Today is Thursday, Feb. 24, the 55th day of 2011. There are 310 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Feb. 24, 1761, Boston lawyer James Otis Jr. went to court to argue against "writs of assistance" that allowed British customs officers to arbitrarily search people's premises; citing English common law, Otis declared: "A man's house is his castle." (Although Otis lost the case, his statement provided a source of inspiration for American independence.)
On this date:
In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII issued a papal bull, or edict, outlining his calendar reforms. (The Gregorian Calendar is the calendar in general use today.)
In 1711, the opera "Rinaldo" by George Frideric Handel premiered in London.
In 1803, in its Marbury v. Madison decision, the Supreme Court established judicial review of the constitutionality of statutes.
In 1821, Mexican rebels proclaimed the "Plan de Iguala," their declaration of independence from Spain.
In 1863, Arizona was organized as a territory.
In 1868, the House of Representatives impeached President Andrew Johnson following his attempted dismissal of Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton; Johnson was later acquitted by the Senate.
In 1920, the German Workers Party, which later became the Nazi Party, met in Munich to adopt its platform.
In 1942, the Voice of America went on the air for the first time.
In 1961, the Federal Communications Commission authorized the nation's first full-scale trial of pay television in Hartford, Conn.
In 1981, Buckingham Palace announced the engagement of Britain's Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer. A jury in White Plains, N.Y., 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 Dec. 1992.)
Ten years ago: In an amicable first meeting held in Jerusalem, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov pledged a constructive approach to dealing with Iraq, missile defenses and other points of policy discord. Mathematician and computer scientist Claude Shannon, whose theories about binary code became the basis for modern mass communications networks, died in Medford, Mass., at age 84.
Five years ago: Suicide bombers attempted to drive explosive-packed cars into the world's largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia, but were foiled by guards who opened fire, detonating both vehicles; al-Qaida claimed responsibility. Julia Mancuso won gold in the women's giant slalom at the Turin Olympics. Death claimed actors Don Knotts in Los Angeles and Dennis Weaver in Ridgway, Colo.; both were 81.
One year ago: Testifying before Congress, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda apologized personally and repeatedly to the United States and millions of American Toyota owners for safety lapses that had led to deaths and widespread recalls. Trainer Dawn Brancheau was dragged to her death by a killer whale, Tilikum, at SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla.
Today's Birthdays: Actor Abe Vigoda is 90. Actor Steven Hill is 89. Actor-singer Dominic Chianese (kee-uh-NAY'-see) is 80. Movie composer Michel Legrand is 79. Actor James Farentino is 73. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., is 69. Actor Barry Bostwick is 66. Actor Edward James Olmos is 64. Singer-writer-producer Rupert Holmes is 64. Rock singer-musician George Thorogood is 61. Actress Debra Jo Rupp is 60. Actress Helen Shaver is 60. Apple CEO Steve Jobs is 56. News anchor Paula Zahn is 55. Country singer Sammy Kershaw is 53. Singer Michelle Shocked is 49. Movie director Todd Field is 47. Actor Billy Zane is 45. Actress Bonnie Somerville is 37. Rhythm-and-blues singer Brandon Brown (Mista) is 28. Rock musician Matt McGinley (Gym Class Heroes) is 28.
Thought for Today: "The house of every one is to him as his castle and fortress, as well for his defence against injury and violence as for his repose." _ Sir Edward Coke, English jurist (1552-1634).
(Above Advance for Use Thursday, Feb. 24)
Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.