Today in history – August 24

79 – Thousands died and the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

1682 – William Penn receives the area that is now the state of Delaware, and adds it to his colony of Pennsylvania.

1814 – British troops invade Washington, D.C. and burn the White House and Capitol building.

1857 – The Panic of 1857 begins, setting off one of the most severe economic crises in United States history.

1891 – Thomas Edison patents the motion picture camera.

1932 – Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly across the United States non-stop.

1949 – The treaty creating the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) goes into effect.

1950 – Edith Sampson becomes the first black U.S. delegate to the United Nations.

1954 – The Communist Control Act goes into effect, outlawing the American Communist Party.

1981 – Mark David Chapman is sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for murdering John Lennon.

1989 – Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose is banned from baseball for gambling.

2006 – Pluto was demoted to “dwarf planet” status when the International Astronomical Union adopted a new definition of “planet.”