombarding the town with artillery and cannon fire, while a second contingent of British troops sailed ashore to begin engaging the Patriots. The British found themselves underfire by expert American marksmen and were forced to retreat, which resulted in two British ships running aground while the Patriots didn’t suffer a single fatality.
Oct. 24, 1788 – Writer Sarah Josepha Hale was born in Newport, N.H. She is best known for writing the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and for convincing Abraham Lincoln to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday.
Oct. 24, 1851 - William Lassell discovered Ariel and Umbriel, two satellites of Uranus.
Oct. 24, 1861 - The first transcontinental telegraph line across the U.S. was completed, spelling the end of the 18-month-old Pony Express. The first message was sent when Justice Stephen J. Field of California transmitted a telegram to U.S. President Lincoln.
Oct. 24, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Camp Joe Underwood, Kentucky.
Oct. 24, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Springfield, Missouri.
Oct. 24, 1862 - Union General Don Carlos Buell was replaced by William Rosecrans. Buell was replaced because of his ineffective pursuit of the Confederates after the Battle of Perryville, Ky. on Oct. 8. Rosecrans had distinguished himself in western Virginia in 1861 and provided effective leadership at the battle of Corinth, Mississippi, just prior to Perryville.
Oct. 24, 1863 – During the Civil War, the first day of two days of skirmishing occurred at Tuscumbia, Alabama.
Oct. 24, 1865 - Henry Wirz was found guilty of conspiracy to injure the health and lives of Union soldiers and murder. On Nov. 10, he became one of the few people executed for crimes committed during the war.
Oct. 24, 1868 – Belgian-French explorer and author Alexandra David-Néel was born in Saint-Mandé, French Empire. She is most known for her 1924 visit to Lhasa, Tibet when it was forbidden to foreigners. David-Néel wrote over 30 books about Eastern religion, philosophy, and her travels, and her teachings influenced the beat writers Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, the populariser of Eastern philosophy Alan Watts, and the esotericist Benjamin Creme.
Oct. 24, 1897 – The first comic strip appeared in a newspaper. The strip, created by Richard Outcault, was published under different names but usually known by the name of its main character, the Yellow Kid. The Yellow Kid started appearing in single-panel cartoons in 1896, but on this day, it was first published as a multi-paneled comic strip, titled "The Yellow Kid Takes a Hand at Golf," with six panels showed the Yellow Kid's mixed success at attempting to hit a golf ball.
Oct. 24, 1901 - Annie Edson Taylor celebrated her 63rd birthday by becoming the first person to survive a barrel ride over Niagara Falls.
Oct. 24, 1904 – Playwright Moss Hart was born in New York City.
Oct. 24, 1912 – Aviator Louis Mitchell, who was attempting a “daring descent” at the state fairgrounds in Montgomery, Ala. lost control of his plane, fell 200 feet and was “crushed beneath the wreckage” of his plane. He died with three minutes of the fall.
Oct. 24, 1914 – On this Saturday night, W.P. Murphy, a 75-year-old Confederate veteran, passed away in Evergreen, Ala. at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Dr. G.G. Newton, and his remains were taken to Camden for burial. He had been bedridden for about six years prior to his death. For many years, Murphy was one of the most prominent merchants and planters in Wilcox County.
Oct. 24, 1914 – The No. 5 Passenger Train collided with a mule-drawn wagon at the Rural Street crossing, opposite the Taliaferro, McCreary & Ivey Store in Evergreen, Ala. “badly wrecking” the wagon. The wagon’s driver and mules escaped without serious injury. The wagon was owned by Cary Ellis.
Oct. 24, 1915 - Comic book artist and Batman creator Bob Kane was born in New York, N.Y.
Oct. 24, 1915 – Nearly 300 people witnessed the unveiling of a Woodmen of the World monument in honor of James H. Andrews, who was killed in September 1914. The event featured a speech by Dr. William A. Lovett of Tunnel Springs, who was a Past Consul Commander of Magic City Camp No. 4, Birmingham, perhaps the largest camp in the state, having more than 1,000 members, and was also a Past Head Manager of the Head Camp of Alabama. This was the first unveiling ceremony ever held by the local camp.
Oct. 24, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Ransom Bird of Owassa, Ala. and Army Pvt. Jon Adams of Brewton, Ala. both “died from disease.”
Oct. 24, 1918 – The Monroe Journal reported that Dr. Claude Dean, who had passed through Monroeville, Ala. only a few days before, had died at Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. He had, for the past four years, been one of the leading physicians in Bogaloosa, La., where he lived prior to his enlistment in the U.S. military. He was a brother of Mr. G.C. Dean of Monroeville.
Oct. 24, 1923 – The Evergreen Courant reported that its plans to publish a special edition had been postponed because Mr. Christie, The Courant’s “field man,” had been placed in a Montgomery, Ala. jail on a “serious charge.” On Oct. 17, 1923, Christie was “driving a car through a restricted zone in (Montgomery when) he ran over a young lady, inflicting injuries that resulted in her death a short time later.” Christie had apparently sold all the ads for the special edition and was in possession of all the ad information, which prevented The Courant from putting out the special edition.
Oct. 24, 1923 – Poet Denise Levertov was born in Ilford, England.
Oct. 24, 1926 – Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Y.A. Tittle was born in Marshall, Texas.
Oct. 24, 1926 – Harry Houdini gave his last performance at the Garrick Theater in Detroit.
Oct. 24, 1931 – The George Washington Bridge opened to public traffic, between New York and New Jersey.
