Published On: Feb 24 2013 11:08:24 PM ESTUpdated On: Feb 25 2015 02:00:00 AM EST
2013: C. Everett Koop, who served as the 13th U.S. surgeon general under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush from 1982 to 1989, dies at age 96 in Hanover, New Hampshire. Koop was outspoken on controversial public health issues, including abortion and HIV/AIDS, and did much to raise the profile the office of the surgeon general. He was also well-known for his work around tobacco, calling for a "smoke-free" society. His 1986 surgeon general's report on the dangers of secondhand smoke was seminal.
2007: The drama "The Departed," starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg and Martin Sheen, and directed by Martin Scorsese, wins Best Picture at the Academy Awards. The crime thriller, a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong film "Infernal Affairs," became the first remake to win the Oscars' top award and also captured Oscars for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing. The win for Scorsese was the first Oscar he received after previously losing out on nominations for "Raging Bull," "The Last Temptation of Christ," "Goodfellas," "Gangs of New York" and "The Aviator."
2005: Dennis Rader is arrested for the BTK serial killings in Wichita, Kansas. He killed a total of 10 people in and around Wichita through 1991 and was particularly known for sending taunting letters to police and newspapers describing the details of his murders. "BTK" stands for "Bind, Torture, Kill," which was his infamous signature. He later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 life prison terms.
2002: Tennis player Venus Williams earns the ranking of World No. 1 for the first time in her career, becoming the first black woman to ever hold the ranking.
1996: Cambodian-born actor, physician and author Haing S. Ngor, a survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime and their labor camps who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for the 1984 movie "The Killing Fields," is shot to death at the age of 55 outside his home in Los Angeles' Chinatown neighborhood. Three gang members would later be convicted of his murder. Ngor, a trained surgeon and gynecologist who was forced to conceal his education and training when Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge seized control of the country in 1975, was imprisoned in a concentration camp along with his wife, My-Huoy, who subsequently died giving birth. After he was freed, he worked as a doctor in a refugee camp in Thailand before coming to America in 1980. Besides his debut acting role in "The Killing Fields," he also appeared in other movies and TV shows, most memorably in Oliver Stone's "Heaven & Earth" and the "Vanishing Son" miniseries.
1994: Former world heavyweight champion boxer Jersey Joe Walcott dies of complications from diabetes at the age of 80 in Camden, New Jersey. Walcott, whose real name was Arnold Raymond Cream, broke the world record for the oldest man to win the world heavyweight title when he earned it in 1951 at the age of 37 years, 168 days. Walcott successfully defended his title once before losing it to an undefeated Rocky Marciano in 1952. His record would last for more than eight months after his death, when George Foreman took the WBA and IBF heavyweight titles from 26-year-old Michael Moorer in November 1994 at the age of 45.
1986: A nonviolent people's revolution sends Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos (center) fleeing from the nation after 20 years of rule. The leaders of the revolution installed Corazon Aquino, the widow of assassinated opposition leader Benigno Aquino Jr., as the Philippines' first woman president. Marcos' administration was marred by massive corruption, political repression, and human rights violations. It was later discovered that he and his wife Imelda Marcos had moved billions of dollars of embezzled public funds to accounts and investments in the United States, Switzerland, and other countries. He would die three years later in exile in Hawaii.
1983: American playwright Tennessee Williams, best known for works such as "A Streetcar Named Desire," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "The Glass Menagerie" and "The Night of the Iguana," is found dead in his suite at the Elysee Hotel in New York City at age 71. The medical examiner's report indicated that he choked to death on the cap from a bottle of eye drops he frequently used.
1977: The comedy "Slap Shot," starring Paul Newman and directed by George Roy Hill, premieres in theaters. The movie, which depicts a minor league hockey team that resorts to violent play to gain popularity in a declining factory town, received mixed reviews upon its release, but earned $28 million at the box office and has become a cult favorite.
1976: Actress Rashida Jones, best known for her TV work on the sitcoms "The Office" and "Parks and Recreation," and for movie roles in "I Love You, Man," "Our Idiot Brother" and "The Social Network," is born in Los Angeles, California. Jones is the daughter of music producer Quincy Jones and actress Peggy Lipton.
1975: Comedian, author and actress Chelsea Handler, best known for her TV talk show "Chelsea Lately" and for movies such as "This Means War" and "Fun Size," is born in Livingston, New Jersey.
1971: Actor Sean Astin, best known for his roles in movies such as "The Goonies," "Rudy" and the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, is born in Santa Monica, California.
1966: Actress Téa Leoni, best known for movies such as "Jurassic Park III," "The Family Man," "Deep Impact" and "Bad Boys," and the TV sitcom "The Naked Truth," is born Elizabeth Téa Pantaleoni in New York City.
