From various “Today in History” features, AP, New York Times, and others:
July 24, 1969: Apollo 11 returned to the Earth, and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong — Aldrin and Armstrong having landed on the Moon.
July 24, 1847: A larger contingent of Mormons, refugees from a literal religious war in Illinois and Missouri, entered into the Salt Lake Valley under the leadership of Brigham Young, who famously said from his wagon sick-bed, “This is the place; drive on!”
July 24, 1866: Tennessee became the first of the Confederate States, the former “state in rebellion,” to be readmitted fully to the Union, following the end of the American Civil War.
July 24, 2005: Lance Armstrong won his seventh consecutive Tour de France bicycle race.
July 24, 1959: Visiting Moscow, USSR, to support an exhibit of U.S. technology and know-how, Vice President Richard Nixon engaged Soviet Communist Party Secretary and Premier Nikita Khruschev in a volley of points about which nation was doing better, at a display of the “typical” American kitchen, featuring an electric stove, a refrigerator, and a dishwasher. Khruschev said the Soviet Union produced similar products; Nixon barbed back that even Communist Party leaders didn’t have such things in their homes, typically, but such appliances were within the reach of every American family. It was the “Kitchen Debate.”
July 24, 1974: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that President Richard Nixon had to turn over previously-secret recordings made of conversations in the White House between Nixon and his aides, to the special prosecutor appointed to investigate the Watergate affair and cover-up. Nixon would resign the presidency within two weeks, the only president to leave office by resignation.
July 24, 1975: An Apollo spacecraft splashed down after a mission that included the first link-up of American and Soviet spacecraft. (The Apollo mission was not officially numbered, but is sometimes called “Apollo 18” — after Apollo 17, the last trip to the Moon.)