Today in History

Published 12:20 am Saturday, February 24, 2018

Today is Saturday, Feb. 24, the 55th day of 2018. There are 310 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 24, 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.

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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 1918, Estonia issued its Declaration of Independence.

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

In 1937, Mexico observed the first holiday honoring its national flag.

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

In 1968, “Fleetwood Mac,” the group’s debut album, was released in the United Kingdom on the Blue Horizon label.

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 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 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: “No Country for Old Men” won Academy Awards for best picture, best director and best screenplay adaptation for Joel and Ethan Coen and best supporting actor for Javier Bardem (HAH’-vee-ayr bahr-DEHM’); Daniel Day-Lewis won best actor for “There Will Be Blood,” while Marion Cotillard (koh-tee-YAHR’) was named best actress for “La Vie en Rose.” Cuba’s parliament named Raul Castro president, ending nearly 50 years of rule by his brother Fidel.

Five years ago: Pope Benedict XVI bestowed the final Sunday blessing of his pontificate on a cheering crowd in St. Peter’s Square. At the Academy Awards, “Argo” won best picture while Ang Lee was named best director for “Life of Pi”; Daniel Day-Lewis won best actor for “Lincoln” while Jennifer Lawrence received the best actress award for “Silver Linings Playbook.” Jimmie Johnson won his second Daytona 500, beating his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr., who made a late move to finish second. Danica Patrick, the first woman to win the pole, finished eighth.

One year ago: Vice President Mike Pence assured the Republican Jewish Coalition meeting in Las Vegas that he and President Donald Trump would work tirelessly on foreign and domestic issues important to the group, such as enacting business-friendly policies at home and supporting Israel abroad. President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski of Peru said he and President Donald Trump had a “cordial and constructive conversation” during their meeting at the White House.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor-singer Dominic Chianese (kee-uh-NAY’-see) is 87. Movie composer Michel Legrand is 86. Opera singer-director Renata Scotto is 84. Singer Joanie Sommers is 77. Actress Jenny O’Hara is 76. Former Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., is 76. Actor Barry Bostwick is 73. Actor Edward James Olmos is 71. Singer-writer-producer Rupert Holmes is 71. Rock singer-musician George Thorogood is 68. Actress Debra Jo Rupp is 67. Actress Helen Shaver is 67. News anchor Paula Zahn is 62. Baseball Hall of Famer Eddie Murray is 62. Country singer Sammy Kershaw is 60. Actor Mark Moses is 60. Actress Beth Broderick is 59. Singer Michelle Shocked is 56. Movie director Todd Field is 54. Actor Billy Zane is 52. Actress Bonnie Somerville is 44. Jazz musician Jimmy Greene is 43. Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. is 41. Rhythm-and-blues singer Brandon Brown (Mista) is 35. Rock musician Matt McGinley (Gym Class Heroes) is 35. Actor Wilson Bethel is 34. Actor Alexander Koch is 30. Actor Daniel Kaluuya (Film: “Get Out”) is 29. Rapper-actor O’Shea Jackson Jr. is 27.