This Day In History – August 24th
PRESIDENT VARGAS OF BRAZIL COMMITS SUICIDE – AUGUST 24, 1954
Getúlio Vargas (center) and his followers pictured by Claro Jansson during their short stay in São Paulo on the way to Rio de Janeiro after the successful Brazilian Revolution of 1930
Getúlio Vargas (April 19, 1882–August 24, 1954) served as President of Brazil, first as dictator, from 1930 to 1945, and in a democratically elected term from 1951 until his suicide in 1954. Vargas led Brazil for 18 years, the most for any President, and second in Brazilian history to Emperor Pedro II. He favored nationalism, industrialization, centralization, social welfare and populism – for the latter, Vargas won the nickname “O Pai dos Pobres” (Portuguese for “The Father of the Poor”). Despite his promotion of workers’ rights, Vargas was a staunch anti-communist. [Source: Wikipedia]
By mid-1954, criticism of the government was widespread, and the armed forces, professing shock over scandals within the regime, joined in the call for Vargas’s withdrawal. Rather than accept forced retirement, Vargas took his own life on August 24, 1954. Vargas, who shot himself through the heart, left a dramatic suicide note that was broadcast on national radio just two hours after his body was discovered.
His letter read: “Nothing remains except my blood. I gave you my life, now I give you my death. I choose this way to defend you, for my soul will be with you, my name shall be a flag for your struggle.”
It ended: “I take the first step to eternity. I leave life to enter history.” [Source: BBC News]
President Vargas with Franklin Delano Roosevelt
‘YIPPIES’ SPRINKLE NYSE TRADING FLOOR WITH BILLS – AUGUST 24, 1967
Abbot Howard “Abbie” Hoffman (November 30, 1936 – April 12, 1989) was a political and social activist who co-founded the Youth International Party (“Yippies”). Hoffman was arrested and tried for conspiracy and inciting to riot as a result of his role in protests that led to violent confrontations with police during the 1968 Democratic National Convention (the Chicago Seven).
On August 24, 1967, Hoffman led members of the Yippie movement to the gallery of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The protesters threw fistfuls of real and fake dollars down to the traders below, some of whom booed, while others began to scramble frantically to grab the money as fast as they could. Accounts of the amount of money that Hoffman and the group tossed was said to be as little as $30 to $300.
Hoffman claimed to be pointing out that, metaphorically, that’s what NYSE traders “were already doing.” “We didn’t call the press”, wrote Hoffman, “at that time we really had no notion of anything called a media event.” The press was quick to respond and by evening the event was reported around the world. Since that incident, the stock exchange has spent $20,000 to enclose the gallery with bulletproof glass. [Source: Wikipedia]
CHAPMAN SENTENCED FOR MURDERING JOHN LENNON – AUG. 24, 1981
Mark David Chapman (born May 10, 1955) is an American prison inmate who murdered former Beatles member John Lennon on December 8, 1980. He committed the crime as Lennon and Yoko Ono were outside of The Dakota apartment building in New York City. Chapman aimed five shots at Lennon, hitting him four times in his back. He remained at the scene until the police arrested him, and pled guilty to the crime. He was sentenced to a prison term of twenty years to life, and is currently imprisoned at the Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, New York, having been denied parole six times.
On August 24, the sentencing hearing took place. Two psychiatrists gave evidence on Chapman’s behalf. Edwards interrupted the second psychiatrist, saying the purpose of the hearing was to determine the sentence and that there was no question of Chapman’s criminal responsibility, drawing applause from the courtroom. The District Attorney said Chapman committed the murder as an easy route to fame. The defense lawyer said Chapman did not even appreciate why he was there. When Chapman was asked if he had anything to say, he rose and read a passage from The Catcher in the Rye, when Holden tells his little sister, Phoebe, what he wants to do with his life:
Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around — nobody big, I mean — except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff — I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all.
