On This Day in History February 24

February 24 – Events:

  • 303 – Galerius, Roman Emperor, publishes his edict that begins the persecution of Christians in his portion of the Empire.
  • 1387 – King Charles III of Naples and Hungary is assassinated at Buda.
  • 1530 – First imperial coronation by a Pope-Charles V crowned by Clement V.
  • 1538 – Treaty of Nagyvarad between Ferdinand I and John Zápolya.
  • 1582 – Pope Gregory XIII announces the Gregorian calendar.
  • 1607 – L’Orfeo by Claudio Monteverdi, one of the first works recognized as an opera, premieres.
  • 1711 – The London premiere of Rinaldo by George Friderich Handel, the first Italian opera written for the London stage.
  • 1739 – Battle of Karnal: The army of Iranian ruler Nadir Shah defeats the forces of the Mughal emperor of India, Muhammad Shah.
  • 1803 – The Supreme Court of the United States, in Marbury v. Madison, establishes the principle of judicial review.
  • 1804 – London’s Drury Lane Theatre burns to the ground, leaving owner Richard Brinsley Sheridan destitute.
  • 1826 – The signing of the Treaty of Yandaboo marks the end of the First Burmese War.
  • 1831 – The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, the first removal treaty in accordance with the Indian Removal Act, is proclaimed. The Choctaws in Mississippi cede land east of the river in exchange for payment and land in the West.
  • 1839 – William Otis receives a patent for the steam shovel.
  • 1848 – King Louis-Philippe of France abdicates the throne.
  • 1863 – Arizona is organized as a United States territory.
  • 1868 – The first parade to have floats is staged at Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • 1868 – Andrew Johnson becomes the first President of the United States to be impeached by the United States House of Representatives. He is later acquitted in the Senate.
  • 1875 – The SS Gothenburg hits the Great Barrier Reef and sinks off the Australian east coast with the loss of approximately 102 lives.
  • 1881 – China and Russia sign the Sino-Russian Ili Treaty.
  • 1893 – The American University is chartered by an act of the Congress of the United States of America.
  • 1894 – Nicaragua captures Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
  • 1895 – Revolution breaks out in Baire, a town near Santiago de Cuba, beginning the second war for Cuban independence, which ended with the Spanish-American War in 1898.
  • 1899 – Western Washington University is established.
  • 1909 – The Hudson Motor Car Company is founded.
  • 1917 – World War I: The U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom is given the Zimmermann Telegram, in which Germany pledges to ensure the return of New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona to Mexico if that country declares war on the United States.
  • 1918 – Estonian Declaration of Independence.
  • 1920 – The Nazi Party is founded.
  • 1925 – A thermite (magnesium) bomb is used for the first time to break up a 250,000-ton ice jam clogging the St. Lawrence River near Waddington, New York.
  • 1937 – First US group hospital-medical cooperative authorized, Washington, DC.
  • 1938 – DuPont begins commercial production of nylon toothbrush bristles.
  • 1942 – Voice of America begins broadcasting (in German).
  • 1945 – Egyptian Premier Ahmed Maher Pasha is killed in Parliament after reading a decree.
  • 1968 – Vietnam War: The Tet Offensive is halted; South Vietnam recaptures Hué.
  • 1970 – National Public Radio is founded in the United States.
  • 1971 – The All India Forward Bloc holds an emergency central committee meeting after its chairman, Hemantha Kumar Bose, was killed 3 days earlier. P.K. Mookiah Thevar appointed as the new chairman.
  • 1981 – Buckingham Palace announces the engagement of The Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer.
  • 1981 – An earthquake registering 6.7 on the Richter scale hits Athens, killing 16 people and destroying buildings in several towns west of the city.
  • 1983 – A special commission of the U.S. Congress releases a report that condemns the practice of Japanese internment during World War II.
  • 1989 – Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini offers a USD $3 million bounty for the death of The Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie.
  • 1989 – United Airlines Flight 811, bound for New Zealand from Honolulu, Hawaii, rips open during flight, sucking 9 passengers out of the business-class section.
  • 1995 – The Corona reconnaissance satellite program, in existence from 1959 to 1972, is declassified.
  • 1996 – The last occurrence of February 24 as a leap day in the European Union and for the Roman Catholic Church.
  • 1999 – The State of Arizona executes Karl LaGrand, a German national involved in an armed robbery, in spite of Germany’s legal action to attempt to save him.
  • 1999 – A China Southern Airlines Tupolev TU-154 airliner crashes on approach to Wenzhou airport in eastern the People’s Republic of China, killing 61.
  • 2006 – Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declares Proclamation 1017 placing the country in a state of emergency in attempt to subdue a possible military coup.
  • 2008 – Fidel Castro retires as the President of Cuba after nearly fifty years.