1965: Comedian Carrot Top, known for his bright red hair and prop comedy, is born Scott Thompson in Rockledge, Florida.
1964: Muhammad Ali, then still known as Cassius Clay, wins his first world heavyweight title when Sonny Liston fails to answer the bell for the seventh round of their fight in Miami, Florida. During the now-infamous in-ring interview following the match, Clay shouted "I shook up the world!" and "I must be 'The Greatest'!" With the win, Clay became the youngest boxer to take the title from a reigning heavyweight champion at just 22.
1957: Bugs Moran, a Chicago Prohibition-era gangster and a rival of Al Capone's crime syndicate, dies of lung cancer at the age of 65 at Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas. Moran, whose real name was Adelard Cunin, was serving a 10-year sentence for bank robbery when he died. Six members of his gang were infamously gunned down by Capone's men in a Feb. 14, 1929, attack on Chicago's north side that became known as the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre.
1956: In a closed session at the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev delivers the speech "On the Personality Cult and its Consequences," denouncing the cult of personality of the late Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. In the speech, Khrushchev accused Stalin of intolerance, brutality and abuse of power.
1954: Musician and singer-songwriter John Doe, best known as a co-founder and vocalist/bassist of the Los Angeles punk band X, is born John Nommensen Duchac in Decatur, Illinois. Doe has also acted in movies such as "Great Balls of Fire!," "Road House," "Vanishing Point," "Boogie Nights" and "The Good Girl" and the TV show "Roswell."
1951: The first Pan American Games are held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The event included 2,513 athletes from 21 countries, competing in 18 sports. The competition is held between athletes from nations of the Americas, held every four years in the year before the Summer Olympic Games.
1950: Film director Neil Jordan, who won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for 1992's "The Crying Game," which he also directed, is born in Sligo, Ireland. Jordan has also directed such movies as "Interview with the Vampire," "Michael Collins" and "The Brave One."
1949: Professional wrestler Ric Flair, considered to be one of the greatest wrestlers of all time with a career spanning 40 years, is born Richard Morgan Fliehr in Memphis, Tennessee.
1942: Author John Saul, the writer of such New York Times bestselling books as "Suffer the Children," the "Blackstone Chronicles" series and "Cry for the Strangers," is born in Pasadena, California.
1940: Baseball Hall of Fame third baseman Ron Santo, who played from 1960 to 1974, all but the last year with the Chicago Cubs, is born in Seattle, Washington. A nine-time National League All-Star, he led the league in walks four times, in on-base percentage twice and in triples once. He was the second player at his position to hit 300 career home runs, joining Eddie Mathews, and also ended his career ranking second to Mathews among third basemen in slugging average (.464) and third in runs batted in (1,331), total bases (3,779) and walks (1,108). From 1990 until his death due to complications from bladder cancer and diabetes in December 2010, he was a member of the Cubs broadcasting team. While Santo initially garnered little support for induction into the Hall of Fame, he was eventually posthumously inducted by the Golden Era Committee in 2012.
1940: The New York Rangers and the Montreal Canadiens play in the first hockey game to be televised in the U.S. The game was aired on W2WBS in New York with one camera in a fixed position. The Rangers beat the Canadiens 6-2.
1934: Baseball Hall of Fame manager John McGraw dies of uremic poisoning at age 60 in New Rochelle, New York. In 31 years as manager of the New York Giants, he led the team to 10 National League pennants and three World Series titles. His total of 2,763 victories as a manager ranks him second overall behind only Connie Mack, but he still holds the National League record with 2,669 wins. As a player, he played 16 seasons in the majors, mostly for the Baltimore Orioles of the National League. He also played for the St. Louis Cardinals, the American League Baltimore Orioles and the New York Giants, and was credited with helping to develop the hit-and-run, the squeeze play and other strategic moves.
1933: The USS Ranger is launched. It is the first U.S. Navy ship to be built solely as an aircraft carrier.
1932: Country music singer Faron Young, whose best-known songs include "If You Ain't Lovin' (You Ain't Livin')," "Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young," "Hello Walls" and "It's Four in the Morning," is born in Shreveport, Louisiana. He died at the age of 64 in Nashville, Tennessee, on Dec. 10, 1996, a day after he attempting suicide by shooting himself.
1932: Adolf Hitler obtains German citizenship by naturalization, which allows him to run in the 1932 election for Reichspräsident, the president of the Reich. Hitler would end up coming in second to incumbent President Paul von Hindenburg, but his strong showing established him as a force in German politics.
