On This Day September 24
1982 – Prince releases the single “1999,” a month before releasing the album of the same name. It climbs as high as No. 44 that December. Re-released in 1983, the track rises to No. 12 that July. Warner Brothers releases it again in 1985 as a 12″ single with “Little Red Corvette” as the B-side. Within two weeks, it’s a No. 2 hit. The song returns to the pop chart in December 1998, becoming Prince’s last Top 40 hit before his death in 2016.
1988 – Bobby McFerrin begins a two-week run on top of the singles chart with “Don’t Worry Be Happy,” the first a cappella record to be a No. 1. The accompanying music video features the late actor-comedian Robin Williams.
1991 – The pioneering grunge band Nirvana releases “Nevermind” — the album containing the hit singles “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Come as You Are,” “Lithium” and “In Bloom.” It reaches No. 1 on the album chart in January 1992 and goes on to sell around 30 million copies worldwide.
1789 – Congress passes and President George Washington signs the Judiciary Act of 1789 into law, establishing the U.S. Supreme Court as a tribunal comprised of six justices who were to serve until they voluntarily step down, retire or die.
1941 – The Japanese consul in Hawaii is instructed to divide Pearl Harbor into five zones, calculate the number of battleships in each zone and report the findings back to Japan. Unbeknownst to U.S. military officials, this information is used to lay the groundwork for Japan’s devastating December 7, 1941 attack.
1957 – President Dwight Eisenhower orders federal troops to escort nine African American students, nicknamed the “Little Rock Nine,” into the previously all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.
1988 – Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson runs the 100-meter dash in 9.79 seconds to win gold at the Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. However, Johnson tests positive for steroids three days later and is stripped of the medal, which is instead awarded to American Carl Lewis.