This Day in History - March 24
Jamaican award-winning playwright and director Trevor Rhone, coauthor of The Harder They Come, is born on this day, 1940.

Today is the 83rd day of 2023. There are 282 days left in the year.


1998: The European Union declares 11 countries eligible for the euro, the currency that will replace their respective national currencies.


1267: St Louis of France calls his knights to Paris to prepare for the Eighth Crusade. It ends in failure before reaching the Holy Land and becomes the last crusade.

1603: Tokugawa Ieyasu is granted the title of shogun, officially establishing the Tokugawa Shogunate which would rule Japan until 1867.

1765: Britain enacts the Quartering Act, requiring American colonists to provide temporary housing to British soldiers.

1783: Spain recognises the independence of the United States.

1832: Latter-Day Saint Joseph Smith is beaten, tarred and feathered in Ohio.

1837: Canada gives its black citizens the right to vote.

1882: Robert Koch, German bacteriologist, announces the isolation of tuberculosis germs.

1891: Britain and Italy reach an agreement in Ethiopia defining the frontiers of their Red Sea colonies.

1924: Greece is proclaimed a republic.

1929: Fascists "win" single-party elections in Italy.

1939: The Wuthering Heights film based on the Emily Brontë novel premieres in Los Angeles.

1944: In occupied Rome the Nazis execute more than 300 civilians in reprisal for an attack by Italian partisans the day before during which 32 German soldiers were killed. More than 75 Allied prisoners undertake a daring escape from a prisoner of war camp in Sagan, Germany, though most are eventually recaptured; it inspires the classic 1963 World War II movie The Great Escape.

1945: With the debut of the Billboard magazine pop album chart, American pianist and singer Nat King Cole's King Cole Trio becomes the first record album to appear at number one.

1958: Elvis Presley is inducted into the US Army in Memphis, Tennessee.

1972: Britain takes over direct control of Northern Ireland in effort to restore peace.

1974: Uganda crushes a coup attempt against President Idi Amin following machine gun and mortar battles with rebels.

1976: Argentina's President Isabel Martínez de Perón is deposed by her country's military in a coup headed by Jorge Rafael Videla.

1980: A vocal critic of the violence during El Salvador's civil conflict, Archbishop Óscar Romero is assassinated while celebrating mass in San Salvador; he was canonised in 2018.

1989: Supertanker Exxon Valdez runs aground on a reef in Alaska's Prince William Sound and begins leaking 11 million gallons (41.6 million litres) of crude oil.

1990: The last Indian soldiers withdraw from Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, after a deadlocked 2 1/2-year-old jungle war against separatist Tamil Tiger rebels.

1991: The Mali Opposition says government troops killed nearly 150 people in three days of pro-democracy protests.

1995: US Vice-President Al Gore meets with Palestine Liberation Organisation chief Yasser Arafat and pledges US$65 million in fresh US aid to Arafat's financially strapped Palestinian Government.

1999: NATO launches air strikes against Yugoslavia — the first time in its 50-year existence the alliance has attacked a sovereign country. A fire begins in the Mont Blanc Tunnel, a major Alpine automotive tunnel connecting France and Italy; it takes two days to put out the blaze and 39 people were killed.

2001: Macedonian forces retake ground held by ethnic Albanian rebels and vow to continue the offensive until the insurgents are driven from the country.

2002: Film stars Denzel Washington and Halle Berry became the second and third African Americans to win Academy Awards for performances in leading roles.

2004: Armed Hamas militants vow huge attacks against Israel at a rally marking the end of three days of mourning for the Islamic militant group's assassinated founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin; during the three days, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Gaza City to pay their respects and to protest against Israel's practice of targeted assassinations.

2005: Protesters storm the presidential compound in Kyrgyzstan, seizing the seat of State power in the former Soviet republic after clashing with riot police; President Askar Akayev reportedly flees the capital and goes to Russia.

2006: Hundreds of Indians start long marches back to their highland villages, halting 11 days of roadblocks and violent demonstrations in Quito against Ecuador's free trade talks with Washington.

2007: The UN Security Council imposes new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme, including a ban on Iranian arms exports and on any country buying Iranian weapons; these expand on sanctions approved in December.

2008: Yousaf Raza Gilani, a long-time loyalist of slain Opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, is elected Pakistan's new prime minister and immediately frees judges detained by President Pervez Musharraf. Bhutan holds elections for the National Assembly, thereby completing the country's transition to a democracy.

2010: The US and Russia reach agreement for a historic new treaty to reduce the nuclear arsenals of the former Cold War rivals.

2011: Fighter jets hit aircraft and a crossroads military base deep inside Libya, and NATO appears poised to assume command of the international operation working to thwart Moammar Gadhafi's forces by land, sea and air.

2013: Cypriot politicians turn to the European Union in a last-ditch effort to help their nation forge a viable plan to secure an international bailout, after failing for a week to find a solution to the crisis that could force their country into bankruptcy.

2014: Fresh evidence gleaned from unprecedented analysis of satellite data shows the missing Malaysian Airlines flight, whose fate remains a mystery that consumes the world, had crashed into a remote corner of the Indian Ocean.

2016: Serbian politician Radovan Karadžić is found guilty of committing war crimes, including genocide, during the civil war that followed Bosnia and Herzegovina's split from Yugoslavia in 1992; he is sentenced to 40 years in prison.

2018: Australian batsman Cameron Bancroft is caught on camera rubbing a match ball with an object during the third cricket Test in Cape Town, resulting in an infamous ball-tampering scandal.

2020: Indian Prime Mininster Narendra Modi orders a 21-day lockdown for the world's second most populous country of 1.3 billion people in order to deal with COVID-19. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announces postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games until the summer of 2021 because of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.


Harry Houdini, Hungarian magician (1876-1926); Joseph Barbera, US cartoonist (1911-2006); Dario Fo, Italian playwright and Nobel laureate (1926-2016); Trevor Rhone, Jamaican award-winning playwright, director and actor who co-wrote, along with Perry Henzell, The Harder They Come (1940-2009); Keisha Castle-Hughes, Australian actress (1990- )

— AP/Jamaica Observer

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