1208 Feb 24 Francis of Assisi (26) decided to become a priest in Portiuncula, Italy.
1538 Feb 24 Ferdinand of Hapsburg and John Zapolyai, the two kings of Hungary, concluded the peace of Grosswardein.
1607 Feb 24 Claudio Monteverdi’s opera “Orfeo,” premiered at the Court Theater in Mantua.
1704 Feb 24 Marc-Antoine Charpentier, French composer (church music), died.
1813 Feb 24 Off Guiana, the American sloop Hornet sank the British sloop Peacock.
1839 Feb 24 A steam shovel was patented by William Otis, Philadelphia.
1848 Feb 24 King Louis-Philippe abdicated and the 2nd French republic was declared.
1855 Feb 24 US Court of Claims was formed for cases against the government.
1863 Feb 24 Arizona was organized as a territory.
1864 Feb 24 Battle of Tunnel Hill, GA (Buzzard’s Roost).
1876 Feb 24 Henrik Ibsen’s “Peer Gynt,” premiered in Oslo.
1885 Feb 24 Chester Nimitz, was born. He was the U.S. admiral who commanded naval forces in the Pacific during WWII.
1895 Feb 24 The Cuban War of Independence began.
1905 Feb 24 Russian Minister of Agriculture, Alexi Yermolov offered the Czar a new constitution.
1908 Feb 24 Japan officially agreed to restrict immigration to the U.S.
1912 Feb 24 The Jewish organization Hadassah was founded in New York City.
1916 Feb 24 Jules Verne’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” opened in New York.
1924 Feb 24 Mahatma Gandhi was released from jail.
1939 Feb 24 Hungary signed an anti-Communist pact with Italy, Germany and Japan.
1944 Feb 24 Col. Juan Peron, Argentine minister of war, staged a coup.
1945 Feb 24 American soldiers liberated the Philippine capital of Manila from Japanese control during World War II.
1946 Feb 24 Argentinians went to the polls to elect Juan D. Peron (50) their president. He held the office until 1955.
1955 Feb 24 The Cole Porter musical “Silk Stockings” opened at the Imperial Theater on Broadway for 461 performances.
1962 Feb 24 New York police seized $20 million worth of heroin.
1965 Feb 24 Beatles began filming “Help” in Bahamas.
1966 Feb 24 A military coup overthrew Ghana’s Pres. Kwame Nkrumah. He fled to Guinea.
1970 Feb 24 29 Swiss Army officers died in avalanche at Reckingen, Switzerland.
1971 Feb 24 Algeria nationalized French oil companies.
1976 Feb 24 H. Allen Smith (b.1907), author, TV host (Armchair Detective), died.
1980 Feb 24 The U.S. hockey team defeated Finland, 4-2, to clinch the gold medal at the Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, N.Y.
1981 Feb 24 Buckingham Palace announced the engagement of Britain’s Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer.
1988 Feb 24 In a 8-0 ruling that expanded legal protections for parody and satire, the US Supreme Court overturned a $200,000 award that the Rev. Jerry Falwell had won against “Hustler” magazine and publisher Larry Flynt.
1989 Feb 24 A cargo door blew off a United Air Lines Boeing 747-100 flying near Hawaii; the explosive release of pressure pulled nine passengers to their deaths.
1990 Feb 24 Johnnie Ray (63), fifties balladeer (Cry), died in Los Angeles of liver failure.
1992 Feb 24 Secretary of State James A. Baker III told a House subcommittee that Israel should stop building settlements in the occupied territories, or forfeit $10 billion in U.S. loan guarantees. A fourth round of Mideast peace talks began in Washington, D.C.
1993 Feb 24 At the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, Eric Clapton won six trophies, including album of the year for “Unplugged” and record and song of the year for “Tears in Heaven.”
1997 Feb 24 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.
1998 Feb 24 It was reported that German researchers used human fibroblast growth factor, FGF-1, to grow new blood vessels around clogged coronary arteries.
1999 Feb 24 The Senate voted overwhelmingly to give the nation’s military the biggest benefits increase since the early 1980s.
2000 Feb 24 In Arizona Salvatore Gravano, “Sammy the Bull,” was arrested for financing a drug ring led by Michael Papa, the founding member of a white supremacist gang.
2001 Feb 24 US Sec. of State Colin Powell met [in Jerusalem, in Cairo] with Igor Ivanor, the Russian foreign minister, and pledged a constructive approach to dealing with Iraq, missile defenses and other points of policy discord.
2002 Feb 24 The XIX Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City came to a close. In one of the last events Canada beat the US hockey team 5-2 for the gold. Cross-country skiers from Spain and Russia were stripped of gold medals for failing drug tests.
2003 Feb 24 Seeking U.N. approval for war against Iraq, the United States, Britain and Spain submitted a resolution to the Security Council declaring that Saddam Hussein had missed “the final opportunity” to disarm peacefully and indicating that he had to face the consequences.
2004 Feb 24 Pres. Bush called for a constitutional amendment to ban marriage between members of the same sex.
2005 Feb 24 In southeastern Afghanistan Taliban insurgents launched 3 separate attacks, killing 9 Afghan troops and wounding an American soldier while sustaining heavy casualties themselves.
2006 Feb 24 Mitchell Wade, a US defense contractor, pleaded guilty to conspiring with former Rep. Randy Cunningham of San Diego County with bribes and help in evading taxes in exchange for over $150 million in government contracts since 2002.
2006 Feb 24 Rodney MacDonald (34), Canada’s youngest premier, was sworn into office in Nova Scotia.
2007 Feb 24 In the 27th annual Razzie Awards the film “Basic Instinct 2″ was named worst picture of the year.
2008 Feb 24 Pearl Cornioley, British spy (nom de guerre was Genevieve Touzalin), died. She parachuted into France during WWII posing as a cosmetics saleswoman to deliver coded messages to Resistance members.
2009 Feb 24 Pres. Obama addressed the US Congress and the American people to tap the deep well of American optimism. Themes of responsibility, accountability and, above all, national community rang throughout an address carefully balanced by the gravity of its times. Republican leaders calling his plan irresponsible and certain to increase taxes and federal debt.
2010 Feb 24 The US got help from Europe in its troubled drive to shut down Guantanamo Bay, as Spain accepted a former inmate from the prison for terror suspects and the tiny Balkan nation of Albania took in three more.
2011 Feb 24 A US federal jury convicted Mohammad Reza Vaghari (43), of Broomall Pa., of sending the products to Iran by way of the United Arab Emirates.
2012 Feb 24 In West Virginia a judge approved a settlement in a class-action suit by residents of Nitro who said Monsanto had polluted their area by burning dioxin wastes left over from the production of Agent Orange.
2013 Feb 24 Cuba’s parliament reconvened with new membership. Raul Castro announced that he will step down in 2018 following a final five-year term, for the first time putting a date on the end of the Castro era. He tapped rising star Miguel Diaz-Canel (52) as his top lieutenant and first in the line of succession.
2014 Feb 24 Harold Ramis (b.1944), American writer, director and actor, died at his Chicago-area home. His film work included Meatballs” (1979), “Caddyshack” (1980), “Ghostbusters”  (1984), “Groundhog Day” (1993), and “Analyze This” (1999).