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Today in History - Feb. 24

/ Source: The Associated Press

BC-History-Feb 24, Adv24,0596


For release Saturday, Feb. 24

Today in History

By The Associated Press

Today is Saturday, Feb. 24, the 55th day of 2007. 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 following his attempted dismissal of Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton; Johnson was later acquitted by the Senate.

On this date:

In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII issued a papal bull, or edict, outlining his calendar reforms. (The Gregorian Calendar is the calendar in general use today.)

In 1607, the opera “Orfeo,” by Claudio Monteverdi, had its public opening at the Court Theater in Mantua, Italy.

In 1803, in its Marbury v. Madison decision, the Supreme Court established judicial review of the constitutionality of statutes.

In 1821, Mexican rebels proclaimed the “Plan de Iguala,” their declaration of independence from Spain.

In 1863, Arizona was organized as a territory.

In 1903, the United States signed a treaty to lease a naval station at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

In 1920, a fledgling German political party held its first meeting of importance in Munich; it became known as the Nazi Party, and its chief spokesman was Adolf Hitler.

In 1942, the Voice of America went on the air for the first time.

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.”

Ten years ago: U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright met in Beijing with Chinese officials, telling them to improve their country’s record on human rights, or face condemnation by the United States and its allies. The Food and Drug Administration named six brands of birth control as safe and effective “morning-after” pills for preventing pregnancy.

Five years ago: The Salt Lake City Olympics came to a close, the same day Canada won its first hockey gold in 50 years and three cross-country skiers were thrown out of the games for using a performance-enhancing drug.

One year ago: Suicide bombers attempted to drive explosive-packed cars into the world’s largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia, but were foiled by guards who opened fire, detonating both vehicles; Al-Qaida claimed responsibility. South Dakota lawmakers approved a ban on nearly all abortions. Julia Mancuso won gold in the women’s giant slalom at the Turin Olympics. Death claimed actors Don Knotts in Los Angeles and Dennis Weaver in Ridgway, Colo.; both were 81.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Abe Vigoda is 86. Actor Steven Hill is

85. Actor-singer Dominic Chianese is 76. Movie composer Michel Legrand is 75. Actor James Farentino is 69. Actor Edward James Olmos is 60. Singer-writer-producer Rupert Holmes is 60. Actress Debra Jo Rupp is 56. Actress Helen Shaver is 56. News anchor Paula Zahn is 51. Country singer Sammy Kershaw is 49. Singer Michelle Shocked is 45. Movie director Todd Field is 43. Actor Billy Zane is

41. Actress Bonnie Somerville is 33. Rhythm-and-blues singer Brandon Brown (Mista) is 24.

Thought for Today: “Great events make me quiet and calm; it is only trifles that irritate my nerves.” — Queen Victoria, British monarch (1819-1901).