Today in History: Aug. 24

On August 24, A.D. 79, long-dormant Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in volcanic ash; an estimated 20,000 people died. This is a night-time infra-red photo of Mount Vesuvius crater near Naples, Italy in 1943. (AP Photo)
On August 24, A.D. 79, long-dormant Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in volcanic ash; an estimated 20,000 people died. This is a night-time infra-red photo of Mount Vesuvius crater near Naples, Italy in 1943. (AP Photo) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
U.S. Presidents House after its destruction by the British during the War of 1812. (AP Photo)
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, as well as other public buildings. Pictured here: White House after its destruction by the British during the War of 1812. (AP Photo) (AP)
On this date in 1932, Amelia Earhart embarked on a 19-hour flight from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey, making her the first woman to fly solo, non-stop, from coast to coast. Here, Earhart is seen after a transcontinental flight in Oakland, Calif., on June 6, 1931.  (AP Photo)
In 1932, Amelia Earhart embarked on a 19-hour flight from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey, making her the first woman to fly solo, non-stop, from coast to coast. (AP Photo) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
General Dwight D. Eisenhower, due to leave on January 6, for Paris to head a projected 1,000,000 man army to defend West Europe against any aggression from the East, is in uniform at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.,  Jan. 4, 1951. In a campaign to discredit him and his North Atlantic Alliance command, West European Communists taking their cue from Moscow slashed at Gen. Eisenhower through their controlled press. (AP Photo/Henry Borroughs)
In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Communist Control Act, outlawing the Communist Party in the United States.  (AP Photo/Henry Borroughs) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/Henry Borroughs)
A man believed to be Mark David Chapman, covered center, is hustled from a New York City police station, to be booked at headquarters, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 1980. Chapman is expected to be charged in the murder of former Beatle John Lennon in New York last night. (AP Photo/Handshuh)
In 1981, Mark David Chapman was sentenced in New York to 20 years to life in prison for murdering John Lennon. (Chapman remains imprisoned.) (AP Photo/Handshuh) (AP/Handshuh)
This Aug. 20, 1989 image made available by NASA shows the planet Neptune seen from the Voyager 2 spacecraft, at a range of 4.4 million miles from the planet. (NASA via AP)
In 1989, the Voyager 2 space probe flew by Neptune, sending back striking photographs. This image made available by NASA shows the planet Neptune seen from the Voyager 2 spacecraft, at a range of 4.4 million miles from the planet. (NASA via AP) (AP)
On this date in 2006, the International Astronomical Union declared that Pluto was no longer a planet, demoting it to the status of a "dwarf planet." Here, members of the IAU are seen voting on the issue. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
In 2006,  the International Astronomical Union declared that Pluto was no longer a full-fledged planet, demoting it to the status of a “dwarf planet”; Patricia Tombaugh, the widow of Pluto discoverer Clyde Tombaugh, called the decision “disappointing” and “confusing.” (AP Photo/Petr David Josek) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/PETR DAVID JOSEK)
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On August 24, A.D. 79, long-dormant Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in volcanic ash; an estimated 20,000 people died. This is a night-time infra-red photo of Mount Vesuvius crater near Naples, Italy in 1943. (AP Photo)
U.S. Presidents House after its destruction by the British during the War of 1812. (AP Photo)
On this date in 1932, Amelia Earhart embarked on a 19-hour flight from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey, making her the first woman to fly solo, non-stop, from coast to coast. Here, Earhart is seen after a transcontinental flight in Oakland, Calif., on June 6, 1931.  (AP Photo)
General Dwight D. Eisenhower, due to leave on January 6, for Paris to head a projected 1,000,000 man army to defend West Europe against any aggression from the East, is in uniform at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.,  Jan. 4, 1951. In a campaign to discredit him and his North Atlantic Alliance command, West European Communists taking their cue from Moscow slashed at Gen. Eisenhower through their controlled press. (AP Photo/Henry Borroughs)
A man believed to be Mark David Chapman, covered center, is hustled from a New York City police station, to be booked at headquarters, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 1980. Chapman is expected to be charged in the murder of former Beatle John Lennon in New York last night. (AP Photo/Handshuh)
This Aug. 20, 1989 image made available by NASA shows the planet Neptune seen from the Voyager 2 spacecraft, at a range of 4.4 million miles from the planet. (NASA via AP)
On this date in 2006, the International Astronomical Union declared that Pluto was no longer a planet, demoting it to the status of a "dwarf planet." Here, members of the IAU are seen voting on the issue. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

Today is Saturday, Aug. 24, the 236th day of 2019. There are 129 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On August 24, 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, as well as other public buildings.

On this date:

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

In 1857, the New York branch of the Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Company failed, sparking the Panic of 1857.

In 1932, Amelia Earhart embarked on a 19-hour flight from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey, making her the first woman to fly solo, non-stop, from coast to coast.

In 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty came into force.

In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Communist Control Act, outlawing the Communist Party in the United States.

In 1959, three days after Hawaiian statehood, Hiram L. Fong was sworn in as the first Chinese-American U.S. Senator while Daniel K. Inouye was sworn in as the first Japanese-American U.S. Representative.

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. (Chapman remains imprisoned.)

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

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

In 2006, the International Astronomical Union declared that Pluto was no longer a full-fledged planet, demoting it to the status of a “dwarf planet.”

In 2007, the NFL indefinitely suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick without pay after he acknowledged in court papers that he had, indeed, bankrolled gambling on dogfighting and helped kill some dogs not worthy of the pit.

Ten years ago: All sales under the government’s Cash for Clunkers program came to an end, although car dealers were given more time to submit pending claims for reimbursement. Scotland’s justice minister, Kenny MacAskill, defended his much-criticized decision to free Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, convicted of being the Lockerbie bomber, on compassionate grounds.

Five years ago: A magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck Northern California, causing extensive damage in Napa and the surrounding area. Peter Theo Curtis, an American freelance journalist kidnapped and held hostage for nearly two years by an al-Qaida-linked group in Syria, was released less than a week after the horrific execution of American journalist James Foley by Islamic militants. South Korea won the Little League World Series championship game, defeating Chicago 8-4 in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. At the MTV Video Music Awards, Miley Cyrus won Video of the Year for “Wrecking Ball.”

One year ago: The family of Arizona Sen. John McCain announced that he had discontinued medical treatment for an aggressive form of brain cancer; McCain died the following day. Robin Leach, host of the 1980s TV show “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” died in Las Vegas at the age of 76. The S&P 500 index finished at an all-time high of 2,874.69, just two days after the bull market in U.S. stocks became the longest in history.

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© 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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