On this day, April 24 …
2003: China shuts down a Beijing hospital as the global death toll from SARS surpasses 260.
Also on this day:
- 1800: Congress approves a bill establishing the Library of Congress.
- 1877: Federal troops are ordered out of New Orleans, ending the North’s post-Civil War rule in the South.
- 1915: In what’s considered the start of the Armenian genocide, the Ottoman Empire begins rounding up Armenian political and cultural leaders in Constantinople.
- 1916: Some 1,600 Irish nationalists launch the Easter Rising by seizing several key sites in Dublin. (The rising would be put down by British forces five days later.)
- 1967: Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov is killed when his Soyuz 1 spacecraft smashes into the Earth after his parachutes fail to deploy properly during re-entry; he was the first human spaceflight fatality.
- 1970: The People’s Republic of China launches its first satellite, which keeps transmitting a song, “The East Is Red.”
- 1980: The United States launches an unsuccessful attempt to free the American hostages in Iran, a mission that results in the deaths of eight U.S. servicemen.
- 1990: The space shuttle Discovery blasts off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., carrying the $1.5 billion Hubble Space Telescope.
- 1995: The final bomb linked to the Unabomber explodes inside the Sacramento, Calif. , offices of a lobbying group for the wood products industry, killing chief lobbyist Gilbert B. Murray. (Theodore Kaczynski would be later sentenced to four lifetimes in prison for a series of bombings that killed three men and injured 29 others.)
- 2003: U.S. forces in Iraq take custody of Tariq Aziz, the former Iraqi deputy prime minister.
- 2005: Pope Benedict XVI formally begins his stewardship of the Roman Catholic Church.
- 2009: Mexico shuts down schools, museums, libraries and state-run theaters across its overcrowded capital in hopes of containing a deadly swine flu outbreak.
- 2009: Back-to-back suicide bombers strike near a Shiite shrine in Baghdad, killing 71.
- 2018: Former police officer Joseph DeAngelo is arrested at his home near Sacramento, Calif. after DNA links him to crimes attributed to the so-called “Golden State Killer”; authorities believe he committed 13 murders and more than 50 rapes in the 1970s and 1980s.