This Day in History — February 24

Today is the 55th day of 2021. There are 310 days left in the year.


2008: Raul Castro replaces brother Fidel as Cuba’s president.



1525: Spanish army, using muskets for first time in war, routs French and Swiss forces at Pavia, Italy, as 14,000 men are slain in battle.

1530: Charles V is crowned holy Roman emperor and King of Italy by Pope Clement VII at Bologna — the last imperial coronation by a pope.

1656: Spain declares war on England.

1830: King Louis-Philippe of France abdicates in the face of an insurrection in Paris, giving way to the Second Republic.

1891: China pays indemnity to Russia for return of Ili Valley in north-west China.

1920: Nazi Party is organised in Germany.

1945: Egypt’s Premier Ahmed Pasha is assassinated after announcing Egypt’s declaration of war against Germany.

1946: Juan Peron is elected for first of three presidential terms in Argentina.

1990: Candidates favouring independence run well in elections to the Supreme Soviet of Lithuania.

1992: Azerbaijani militants fire rockets into the capital of the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, killing four.

1993: With the lowest popularity rating in Canadian polling history, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney calls it quits after nine years in office.

1995: Breaking its silence with a fury rare in transatlantic diplomacy, the US Embassy accuses France’s interior minister of lying about a spy scandal.

1996: Cuban Government fighter planes shoot down two small aircraft belonging to an exile group flying off the coast of Havana.

1998: An armed band shoots and kills a socialist candidate and four supporters in northern India in election-related violence.

1999: The second killer avalanche hits western Austria in as many days, raising the death toll to 38.

2000: Betty Lou Beets, 62, is executed after Texas Governor George W Bush rejects her claim that she killed her fifth husband in self-defence and deserved a reprieve. She is the second woman executed in Texas since the Civil War.

2001: The French Government offers medical benefits and shelter to 908 shipwrecked Iraqi Kurds who have been living in a military camp since their rusty freighter washed onto the French Riviera a week before.

2002: The Winter Olympic Games concludes in Salt Lake City, Utah, with Germany winning the most medals in the Games: 12 golds, 16 silvers and seven bronzes for a total of 35.

2003: Vojislav Seselj, leader of the ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party, surrenders to the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. He is charged with eight counts of crimes against humanity and six counts of war crimes.

2007: The Virginia General Assembly votes unanimously to express “profound regret” for the state’s role in slavery, becoming the first in the US to pass such a measure.

2009: President Barack Obama makes his first address to Congress, warning the US has to start reckoning with its economic problems.

2010: Toyota chief executive Akio Toyoda apologises personally and repeatedly to the United States and millions of American Toyota owners for safety lapses that have led to deaths and widespread recalls.

2011: Discovery, the world’s most travelled spaceship, thunders into orbit for the final time, heading toward the International Space Station on a journey that marks the beginning of the end of the shuttle era.

2012: Christine Bell, Jamaican public relations specialist, actress, and journalist, dies. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton blasts Russia and China as “despicable” for opposing UN action aimed at stopping the bloodshed in Syria.

2013: Pope Benedict XVI bestows his final Sunday blessing of his pontificate on a cheering crowd in St Peter’s Square.



Charles V, holy Roman emperor, king of Spain and archduke of Austria (1500-1558); Wilhelm Grimm, German author (1786-1859); George Augustus Moore, English novelist (1852-1933); Bettino Craxi, first socialist prime minister of Italy (1934-2000); James Farentino, US actor (1938-2012); Paula Zahn, US news correspondent (1956- ); Alexander Bustamante, first prime minister of Jamaica (1884-1977)

— AP/Jamaica Observer


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