February 24 – Birthdays:

  • 1103 – Emperor Toba of Japan (d. 1156)
  • 1304 – Ibn Battuta, Arabian explorer (d. 1368)
  • 1463 – Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Italian humanist (d. 1494)
  • 1500 – Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1558)
  • 1545 – Don John of Austria, Spanish military leader (d. 1578)
  • 1557 – Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1619)
  • 1597 – Vincent Voiture, French poet (d. 1648)
  • 1619 – Charles Le Brun, French artist (d. 1690)
  • 1622 – Johannes Clauberg, German theologian and philosopher (d. 1665)
  • 1684 – Matthias Braun, Czech sculptor (d. 1738)
  • 1693 – James Quin, English actor (d. 1766)
  • 1709 – Jacques de Vaucanson, French inventor (d. 1782)
  • 1723 – John Burgoyne, British general (d. 1792)
  • 1774 – Prince Adolphus, 1st Duke of Cambridge (d. 1850)
  • 1786 – Martin W. Bates. U.S. Senator from Delaware (d. 1869)
  • 1786 – Wilhelm Grimm, German philologist and folklorist (d. 1859)
  • 1831 – Leo von Caprivi, Chancellor of Germany (d. 1899)
  • 1836 – Winslow Homer, American artist (d. 1910)
  • 1842 – Arrigo Boito, Italian composer (d. 1918)
  • 1846 – Luigi Denza, Italian composer (d. 1922)
  • 1848 – Andrew Inglis Clark, Tasmanian politician (d. 1907)
  • 1852 – George Moore, Irish writer (d. 1933)
  • 1866 – Pyotr Nikolaevich Lebedev, Russian physicist (d. 1912)
  • 1874 – Honus Wagner, American baseball player (d. 1955)
  • 1877 – Ettie Rout, New Zealand activist (d. 1936)
  • 1885 – Chester Nimitz, U.S. admiral (d. 1966)
  • 1885 – Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz, Polish writer and painter (d. 1939)
  • 1890 – Marjorie Main, American actress (d. 1975)
  • 1898 – Kurt Tank, German aeronautical engineer and test pilot (d. 1983)
  • 1909 – August Derleth, American writer (d. 1971)
  • 1914 – Zachary Scott, American actor (d. 1965)
  • 1914 – Ralph Erskine, British architect (Byker Wall) (d. 2005)
  • 1919 – Árpád Bogsch, Hungarian turned American international civil servant (d. 2004)
  • 1919 – Betty Marsden, English comedy actress (d. 1998)
  • 1921 – Abe Vigoda, American actor
  • 1921 – Douglass Watson, American actor (d. 1989)
  • 1922 – Richard Hamilton, English painter
  • 1922 – Steven Hill, American actor
  • 1923 – David Soyer, American cellist
  • 1926 – Jean Alexander, English actress
  • 1926 – John Gunther Dean, American diplomat
  • 1927 – Emmanuelle Riva, French actress
  • 1928 – Barbara Lawrence, American actress
  • 1931 – Dominic Chianese, American actor
  • 1932 – Michel Legrand, French composer
  • 1932 – John Vernon, Canadian actor (d. 2005)
  • 1933 – Judah Folkman, American cancer researcher
  • 1934 – Bettino Craxi, Prime Minister of Italy (d. 2000)
  • 1934 – Renata Scotto, Italian soprano
  • 1934 – Linda Cristal, Argentina-born actress
  • 1938 – James Farentino, American actor
  • 1938 – Phil Knight, American sportswear manufacturer
  • 1938 – Kathleen Margaret Richardson, Baroness Richardson of Calow, British Baroness and Methodist reverend
  • 1940 – Pete Duel, American actor (d. 1971)
  • 1940 – Denis Law, Scottish footballer
  • 1941 – Joanie Sommers, American singer and actress
  • 1942 – Joe Lieberman, American politician
  • 1942 – Paul Jones, English singer (Manfred Mann)
  • 1942 – Colin Bond, Australian racing driver
  • 1943 – Hristo Prodanov, Bulgarian mountaineer
  • 1943 – Terry Semel, American business executive
  • 1943 – Pablo Milanés, Cuban musician
  • 1944 – Nicky Hopkins, British musician (d. 1994)
  • 1945 – Barry Bostwick, American actor
  • 1946 – Grigory Margulis, Russian mathematician
  • 1946 – John Stapleton, English television presenter
  • 1947 – Rupert Holmes, English musician
