On This Day … 24 February


  • 1303 – The English are defeated at the Battle of Roslin, in the First War of Scottish Independence.
  • 1525 – A Spanish-Austrian army defeats a French army at the Battle of Pavia.
  • 1538 – Treaty of Nagyvárad between Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I and King John Zápolya of Hungary and Croatia.
  • 1597 – The last battle of the Cudgel War was fought on the Santavuori Hill in Ilmajoki, Ostrobothnia.
  • 1739 – Battle of Karnal: The army of Iranian ruler Nader Shah defeats the forces of the Mughal emperor of India, Muhammad Shah.
  • 1821 – Final stage of the Mexican War of Independence from Spain with Plan of Iguala.
  • 1826 – The signing of the Treaty of Yandabo marks the end of the First Anglo-Burmese War.
  • 1831 – The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, the first removal treaty in accordance with the Indian Removal Act, is proclaimed.
    • The Choctaws in Mississippi cede land east of the river in exchange for payment and land in the West.
  • 1854 – A Penny Red with perforations becomes the first perforated postage stamp to be officially issued for distribution.
  • 1881 – China and Russia sign the Sino-Russian Ili Treaty.
  • 1895 – Revolution breaks out in Baire, a town near Santiago de Cuba, beginning the Cuban War of Independence; the war ends along with the Spanish-American War in 1898.
  • 1917 – World War I: The US ambassador Walter Hines Page to the United Kingdom is given the Zimmermann Telegram, in which Germany pledges to ensure the return of New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona to Mexico if Mexico declares war on the United States.
  • 1918 – Estonian Declaration of Independence.
  • 1942 – The Battle of Los Angeles: A false alarm led to an anti-aircraft barrage that lasted into the early hours of 25 February.
  • 1942 – An order-in-council passed under the Defence of Canada Regulations of the War Measures Act gives the Canadian federal government the power to intern all “persons of Japanese racial origin”.
  • 1944 – Merrill’s Marauders: The Marauders begin their 1,000-mile journey through Japanese-occupied Burma.
  • 1946 – Colonel Juan Perón, founder of the political movement that became known as Peronism, is elected to his first term as President of Argentina.
  • 1949 – The Armistice Agreements are signed, to formally end the hostilities of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
  • 1968 – Vietnam War: The Tet Offensive is halted; South Vietnamese forces led by Ngo Quang Truong recapture the citadel of Hué.
  • 1983 – A special commission of the United States Congress condemns the Japanese American internment during World War II.
  • 1991 – Gulf War: Ground troops cross the Saudi Arabian border and enter Iraq, thus beginning the ground phase of the war.
  • 1996 – Two civilian airplanes operated by the Miami-based group Brothers to the Rescue are shot down in international waters by the Cuban Air Force.
  • 2006 – Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo declares Proclamation 1017 placing the country in a state of emergency in attempt to subdue a possible military coup.
  • 2008 – Fidel Castro retires as the President of Cuba and the Council of Ministers after 32 years.
    • He remains as head of the Communist Party for another three years.

People (Births)

  • 1593 – Henry de Vere, 18th Earl of Oxford, English soldier and courtier (d. 1625).
  • 1723 – John Burgoyne, English general and politician (d. 1792).
  • 1831 – Leo von Caprivi, German general and politician, Chancellor of Germany (d. 1899).
  • 1885 – Chester W. Nimitz, American admiral (d. 1966).
  • 1908 – Telford Taylor, American general, lawyer, and historian (d. 1998).
  • 1925 – Bud Day, American colonel and pilot, Medal of Honour recipient (d. 2013).
  • 1976 – Bradley McGee, Australian cyclist and coach.

People (Deaths)

  • 1525 – Jacques de La Palice, French nobleman and military officer (b. 1470).
  • 1525 – Guillaume Gouffier, seigneur de Bonnivet, French soldier (b. c. 1488).
  • 1685 – Charles Howard, 1st Earl of Carlisle, English general and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Cumberland (b. 1629).
  • 1732 – Francis Charteris, Scottish soldier (b. 1675).
  • 1914 – Joshua Chamberlain, American general and politician, 32nd Governor of Maine (b. 1828).
  • 1953 – Gerd von Rundstedt, German field marshal (b. 1875).
  • 1975 – Nikolai Bulganin, Russian marshal and politician, 6th Premier of the Soviet Union (b. 1895).
  • 1990 – Malcolm Forbes, US Army Staff sergeant and publisher (b. 1917).
  • 2016 – George C. Nichopoulos, American soldier and physician (b. 1927).

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