Aug. 24 (UPI) — On this date in history:

In 79 A.D., thousands died and the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Italy.

In 1814, the British captured Washington and burned the Capitol and the White House.

In 1932, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly non-stop across the United States.

In 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Communist Control Act outlawing the Communist Party. Though the act has never been repealed, the party exists to this day.

In 1981, Mark Chapman, who claimed devils forced him to kill John Lennon and God told him to confess, was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for fatally shooting the former member of the Beatles.

In 1989, Pete Rose, whose slashing singles and head-first slides once made him the embodiment of America’s national sport, was banished from baseball for life, ending a gambling scandal.

In 1990, Irish-British hostage Brian Keenan, held by pro-Iranian Muslim extremists in Lebanon for more than four years, was freed.

In 1991, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev quit as general secretary of the Communist Party central committee. He also ordered his Cabinet to resign.

File Photo by Bruce Young/UPI

In 1992, Hurricane Andrew smashed into Florida south of Miami with sustained winds of 145 mph. The storm killed 15 people and caused more than $30 billion in damage.

In 1996, four women became students at The Citadel, a military school in South Carolina that had fought in court to remain all-male.

In 2004, two Russian passenger jetliners crashed within minutes of each other after taking off from Domodedovo Airport in Moscow. Authorities said terrorist attacks caused the crashes, which killed 89 people.

In 2006, Pluto, the small, distant astronomic body that has discovered in 1930, was demoted to “dwarf planet” status when the International Astronomical Union adopted a new definition of “planet.”

In 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration decided to make the “morning-after” contraceptive pill known as Plan B available without a prescription to people 18 and older.

In 2011, Steve Jobs, co-founder and chief executive officer of Apple Inc., resigned, telling his company’s board he could “no longer meet my duties and expectations.” Jobs, 56, who stayed on as chairman, had battled cancer for several years. He died Oct. 5, 2011.

File Photo by Monika Graff/UPI

In 2012, Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway, was sentenced to 21 years in prison, the longest prison term possible for murder and terrorism under Norwegian law.

In 2013, Bolivian government officials said inmates at a prison in Santa Cruz used knives, machetes, self-made flamethrowers and other weapons in a gang battle that left 30 people dead and dozens injured.

In 2017, a single winner from Massachusetts won $758 million for the largest single-ticket lottery jackpot win in U.S. history.

In 2018, Scott Morrison replaced Malcolm Turnbull as Australia’s prime minister after winning a three-way leadership battle.

File Photo by Sam Moon/EPA-EFE

Categories: wacky