Today in History
Today in History
Today is Monday, Feb. 24, the 55th day of 2020. There are 311 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 24, 1989, a state funeral was held in Japan for Emperor Hirohito, who had died the month before at age 87.
On this date:
In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII issued an edict outlining his calendar reforms. (The Gregorian Calendar is the calendar in general use today.)
In 1761, Boston lawyer James Otis Jr. went to court to argue against “writs of assistance” that allowed British customs officers to arbitrarily search people’s premises, declaring: “A man’s house is his castle.” (Although Otis lost the case, his statement provided early inspiration for American independence.)
In 1803, in its Marbury v. Madison decision, the Supreme Court established judicial review of the constitutionality of statutes.
In 1864, the first Union prisoners arrived at the Confederates’ Andersonville prison camp in Georgia.
In 1868, the U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Andrew Johnson by a vote of 126-47 following his attempted dismissal of Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton; Johnson was later acquitted by the Senate.
In 1942, the SS Struma, a charter ship attempting to carry nearly 800 Jewish refugees from Romania to British-mandated Palestine, was torpedoed by a Soviet submarine in the Black Sea; all but one of the refugees perished.
In 1961, the Federal Communications Commission authorized the nation’s first full-scale trial of pay television in Hartford, Connecticut.
In 1981, a jury in White Plains, New York, found Jean Harris guilty of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of “Scarsdale Diet” author Dr. Herman Tarnower. (Sentenced to 15 years to life in prison, Harris was granted clemency by New York Gov. Mario Cuomo in December 1992.)
In 1988, in a ruling that expanded legal protections for parody and satire, the Supreme Court unanimously overturned a $150,000 award that the Rev. Jerry Falwell had won against Hustler magazine and its publisher, Larry Flynt.
In 1994, entertainer Dinah Shore died in Beverly Hills, California, five days before turning 78.
In 1996, Cuba downed two small American planes operated by the group Brothers to the Rescue that it claimed were violating Cuban airspace; all four pilots were killed.
In 2008, Cuba’s parliament named Raul Castro president, ending nearly 50 years of rule by his brother Fidel.
Ten years ago: Testifying before Congress, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda apologized personally and repeatedly to the United States and millions of American Toyota owners for safety lapses that had led to deaths and widespread recalls. Trainer Dawn Brancheau was dragged to her death by a killer whale, Tilikum, at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama, defying a Republican-led Congress, rejected a bill to approve construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. The Justice Department announced that George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot Trayvon Martin in a 2012 confrontation, would not face federal charges. A Texas jury rejected the insanity defense of Eddie Ray Routh, convicting him of murdering famed “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield. A Metrolink passenger train collided with a truck at a crossing in Oxnard, California, killing the engineer and injuring 29 other people. Alaska became the third U.S. state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.
One year ago: The segregation-era road-trip drama “Green Book” was crowned best picture at the 91st Academy Awards; top acting honors went to Rami Malek for “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Olivia Colman for “The Favourite.” Pope Francis closed a summit on preventing clergy abuse by vowing to confront abusers, end the cover-ups by their superiors and prioritize the victims; survivors of abuse by priests were disappointed by his failure to offer a concrete action plan.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor-singer Dominic Chianese (kee-uh-NAY’-see) is 89. Opera singer-director Renata Scotto is 86. Singer Joanie Sommers is 79. Actress Jenny O’Hara is 78. Former Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., is 78. Actor Barry Bostwick is 75. Actor Edward James Olmos is 73. Singer-writer-producer Rupert Holmes is 73. Rock singer-musician George Thorogood is 70. Actress Debra Jo Rupp is 69. Actress Helen Shaver is 69. News anchor Paula Zahn is 64. Baseball Hall of Famer Eddie Murray is 64. Country singer Sammy Kershaw is 62. Actor Mark Moses is 62. Actress Beth Broderick is 61. Actor Emilio Rivera is 59. Singer Michelle Shocked is 58. Movie director Todd Field is 56. Actor Billy Zane is 54. Actress Bonnie Somerville is 46. Jazz musician Jimmy Greene is 45. Former boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. is 43. Rhythm-and-blues singer Brandon Brown (Mista) is 37. Rock musician Matt McGinley (Gym Class Heroes) is 37. Actor Wilson Bethel is 36. Actor Alexander Koch is 32. Actor Daniel Kaluuya (Film: “Get Out”) is 31. Rapper-actor O’Shea Jackson Jr. is 29.
Thought for Today: “It is my feeling that Time ripens all things; with Time all things are revealed; Time is the father of truth.” — Francois Rabelais, 16th century French writer and physician.
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