October 24 1788
Poet, Sarah Joseph Hale, was born. She wrote the poem “Mary Had A Little Lamb.”
October 24 1901
Daredevil, Anna Edson Taylor, became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a wooden barrel. She was 43 years old.
October 24 1947
In a very un-American fashion, Walt Disney testifies to the House Unamerican Activities Committee, naming Disney employees he believes to be Communists, ranting about how Communists were infiltrating the unions he has to deal with, and how “Commie groups began smear campaigns against [him].”
October 24 1955
A nude, very dead body is found in the Mexico apartment of Will Rogers’ daughter Mary. The corpse of Manolo Just, a probable bisexual of approximately 30 years, had the name “Mary Rogers” tattooed on his arm. The death is suspicious, but never conclusively attributed to homicide.
October 24 1960
At the Soviet Union’s Baykonur space facility, an R-16 ballistic missile explodes on the launch pad, incinerating 165 people. Included among the dead is Field Marshall Mitrofan Nedelin, whose death is covered up as having occurred in a plane crash.
October 24 1962
During the Cuban Missile Crisis, U.S. military forces went on the highest alert in the postwar era in preparation for a possible full-scale war with the Soviet Union. The U.S. blockade of Cuba officially began on this day.
October 24 1989
Televangelist Jim Bakker receives 45 years and a $500,000 fine for defrauding investors of $3.7M. Bakker had already been dismissed from his PTL ministry, so the criminal penalties probably just added insult to injury.
October 24 1991
Gene Roddenberry, creator of the Star Trek science fiction franchise, dies in a Santa Monica, California hospital after a heart attack.