This Day in History - February 24

February 24

303 – The first official Roman edict for persecution of Christians is issued by Emperor Diocletian

786 – Pepin the Short of Gaul dies

1304 – Moroccan explorer Ibn Battuta is born

1500 – Charles V, King of Spain, is born

1525 – The Holy Roman Emperor Charles V captures the French King Francis I at the Battle of Pavia, Italy during the first of the French-Habsburg Wars

1538 – Ferdinand of Hapsburg and John Zapolyai conclude the Peace of Grosswardein in Hungary

1582 – Pope Gregory XIII issued a papal bull introducing the Gregorian calendar reform

1607 – Claudio Monteverdi’s “L ‘Orfeo,” the world’s first opera, premiers

1739 – Army of Iranian ruler Nadir Shah defeats the forces of the Mughal emperor of India, Muhammad Shah, at the Battle of Karnal

1786 – Wilhelm Carl Grimm, fairy tale compiler, is born

1799 – German physicist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg dies

1803 – Chief Justice John Marshall asserts the authority of the judicial branch by refusing to rule on a case-Marbury vs. Madison, deciding that any act of Congress which conflicts with the Constitution is null and void

1813 – The American sloop Hornet sinks the British sloop Peacock off Guiana

1821 – Mexico gains independence from Spain

1836 – Some 3,000 Mexicans launch an assault on the Alamo against 182 Texan defenders

1836 – American painter Winslow Homer is born

1840 – Former President John Quincy Adams begins to argue the Amistad case before the US Supreme Court.  Slaves aboard a slave ship rebelled, killing the Spanish ship’s captain and cook but lost the battle, and then were taken into custody by the US Navy

1841 – Inventor of the modern submarine, John Phillip Holland is born

1864 – The Battle of Dalton, Georgia begins during the Civil War

1868 – President Andrew Johnson is impeached the first in US history

1874 – Baseball player Honus Wagner is born

1885 – US Admiral Chester Nimitz is born

1887 – Writer Mary Ellen Chase is born

1895 – The Cuban War of Independence begins

1903 – The lease for Guantanamo Bay is signed

1908 – Japan officially agrees to restrict emigration to the US

1909 – Writer August Derleth is born

1912 – Italy bombs Beirut

1912 – The Jewish organization Hadassah is founded

1914 – Civil War soldier Joshua Chamberlain dies

1916 – A film version of Jules Verne’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” opens in New York

1917 – British and Indian troops recapture Kut in Mesopotamia from the Turks

1917 – British authorities give Walter H. Page, the US ambassador to Britain, a copy of the “Zimmermann Note,” a coded message from Arthur Zimmermann, the German foreign secretary, to Count Johann von Bernstorff, the German ambassador to Mexico.  Zimmermann stated that in the event of war with the US, Mexico should be asked to enter as a German ally and in return, Germany would promise to restore to Mexico, the lost territories of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona

1920 – Adolf Hitler outlines the basic points of the Nazi Party at the Hofbrauhaus in Munich

1921 – Herbert Hoover becomes Secretary of Commerce

1928 – The New Gallery of New York exhibits works of Archibald Motley, the first feature of a black artist

1929 – French composer Andre Messager dies

1938 – Variety newspaper reported that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer had bought the rights to adapt L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz for the screen and that Judy Garland would play Dorothy Gale

1944 – Merrill’s Marauders, a specially trained group of American soldiers, begin the ground campaign against Japan into Burma

1945 – US forces liberate prisoners of war in the Los Banos Prison in the Philippines

1946 – Juan Domingo Peron is elected president of Argentina

1947 – Franz von Papen is sentenced to eight years in a labor camp for war crimes

1955 – Four-time Formula One champion Alain Prost is born

1955 – Businessman and co-founder of Apple and Pixar, Steve Jobs is born

1956 – American philosopher Judith Butler is born

1959 – Nikita Khrushchev rejects the Western plan for the Big Four meeting in Germany

1968 – North Vietnamese troops capture the imperial palace in Hue, South Vietnam

1968 – The discovery of a pulsar is announced

1972 – Hanoi negotiators walk out of the peace talks in Paris to protest US air raids on North Vietnam

1980 – The US hockey team defeats Finland to win the gold medal in the Lake Placid Olympics

1981 – Socialite Jean Harris is convicted of murdering Dr. Herman Tarnower for cheating on her.  She was sentenced to life, but after bringing much attention to the plight of women prisoners, New York Governor Mario Cuomo commuted her sentence

1981 – Australian tennis player Lleyton Hewitt is born

1982 – President Ronald Reagan announces a new program of military and economic assistance to the Caribbean known as the Caribbean Basin Initiative

1982 – Wayne Gretzky scores his 77th goal in a single season of the NHL

1986 – 7th Premier of Saskatchewan, Tommy Douglas dies

1988 – The US Supreme Court votes to defend the right to satirize public figures by overturning the $200,000 settlement awarded to Reverend Jerry Falwell for his emotional distress at being parodied in Hustler, a pornographic magazine

1989 – United Airlines Flight 811 experiences an explosive decompression, and rips open over the Pacific Ocean, killing nine passengers

1990 – American publisher Malcolm Forbes dies

1991 – General Norman Schwarzkopf, the commander of the coalition army, sends in ground troops during the Gulf War

1993 – English soccer player Bobby Moore dies

1999 – An avalanche in the Austrian Alps kills 13

Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.

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