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History's Happenings for October 24

Congress Mandates 40-Hour Week

(Stay tuned for a write-up on this event.
On the other hand, if you'd like to try writing
one  ... send it in! )

First Transcontinental Telegraph Message

(Stay tuned for a write-up on this event.
On the other hand, if you'd like to try writing
one  ... send it in! )

George Washington Bridge Opens

The George Washington Bridge connecting Ft. Lee, NJ and New York City, on opposite sides of the Hudson River, opened for traffic on October 24, 1931.

Under construction since 1927, the bridge originally had one eight-lane traffic level, with two foot-paths. A lower, six-lane traffic level was added in 1962. Its total length is 4,760 feet, with a center span of 3,500 feet. Four 36-inch cables suspend the bridge, 212 feet above the water, from its twin 604-foot towers.

The Washington Bridge was the third major long-span suspension bridge built in the United States, the first being the Ohio River Bridge at Wheeling, WV, built in 1846, and the second the renowned (and often "for sale") Brooklyn Bridge in New York, erected in 1883. Both of these bridges were designed by engineer John Roebling. The equally famous Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco opened in 1937.

First Nylon Stockings Hit the Marketplace

(Stay tuned for a write-up on this event.
On the other hand, if you'd like to try writing
one  ... send it in! )

United Nations Day

October 24 marks the day in 1945 that the United Nations came into being, based upon a Charter that had been finalized over the previous summer.

The U.N. is the successor to the League of Nations, founded after World War I on the instigation of President Woodrow Wilson and others, and which existed from 1921-1946.

Although the League was a noble idea, it failed its primary duty -- to prevent world war -- in part because it could not bring itself to intervene in the aggressive actions of the rising fascist nations.

The U.N.'s charter, which was originally developed in a conference of the big four -- the U.S., Britain, Russia and China -- in Washington in 1944, sought to resolve the shortcomings of the League. The proposed innovations created disagreements over details, but at Yalta in 1945, the same group resolved the main issues and established a multi-national conference to prepare the final Charter.

In many ways, the United Nations has repeated the errors of the more tightly focused League, in that it has not always risen to the task of suppressing the aggressive actions of its members, except where the United States has been willing to carry the ball and shoulder the consequences, and instead has largely dedicated itself to representing the interests, both honorable and not, of the Third World.

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