Cienfuegos Castro

Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro inspects a machete given to him by one of the thousands of peasants pouring into Havana during the rally in support of the agrarian reform program, July 24, 1959. At right is Major Camilo Cienfuegos, army chief who also received a machete. Both wear the uniform of the baseball team Barbudos, and Castro pitched for one inning in that night's game. 

Today is Saturday, July 24, the 205th day of 2021. There are 160 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 24, 1969, the Apollo 11 astronauts — two of whom had been the first men to set foot on the moon — splashed down safely in the Pacific.

On this date:

On July 24, 1567, Mary, Queen of Scots was forced to abdicate by Scottish nobles in favor of her infant son James, who became King of Scotland at the age of one.

In 1847, Mormon leader Brigham Young and his followers arrived in the Great Salt Lake Valley in present-day Utah.

In 1858, Republican senatorial candidate Abraham Lincoln formally challenged Democrat Stephen A. Douglas to a series of political debates; the result was seven face-to-face encounters.

In 1862, Martin Van Buren, the eighth president of the United States, and the first to have been born a U.S. citizen, died at age 79 in Kinderhook, New York, the town where he was born in 1782.

In 1866, Tennessee became the first state to be readmitted to the Union after the Civil War.

In 1915, the SS Eastland, a passenger ship carrying more than 2,500 people, rolled onto its side while docked at the Clark Street Bridge on the Chicago River; an estimated 844 people died in the disaster.

In 1937, the state of Alabama dropped charges against four of the nine young Black men accused of raping two white women in the “Scottsboro Case.”

In 1952, President Harry S. Truman announced a settlement in a 53-day steel strike. The Gary Cooper western “High Noon” had its U.S. premiere in New York.

In 1974, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that President Richard Nixon had to turn over subpoenaed White House tape recordings to the Watergate special prosecutor.

In 1975, an Apollo spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific, completing a mission which included the first-ever docking with a Soyuz capsule from the Soviet Union.

In 2010, a stampede inside a tunnel crowded with techno music fans left 21 people dead and more than 500 injured at the famed Love Parade festival in western Germany.

In 2019, in a day of congressional testimony, Robert Mueller dismissed President Donald Trump’s claim of “total exoneration” in Mueller’s probe of Russia’s 2016 election interference.

Ten years ago: Cadel (kuh-DEHL’) Evans won the Tour de France, becoming the first Australian champion in cycling’s greatest race.

Five years ago: Thousands of demonstrators took to Philadelphia’s sweltering streets in the first major protests ahead of the Democratic National Convention. Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. British rider Chris Froome celebrated his third Tour de France title in four years. Hollywood “ghost singer” Marni Nixon, 86, died in New York.

One year ago: U.S. agents again used tear gas to try to disperse a large crowd of protesters outside the federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon, after fireworks were shot toward the building amid raucous demonstrations. A federal judge denied a request by Oregon’s attorney general to restrict the actions of federal police who’d been deployed there amid weeks of protests over the death of George Floyd. President Donald Trump scrapped plans for a four-night Republican National Convention celebration in Florida, citing a “flare-up” of the coronavirus. Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was released from prison after a federal judge ruled that a move to revoke his home confinement was retaliation for his plan to release a book critical of Trump. Alec McKinney, 17, the younger of two teens charged in a fatal shooting at a suburban Denver school in 2019, was sentenced to life in prison plus 38 years. Television personality Regis Philbin, remembered for his syndicated morning show and for “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” died at 88.