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Today In History – April 24 – Library of Congress Established





1800: Library of Congress established: President John Adams approves legislation to appropriate $5,000 to purchase “such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress,” thus establishing the Library of Congress. The first books, ordered from London, arrived in 1801 and were stored in the U.S. Capitol, the library’s first home. The first library catalog, dated April 1802, listed 964 volumes and nine maps. Twelve years later, the British army invaded the city of Washington and burned the Capitol, including the then 3,000-volume Library of Congress. More here

1863: Union issues conduct code for soldiers: The Union army issues General Orders No. 100, which provided a code of conduct for Federal soldiers and officers when dealing with Confederate prisoners and civilians. The code was borrowed by many European nations, and its influence can be seen on the Geneva Convention. More here

1916: Easter Rebellion begins: On this day in 1916, on Easter Monday in Dublin, the Irish Republican Brotherhood, a secret organization of Irish nationalists led by Patrick Pearse, launches the so-called Easter Rebellion, an armed uprising against British rule. Assisted by militant Irish socialists under James Connolly, Pearse and his fellow Republicans rioted and attacked British provincial government headquarters across Dublin and seized the Irish capital’s General Post Office. Following these successes, they proclaimed the independence of Ireland, which had been under the repressive thumb of the United Kingdom for centuries, and by the next morning were in control of much of the city. Later that day, however, British authorities launched a counteroffensive, and by April 29 the uprising had been crushed. Nevertheless, the Easter Rebellion is considered a significant marker on the road to establishing an independent Irish republic. More here

1922: Forensic evidence is introduced in Australia: Colin Ross is hanged to death in Australia for the rape and murder of 13-year-old Alma Tirtschke. Ross was one of the first criminals in Australia to be convicted based on forensic evidence. On December 30, 1921, Tirtschke was reported missing in Melbourne. The next day, a constable patrolling Gun Alley, a well-known area for prostitutes, found the young schoolgirl’s body bundled up in a blanket. Strangely, despite evidence of a brutal rape, there was no trace of blood found on her body. More here

1953: Churchill knighted: Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, the British leader who guided Great Britain and the Allies through the crisis of World War II, is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. More here

1993: An IRA bomb devastates the Bishopsgate area of London: The Bishopsgate bombing occurred on 24 April 1993, when the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) detonated a truck bomb in London’s financial district in Bishopsgate, City of London, England. One person was killed in the explosion and 44 injured, and damage initially estimated at £1 billion was caused. As a result of the bombing the “ring of steel” was introduced to protect the City, and many firms introduced disaster recovery plans in case of further attacks. More here

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