  • 1947 – Edward James Olmos, American actor
  • 1948 – J. Jayalalithaa, Indian politician
  • 1948 – Walter Smith, Scottish football manager
  • 1948 – Tim Staffell, English singer
  • 1948 – Dennis Waterman, British actor
  • 1950 – George Thorogood, American Singer and Guitarist
  • 1951 – Tony Holiday, German singer (d. 1990)
  • 1951 – Debra Jo Rupp, American actress
  • 1951 – Helen Shaver, Canadian actress
  • 1955 – Steve Jobs, American computer pioneer
  • 1955 – Alain Prost, French race car driver and four-time F1 world champion
  • 1956 – Paula Zahn, American journalist
  • 1956 – Eddie Murray, American baseball player
  • 1958 – Sammy Kershaw, American musician
  • 1958 – Plastic Bertrand, Belgian singer
  • 1959 – Beth Broderick, American actress
  • 1962 – Michelle Shocked, American musician
  • 1962 – Teri Weigel, American pornography actress
  • 1962 – Outi Mäenpää, Finnish actress
  • 1963 – Mike Vernon, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1964 – Andy Crane, British children’s television presenter
  • 1964 – Todd Field, American actor and film director
  • 1964 – Bill Bailey, British comedian
  • 1964 – Russell Ingall, Australian racing driver
  • 1965 – Lloyd McGrath, former English footballer
  • 1965 – Jane Swift, former acting Governor of Massachusetts
  • 1966 – Billy Zane, American actor
  • 1966 – René Arocha, Cuban baseball player
  • 1968 – Mitch Hedberg, American comedian (d. 2005)
  • 1970 – Jeff Garcia, American football player
  • 1970 – Jonathan Ward, American television and movie actor
  • 1970 – Kienast quintuplets, American quintuplets
  • 1971 – Pedro de la Rosa, Spanish Formula One driver
  • 1971 – Brian Savage, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1972 – Manon Rhéaume, Canadian female ice hockey player
  • 1973 – Chris Fehn, American percussionist (Slipknot)
  • 1973 – Jordan Jovtchev, Bulgarian gymnast
  • 1973 – Alexei Kovalev, Russian ice hockey player
  • 1973 – Richard Clapp, Canadian baseball player
  • 1974 – Chad Hugo, American musician and producer (The Neptunes)
  • 1974 – Karim Bagheri, Iranian footballer
  • 1974 – Mike Lowell, Puerto Rican baseball player
  • 1974 – Bonnie Somerville, American actress and singer
  • 1975 – Ashley MacIsaac, Canadian fiddler
  • 1975 – Maurizio Giuliano, writer and traveler
  • 1976 – Matt Skiba, American musician (Alkaline Trio,Heavens)
  • 1976 – Eric Griffin, American rock guitarist
  • 1976 – Bradley McGee, Australian cyclist
  • 1976 – Crista Flanagan, American television comedian
  • 1976 – Zach Johnson, professional golfer
  • 1976 – Marco Campos, Brazilian racing driver (d. 1995)
  • 1977 – Floyd Mayweather Jr, American boxer
  • 1977 – Jason Akermanis, Australian rules footballer
  • 1977 – Bronson Arroyo, American baseball player
  • 1978 – Shinya, Japanese musician (Dir en grey)
  • 1978 – John Nolan, American musician (Straylight Run)
  • 1980 – Anton Gustafsson, Swedish rock music fan (d. 2003)
  • 1980 – Shinsuke Nakamura, Japanese professional wrestler
  • 1980 – Roman Sloudnov, Russian swimmer
  • 1981 – Lleyton Hewitt, Australian tennis player
  • 1981 – Mohammad Sami, Pakistani cricketer
  • 1982 – Nick Blackburn, American baseball player
  • 1982 – Emanuel Villa, Argentine footballer
  • 1982 – Klára Zakopalová, Czech tennis player
  • 1984 – Clivio Piccione, Monegasque racing driver
  • 1984 – Sterling James Keenan, American professional wrestler
  • 1986 – Wojtek Wolski, Polish Ice hockey player
  • 1987 – Daniel Reilly, British entrepreneur
  • 1987 – Mayuko Iwasa, Japanese entertainer and model
  • 1987 – Chieko Kawabe, Japanese singer, model and actress
  • 1989 – Kosta Koufos, American-Greek basketball player

