March 24

1379 - The Gelderse war ended. 

1545 - German Parliament opened in Worms. 

1550 - France and England signed the Peace of Boulogne. 

1629 - The first game law was passed in the American colonies, by Virginia. 

1664 - A charter to colonize Rhode Island was granted to Roger Williams in London. 

1720 - In Paris, banking houses closed due to financial crisis. 

1765 - Britain passed the Quartering Act that required the American colonies to house 10,000 British troops in public and private buildings. 

1792 - Benjamin West became the first American artist to be selected president of the Royal Academy of London. 

1828 - The Philadelphia & Columbia Railway was authorized as the first state owned railway. 

1832 - Mormon Joseph Smith was beaten, tarred and feathered in Ohio. 

1837 - Canada gave blacks the right to vote 

1848 - A state of siege was proclaimed in Amsterdam. 

1868 - Metropolitan Life Insurance Company was formed. 

1878 - The British frigate Eurydice sank killing 300. 

1880 - The first "hail insurance company" was incorporated in Connecticut. It was known as Tobacco Growers’ Mutual Insurance Company. 

1882 - In Berlin, German scientist Robert Koch announced the discovery of the tuberculosis germ (bacillus). 

1883 - The first telephone call between New York and Chicago took place. 

1898 - The first automobile was sold. 

1900 - Mayor Van Wyck of New York broke the ground for the New York subway tunnel that would link Manhattan and Brooklyn. 

1900 - In New Jersey, the Carnegie Steel Corporation was formed. 

1904 - Vice Adm. Tojo sank seven Russian ships as the Japanese strengthened their blockade of Port Arthur. 

1905 - In Crete, a group led by Eleutherios Venizelos claimed independence from Turkey. 

1906 - In Mexico, the Tehuantepec Istmian Railroad opened as a rival to the Panama Canal. 

1906 - The "Census of the British Empire" revealed that England ruled 1/5 of the world. 

1911 - In Denmark, penal code reform abolished corporal punishment. 

1920 - The first U.S. coast guard air station was established at Morehead City, NC. 

1924 - Greece became a republic. 

1927 - Chinese Communists seized Nanking and break with Chiang Kai-shek over the Nationalist goals. 

1932 - Belle Baker hosted a radio variety show from a moving train. It was the first radio broadcast from a train. 

1934 - U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt signed a bill granting future independence to the Philippines. 

1938 - The U.S. asked that all powers help refugees fleeing from the Nazis. 

1944 - In Rome, The Gestapo rounded up innocent Italians and shot them to death in response to a bomb attack that killed 32 German policemen. Over 300 civilians were executed. 

1946 - The Soviet Union announced that it was withdrawing its troops from Iran. 

1947 - The U.S. Congress proposed the limitation of the presidency to two terms. 

1954 - Britain opened trade talks with Hungary. 

1955 - Tennessee Williams' play "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" debuted on Broadway. 

1955 - The first oil drill seagoing rig was put into service. 

1960 - A U.S. appeals court ruled that the novel, "Lady Chatterly’s Lover", was not obscene and could be sent through the mail. 

1972 - Great Britain imposed direct rule over Northern Ireland. 

1976 - The president of Argentina, Isabel Peron, was deposed by her country's military. 

1980 - In San Salvador, Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero was shot to death by gunmen as he celebrated Mass. 

1981 - "Nightline" with Ted Koppel premiered. 

1982 - Soviet leader Leonid L. Brezhnev stated that Russia was willing to resume border talks with China. 

1985 - Thousands demonstrated in Madrid against the NATO presence in Spain. 

1988 - Former national security aides Oliver L. North and John M. Poindexter and businessmen Richard V. Secord and Albert Hakim pled innocent to Iran-Contra charges. 

1989 - The Exxon Valdez spilled 240,000 barrels (11 million gallons) of oil in Alaska's Prince William Sound after it ran aground. 

1989 - The U.S. decided to send humanitarian aid to the Contras. 

1990 - Indian troops left Sri Lanka. 

1991 - The African nation of Benin held its first presidential elections in about 30 years. 

1993 - In Israel, Ezer Weizman, an advocate of peace with neighboring Arab nations, was elected President. 

1995 - Russian forces surrounded Achkoi-Martan. It was one of the few remaining strongholds of rebels in Chechenia. 

1995 - The U.S. House of Representatives passed a welfare reform package that made the most changes in social programs since the New Deal. 

1997 - The Australian parliament overturned the world's first and only euthanasia law. 

1998 - In Jonesboro, AR, two young boys open fire at students from woods near a school. Four students and a teacher were killed and 10 others were injured. The two boys were 11 and 13 years old cousins. 

1998 - A former FBI agent said papers found in James Earl Ray's car supports a conspiracy theory in the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. 

1999 - In Kenya, at least 31 people were killed when a passenger train derailed. Hundreds were injured. 

1999 - NATO launched air strikes against Yugoslavia (Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Vojvodina). The attacks marked the first time in its 50-year history that NATO attacked a sovereign country. The bombings were in response to Serbia's refusal to sign a peace treaty with ethnic Albanians who were seeking independence for the province of Kosovo. 

1999 - The 7-mile tunnel under Mont Blanc in France was an inferno after a truck carrying flour and margarine caught on fire. At least 30 people were killed. 

2001 - Apple Computer Inc's operating system MAC OS X went on sale. 

2002 - Thieves stole five 17th century paintings from the Frans Hals Museum in the Dutch city of Haarlem. The paintings were worth about $2.6 million. The paintings were works by Jan Steen, Cornelis Bega, Adriaan van Ostade and Cornelis Dusart. 

2005 - The government of Kyrgyzstan collapsed after opposition protesters took over President Askar Akayev's presidential compound and government offices. 

2005 - Sandra Bullock received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

2006 - In Spain, the Basque separatist group ETA announced a permanent cease-fire.