Today's History Trivia for February 24
1920 Nazi Party is Founded The National Socialist German Workers' Party. Initially, anti-big business, anti-bourgeois, and anti-capitalism, in the 1930s its focus shifted to anti-Semitic and anti-Marxist themes. Adolf Hitler would become the party's leader the following year.
303 Roman Persecution of Christianity First official Roman edict for the persecution of Christians is published, by Roman Emperor Diocletian. It prohibited Christians from assembling for worship; ordered the destruction of their scriptures, liturgical books, and places of worship across the empire; Christians could not respond to actions brought against them in court; Christian senators, veterans, and soldiers were deprived of their ranks; and Christian imperial freedmen were re-enslaved.
2001 Iraq War Secretary of State Colin Powell on Iraqi WMDs: "He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors."
1969 First Close-Up Pictures of Mars U.S. space probe Mariner 6 is launched, sending back the pictures in July.
1967 The Boston Strangler Albert DeSalvo escapes from a mental institution. He was captured the next day.
1961 First U.S. pay TV is authorized by the FCC for a three-year trial. The first pay programs were broadcast in June of 1962.
1949 First rocket to reach outer space is launched, by German engineer Wernher von Braun, at New Mexico.
1938 First Commercial Production of Nylon The E.I. du Pont Co. uses it to manufacture toothbrush bristles.
1863 Territory of Arizona is established by Congress.
1803 First U.S. law overturned by the Supreme Court the case of Marbury vs. Madison.
Today's Birthdays for February 24
1972 Manon Rhéaume Canadian female athlete. She was the first woman to play in one of the four major pro sports leagues (1992, goalie for the NHL Tampa Bay Lightning in an exhibition game against the St. Louis Blues. They lost 4-6). She also played on the Canada women's national ice hockey team, winning Gold Medals at the IIHF Women's World Championship in 1992 and 1994, and the Silver Medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics.
American comedian. Jokes: "I'm against picketing, but I don't know how to show it."
1947 Edward James Olmos American Emmy-winning actor. TV: Miami Vice (Lt. Martin Castillo).
1945 Barry Bostwick American actor. Film: The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975, Brad Majors).
1938 James Farentino d. 2012 American actor. TV: The Bold Ones (Neil Darrell) and Dynasty (Dr. Nick Toscanni).
1932 Michel Legrand French Oscar-winning film composer. Film Music: Summer of '42 (1971, Oscar) and Brian's Song (1972, Oscar).
1921 Abe Vigoda d. 2016 American actor. TV: Barney Miller (1975-77, Detective Fish). Film: The Godfather (1972, Salvatore Tessio).
1890 Marjorie Main d. 1975 (Mary Tomlinson), American actress. Ma of the Ma and Pa Kettle films (1947-55).
1786 Wilhelm Karl Grimm d. 1859 German author. He and his brother wrote Grimm's Fairy Tales (1812-15).
1536 Clement VIII d. 1605 Italian religious leader, 231st Pope (1592-1605). It is claimed he is responsible for the popularity of coffee among Catholics. Believed by some to be the "bitter invention of Satan" due to its use among Muslims. However, Pope Clement VIII declared that, "This Satan's drink is so delicious that it would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it."
1500 Charles V d. 1558 King of Spain (1516-56) and Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (1519-56). He declared Martin Luther an outlaw and a heretic. Source: An Almanac of the Christian Church
Deaths for February 24
2006 Don Knotts b. 1924 American Emmy-winning actor. TV: Search For Tomorrow (the mute Wilbur Peabody), The Andy Griffith Show (Deputy Barney Fife), and Three's Company (Mr. Furley). Film: The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964), The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966), The Reluctant Astronaut (1967), The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975).
2006 Dennis Weaver b. 1924 American Emmy-winning actor. TV: Gunsmoke (deputy Chester Goode, Emmy), Gentle Ben (Tom Wedloe), and McCloud (title role).
1998 Henny Youngman b. 1906 British-born American comedian, Quote: "Women today are crazy! I mean, take my wife… please!"
1994 Dinah Shore b. 1916 (Frances Rose Shore), American singer, Emmy-winning TV personality. She won a total of 10 Emmy awards, more than any other performer.
1993 Toy Caldwell Jr b. 1948 American guitarist, songwriter, formed the Marshall Tucker Band, Heard It in a Love Song (1977) and Take the Highway.
1991 Jean Rogers b. 1916 (Eleanor Lovegreen), American actress, Dale Arden of the Flash Gordon movie serials (1936-38).
1991 George Gobel b. 1919 American Emmy-winning TV and Radio star. TV: The George Gobel Show (1954-60).
1990 Malcolm Stevenson Forbes b. 1919 American magazine publisher.
1982 Virginia Bruce b. 1910 American actress. Film: The Great Ziegfeld (1936) and The Invisible Woman (1941).
1875 Robert Marc Séguin b. 1786 the Elder, French engineer. He and Guillaume Henry Dufour designed and built the first permanent wire-cable suspension bridge (1823) and the multiple-fire-tube boiler for locomotive steam engines.
1825 Thomas Bowdler b. 1754 English physician. The term "bowdlerize" - meaning self-righteous censorship - is derived from his rewrites of Shakespeare and parts of the Old Testament in which he removed all text he considered offensive.
1815 Robert Fulton b. 1765 American inventor, steamboat pioneer.
1810 Henry Cavendish b. 1731 English chemist, physicist. Discovered nitric acid and was the first to recognize that hydrogen and oxygen combined to make water.