The judge ordered that Chapman should receive psychiatric treatment in prison and sentenced him to 20 years to life, less than the maximum possible of 25 years to life. [Source: Wikipedia]
John Lennon signing a copy of his Double Fantasy album for Mark David Chapman, taken by Paul Goresh, December 8, 1980
PETE ROSE BANNED FROM BASEBALL FOR GAMBLING – AUGUST 24, 1989
Peter Edward Rose (born April 14, 1941), nicknamed “Charlie Hustle” and “Hose Ose”, is a former Major League Baseball player and manager. Rose played from 1963 to 1986, and managed from 1984 to 1989.
Rose, a switch hitter, is the all-time Major League leader in hits (4,256), games played (3,562), at-bats (14,053) and outs (10,328). He won three World Series rings, three batting titles, one Most Valuable Player Award, two Gold Gloves, the Rookie of the Year Award, and made 17 All-Star appearances at an unequaled five different positions (2B, LF, RF, 3B & 1B).
On August 24, 1989, three years after he retired as an active player, Rose agreed to permanent ineligibility from baseball amidst accusations that he gambled on baseball games while playing for and managing the Reds, including claims that he bet on his own team. In 1991, the Baseball Hall of Fame formally voted to ban those on the “permanently ineligible” list from induction, after previously excluding such players by informal agreement among voters. In 2004, after years of public denial, Rose admitted to betting on baseball and on, but not against, the Reds. The issue of Rose’s possible re-instatement and election to the Hall of Fame remains a contentious one throughout baseball. [Source: Wikipedia]
Photograph by JVH33
UKRAINE DECLARES INDEPENDENCE – AUGUST 24, 1991
Photograph by DGRI
The Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine was adopted by the Ukrainian parliament on August 24, 1991. The Act established Ukraine as an independent, democratic state.
The Act was adopted in the aftermath of the August 19th coup attempt when conservative Communist leaders of the Soviet Union tried to restore central Communist party control over the USSR. In response, the parliament of the Ukrainian SSR in a special Saturday session overwhelmingly approved the Act of Declaration. The Act passed with 321 votes in favor, 2 votes against, and 6 abstentions. The author of the text was Levko Lukyanenko.
The same day (August 24), the parliament called for a referendum on support for the Declaration of Independence. The proposal for calling the national referendum came jointly from majority leader Oleksandr Moroz and opposition leader Ihor Yukhnovsky.
In the independence referendum on December 1, 1991, the people of Ukraine expressed widespread support for the Act of Declaration of Independence, with more than 90% voting in favor, and 82% of the electorate participating. Shortly after, the independence of Ukraine was recognized worldwide.
Since 1992, August 24th is celebrated in Ukraine as Independence Day. [Source: Wikipedia]
Photograph by FesCityRaver
2004 RUSSIAN AIRCRAFT BOMBINGS – AUG 24, 2004
The Russian aircraft bombings of August 2004 were terrorist attacks on two domestic Russian passenger aircraft at around 23:00 on August 24, 2004. Both planes had flown out of Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow.
The first to crash was Volga-AviaExpress Flight 1303, a Tu-134 aircraft, registered RA-65080, which had been in service since 1977. The plane was flying from Moscow to Volgograd. It left Domodedovo International Airport at 22:30. Communication with the plane was lost at 22:56 while it was flying over Tula Oblast, 180 km south-east of Moscow. The remains of the aircraft were found on the ground several hours later. 34 passengers and 9 crew members were on board the plane. All of them died in the crash.
Just minutes after the first crash, Siberia Airlines Flight 1047, which had left Domodedovo International Airport at 21:35, disappeared from the radar screens and crashed. The Tu-154 aircraft, registered RA-85556, which had been in service since 1982, was flying from Moscow to Sochi. According to an unnamed government source of the Russian news agency Interfax, the plane had broadcast a hijack warning while flying over Rostov Oblast at 22:59.
The plane disappeared from radar screens shortly after that and crashed. 38 passengers and 8 crew members were on board the plane, and there were no survivors after the crash. The debris of the aircraft was found on the morning of August 25, 2004 9 km from village Glubokoye, Rostov Oblast in Kamensk-Shakhtinsky Raion.
the subsequent investigation found that the bombs were triggered by two female Chechen suicide bombers, Grozny residents Satsita Dzhebirkhanova (Siberia Airlines Flight 1047) and Amanta Nagayeva (Volga-AviaExpress Flight 1303). [Source: Wikipedia]