Tuesday, June 24, 2008

On June 24

On this day in ...

... 1983 (25 years ago today), astronaut Dr. Sally K. Ride (left), the United States' 1st woman in space, returned to Earth after completing a 6-day flight in the Challenger space shuttle. The 32-year-old Ride, the 3d woman ever to travel in space, is a former tennis champion. Ride received a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University in 1978, the same year she entered NASA's training program. Among her books is To Space and Back (1989), written with Susan Okie.

... 1859, French and Sardinian troops fought Austrian troops in the Battle of Solferino, the carnage of which inspired establishment of the International Committee of the Red Cross. More than 6,000 persons were killed and 40,000 wounded in a day; those of the latter who could headed to Castiglione, the village nearest the battlefield, in what is now northern Italy. There the Geneva, Switzerland-born Jean Henri Dunant, also known as "Henry Dunant, helped by local women, cared for the wounded and dying for three days and three nights." Dunant recounted the experience in A Memory of Solferino, 1st published in 1862. He would win the 1901 Nobel Peace Prize.

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