On This Day

Historical Events on February 24

Historic Event

303 1st official Roman edict for persecution of Christians issued by Emperor Diocletian

  • 1152 English cleric and writer Geoffrey of Monmouth consecrated as Bishop of St Asaph at Lambeth

Historic Event

1208 St Francis of Assisi, 26, received his vocation in Portiuncula Italy

  • 1296 Pope Boniface VIII decree Clericis Iaicos
  • 1387 King Charles III of Naples and Hungary is assassinated at Buda
  • 1389 Battle at Falköping: Danes defeat King Albert of Sweden
  • 1496 England's Henry VII ends commercial dispute with Flanders


1510 Pope Julius II excommunicates the republic of Venice

Victory in Battle

1525 Battle of Pavia: Holy Roman Emperor Charles V's troops beat the French. French King Francois I captured, 15,000 killed or wounded

  • 1527 Ferdinand of Austria crowned as king of Bohemia

Treaty of Interest

1528 John Zápolya the disputed King of Hungary and Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent sign treaty

  • 1530 1st imperial coronation by a Pope, Charles V crowned by Clement V
  • 1538 Treaty of Nagyvarad/Peace of Grosswardein signed between Ferdinand I of Austria and John Zápolya of Hungary.
  • 1541 Santiago, Chile founded by Pedro de Valvidia (or 2/12)
  • 1552 Privileges of Hanseatic League in England are abrogated

Historic Event

1582 Pope Gregory XIII announces New Style (Gregorian) calendar

  • 1597 Flemish painter Frederick of Valckenborch becomes porter of Frankfurt-on-Main
  • 1607 Claudio Monteverdi's opera "L'Orfeo" premieres in Mantua, oldest opera still regularly performed
  • 1708 Prince Johan Willem Friso sworn in as viceroy of Groningen

Music Premiere

1711 George Frideric Handel's opera "Rinaldo" premieres at Haymarket theatre in London

  • 1739 Battle of Karnal: Army of Iranian ruler Nadir Shah defeats the forces of the Mughal emperor of India, Muhammad Shah
  • 1779 George Rogers Clark captures Vincennes (Ind) from British

Appointment of Interest

1786 Charles Cornwallis appointed governor-general of India

  • 1793 French troops conquer Breda

Last Invasion of Britain

1797 Colonel William Tate and his force of 1,000-1,500 soldiers surrender after the Last Invasion of Britain (according to legend, to Welsh women in tall black hats, mistaken for elite guards regiment)

  • 1803 US Supreme Court 1st rules a law unconstitutional (Marbury v Madison)
  • 1804 London's Drury Lane Theatre burns to the ground, leaving owner Richard Brinsley Sheridan destitute
  • 1807 17 die & 15 wounded in a crush to witness execution of Holloway, Heggerty & Elizabeth Godfrey in England

Agreement of Interest

1821 Agustín de Iturbide and Vicente Guerrero agree to the Plan of Iguala, stating that Mexico will become a constitutional monarchy, Roman Catholicism the official religion and that Peninsulares and Creoles will enjoy equal political and social rights

  • 1826 The signing of the Treaty of Yandaboo marks the end of the First Burmese War
  • 1835 Siwinowe Kesibwi (Shawnee Sun) is 1st Indian language monthly magazine
  • 1839 Steam shovel patented by William Otis, Philadelphia
  • 1848 King Louis-Philippe abdicates, 2nd French republic declared
  • 1855 US Court of Claims forms for cases against government
  • 1857 1st perforated US postage stamps delivered to government
  • 1857 LA Vineyard Society organized
  • 1863 Arizona Territory created
  • 1863 Forrest's raid on Brentwood, Tennessee
  • 1864 -Feb 25] Battle of Tunnel Hill, GA (Buzzard's Roost)
  • 1868 1st US parade with floats (Mardi Gras-Mobile, Alabama)

Historic Event

1868 US House of Representatives vote 126 to 47 to impeach President Andrew Johnson

  • 1875 The SS Gothenburg hits the Great Barrier Reef and sinks off the Australian east coast, killing approximately 100, including a number of high profile civil servants and dignitaries

