Today in History: North Atlantic Treaty in force

Today is Friday, Aug. 24, the 236th day of 2018. There are 129 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On August 24, 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty came into force.

On this date:

In A.D. 79, long-dormant Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in volcanic ash; an estimated 20,000 people died.

In A.D. 410, Rome was overrun by the Visigoths, a major event in the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

In 1814, during the War of 1812, British forces invaded Washington, D.C., setting fire to the Capitol which was still under construction and the White House, as well as other public buildings.

In 1912, Congress passed a measure creating the Alaska Territory. Congress approved legislation establishing Parcel Post delivery by the U.S. Post Office Department, slated to begin on January 1, 1913.

In 1932, Amelia Earhart embarked on a 19-hour flight from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey, making her the first woman to fly solo, non-stop, from coast to coast.

In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Communist Control Act, outlawing the Communist Party in the United States.

In 1959, three days after Hawaiian statehood, Hiram L. Fong was sworn in as the first Chinese-American U.S. Senator while Daniel K. Inouye was sworn in as the first Japanese-American U.S. Representative.

In 1968, France became the world’s fifth thermonuclear power as it exploded a hydrogen bomb in the South Pacific.

In 1981, Mark David Chapman was sentenced in New York to 20 years to life in prison for murdering John Lennon. Chapman remains imprisoned.

In 1989, the Voyager 2 space probe flew by Neptune, sending back striking photographs.

In 1992, Hurricane Andrew smashed into Florida, causing $30 billion in damage and 43 U.S. deaths.

In 2006, the International Astronomical Union declared that Pluto was no longer a full-fledged planet, demoting it to the status of a “dwarf planet.”