On This Day February 24
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1874 – Honus Wagner (a.k.a. “The Flying Dutchman”), one of the original five Baseball Hall of Fame inductees, who primarily played for his hometown team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, for 21 seasons. (d. 1955)
1921 – Actor Abe Vigoda, best known as mobster Sal Tessio in “The Godfather” and as NYPD detective Phil Fish in the sitcom “Barney Miller” (d. 2016)
1945 – Actor Barry Bostwick (“The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Spin City,” “Scandal”)
1947 – Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor Edward James Olmos (“Blade Runner,” “Stand and Deliver,” “Battlestar Gallactica”)
1950 – Blues-rock singer-songwriter George Thorogood (“Bad to the Bone,” “I Drink Alone”)
1955 – Apple Computer co-founder Steve Jobs (d. 2011)
1965 – Actress Kristin Davis (“Melrose Place,” “Sex and the City”)
1966 – Actor Billy Zane (“Dead Calm,” “The Phantom,” “Titanic,” “Tombstone”)
1977 – Five-division world champion boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
1836 – Under attack by soldiers of the Mexican Army, Colonel William Travis issues an urgent call for reinforcements on behalf of his Texan troops defending the Alamo in Bejar, Texas (San Antonio today).
1868 – Andrew Johnson becomes the first U.S. president to be impeached by the House of Representatives, which charges him with violating the Tenure of Office Act and bringing into “disgrace, ridicule, hatred, contempt, and reproach the Congress of the United States.” Johnson, who assumed office after the Lincoln assassination, is acquitted three months later in the Senate.
1903 – U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt signs a deal with the new government of Cuba to lease 45 square miles at the mouth of Guantanamo Bay for 2,000 gold coins a year.
1909 – The Hudson Motor Car Company is founded. In the mid-1950s, it becomes American Motors, best known for production of the Gremlin and Pacer.
1968 – The Tet Offensive ends as U.S. and South Vietnamese troops recapture the ancient capital of Hue from communist forces.
1981 – Socialite Jean Harris is convicted of murdering ex-lover Dr. Herman Tarnower, author of the bestselling “The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet,” concluding a sensational trial that ignited a national debate about whether Harris was a woman scorned or a victim of abuse.
1988 – The U.S. Supreme Court sides with Larry Flynt’s Hustler magazine by overturning a lower court decision to award the Reverend Jerry Falwell $200,000 for defamation.
1991 – After the six-week-long bombing campaign against Iraq and its armed forces known as Operation Desert Storm, U.S.-led coalition forces launch a massive ground offensive against Kuwait and Iraq.
1958 – The Silhouettes are on top of the Billboard pop chart with “Get a Job.” Thanks to the band’s performances on “American Bandstand” and “The Dick Clark Show,” the single goes on to sell over a million copies.
1968 – French orchestra leader Paul Mauriat is in the middle of a five-week run atop the Billboard singles chart with his instrumental, “Love is Blue.” It is the only song by a French artist to ever top Hot 100.
1973 – Roberta Flack begins a five-week reign over the singles chart with “Killing Me Softly with His Song.” The song garners Flack the 1973 Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, with co-writers Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel earning the Song of the Year Grammy.
1975 – Led Zeppelin’s sixth studio album, “Physical Graffiti,” is released in the U.S. and immediately sees one million copies ship — a whopping order for Atlantic Records. The double album, which features the iconic photo of a New York City tenement on the cover, contains some of the band’s most memorable tracks, including “Kashmir,” “Ten Years Gone” and “In My Time of Dying.”
1982 – Winners at the 24th Annual Grammy Awards include John Lennon and Yoko Ono for Album of the Year (“Double Fantasy”), songwriters Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon for Song of the Year (“Bette Davis Eyes” performed by Kim Carnes), Sheena Easton for Best New Artist and Quincy Jones for Producer of the Year.
1990 – Singer-songwriter and pianist Johnnie Ray dies of liver failure at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. Ray is credited with 20 Top 40 singles between 1952 and 1960, including “Just Walking in the Rain.”
1990 – Paula Abdul and The Wild Pair enjoy their third and final week as Billboard chart-toppers with “Opposites Attract.”
1996 – “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men is the No. 1 single.
2001 – “Stutter,” by Joe featuring Mystikal, kicks off four weeks on top of the pop chart.
2007 – Nelly Furtado lands on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a week with “Say It Right.”