Theater Premiere

1876 Henrik Ibsen'-s play "Peer Gynt" premieres in Oslo

  • 1881 De Lesseps' Company begins work on Panama Canal
  • 1881 China and Russia sign the Sino-Russian Ili Treaty.
  • 1888 Louisville, Kentucky, becomes 1st government in US to adopt Australian ballot (i.e. secret ballot on standard voting forms)
  • 1891 French troops under Captain Archinard occupy Diena West Sudan
  • 1893 The American University is chartered by an act of the Congress of the United States of America
  • 1894 Nicaragua captures Tegucigalpa, Honduras
  • 1895 Cuban war for independence begins
  • 1899 Western Washington University is established
  • 1902 Battle at Yzer Spruit: Boer general De la Rey beats British
  • 1905 Simplon tunnel in Switzerland completed
  • 1906 Tomas Estrada Palma defeats Jose Gomez in the election for president of Cuba, but Gomez and his followers refuse to accept results and sponsor an uprising
  • 1908 In 'Muller v Oregon', the US Supreme Court favors an Oregon law limiting maximum hours a woman may work and denies that it curtails 'liberty of contract'
  • 1911 Japan and the US conclude a treaty that continues restrictions on Japanese laborers
  • 1914 Frank Craven's "Too Many Cooks" premieres in NYC
  • 1917 German plan to get Mexican help in WW I exposed (Zimmerman telegram)
  • 1917 Red Sox sell Smokey Joe Wood, his arm dead at 26, to Cleveland for $15,000
  • 1918 Estonia declares independence from Russia
  • 1920 NSDAP begins at Hofbrauhaus Munich
  • 1920 Peace treaty gives Estonia independence
  • 1921 1st transcontinental flight in 24 hrs flying time arrives in Florida
  • 1923 Flying Scotsman goes into service
  • 1923 Mass arrests in US of mafia
  • 1924 Greek parliament proclaims republic
  • 1925 Thermite explosive 1st used to break up ice jam, Waddington, NY
  • 1927 John Golden Theater (Theatre Masque) opens at 252 W 45th St NYC
  • 1932 Malcolm Campbell sets world land speed record speed of 253.96 mph driving his famous Blue Bird car at Daytona Beach, Florida
  • 1933 Final demonstration of German communist party in Berlin
  • 1933 League of Nations tells Japanese to pull out of Manchuria
  • 1937 1st US group hospital-medical cooperative authorized, Washington, D.C.
  • 1938 Du Pont begins commercial production of nylon toothbrush bristles
  • 1939 Roy Harris' 3rd Symphony premieres in Boston
  • 1940 Frances Langford records "When You Wish Upon a Star"
  • 1941 43 Geuzen resistance fighter trial opens in the Hague
  • 1941 Anti-Nazi meeting at Noordermarkt Amsterdam
  • 1942 Voice of America begins broadcasting (in German)

Battle of Los Angeles

1942 The "Battle of Los Angeles" takes place, a series of anti-aircraft engagements over the city in response to a rumored but false Japanese attack. It would last until the morning of the following day.

Historic Event

1943 Major General Omar Bradley flies to Algiers

  • 1943 Texas League announces it will quit for the duration of WW II

Coup d'état

1944 Minister of War Juan Perón leads a coup in Argentina

  • 1945 Egypt & Syria declare war on nazi-Germany
  • 1945 Manila freed from Japanese
  • 1945 Egyptian Premier Ahmed Maher Pasha is killed in Parliament after reading a decree
  • 1946 General Juan Perón first elected President of Argentina
  • 1949 Israel & Egypt sign an armistice agreement
  • 1949 V-2/WAC-Corporal rocket 1st object to reach 5x the speed of sound at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico
  • 1950 Labour wins UK parliamentary election by 5 seats
  • 1951 "Bless You All" closes at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC after 84 performances
  • 1951 Ice Pairs Championship at Milan won by Ria Baran & Paul Falk of GER
  • 1951 Ladies' Figure Skating Champion in Milan won by Jeanette Altwegg of Great Britain
  • 1951 Men's Figure Skating Championship in Milan won by Richard Button of USA
  • 1952 Canada wins 6th Olympic ice hockey title courtesy of a final round 3-3 tie with the US at the Oslo Winter Games; Canadian center Billy Gibson top scores with 19 points
  • 1952 Norway goes 1-2 in the men’s ski jumping event at the Oslo Winter Olympics with Arnfinn Bergmann winning gold ahead of teammate Torbjørn Falkanger
  • 1955 Pact of Baghdad signed between Iraq & Turkey

Music Premiere

1955 Cole Porter's final Broadway musical "Silk Stockings", loosely based on the Melchior Lengyel's "Ninotchka", opens at the Imperial Theatre, NYC; runs for 478 performances

