On This Day April 24
1989 – Tom Petty releases his debut solo album, “Full Moon Fever,” featuring his Top 10 and longest-charting hit, “Free Fallin’.” The album, produced by Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra fame, soars to No. 3 on the Billboard 200.
2003 – ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer interviews the Dixie Chicks after singer Natalie Maines created a firestorm by telling a London audience that she was “ashamed the president of the United States (George W. Bush) is from Texas,” her home state.
1916 – The Irish Republican Brotherhood, a secret organization of Irish nationalists led by Patrick Pearse, launches the so-called Easter Rebellion (also known as Easter Rising), a six-day armed uprising against British rule.
1945 – President Harry Truman is briefed on the full details of the Manhattan Project, an effort by American scientists to develop the world’s first atomic bomb. The project was so secret that President Franklin Roosevelt never informed Truman, his fourth-term vice president, that it existed by the time FDR died.
1980 – Eight U.S. servicemen die in a failed mission to rescue 52 American hostages in Iran. The fatalities occur when two U.S. military aircraft collide. In a nationally broadcast address, President Jimmy Carter says he assumes full responsibility for the disastrous outcome of Operation Eagle Claw.
1980 – Longtime Illinois Congressman John Anderson announces he is quitting the Republican party and will run as an independent presidential candidate against incumbent Democratic President Jimmy Carter and Republican challenger Ronald Reagan. He ends up finishing a distant third, capturing less than 7 percent of the vote and failing to win a single electoral vote.
1982 – Already well established as an Oscar-winning actress and outspoken political activist, Jane Fonda adds fitness guru to her credentials with the release of the million-plus-selling “Jane Fonda’s Workout” video. The video sparks the aerobics craze and popularizes leg-warmers and Spandex among fitness-minded women.
Own a Piece of This Day
The Guts to Try: The Untold Story of the Iran Hostage Rescue Mission by the On-Scene Desert Commander