This Day In History : July 24

1880 United States

1st commercial hydroelectric power plant in the world begins generating electricity in Grand Rapids, Michigan

The first commercial hydroelectric power plant in the world began generating electricity in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on July 24, 1880. This pioneering plant, known as the Appleton Edison Electric Light Company, was built by Thomas Edison and his associates. It utilized the power of the nearby Grand River to generate electricity.

Also on This Day in History July 24

Discover what happened on July 24 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, July 24
  • 1897 Amelia Earhart

    American aviator (1st woman to fly solo across the Atlantic)

  • 1853 Henri-Alexandre Deslandres

    French astrophysicist who invented a spectroheliograph

  • 1843 Sir William de Wiveleslie Abney

    English astronomer and chemist who investigated colour photography and colour vision

  • 1786 Joseph Nicolas Nicollet

    French mathematician, explorer, and cartographer with an interest in astronomy

  • 1851 Friedrich Schottky

    German mathematician (Schottky's theorem)

  • 1892 Alice Ball

    African American chemist (developed treatment for leprosy)

Deaths on This Day, July 24
  • 2012 Robert S. Ledley

    American scientist (invented the CT scanner)

  • 1974 Sir James Chadwick

    British physicist (Nobel Prize, 1935; discovered neutron)

  • 1951 Albert C. Barnes

    American chemist who invented the antiseptic Argyrol

  • 1986 Fritz A. Lipman

    German-American biochemist (discoverer co-enzymes, Nobel 1953)

  • 2005 Richard Doll

    English epidemiologist (pioneer in research linking smoking to health problems)


First Cape Canaveral launch

The first launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, took place on July 24, 1950. It was a Bumper rocket, a combination of a German V-2 missile and a WAC Corporal sounding rocket, and it was launched by the United States Army.

Salt Lake City, Utah is established

Salt Lake City, Utah, was established on July 24, 1847, by a group of Mormon pioneers led by Brigham Young. They arrived in the Salt Lake Valley after a long and arduous journey seeking a place to settle and practice their religious beliefs freely.

The Window Tax

The Window Tax in the United Kingdom was abolished on July 24, 1851. This tax, which had been in place since 1696, imposed a levy based on the number of windows in a property. It was unpopular because it was seen as unfair and led to the bricking up or blocking of windows to avoid the tax.

American explorer Hiram Bingham rediscovers Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas

American explorer Hiram Bingham rediscovered Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas, on July 24, 1911. While searching for the legendary "Lost City," Bingham encountered the ruins of Machu Picchu hidden deep within the Andes Mountains of Peru. His rediscovery of this ancient Incan citadel sparked international interest in the site and led to extensive archaeological investigations.
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