Music Concert

1956 Walter Piston's 5th Symphony, commissioned by the Juilliard School of Music for their 50th anniversary, premiere performance by the Juilliard Orchestra, conducted by Jean Morel

Historic Event

1960 Italian government of Antonio Segni falls

  • 1960 Austria goes 1-2 in the men's slalom at the Squaw Valley Winter Olympics; Ernst Hintersteer wins gold ahead of teammate Hias Leitner
  • 1961 NASA Explorer S-45 mission; ionosphere beacon satellite fails to reach Earth orbit
  • 1962 "New Faces of '62" closes at Alvin Theater NYC after 28 performances
  • 1962 "Sail Away" closes at Broadhurst Theater NYC after 167 performances
  • 1962 General mobilization in Indonesia over New Guinea
  • 1962 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1963 5th Daytona 500: Tiny Lund driving for Wood Bros Racing, wins on 4 pit stops as first 10 laps run under caution flag because of rain
  • 1964 "My Heart Skips a Beat" single released by Buck Owens (Billboard No. 1 U.S. Hot Country Singles, 1964)
  • 1965 Beatles begin filming "Help" in Bahamas
  • 1965 East German president Ulbricht visits Egypt

Coup d'état

1966 Coup ousts President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana

  • 1966 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1968 "Darling of the Day" closes at George Abbott NYC after 31 performances

Scientific Discovery

1968 Discovery of 1st pulsar announced (CP 1919) by Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Antony Hewish

  • 1968 Gary Unger begins NHL consecutive game record of 914 games
  • 1968 US troops reconquer Hue Vietnam
  • 1969 Mariner 6 launched for Mars flyby to study planet's atmosphere
  • 1969 Northern Ireland Stormont parliament elections are held; the Unionist party fragments into 'Official Unionist' and 'Unofficial Unionist'

Film Premiere

1969 "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" film based on novel by Muriel Spark directed by Ronald Neame, starring Maggie Smith (Academy Award Best Actress) premieres in London

  • 1970 29 Swiss Army officers die in avalanche (Reckingen, Switzerland)
  • 1970 Heintje Simons (14) wins 7 gold records
  • 1970 KVDO TV channel 3 in Salem, OR (IND) begins broadcasting
  • 1971 Algeria nationalizes 51 percent of French oil concessions
  • 1974 Atje Keulen-Deelstra becomes world champ all-round skater
  • 1974 Pakistan officially recognizes Bangladesh
  • 1976 Cuba adopts its constitution
  • 1976 Jules Feiffer's "Knock Knock" premieres in NYC

Historic Event

1976 Leonid Brezhnev opens 25th congress of CPSU

Historic Event

1977 US President Jimmy Carter announces US foreign aid will consider human rights

  • 1977 12th Academy of Country Music Awards: Mickey Gilley and Crystal Gayle win
  • 1978 Kevin Porter, NJ, sets NBA record with 29 assists in a game
  • 1979 Highest price ever paid for a pig, $42,500, Stamford, Texas
  • 1979 War between North & South Yemen begins
  • 1980 "Canterbury Tales" closes at Rialto Theater NYC after 16 performances
  • 1980 Rangers score 5 power-play goals against Islanders
  • 1980 XIII Winter Olympic Games close in Lake Placid, New York

Olympic Gold

1980 US ice hockey team clinches gold medal with 4-2 win over Finland at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics; comes after 4-3 "Miracle on Ice" victory against hot favorite Soviet Union

Engagement of Interest

1981 Britain's Prince Charles announces engagement to Lady Diana Spencer

  • 1981 Jean Harris is convicted of murdering Scarsdale diet doctor Tarnower
  • 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.
  • 1982 Boston Celtics begin an 18 NBA game winning streak
  • 1982 24th Grammy Awards: "Bette Davis Eyes", "Double Fantasy" win

Sports History

1982 Wayne Gretzky scores NHL-record 78th goal of season en route to 92

  • 1983 Dow Jones closes above 1100 mark for 1st time
  • 1983 USSR performs underground nuclear test
  • 1983 A special commission of the U.S. Congress releases a report that condemns the practice of Japanese internment during World War II.
  • 1984 Iraq resumes air attack on Iran
  • 1985 Birendra, Bir Bikram Shah Dev crowned King of Nepal
  • 1985 Jim Kelly (Houston USFL) passes for pro football record 574 yds
  • 1986 Texas Air buys Eastern Airlines for $676 million
  • 1987 29th Grammy Awards: "Higher Love" by Steve Winwood; "Graceland" by PAul Simon; and Bruce Hornsby win

