Sunday, October 24, 2010
1400 – The father of English literature, Geoffrey Chaucer dies of unknown causes at age 57.
1495 – The "Perfect Prince," John II of Portugal (right), dies at Alvor at age 40 after a 14-year reign. Inheriting a bankrupt kingdom, his encouragement of trade and exploration had made Portugal the financially strongest country in Europe by the time of his death.
1616 – On a voyage to Batavia (now Jakarta) for the Dutch East India Co., Captain Dirk Hartog goes off course runs into an unexpected shore—and discovers the western coast of Australia.
1828 – The St Katharine Docks—construction of which destroyed more than a thousand homes and made 11,000 people homeless—open in London. They turn out to be poorly designed.
1861 – Twenty-four men gather in a Masonic Hall in Toronto to create what will become the Toronto Stock Exchange, now the third-largest in North America.
1921 – Legendary gunfighter turned sportswriter Bat Masterson dies at his desk in the offices of the New York Telegraph.
1983 – U.S. and Caribbean troops invade Grenada six days after the assassination of its prime minister. Although the invasion will be widely condemned by the United Nations, Grenadians will later make the date a national holiday, called "Thanksgiving."
1992 – Seventy-five percent of Lithuanians vote to adopt a new post-Soviet democratic constitution.