Oct. 24, 1933 – Lee Boyd and Lee Perkins were tried and convicted of the murder of a man at Fountain several months before during Monroe County (Ala.) Circuit Court on this Tuesday with Judge E.S. Thigpen presiding. “The killing took place before dawn following a gambling party in which a group of men had participated. The murdered man had won most of the money which probably cost him his life. After he had been killed, the body was placed on the railroad track in a crude attempt to make death appear accidental.”
Oct. 24, 1938 – The Fair Labor Standards Act went into effect, establishing the 40-hour work week and a minimum wage.
Oct. 24, 1943 - The Green Bay Packers intercepted nine passes in a 27-6 victory over the Detroit Lions.
Oct. 24, 1944 – During the Battle of Leyte Gulf, Alabama native David McCampbell and six other pilots took on a flight of approximately 60 Japanese aircraft threatening U.S. ships. McCampbell alone shot down nine planes in that action (a U.S. Navy record) and drove many more enemy planes away from U.S. forces.
Oct. 24, 1948 – William Wayne Seay was born in Brewton, Ala. He would later join the Army and would receive the Medal of Honor for his actions on Aug. 25, 1968 near Ap Nhi, Vietnam.
Oct. 24, 1948 - The Chicago Cardinals scored 35 points in the third quarter on the way to a 49-27 victory over the Boston Yanks.
Oct. 24, 1955 - Los Angeles reached its 18th straight day of smog.
Oct. 24, 1963 – The Monroe Journal reported that Frisco City High School quarterback Joe Kelly had been named the “Back of the Week” by The Birmingham Post-Herald after he ran for two touchdowns and passed for two extra points in a 21-12 win over Jackson High School.
Oct. 24, 1963 – The Monroe Journal reported that Dr. J.V. Almon had opened a new dentistry office at 410 North Mt. Pleasant St. in Monroeville, Ala. in the building formerly occupied by Johnson Funeral Home.
Oct. 24, 1965 - Fran Tarkenton of the Minnesota Vikings threw for 407 yards and three touchdowns in a 42-41 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
Oct. 24, 1968 – The Evergreen Courant reported that George Bozeman, 20, of Evergreen, Ala. had been placed in the Conecuh County Jail on charges of murder, steming from the bludgeoning death of 42-year-old Albert Stallworth. At Stallworth’s home on Oct. 12, 1968, Bozeman allegedly hit Stallworth in the head with a piece of flat iron, and Stallworth died from his wounds on Oct. 16 in a Montgomery hospital.
Oct. 24, 1970 – Army Staff Sgt. Carter Parker Jr. of Monroeville, Ala. was killed in action in Vietnam.
Oct. 24, 1971 - Texas Stadium officially opened in Irving, Texas.
Oct. 24, 1972 – National Baseball Hall of Fame second baseman Jackie Robinson passed away at the age of 53 in Stamford, Conn. During his career, he played for the Kansas City Monarchs and the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1962.
Oct. 24, 1976 - Chuck Foreman of the Minnesota Vikings rushed for 200 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-12 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Oct. 24, 1978 – The State Highway Department installed a red, flashing stop light and two additional stop signs at the intersection of U.S. Highway 84 and State Highway 136 in Ollie, Ala. There had been numerous accidents at the intersection, according to Monroeville Police Chief Charles Colbert.
Oct. 24, 1978 – The Monroe County (Ala.) Commission filled two of three vacant seats on the Monroe County Hospital board of directors. The commission selected Dr. Jack Whetstone of Monroeville and George Burns of Frisco City to fill the unexpired terms of Dr. R.A. Smith and Charles Ikner, respectively. The third seat was vacated by Harvel Hines in June 1977, and County Commissioner Jerry Steele was responsible for filling the seat, according to Probate Judge Otha Lee Biggs.
Oct. 24, 1984 – On the fictional “X-Files,” Fox Mulder joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation on this day after graduating with honors from the Quantico FBI Training Academy earlier in 1984.
Oct. 24, 1991 - Alabama author and Poet Laureate Morton D. Prouty died in Florence, Ala.
Oct. 24, 1992 - The Toronto Blue Jays became the first non-U.S. team to win the World Series.
Oct. 24, 1995 - In Cleveland, Ohio, Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders sang the national anthem in Game 3 of the World Series.
Oct. 24, 1996 - The Atlanta Braves played their last game at Fulton County Stadium. They lost to the New York Yankees, 1-0, in Game 5 of the World Series. The next season the Braves began playing at Olympic Stadium.
Oct. 24, 1997 - Cass Ralls, the daughter of Eddie Ralls and Sandra O. Ralls, was crowned Miss Homecoming 1997 during Sparta Academy’s Homecoming activities on this Friday night.
Oct. 24, 1997 - Weather reporter Harry Ellis reported 1.11 inches of rain on this day in Evergreen, Ala. He reported a total of 3.46 inches between Oct. 21 and Oct. 26.
Oct. 24, 1998 - Ricky Williams of the University of Texas became the leading scorer in NCAA Division I history. At the end of the game, he had a total of 428 points.
Oct. 24, 2002 – Police arrested spree killers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, ending the Beltway sniper attacks in the area around Washington, D.C.
Oct. 24, 2005 – Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corner of the Earth video game was first released.
Oct. 24, 2011 – The Bowling Family Cemetery in Washington County, Ala. and the Thomas Bradford Jr. Gravesite in Clarke County, Ala. were added to the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.
Oct. 24, 2012 – Filming for the horror movie, “Oculus,” began in Mobile and Baldwin counties, and was completed a few weeks later.