1927: Bluegrass singer and banjo player Ralph Stanley is born in McClure, Virginia. Along with his older brother Carter Stanley, he formed the Stanley Brothers duo in 1946. They toured with their band, the Clinch Mountain Boys, for the next 20 years until Carter's death, becoming known for songs such as "Angel Band," "Rank Strangers," "Little Maggie" and "Man Of Constant Sorrow." Ralph Stanley continued as a solo artist after his brother's death, eventually reforming the Clinch Mountain Boys. He was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor in 1992 and into the Grand Ole Opry in 2000. In 2002, he received his first ever Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for his rendition of "Oh Death" from the movie soundtrack for "O Brother Where Art Thou."
1920: Sun Myung Moon, the religious leader best known as the founder of the Unification Church and for his claim that he was a messiah, is born in what today is North Korea. He died at age 92 on Sept. 3, 2012.
1919: Oregon places a one cent per gallon tax on gasoline, becoming the first U.S. state to levy a gasoline tax. Early projects funded by the tax included the Pacific Highway from the Washington state line to California and the Columbia River Highway. Colorado and New Mexico would follow Oregon's lead within six weeks and North Dakota did the same later in the year. When New York passed its own state gas tax in 1929, it was the last of the then 48 states to do so. The federal government would levy its own one-cent gas tax for the first time in 1932.
1918: Professional tennis player Bobby Riggs, who was the world's top professional player in 1946-47 and gained more fame for his 1973 "Battle of the Sexes" tennis matches against top female players Margaret Court and Billie Jean King, is born in Los Angeles, California. He died of prostate cancer at age 77 on Oct. 25, 1995.
1917: Writer Anthony Burgess, best known as the author of the 1962 novel "A Clockwork Orange," is born in Harpurhey, Manchester, England. He died from lung cancer at age 76 on Nov. 22, 1993.
1913: Actor Jim Backus, best known for playing the millionaire Thurston Howell III on "Gilligan's Island" and for voicing the cartoon character "Mr. Magoo," is born in Cleveland, Ohio. Backus also played James Dean's character's father in "Rebel Without a Cause" and starred in his own short-lived show, "The Jim Backus Show." He died at age 76 on July 3, 1989, from complications of pneumonia, after suffering from Parkinson's disease for many years.
1903: Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman Francis Michael "King" Clancy, who played 16 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs and won three Stanley Cup championships, is born in Ottawa, Canada. Clancy died at age 83 from septic shock during a gallbladder operation on Nov. 10, 1986.
1901: Actor and comedian Zeppo Marx (far right) is born Herbert Manfred Marx in New York City. The youngest of the five Marx Brothers, he appeared in the first five Marx Brothers feature films from 1929 to 1933 as a straight man and romantic lead, but then left the act to start his second career as an engineer and theatrical agent. The last surviving Marx Brother, he died of lung cancer at age 78 on Nov. 30, 1979.
1901: J. P. Morgan incorporates the United States Steel Corporation.
1888: John Foster Dulles, who served as U.S. secretary of state under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959 and was a significant figure in the early Cold War era, is born in Washington, D.C. The Washington Dulles International Airport, located in Dulles, Virginia, is named in his honor. Dulles, seen here with Eisenhower in 1956, died of colon cancer at age 71 on May 24, 1959.
1870: Hiram Rhodes Revels, a Republican from Mississippi, is sworn into the United States Senate, becoming the first black person ever be seated in the U.S. Congress. Earlier in the year Revels had been elected by a vote of 81 to 15 in the Mississippi State Senate to finish the term of one of the state's two seats in the U.S. Senate, which had been left vacant since the Civil War. His seating was delayed by two days of debate after Southern Democrats opposed sitting him in the Senate.
1866: Miners in Calaveras County, California, discover what is now called the Calaveras Skull, human remains that supposedly indicated that man, mastodons and elephants had co-existed. The skull was later proven to be a hoax.
1841: Painter and sculptor Pierre-Auguste Renoir, a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style, is born in Limoges, Haute-Vienne, France. Among his most famous paintings are "Bal du moulin de la Galette" and "Luncheon of the Boating Party."
1836: Samuel Colt is granted a United States patent for the Colt "revolving gun."
1710: Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut, the French soldier and explorer who was the first European known to have visited the headwaters of the Mississippi River in what is now northern Minnesota, dies of gout in Montreal, Canada, around the age of 70. Both the cities of Duluth, Minnesota, an area he was also the first European to have visited, and Duluth, Georgia, are named in his honor.
1570: Pope Pius V excommunicates Queen Elizabeth I of England over the Church of England's re-established separation from the Catholic Church. The papal bull entitled "Regnans in Excelsis" labeled Elizabeth a heretic and released all her subjects from any allegiance to her, threatening excommunication for anybody who obeyed her orders.