This day in history

Today is Monday, Aug. 24, the 237th day of 2020. There are 129 days left in the year.

Birthdays: Composer-musician Mason Williams is 82. Actor Anne Archer is 73. Actor Joe Regalbuto is 71. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is 65. Actor-writer Stephen Fry is 63. Actor Steve Guttenberg is 62. Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. is 60. Actor Jared Harris is 59. Talk show host Craig Kilborn is 58. Actor Marlee Matlin is 55. Basketball Hall of Famer Reggie Miller is 55. Broadcast journalist David Gregory is 50. Movie director Ava DuVernay is 48. Actor-comedian Dave Chappelle is 47. Actor James D’Arcy is 47. Actor Rupert Grint is 32.


In 79, Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in volcanic ash; an estimated 20,000 people died.

In 410, Rome was overrun by the Visigoths, a major event in the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

In 1814, during the War of 1812, British forces invaded Washington, D.C., setting fire to the Capitol (which was still under construction) and the White House.

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, nonstop, from coast to coast.

In 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty came into force.

In 1951, the first segment of Route 128 was opened. (By 1956, the route around Boston stretched 65 miles from Gloucester to Braintree and would attract high-tech companies, leading to its nickname, “America’s Technology Highway.’’)

In 1968, France became the world’s fifth thermonuclear power as it exploded a hydrogen bomb in the South Pacific.

In 1981, Mark David Chapman was sentenced in New York to 20 years to life in prison for murdering John Lennon. (He remains imprisoned.)

In 1989, the Voyager 2 space probe flew by Neptune, sending striking photographs.


In 2003, the Justice Department reported the US crime rate in 2002 was the lowest since studies began in 1973.

In 2012, the US Anti-Doping Agency wiped out 14 years of Lance Armstrong’s cycling career — including his record seven Tour de France titles — and barred him for life from the sport after concluding he’d used banned substances.

Last year, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, 29, said he was retiring.