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January 24, 2014

Today in History for Friday, Jan. 24, 2014

-- — On Jan. 24, 1942, the Roberts Commission placed much of the blame for America’s lack of preparedness for Imperial Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on Rear Adm. Husband E. Kimmel and Lt. Gen. Walter C. Short, the Navy and Army commanders.

On this date

In 1742, Charles VII was elected Holy Roman Emperor during the War of the Austrian Succession.

In 1848, James W. Marshall discovered a gold nugget at Sutter’s Mill in northern California, a discovery that led to the gold rush of ‘49.

In 1908, the Boy Scouts movement began in England under the aegis of Robert Baden-Powell.

In 1924, the Russian city of Petrograd (formerly St. Petersburg) was renamed Leningrad in honor of the late revolutionary leader. (However, it has since been renamed St. Petersburg.)

In 1939, at least 28,000 people were killed by an earthquake that devastated the city of Chillan in Chile.

In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill concluded a wartime conference in Casablanca, Morocco.

In 1961, a U.S. Air Force B-52 crashed near Goldsboro, N.C., dropping its payload of two nuclear bombs, neither of which went off; three crew members were killed.

In 1963, a U.S. Air Force B-52 on a training mission crashed into Elephant Mountain in Maine after encountering turbulence and losing its vertical stabilizer; seven of the nine crew members were killed.

In 1965, Winston Churchill died in London at age 90.

In 1978, a nuclear-powered Soviet satellite, Cosmos 954, plunged through Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrated, scattering radioactive debris over parts of northern Canada.

In 1984, Apple Computer began selling its first Macintosh model, which boasted a built-in 9-inch monochrome display, a clock rate of 8 megahertz and 128k of RAM.

In 1989, Serial killer Theodore Bundy was executed in Florida.

Ten years ago

Howard Dean sharply questioned John Kerry’s judgment on Iraq as Democratic presidential rivals raced through a final weekend of campaigning before the New Hampshire primary. NASA’s Opportunity rover landed on Mars, arriving at the Red Planet exactly three weeks after its identical twin, Spirit.

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