On This Day November 24
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1784 – Zachary Taylor, 12th U.S. president (d. 1850)
1868 – Ragtime composer and pianist Scott Joplin (“The Maple Leaf Rag,” “The Entertainer”) (d. 1917)
1925 – Conservative author-commentator William F. Buckley, Jr. (d. 2008)
1938 – Basketball Hall of Famer Oscar “Big O” Robertson
1941 – Original Beatles drummer Pete Best
1978 – Emmy-winning actress Katherine Heigl (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Knocked Up,” “State of Affairs”)
1990 – Actress Sarah Hyland (“Private Parts,” “Modern Family,” “Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters”)
1859 – “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection,” a groundbreaking scientific work by British naturalist Charles Darwin, is published in England, and every copy sells the first day. Darwin concluded that organisms gradually evolve through a process he called “natural selection.”
1960 – Philadelphia Warrior Wilt Chamberlain snags 55 rebounds in a game against the Boston Celtics, setting an NBA record for the most rebounds in a single game.
1963 – Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby shoots and kills accused JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in the garage of Dallas police headquarters. The incident is captured on live television as media outlets cover Oswald’s transfer from the police station to a county jail.
1971 – A hijacker identifying himself as D.B. Cooper takes $200,000 in ransom money and parachutes from a Seattle-bound passenger jet flying through a thunderstorm at 10,000 feet. Cooper’s fate remains a mystery to this day.
1978 – David Letterman makes his first guest appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.”
1950 – The musical comedy “Guys and Dolls” premieres on Broadway at the 46th Street Theatre. Two years later, it spawns a film adaptation starring Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra.
1962 – The Four Seasons, featuring Frankie Valli, are in the second week of a five-week run as Billboard chart-toppers with “Big Girls Don’t Cry.”
1966 – The Beatles gather in a studio for the first time since wrapping up their U.S. summer concert tour and spend the entire day recording John Lennon’s “Strawberry Fields Forever.”
1972 – Don Kirshner’s “Rock Concert” TV show debuts, featuring Chuck Berry, Blood, Sweat & Tears and Alice Cooper.
1973 – Ringo Starr’s “Photograph” begins a week as the No. 1 single.
1979 – The Barbra Streisand-Donna Summer duet “No More Tears (Enough is Enough)” kicks off two weeks as a No. 1 single.
1984 – “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” by Wham!, rules the Billboard Hot 100.
1991 – Queen frontman Freddie Mercury dies of complications from AIDS exactly one day after publicly disclosing that he is HIV positive. He was 45 years old.
1997 – Johnny Rotten of The Sex Pistols is the defendant in an episode of TV’s “Judge Judy.” The case is a wrongful termination suit brought on by his former drummer, which Rotten wins.
2007 – Jay-Z climbs to the top of the Billboard album chart with “American Gangster,” his 10th chart-topping album. This ties the rapper to 2nd place with Elvis Presley for the most No. 1 albums. Only The Beatles have had more, with 19.