This day in history

February 24, 2010

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► Today is Wednesday, Feb. 24, the 55th day of 2010. There are 310 days left in the year.

► Today’s birthdays: Actor Abe Vigoda is 89. Actor Steven Hill is 88. Actor Dominic Chianese is 79. Movie composer Michel Legrand is 78. Actor James Farentino is 72. Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) is 68. Actor Barry Bostwick is 65. Actor Edward James Olmos is 63. Singer-writer-producer Rupert Holmes is 63. Rock singer-musician George Thorogood is 60. Actress Debra Jo Rupp is 59. Actress Helen Shaver is 59. Apple CEO Steve Jobs is 55. News anchor Paula Zahn is 54. Country singer Sammy Kershaw is 52. Singer Michelle Shocked is 48. Movie director Todd Field is 46. Actor Billy Zane is 44. Actress Bonnie Somerville is 36. R&B singer Brandon Brown (Mista) is 27. Rock musician Matt McGinley (Gym Class Heroes) is 27.

► 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 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 1868, the 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 1920, the German Workers Party, which later became the Nazi Party, met in Munich to adopt its platform.

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

► In 1946, Argentine men went to the polls to elect Juan D. Peron their president.

► In 1980, the US hockey team defeated Finland, 4-2, to clinch the gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y.

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

► In 1990, magazine publisher Malcolm Forbes died in Far Hills, N.J., at 70. Fifties balladeer Johnnie Ray died in Los Angeles at 63.

► In 2000, the state of Texas executed Betty Lou Beets, 62, by injection for murdering her fifth husband after Governor George W. Bush refused to intervene. The UN Security Council approved a US-drafted plan to send an observer force into the Democratic Republic of Congo to monitor a fragile ceasefire. Pope John Paul II arrived in Egypt on a pilgrimage to retrace some of the most epic passages from the Bible.

► In 2005, Pope John Paul II underwent an operation to insert a tube in his throat to relieve his breathing problems, hours after he was rushed back to the hospital for the second time in a month with flu-like symptoms.

► In 2009, in the first prime-time speech of his term, President Obama appeared before Congress to sketch an agenda that began with jobs, then broadened quickly to include a stable credit system, better schools, health insurance reform, reliable domestic sources of energy, and an end to the war in Iraq. Earlier in the day, Obama held an 80-minute private talk with Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso.

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