Today In History: February 24, Soviet Sub Torpedoes Ship, Kills Nearly 800 Jewish Refugees

Today in History

Today is Saturday, Feb. 24, the 55th day of 2024. There are 311 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 24, 1942, the SS Struma, a charter ship attempting to carry nearly 800 Jewish refugees from Romania to British-mandated Palestine, was torpedoed by a Soviet submarine in the Black Sea; all but one of the refugees perished.

On this date:

In 1803, in its Marbury v. Madison decision, the Supreme Court established judicial review of the constitutionality of statutes.

In 1868, the U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Andrew Johnson by a vote of 126-47 following his attempted dismissal of Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton; Johnson was later acquitted by the Senate.

In 1981, a jury in White Plains, New York, found Jean Harris guilty of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of “Scarsdale Diet” author Dr. Herman Tarnower. (Sentenced to 15 years to life in prison, Harris was granted clemency by New York Gov. Mario Cuomo in December 1992.)

In 1986, the Supreme Court struck down, 6-3, an Indianapolis ordinance that would have allowed women injured by someone who had seen or read pornographic material to sue the maker or seller of that material.

In 1988, in a ruling that expanded legal protections for parody and satire, the Supreme Court unanimously overturned a $150,000 award that the Rev. Jerry Falwell had won against Hustler magazine and its publisher, Larry Flynt.

In 1989, a state funeral was held in Japan for Emperor Hirohito, who had died the month before at age 87.

In 1993, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney resigned after more than eight years in office.

In 2002, the Salt Lake City Olympics came to a close, the same day Canada won its first hockey gold in 50 years and three cross-country skiers were thrown out of the games for using a performance-enhancing drug.

In 2008, Cuba’s parliament named Raul Castro president, ending nearly 50 years of rule by his brother Fidel.

In 2011, Discovery, the world’s most traveled spaceship, thundered into orbit for the final time, heading toward the International Space Station on a journey marking the beginning of the end of the shuttle era.

In 2012, Jan Berenstain who with her husband, Stan, wrote and illustrated the Berenstain Bears books, died in Solebury Township, Pennsylvania at age 88.

In 2015, the Justice Department announced that George Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot Trayvon Martin in a 2012 confrontation, would not face federal charges.

In 2020, former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was convicted in New York on charges of rape and sexual assault involving two women. (Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison.)

In 2022, Russia began a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, launching airstrikes on cities and military bases and sending troops and tanks from multiple directions.

Today’s birthdays: Actor-singer Dominic Chianese is 93. Singer Joanie Sommers is 83. Actor Jenny O’Hara is 82. Former Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., is 82. Actor Barry Bostwick is 79. Actor Edward James Olmos is 77. Singer-writer-producer Rupert Holmes is 77. Rock singer-musician George Thorogood is 74. Actor Debra Jo Rupp is 73. Actor Helen Shaver is 73. News anchor Paula Zahn is 68. Baseball Hall of Famer Eddie Murray is 68. Country singer Sammy Kershaw is 66. Actor Mark Moses is 66. Actor Beth Broderick is 65. Actor Emilio Rivera is 63. Singer Michelle Shocked is 62. Movie director Todd Field is 60. Actor Billy Zane is 58. Actor Bonnie Somerville is 50. Jazz musician Jimmy Greene is 49. Former boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. is 47. Rock musician Matt McGinley (Gym Class Heroes) is 41. Actor Wilson Bethel is 40. Actor Alexander Koch is 36. Actor Daniel Kaluuya (Film: “Get Out”) is 35. Actor O’Shea Jackson Jr. is 33.