April 24 in history: Armenian genocide, Hubble telescope, US operation in Iran and fall of Troy



Here is a list of events along with a brief description that occurred on April 24



Thutmose III becomes the Pharaoh of Egypt in 1479 B.C.E.


 The sixth Pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty, his reign lasted for 22 years during which he established the largest Egyptian Empire in history, stretching from Northern Syria to Nubia. He died in 1425 B.C.E and was buried in the Valley of the Kings. In accordance with cultural practices, his body was mummified before burial and was discovered in 1881 C.E. You can see his mummified head here.



                                                                                                           The City of Troy falls


The city of Troy falls after a ten-year siege. According to Greek Mythology, the war started when Helen, the Queen of Sparta was abducted by Prince Paris of Troy. Her enraged husband Menelaus and the King of Mycenae Agamemnon launched a massive expedition composed of more than a 1000 ships to rescue her. The Greek heroes Odysseus, Achilles, Ajax and Nestor also joined the force. The King of Troy, Priam, refused to hand Helen back to the Greeks and thus began a 10-year siege that saw the deaths of Trojan prince Hector and famed Achilles. In a desperate attempt, the Greeks left a large wooden horse outside the city gates and withdrew. The Trojans pulled in the horse despite warnings by Priam’s daughter Cassandra. A small force of Greek warriors led by Odysseus climbed out of the horse in the middle of the night, rescued Helen and sacked the city from within. Some sources suggest she went back to living with Menelaus while others suggest she was hanged by a war-widow. The story was recounted in Homer’s Illiad several centuries later. Whether the war actually happened is not certain.



Joshua Scolum sets sails for what would become the first solo circumnavigation of the Earth



Joshua Slocum leaves the American port city of Boston in 1895 aboard The Spray and returned three years later to Rhode Island after having traveled for 74,000 km. “I had resolved on a voyage around the world, and as the wind on the morning of April 24, 1895 was fair, at noon I weighed anchor, set sail, and filled away from Boston,” he wrote in his diary. “A thrilling pulse beat high in me. My step was light on deck in the crisp air. I felt there could be no turning back, and that I was engaging in an adventure the meaning of which I thoroughly understood,” he added. He later wrote the “Sailing Alone Around the World” that became a classic in travel literature. Almost 15 years later, he set sail for the West Indies, never to reach his destination, nor return. He was never heard of again.



The first Tank battle in history takes place during World War 1


The Second Battle of Villers-Bretonneux in 1918 during World War I sees the first tank battle in history after a German offensive in Northern France smashed British lines. The German forces were equipped with the A7V tanks and engaged British Mark IV tanks. The British were successfully able to repulse the attack and launched a counter-attack that retained the front lines of April 23.



The Hubble Space Telescope is launched aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1990


With a 7.9 metre mirror, the Hubble space telescope can observe in visible, near-ultra violet and near-infra red spectrum. It is one of the largest and most effective tools astronomers have used to study deep space and time. Perhaps its most important use was in helping Astrophysicists determine the rate of expansion of the Universe. Because of its presence in space, the Hubble is not impacted by the Earth’s atmosphere, allowing it to take detailed and high-resolution images. Although there was a bit of a performance hiccup after its deployment, the error was corrected by Astronauts which allowed the telescope to beam first images of deep-space back to Earth. The telescope is currently operational and the images it has taken have helped evoke widespread public interest in Astronomy. Below are some sample images we think you’d like.




Credits: NASA, ESA


US attempt to rescue embassy staff during the Iran Hostage Crisis in 1980 fails

After a group of students supporting the Iranian revolution captured the US embassy in Tehran and took embassy staff hostage, the US government devised a plan to rescue them using military means. The military operation was ordered by US President Jimmy Carter. However, the plan ran into serious problems as US helicopters developed problems. The commanders in charge of the operation ordered mission-abort. But on their way back to US ships in the Persian gulf, one of the helicopters crashed into a transport plane, killing eight US troops. The failed rescue attempt damaged US standing in the world and cost Jimmy Carter the following elections.


Sigmund Freud publishes The Ego and the Id


The Ego and the Id, published in 1923 by Sigmund Freud showcases his concepts of Id, ego and super-ego as part of the human psyche. This ‘Freudian’ model of the psyche identifies the id as a set of unsynchronized instincts, the super-ego that acts as a moral voice and the ego that plays a realistically aligned mediating role between the former two’s desires. Ideas expressed by Sigmund Freud revolutionised the study of the human mind and influenced fields ranging from Philosophy, Literature, Science and Feminism.




     Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day

The Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day is celebrated in Armenia, Iran, Lebanon and other countries to remember the Genocide of Armenians by Ottoman Turkish forces in 1915. The deportation of Armenian intellectuals took place on April 24, 1915 and was intended to deprive the Armenian community of leadership. Able-bodied men were either massacred by Turkish troops or forced into labour which led to their deaths. Women and Children were forced to march through the hot and dry Syrian deserts without water and food. The number of deaths have been estimated to be between 800,000 and 1.8 million.


Like what you read? Perhaps you’d be interested in what happened on April 23?  Stay in touch to see our post for April 25.