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24th February

1582 Pope Gregory XIII announced the introduction of the new Gregorian calendar.

1821 Mexico declared its independence from Spain.

1868 Andrew Johnson, 17th president of the United States, became the first president to have impeachment proceedings brought against him by the House of Representatives.

1885 * Chester Nimitz, US admiral and commander of the Pacific fleet during World War II.

1903 The Americans signed the lease for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

1920 Lady Nancy Astor became the first woman to speak in the British Parliament.

1920 Adolf Hitler outlined the basic points of the Nazi party at the Hofbrauhaus in Munich.

1938 The first nylon product, a toothbrush, went on sale in New Jersey, USA.

1940 * Denis Law, Scottish international soccer player.

1948 * Dennis Waterman, English actor.

1950 Clement Attlee returned as prime minister of Britain but with a single-figure majority.

1955 * Alain Prost, (France) four times world Formula 1 motor racing champion.

1968 The discovery of a pulsar was announced.

1969 The unmanned Mariner 6 spacecraft launched by the US to fly close to Mars.

1971 Commonwealth citizens lost their automatic right to remain in the UK under the government's new Immigration Bill.

1981 The Prince of Wales and the Lady Diana Spencer ended months of speculation with the announcement they were to be married.

1999 London's police force is "institutionally racist" said a report on the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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