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January 24 in history:
- 1848, James W. Marshall discovered a gold nugget at Sutter's Mill in northern California, a discovery that led to the gold rush of '49
- 1908, the first Boy Scout troop was organized in England by Robert Baden-Powell
- 1924, the Russian city of St. Petersburg was renamed Leningrad in honor of the late revolutionary leader (however, it has since been re-named St. Petersburg)
- 1943, President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill concluded a wartime conference in Casablanca, Morocco
- 1972, the Supreme Court struck down laws that denied welfare benefits to people who had resided in a state for less than a year
- 1978, a nuclear-powered Soviet satellite plunged through Earth's atmosphere and disintegrated, scattering radioactive debris over parts of northern Canada
- 1985, the space shuttle Discovery was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida., on the first secret, all-military shuttle mission
- 1989, confessed serial killer Ted Bundy was put to death in Florida's electric chair
- 1995, the FDA approved Olestra, the nation's first zero-calorie artificial fat.
- 1995, Specialist Michael New was discharged from the U.S. Army after a court-martial jury convicted him for refusing to wear a UN beret for a peacekeeping mission in the former Yugoslavia
- 2003, the new Department of Homeland Security officially opened and its chief, Tom Ridge, was sworn in
- 2007, Democratic-controlled Senate Foreign Relations Committee dismissed President Bush's plans for a troop buildup in Iraq as "not in the national interest" of the United States