February 24 – Deaths:

  • 616 – King Ethelbert of Kent
  • 1525 – Guillaume Gouffier, seigneur de Bonnivet, French soldier
  • 1563 – Francis, Duke of Guise, French soldier and politician (b. 1519)
  • 1588 – Johann Weyer, Dutch physician and occultist
  • 1666 – Nicholas Lanier, English composer (b. 1588)
  • 1674 – Matthias Weckmann, German composer (b. 1616)
  • 1685 – Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Carlisle, English politician and military leader (b. 1629)
  • 1704 – Marc-Antoine Charpentier, French composer (b. 1643)
  • 1714 – Edmund Andros, English governor in North America (b. 1637)
  • 1721 – John Sheffield, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby, English statesman and poet (b. 1648)
  • 1732 – Colonel Francis Charteris, known as “The Rape-Master General”. (b. 1675)
  • 1777 – King Joseph I of Portugal (b. 1714)
  • 1779 – Paul Daniel Longolius, German encylopedist (b. 1704)
  • 1781 – Edward Capell, English critic (b. 1713)
  • 1799 – Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, German physicist (b. 1742)
  • 1810 – Henry Cavendish, English scientist (b. 1756)
  • 1812 – Etienne-Louis Malus, French physicist and mathematician (b. 1775)
  • 1815 – Robert Fulton, American inventor (b. 1765)
  • 1825 – Thomas Bowdler, English physician and editor (b. 1754)
  • 1856 – Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky, Russian mathematician (b. 1792)
  • 1876 – Joseph Jenkins Roberts, first President of Liberia (b. 1809)
  • 1914 – Joshua Chamberlain, Civil War hero for the Union on Little Round Top at the Battle of Gettysburg
  • 1925 – Hjalmar Branting, Prime Minister of Sweden, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1860)
  • 1929 – André Messager, French composer and conductor (b. 1853)
  • 1953 – Gerd von Rundstedt, German field marshal (b. 1875)
  • 1970 – Conrad Nagel, American actor (b. 1897)
  • 1975 – Nikolai Bulganin, Premier of the Soviet Union (b. 1895)
  • 1982 – Virginia Bruce, America actress and singer (b. 1910)
  • 1984 – Helmut Schelsky, German sociologist (b. 1912)
  • 1986 – Tommy Douglas, Canadian politician (b. 1904)
  • 1989 – Sparky Adams, American baseball player (b. 1894)
  • 1990 – Tony Conigliaro, American baseball player (b. 1945)
  • 1990 – Malcolm Forbes, American publisher (b. 1917)
  • 1990 – Sandro Pertini, Italian politician (b. 1896)
  • 1990 – Johnnie Ray, American singer (b. 1927)
  • 1991 – John Daly, South African game show host (b. 1914)
  • 1991 – George Gobel, American comedian (b. 1919)
  • 1991 – Webb Pierce, American music singer (b. 1921)
  • 1993 – Danny Gallivan, Canadian radio and television sportscaster (b. 1917)
  • 1993 – Bobby Moore, English footballer (b. 1941)
  • 1994 – Jean Sablon, French singer (b. 1906)
  • 1994 – Dinah Shore, American actress and singer (b. 1916)
  • 1998 – Antonio Prohias, Cuban-born cartoonist (b. 1921)
  • 1998 – Henny Youngman, English-born comedian (b. 1906)
  • 1999 – Andre Dubus, American writer (b. 1936)
  • 2001 – Claude E. Shannon, American information theorist (b. 1916)
  • 2002 – Arthur Lyman, American jazz vibraphone and marimba player (b. 1932)
  • 2002 – Leo Ornstein, Russian-born composer and pianist (b. 1912)
  • 2003 – John Edward Christopher Hill, English historian (b. 1912)
  • 2003 – Bernard Loiseau, French chef (b. 1951)
  • 2004 – John Randolph, American actor (b. 1915)
  • 2006 – Octavia Butler, American author and MacArthur Foundation Fellow (b. 1947)
  • 2006 – Don Knotts, American actor (b. 1924)
  • 2006 – John Martin, Canadian broadcaster (b. 1947)
  • 2006 – Denis Twitchett, Cambridge scholar, and Chinese historian (b. 1925)
  • 2006 – Dennis Weaver, American actor (b. 1924)
  • 2007 – Bruce Bennett, American actor (b. 1906)
  • 2007 – Leroy Jenkins, American composer and violinist (b. 1932)
  • 2007 – Lamar Lundy, American football player (b. 1935)
  • 2007 – Damien Nash, American football player (b. 1982)
  • 2008 – Larry Norman, American musician, singer, songwriter and producer (b. 1947)

February 24 – Holidays:

  • Regifugium, in the Roman calendar.
  • Independence Day in Estonia (1918; the Soviet period is considered illegal annexation).
  • Flag Day in México.
  • Dragobete in Romania.
  • National Artist Day in Thailand.
  • St. Matthias
  • St. Modest
  • St. Sergius
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