This Day in History – March 24

Today is the 83rd day of 2021. There are 282 days left in the year


1989: Supertanker Exxon Valdez runs aground on a reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound and begins leaking 11 million gallons (41.6 million litres) of crude oil.



1267: St Louis of France calls his knights to Paris to prepare for the Eighth Crusade. It ends in failure before reaching the Holy Land and becomes the last crusade.

1603: Crowns of England and Scotland are joined under James VI of Scotland, who begins reign as James I upon death of Queen Elizabeth I.

1765: Britain enacts the Quartering Act, requiring American colonists to provide temporary housing to British soldiers.

1783: Spain recognises independence of United States.

1882: Robert Koch, German bacteriologist, announces isolation of tuberculosis germs.

1883: Long-distance telephone service is inaugurated between Chicago and New York City.

1891: Britain and Italy reach agreement in Ethiopia, defining frontiers of their Red Sea colonies.

1924: Greece is proclaimed a republic.

1927: Chinese communists seize Nanking in China.

1929: Fascists “win” single-party elections in Italy.

1944: In occupied Rome, the Nazis execute more than 300 civilians in reprisal for an attack by Italian partisans the day before that killed 32 German soldiers.

1958: Elvis Presley is inducted into the US Army in Memphis, Tennessee.

1972: Britain takes over direct control of Northern Ireland in effort to restore peace.

1974: Uganda crushes coup attempt against President Idi Amin following machine gun and mortar battle with rebels.

1976: Argentina’s President Isabel Peron is deposed by her country’s military.

1980: Roman Catholic Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero is shot to death by gunmen as he celebrates Mass in San Salvador, El Salvador.

1990: Last Indian soldiers withdraw from Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, after a deadlocked 2 1/2-year-old jungle war against separatist Tamil Tiger rebels.

1991: The Mali Opposition says government troops killed nearly 150 people in three days of pro-democracy protests.

1993: An Egyptian man identified as a key suspect in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing is flown to the United States to face charges.

1995: US Vice-President Al Gore meets with Palestine Liberation Organisation chief Yasser Arafat and pledges $65 million in fresh US aid to Arafat’s financially strapped Palestinian Government.

1997: Zairian rebels under Laurent Kabila draw close to Lubumbashi, the country’s second largest city.

1998: The European Union declares 11 countries eligible for the euro, the currency that will replace their respective national currencies.

1999: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) launches air strikes against Yugoslavia – the first time in its 50-year existence that the alliance had attacked a sovereign country.

2001: Macedonian forces retake ground held by ethnic Albanian rebels and vow to continue the offensive until the insurgents are driven from the country.

2004: Armed Hamas militants vow huge attacks against Israel at a rally marking the end of three days of mourning for the Islamic militant group’s assassinated founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin. During the three days, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Gaza City to pay their respects and to protest against Israel’s practice of targeted assassinations.

2005: Protesters storm the presidential compound in Kyrgyzstan, seizing the seat of State power in the former Soviet republic after clashing with riot police. President Askar Akayev reportedly flees the capital and goes to Russia.

2006: Hundreds of Indians start long marches back to their highland villages, halting 11 days of roadblocks and violent demonstrations in Quito against Ecuador’s free trade talks with Washington.

2007: The UN Security Council imposes new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme, including a ban on Iranian arms exports and on any country buying Iranian weapons. These expand on sanctions approved in December.

2008: Yousaf Raza Gilani, a long-time loyalist of slain Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, is elected Pakistan’s new prime minister and immediately frees judges detained by President Pervez Musharraf.

2010: The US and Russia reach agreements for a historic new treaty to reduce the nuclear arsenals of the former Cold War rivals.

2011: Fighter jets hit aircraft and a crossroads military base deep inside Libya, and NATO appears poised to assume command of the international operation that is working to thwart Moammar Gadhafi’s forces by land, sea and air.

2012: Egypt’s Islamists look poised to dominate a key lever of power that will help determine the country’s political future as parliament selects a panel to draw up the country’s new constitution.

2013: Cypriot politicians turn to the European Union in a last-ditch effort to help their nation forge a viable plan to secure an international bailout after failing for a week to find a solution to the crisis that could force their country into bankruptcy.

2014: Fresh evidence gleaned from unprecedented analysis of satellite data shows the missing Malaysian Airlines flight whose fate remains a mystery that consumed the world had crashed into a remote corner of the Indian Ocean.



Harry Houdini, US magician (1876-1926); Edward Weston, US photographer (1886-1958); Joseph Barbera, US cartoonist (1911-2006); Steve McQueen, US actor (1930-1980); Dario Fo, Italian playwright and Nobel laureate (1926-2016); Louie Anderson, US comedian (1953- ); Star Jones, US talk show host (1962- ); Keisha Castle-Hughes, Australian actress (1990- ); Trevor Dave Rhone, Jamaican writer, playwright and film-maker (1940-2009)


– AP

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