Today in History: May 24

Today in History: May 24

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1543

Nicolaus Copernicus publishes proof of a sun-centered solar system. He dies just after publication.

1607

Captain Christopher Newport and 105 followers found the colony of Jamestown at the mouth of the James River on the coast of Virginia.

1610

Sir Thomas Gates institutes "laws divine moral and marshal, " a harsh civil code for Jamestown.

1624

After years of unprofitable operation, Virginia's charter is revoked and it becomes a royal colony.

1689

The English Parliament passes the Act of Toleration, protecting Protestants. Roman Catholics are specifically excluded from exemption.

1738

The Methodist Church is established.

1764

Boston lawyer James Otis denounces "taxation without representation," calling for the colonies to unite in opposition to Britain's new tax measures.

1798

Believing that a French invasion of Ireland is imminent, Irish nationalists rise up against the British occupation.

1844

Samuel Morse taps out the first telegraph message.

1846

General Zachary Taylor captures Monterey.

1861

General Benjamin Butler declares slaves to be the contraband of war.

1863

Bushwackers led by Captain William Marchbanks attack a Federal militia party in Nevada, Missouri.

1878

The first American bicycle race is held in Boston.

1930

Amy Johnson becomes the first woman to fly from England to Australia.

1941

The British battleship Hood is sunk by the German battleship Bismarck. There are only three survivors.

1951

Willie Mays begins playing for the New York Giants.

1961

Civil rights activists are arrested in Jackson, Mississippi.