Sports History

1987 LA Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scores his 36,000th NBA point in a 97-93 win over the Suns in Phoenix

Radio History

1987 Radio personality Larry King suffers a heart attack

  • 1988 Finnish ski jumper Matti Nykanen wins his 3rd gold medal of the Calgary Winter Olympics as part of the winning large hill team; normal and large hill individual champion
  • 1988 South African apartheid regime bans the UDF
  • 1988 US Supreme Court votes 8-0 Jerry Falwell cannot collect for Hustler parody
  • 1989 150 million year old fossil egg found in Utah with a fossilized dinosaur embryo inside, the oldest dinosaur egg yet found in the Northern Hemisphere
  • 1989 Harold E Ballard sells CFL Hamilton Tiger-Cats to David Braley

Film & TV History

1989 Stalker Margaret Ray found in David Letterman's home, claims to be his wife

  • 1989 US Boeing 747 loses parts of roof over Pacific, 9 die
  • 1989 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Sports History

1989 Panamanian boxing legend Roberto Durán wins 4th world title in different weight divisions when he beats Iran Barkley in a 12 round split decision in Atlantic City; 37 year old Durán wins WBC middleweight title

  • 1991 "Those Were The Days" closes at Edison Theater NYC after 126 performances
  • 1991 End of World League of American Football's (WLAF) 1st draft
  • 1991 US-led forces begin Operation Desert Sabre, the ground invasion of southern Iraq and Iraqi-occupied Kuwait
  • 1994 Scoreboard is unveiled at new Cleveland Indians' park (Jacobs Field)
  • 1995 The Corona reconnaissance satellite program, in existence from 1959 to 1972, is declassified.
  • 1996 Cuba downs 2 US planes
  • 1996 The last occurrence of February 24 as a leap day in the European Union and for the Roman Catholic Church.

Historic Event

1997 Deng Xiaoping the former paramount leader of China is cremated five days after he passed away

  • 1997 South Africa announces it is constructing largest modern day blimp
  • 1997 Qatar inaugurates the world's largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporting facility and formally launches Qatar Liquefied Gas Co.


1998 Elton John knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in London

  • 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.

Grammy Awards

1999 41st Grammy Awards: "My Heart Will Go On (Love Theme From Titanic)" and Lauryn Hill win

Olympic Gold

2002 Joe Sakic and Jerome Iginla each score twice as Canada defeats the United States, 5-2 to win the men's ice hockey Olympic gold medal at Salt Lake City

  • 2002 IXX Winter Olympic Games close in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

BAFTA Awards

2002 55th British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs): "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" Best Film, Peter Jackson Best Director

Historic Event

2006 President of the Philippines Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declares Proclamation 1017 placing the country in a state of emergency in attempt to subdue possible military coup.

  • 2007 27th Golden Raspberry Awards: "Basic Instinct 2" wins

Historic Event

2008 Fidel Castro retires as the President of Cuba due to ill health after nearly fifty years

Sports History

2010 Sachin Tendulkar scores the first double century in One Day International cricket

  • 2010 Europe risks a double-dip recession after bad results emerge from France, Germany and Italy, it is reported today; the Eurozone only grew by 0.1% in the last quarter of 2009
  • 2011 Final Launch of Space Shuttle Discovery (OV-103).
  • 2013 10 Chadian soldiers and 28 Muslim insurgents are killed in conflict in Adrar des Ifoghas, Mali
  • 2013 Nicos Anastasiades wins the Cypriot presidential election

Election of Interest

2013 Raúl Castro is elected to a second term as the President of Cuba

  • 2013 55th Daytona 500: Jimmie Johnson wins 2nd Great American Race; Danica Patrick first female to start from pole position; also best-ever finish by a woman at Daytona (8th)

Historic Event

2014 Pope Francis creates a second Secretariat with the power to audit any Vatican agency at any time

  • 2014 7 people are killed & 37 are injured after a bridge collapses in Vietnam
  • 2014 A 4.4 billion-year-old Crystal is discovered to be the oldest known fragment from the earth's crust
  • 2016 Oldest Muslim graves in Europe, from the 8th century, identified at a burial site in Nimes, France
  • 2018 Men's big air snowboarding event makes Olympic debut at Pyeongchang; Canada's Sébastien Toutant is inaugural gold medallist
  • 2018 Ester Ledecká of the Czech Republic becomes first female to win Olympic gold medals in 2 different sports at a single Winter Games (Pyeongchang); skiing super-G and snowboarding parallel giant slalom