May 24, 1997 in Nation/World

Today In History


In 1686: Gabriel Fahrenheit was born. He invented the mercury thermometer and set the freezing point at 32 degrees. The scale was named for him.

In 1738: John Wesley attended services at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, then went to a meeting where he experienced his conversion. It was the start of Methodism.

In 1844: Samuel F.B. Morse transmitted the message, “What hath God wrought!” from Washington to Baltimore as he formally opened America’s first telegraph line.

In 1856: John Brown led anti-slavery forces in an attack against pro-slavery backers in Pottawatamie Creek, Kan.

In 1941: The German battleship Bismarck sank the British dreadnought Hood in the North Atlantic. Nearly all of the Hood’s 1,421 crew perished.

In 1962: Astronaut Scott Carpenter became the second American to orbit the Earth.

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