On This Day, August 24

Posted on 24th Aug 2012 by ian under On This Day | No Comments »

TGIF?

On this day in 79AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae.

On this day in 1875, Captain Matthew Webb became first person to swim the English Channel…

In 1891, Thomas Edison patented the motion picture camera…

In 1932, Amelia Earhart (top) became the first woman to fly across the United States non-stop (from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey).

In 1941 Adolf Hitler ordered the cessation of Nazi Germany’s systematic T4 euthanasia program of the mentally ill and the handicapped due to protests, although killings continue for the remainder of the war.  It wasn’t just the Jews he wanted out in his quest for race ‘purity’ – while it was ‘official policy’ he relieved the German taxpayers of over 70,000 mentally or physically handicapped people – the unofficial figure is at least 200,000.

In 1981, a loony on a smaller scale, Mark David Chapman was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for murdering John Lennon.  He came up for parole in 2000 and it was denied.  He is akllowed an appeal every two years and has so far failed to gain release six times.  Probably a good thing to keep him locked away.  The photo is Lennon, autographing the Double Fantasy album for Chapman earlier on the day he killed Lennon.

On the day before the Lennon shooting, Chapman accosted singer-songwriter James Taylor in a New York subway station.  According to Taylor, “The guy had sort of pinned me to the wall and was glistening with maniacal sweat and talking some freak speak about what he was going to do and his stuff with how John was interested, and he was going to get in touch with John Lennon.”

To those born on this day…

In 1929, Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat…

In 1938, guitarist and composer,  Mason Williams.  His Classical Gas sent me to the record store for a 45rpm vinyl single…

In 1957, English comedian, actor and amazing intellectual, Stephen Fry…

And finally, dying on this day in 79AD was Roman writer and naturalist, Pliny the Elder.  He was attempting to get his family and friends away from Pompeii by boat when he died.  His companions said it was from smoke inhalation/suffocation but as they didn’t cark it, it may have been a heart attack even though he was only aged around 55.