This Day in History: Sept. 24

On this day, Sept. 24 …

2007: United Auto Workers walk off the job at General Motors plants in the first nationwide strike during auto contract negotiations since 1976; a tentative pact would end the walkout two days later.

Also on this day:

  • 1789: President George Washington signs a Judiciary Act establishing America's federal court system and creating the post of attorney general.
  • 1869: Thousands of businessmen are ruined in a Wall Street panic known as "Black Friday" after financiers Jay Gould and James Fisk attempt to corner the gold market.
  • 1976: Former hostage Patricia Hearst is sentenced to seven years in prison for her part in a 1974 bank robbery in San Francisco carried out by the Symbionese Liberation Army. (Hearst would be released after 22 months after receiving clemency from President Jimmy Carter.)
  • 1934: Babe Ruth makes his farewell appearance as a player with the New York Yankees in a game against the Boston Red Sox.
  • 1960: “The Howdy Doody Show" ends a nearly 13-year run with its final telecast on NBC.
  • 1968: “60 Minutes" premieres on CBS; the undercover police drama "The Mod Squad" premieres on ABC.
  • 1988: Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson wins the men's 100-meter dash at the Seoul Summer Olympics — but he would be disqualified three days later for using anabolic steroids. 
  • 1988: Members of the eastern Massachusetts Episcopal diocese elect Barbara C. Harris the first female bishop in the church's history.
  • 1996: The United States and 70 other countries become the first to sign a treaty at the United Nations to end all testing and development of nuclear weapons. (The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty has yet to enter into force because of the refusal so far of eight nations — including the United States — to ratify it.)
  • 2002: British Prime Minister Tony Blair asserts that Iraq has a growing arsenal of chemical and biological weapons and plans to use them, as he unveils an intelligence dossier to a special session of Parliament.