Today is Friday, Aug. 24, the 237th day of 2012. There are 129 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Aug. 24, 1992, Hurricane Andrew smashed into Florida, causing $30 billion in damage; 43 U.S. deaths were blamed on the storm.
On this date:
In A.D. 79, long-dormant Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in volcanic ash; an estimated 20,000 people died.
In 1572, the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of French Protestants at the hands of Catholics began in Paris.
In 1814, during the War of 1812, British forces invaded Washington, D.C., setting fire to the Capitol and the White House, as well as other buildings.
In 1821, the Treaty of Cordoba was signed, granting independence to Mexico from Spanish rule.
In 1912, Congress passed a measure creating the Alaska Territory. Congress approved legislation establishing Parcel Post delivery by the U.S. Post Office Department, slated to begin on Jan. 1, 1913.
In 1932, Amelia Earhart embarked on a 19-hour flight from Los Angeles to Newark, N.J., making her the first woman to fly solo, non-stop, from coast to coast.
In 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty came into force.
In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Communist Control Act, outlawing the Communist Party in the United States.
In 1968, France became the world's fifth thermonuclear power as it exploded a hydrogen bomb in the South Pacific.
In 1970, an explosives-laden van left by anti-war extremists blew up outside the University of Wisconsin's Sterling Hall in Madison, killing 33-year-old researcher Robert Fassnacht.
In 1981, Mark David Chapman was sentenced in New York to 20 years to life in prison for murdering John Lennon.
In 2006, the International Astronomical Union declared that Pluto was no longer a planet, demoting it to the status of a "dwarf planet."
Ten years ago: The FBI uncovered human remains in an outbuilding behind the Oregon City, Ore., house of Ward Weaver III, a suspect in the case of 2 missing girls who lived across the street. (Authorities recovered the remains of 12-year-old Ashley Pond and 13-year-old Miranda Gaddis; Weaver later pleaded guilty to aggravated murder and was sentenced to 2 consecutive life terms in prison.)
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