The 24th of April is the 114th day of the year (Gregorian calendar) or 115th in a leap year.
Annual Commemorative and Observational Days
The 24th of April is known as ‘World Lab Animal Day’ which was established by the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) based in the United Kingdom. World Lab Animal Day is a global event to build awareness of the suffering of many animals tested on in laboratories around the world.
The 24th of April is also the start of ‘World Immunisation Week’ which was established by the World Health Organisation (WHO). It was created to build Awareness of the millions of people that still do not receive vaccinations and die from curable diseases every year and to re-invigorate efforts to increase the spread of vaccinations.
The 24th of April is ‘Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day’ to commemorate the estimated 1.5 million Armenians that were massacred by the Ottoman Empire during World War I.
The United States successfully launched the Hubble telescope into orbit today. It is the most powerful telescope ever created and is able to see to the edge of space which is up to 13.7 billion light years away and with enough accuracy to see an object the width of a single human hair from a mile away. Because the universe expanded in every direction and from every point in space after the big bang, as you look further into space you are essentially looking back in time. For example, if you look at an object 5 light-years away you looking at the light that started its journey (from that object) 5 years ago, so by being able to look at objects 13.7 billion light-years away you are actually witnessing events that occurred just after the big bang event (that occurred 13.7 billion years ago). Between 2003 and 2004 the Hubble telescope was set to view into deep space in a single area and was able to show the first stars beginning to shine.
The first casualty of space travel died today. Russian cosmonaut, Colonel Vladimir Komarov, is believed to have died instantly (aged 40) when his parachute failed to deploy properly and the Soyuz 1 hurtled to Earth from a height of 4 miles. This was Komarov’s second space mission and it was reported that the flight and all his experiments were performed successfully, but the cords of the parachute became entangled causing the parachute failure.
The Irish Republic Brotherhood implemented the Easter Uprising. Since the late 19th centaury Irish nationalists had demanded home rule of Ireland while Ulster Unionist (wanted to remain part of the United Kingdom) opposed the Irish Nationalists. Tensions grew between two militia groups, the Ulster Volunteers on one side and the nationalist Irish Volunteers. To relieve tensions the United Kingdom passed a bill in 1912 allowing Ireland some autonomy and self rule but tensions between Unionists and nationalists remained. After the outbreak of World War I both sides’ attentions were put into the War raging in Europe. However in early 1916 the Irish Republican Brotherhood had planned an uprising. They had formed a military council and had arranged for a large consignment of arms from Germany. The consignment was found by the British armed forces and confiscated. The uprising was still set and between the 24th and 30th of April 1916, known as the Easter Rising, many insurgents took control of Dublin and proclaimed it a republic. With the First World War still raging the United Kingdom sent in large forces for a swift suppression of the insurgents. British soldiers killed 500 and took thousands prisoner. The British reaction to the uprising was considered by many to be too extreme and it had swayed many voters to the Republicans way of thinking. On the 14th of December 1918 as part of the United Kingdoms general elections, votes cast in Ireland gave overwhelming support for the Irish Republican Party, (called Sinn Fein). However there was still massive support for the Unionist Party in the northern province of Ulster (this region would later become Northern Ireland).