Today in history


Today is Friday, Feb. 24, the 55th day of 2017. There are 310 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 24, 1942, the SS Struma, a charter ship attempting to carry nearly 800 Jewish refugees from Romania to British-mandated Palestine during World War II, sank in the Black Sea off Turkey after it was torpedoed by a Soviet submarine; all but one of the refugees on board perished.

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 1868, the U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Andrew Johnson following his attempted dismissal of Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton; Johnson was later acquitted by the Senate.

In 1912, the American Jewish women’s organization Hadassah was founded in New York City.

In 1920, the German Workers Party, which later became the Nazi Party, met in Munich to adopt its platform.

In 1938, the first nylon bristle toothbrush, manufactured by DuPont under the name “Dr. West’s Miracle Toothbrush,” went on sale.

In 1955, the Cole Porter musical “Silk Stockings” opened at the Imperial Theater on Broadway.

In 1966, Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana, was overthrown in a military coup while he was visiting Beijing; he was replaced by Joseph Arthur Ankrah.

In 1975, the Congressional Budget Office, charged with providing independent analyses of budgetary and economic issues, began operating under its first director, Alice Rivlin.

In 1983, a congressional commission released a report condemning the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II as a “grave injustice.”

In 1987, Fawn Hall, former personal secretary to fired National Security Council aide Oliver L. North, posed for news photographers outside her attorney’s office, calling the attention “a little overwhelming.”

In 1992, Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain married Hole lead vocalist Courtney Love in Hawaii.

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.

Ten years ago: A suicide truck bomber struck worshippers leaving a Sunni mosque in Habbaniyah, 50 miles west of Baghdad, killing at least 52 people. The Virginia General Assembly passed a resolution expressing “profound regret” for the state’s role in slavery. Denver Broncos running back Damien Nash, 24, collapsed and died after hosting a charity basketball game in suburban St. Louis.

Five years ago: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, in Tunisia for a conference on Syria, called Russia and China “despicable” for opposing U.N. action aimed at stopping the bloodshed caused by the Damascus regime’s crackdown on an anti-government uprising. Jan Berenstain, 88, who with her husband, Stan, wrote and illustrated the Berenstain Bears books, died in Solebury Township, Pennsylvania.

One year ago: The Senate overwhelmingly confirmed Dr. Robert Califf to be commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. President Barack Obama nominated Carla Hayden, longtime head of Baltimore’s library system, to be the 14th Librarian of Congress; Hayden became the first woman and the first African-American to hold the position. An Indianapolis man was convicted of murder, arson and insurance fraud for his role in a 2012 house explosion that killed two neighbors and devastated a subdivision. (Bob Leonard was sentenced to two consecutive life prison terms without parole, plus 70 years.) Surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic performed the nation’s first uterus transplant on a 26-year-old woman, using an organ from a deceased donor (however, the transplant failed).

Today’s Birthdays: Actor-singer Dominic Chianese (kee-uh-NAY’-see) is 86. Movie composer Michel Legrand is 85. Opera singer-director Renata Scotto is 83. Singer Joanie Sommers is 76. Former Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., is 75. Actor Barry Bostwick is 72. Actor Edward James Olmos is 70. Singer-writer-producer Rupert Holmes is 70. Rock singer-musician George Thorogood is 67. Actress Debra Jo Rupp is 66. Actress Helen Shaver is 66. News anchor Paula Zahn is 61. Baseball Hall of Famer Eddie Murray is 61. Country singer Sammy Kershaw is 59. Actor Mark Moses is 59. Actress Beth Broderick is 58. Singer Michelle Shocked is 55. Movie director Todd Field is 53. Actor Billy Zane is 51. Actress Bonnie Somerville is 43. Jazz musician Jimmy Greene is 42. Rhythm-and-blues singer Brandon Brown (Mista) is 34. Rock musician Matt McGinley (Gym Class Heroes) is 34. Actor Wilson Bethel is 33. Actor Alexander Koch is 29. Rapper-actor O’Shea Jackson Jr. is 26.

Thought for Today: “Be kind to unkind people — they need it the most.” — Ashleigh Brilliant, English-born American writer.

By The Associated Press

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