February 24 is the 55th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 310 days remaining, 311 in leap years. By Roman custom February 24 is the day added to a leap year, and the occurrence of February 29 is merely a consequence of this.
303 - Galerius, Roman Emperor, publishes his edict that begins the persecution of Christians in his portion of the Empire.
1582 - Pope Gregory XIII announces the Gregorian calendar.
1711 - The London premiere of by Rinaldo George Friderich Handel, the first Italian opera written for the London stage.
1803 - The Supreme Court of the United States, in , establishes the principle of Marbury v. Madison 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.
1881 - China and Russia sign the Sino-Russian Ili Treaty
1909 - The Hudson Motor Car Company is founded.
1917 - World War I: 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.
1924 - Johnny Weissmuller finishes the 100-meter swimming event in 57 2/5 seconds and sets a new world record.
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 .
1938 - A nylon bristle toothbrush becomes the first commercial product ( DuPont) to be made with nylon yarn.
1942 - Propaganda: The Voice of America begins broadcasting.
1945 - Egyptian Premier Ahmed Maher Pasha is killed in Parliament after reading a decree.
1946 - Juan Perón is elected president of Argentina.
1948 - Cold War: The Communist Party seizes control of Czechoslovakia.
1968 - Vietnam War: The Tet Offensive is halted; South Vietnam recaptures Hué.
1970 - National Public Radio is founded.
1975 - Hard rock band Led Zeppelin release the classic double album Physical Graffiti.
1981 - Buckingham Palace announces the engagement of The Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer.
1981 - Jean Harris is convicted of murdering Dr. Herman Tarnower , the author of the bestselling The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet.
1983 - A special commission of the U.S. Congress releases a report that condemns the practice of Japanese internment during World War II.
1988 - The Supreme Court of the United States sides with Larry Flynt's Hustler magazine by overturning a lower court decision to award Jerry Falwell USD $200,000 for defamation.
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 to New Zealand from Honolulu, Hawaii rips open during flight, sucking 9 passengers and crew out of the first-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 China killing 61.
2002 - 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah ends.
2005 - Nintendo DS launch in Australia.
1463 - Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Italian Renaissance humanist (d. 1494)
1500 - Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1558)
1557 - Mathias, Holy Roman Emperor
1709 - Jacques de Vaucanson, inventor (d. 1782)
1774 - Prince Adolphus of the United Kingdom, 1st Duke of Cambridge (d. 1850)
1786 - Wilhelm Grimm, German philologist and folklorist (d. 1859)
1836 - Winslow Homer, American artist (d. 1910)
1842 - Arrigo Boito, Italian composer (d. 1918)
1846 - Luigi Denza, composer (d. 1922)
1848 - Andrew Inglis Clark, Tasmanian Politician (d. 1907)
1852 - George Moore, English writer (d. 1933)
1874 - Honus Wagner, Baseball Hall of Famer (d. 1955)
1885 - Chester Nimitz, U.S. admiral (d. 1966)
1885 - Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (a.k.a. “Witkacy”), Polish writer and painter (d. 1939)
1890 - Marjorie Main, actress (d. 1975)
1903 - Franz Burda , German publisher (d. 1986)
1909 - August Derleth, writer (d. 1971)
1914 - Zachary Scott, actor (d. 1965)
1921 - Abe Vigoda, actor
1921 - Douglass Watson, American actor (d. 1989)
1922 - Richard Hamilton, pop-art painter
1922 - Steven Hill, actor
1932 - Michel Legrand, composer
1932 - John Vernon, Canadian actor (d. 2005)
1931 - Dominic Chianese, American actor
1934 - Bettino Craxi, Prime Minister of Italy (d. 2000)
1934 - Renata Scotto, Italian soprano
1938 - Phil Knight, founder of Nike, Inc.
1938 - James Farentino , American actor
1950 - Pete Duel, American actor (d. 1971)
1942 - Joseph Lieberman, politician, candidate for Vice President of the United States
1942 - John Neumeier , choreographer
1943 - George Harrison, musician ( The Beatles) (d. 2001)
1943 - Hristo Prodanov, Bulgarian mountaineer
1945 - Barry Bostwick, actor
1947 - Edward James Olmos, actor
1947 - Rupert Holmes, musician
1948 - J. Jayalalithaa, Indian politician
1951 - Debra Jo Rupp , American actress
1951 - Helen Shaver, Canadian actress
1955 - Steve Jobs, American computer pioneer
1955 - Alain Prost, race car driver
1956 - Paula Zahn, journalist
1958 - Sammy Kershaw, musician
1962 - Michelle Shocked, musician
1966 - Billy Zane, actor
1970 - Jeff Garcia, American football player
1973 - Jordan Jovtchev, Bulgarian gymnast
1973 - Alexei Kovalev, hockey player
1974 - Chad Hugo, musician and producer ( The Neptunes)
1974 - Bonnie Somerville , American actress
1975 - Ashley MacIsaac, Cape Breton fiddler
1976 - Zuzana Belohorcova , Slovak actress
1981 - Lleyton Hewitt, Australian tennis player
1999 - Anthony Bain, actor
1999 - Michael Bain, actor
616 - Ethelbert, king of Kent and Bretwalda
1810 - Henry Cavendish, scientist who calculated Newton's gravitational constant (b. 1756)
1815 - Robert Fulton, inventor (b. 1765)
1825 - Thomas Bowdler, physician and editor (b. 1754)
1856 - Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky, Russian mathematician (b. 1792)
1953 - August Fieldorf , Polish general and leader of the resistance (b. 1895)
1975 - Nikolai Bulganin, Premier of the Soviet Union
1990 - Malcolm Forbes, publisher (b. 1917)
1990 - Johnnie Ray, American singer
1990 - Sandro Pertini, Italian politician
1990 - Tony Conigliaro, American baseball player
1991 - John Daly, game show host
1991 - George Gobel, comedian (b. 1919)
1993 - Bobby Moore, English footballer (b. 1941)
1994 - Dinah Shore, actress, singer (b. 1916)
1998 - Henny Youngman, comedian (b. 1906)
1998 - Antonio Prohias, Cuban-American cartoonist
1999 - Andre Dubus, writer
2001 - Claude E. Shannon, "father of information theory" (b. 1916)
2002 - Leo Ornstein, composer and pianist (b. 1912)
2003 - Lech Falandysz , Polish politician
2003 - Christopher Hill, historian (b. 1912)
2003 - Bernard Loiseau, chef
2004 - John Randolph, American actor (b. 1915)
Holidays and observances
February 23 - February 25 - January 24 - March 24 -- listing of all days
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