1731 Daniel Defoe, British author, died. His work included the novels “Robinson Crusoe,” “Roxana” and the pamphlet “The Shortest Way With Dissenters.” In 1998 Richard West published the biography “Daniel Defoe: The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures.”
1992 Apr 24, President Bush and Democratic challenger Bill Clinton made long-distance back-to-back appearances via satellite hookups before the National Association of Hispanic Journalists meeting in Albuquerque, N.M.
1995 Apr 24, California Forestry Assoc. Pres. Gilbert P. Murray, 47, was killed by a mail bomb at his headquarters in Sacramento. The bomb was attributed to the Unabomber. Gilbert B. Murray, chief lobbyist for the wood products industry, was killed by a package bomb linked to the Unabomber. Theodore Kaczynski was later sentenced to four lifetimes in prison for a series of bombings that killed three men and injured 29 others.
1996 Apr 24, Pres. Clinton signed the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA). It restricted the role of federal judges in reviewing state cases.
1998 Apr 24, In Peru Pres. Fujimori announced that police captured 3 top guerrilla leaders of the Shining Path.
2000 Apr 24, In Colombia Pres. Pastrana reached a preliminary agreement with the ELN to withdraw government troops from a northern region as a condition for peace talks. Meanwhile FARC rebels announced a campaign to kidnap millionaires and corporate executives who refuse to pay tribute.
2001 Apr 24, Pres. Bush said that the annual process of selling arms to Taiwan, a US policy since 1982, would end. China condemned the recent $5 billion arms sale.
2001 Apr 24, The Rev. Leon Sullivan, a pioneering civil rights crusader credited with helping end South Africa’s system of apartheid, died in Scottsdale, Ariz., at age 78.
2002 Apr 24, Michael McDermott, a software engineer who’d claimed he was insane when he shot to death seven co-workers, was convicted of murder by a jury in Cambridge, Mass.
2004 Apr 24, In Sri Lanka President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s alliance won a key regional election, nearly 3 weeks after it emerged as the single largest party in parliamentary polls.
2005 Apr 24, Ezer Weizman (80), former Israeli president (1993-2000), died. He was a political moderate who pioneered contacts with Palestinian leaders and helped bring about the Jewish state’s first peace treaty with an Arab country. As defense minister in 1979, he was instrumental in negotiating Israel’s peace treaty with Egypt.
2005 Apr 24, Pope Benedict XVI formally began his stewardship of the Roman Catholic Church; the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said in his installation homily that as pontiff he would listen to the will of God in governing the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics.
2006 Apr 24, Scott McNealy (51) stepped down as CEO of Sun Microsystems. He was replaced by Jonathan Schwartz, who had served as chief operating officer.
2007 Apr 24, Ecuador’s popular President Rafael Correa tightened his hold over all branches of government, sending police to prevent the return of opposition lawmakers as his tentative majority in Congress dismissed all nine members of the nation’s highest court.
2007 Apr 24, The Nigerian government accused Bola Tinubu, the governor of Lagos, of operating foreign accounts contrary to his oath of office.
2007 Apr 24, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf arrived in Spain, part of a four-nation tour of Europe, for talks expected to focus on Islamic radicalism and NATO’s mission in Afghanistan.
2007 Apr 24, Turkey’s foreign minister Abdullah Gul was named as the ruling party’s candidate for the presidency, a decision that will maintain continuity in EU reforms but fails to resolve a fight between the country’s secular and Islamist camps.
2009 Apr 24, David Duke (59), the former Grand Wizard of the Louisiana-founded Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, arrived in Prague at the invitation of a local far-right group, Narodni Odpor (National Resistance). He was soon arrested and questioned for several hours on suspicion of promoting movements seeking the suppression of human rights. Duke was freed during the night and forced to leave the country the next day.
2009 Apr 24, Jordan’s king recorded an interview urging President Barack Obama to take a more forceful role in the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians, warning of a new Mideast war if there is no significant progress in the next 18 months.
2012 Apr 24, Mitt Romney swept five GOP primaries, including Pennsylvania and New York, and solidified his lead in the race to reach the 1,144 delegates necessary to claim the GOP nomination.
2012 Apr 24, Moldova’s Pres. Nicolae Timofti refused to sign a law that would have meant that foreigners convicted of sexually abusing children in Moldova were chemically castrated. Parliament had approved the law on March 6 after lawmakers said the impoverished nation was attracting pedophiles from the West.
2013 Apr 24, Lebanon’s leading caricaturist Pierre Sadek (76), died. He was famous for his decades of work poking fun at politicians.