On Nov. 24, 1963: Jack Ruby shot and mortally wounded Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy, in a scene captured on live television.
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In 1859: British naturalist Charles Darwin published “On the Origin of Species,” which explained his theory of evolution by means of natural selection.
In 1865: Mississippi became the first Southern state to enact laws which came to be known as “Black Codes” aimed at limiting the rights of newly freed Blacks; other states of the former Confederacy soon followed.
In 1941: The U.S. Supreme Court, in Edwards v. California, unanimously struck down a California law prohibiting people from bringing impoverished non-residents into the state.
In 1947: A group of writers, producers and directors that became known as the “Hollywood Ten” was cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions about alleged Communist influence in the movie industry. John Steinbeck’s novel “The Pearl” was first published.
In 1971: A hijacker calling himself “Dan Cooper” (but who became popularly known as “D.B. Cooper”) parachuted from a Northwest Orient Airlines 727 over the Pacific Northwest after receiving $200,000 in ransom; his fate remains unknown.
In 1974: The bone fragments of a 3.2 million-year-old hominid were discovered by scientists in Ethiopia; the skeletal remains were nicknamed “Lucy.”
In 1987: The United States and the Soviet Union agreed on terms to scrap shorter- and medium-range missiles. (The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev the following month.)
In 1989: Romanian leader Nicolae Ceausescu was unanimously re-elected Communist Party chief. (Within a month, he was overthrown in a popular uprising and executed along with his wife, Elena, on Christmas Day.)
In 1991: Rock singer Freddie Mercury died in London at age 45 of AIDS-related pneumonia.
In 2000: The U.S. Supreme Court stepped into the bitter, overtime struggle for the White House, agreeing to consider George W. Bush’s appeal against the hand recounting of ballots in Florida.
In 2014: It was announced that a grand jury in St. Louis County, Missouri, had decided against indicting Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown; the decision enraged protesters who set fire to buildings and cars and looted businesses in the area where Brown had been fatally shot.
In 2020: Pennsylvania officials certified Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential vote in the state; the Trump campaign had gone to court trying to prevent the certification. The Nevada Supreme Court made Biden’s win in the state official. County election workers across Georgia began an official machine recount of the roughly 5 million votes cast in the presidential race in the state; certified results had shown Biden winning in Georgia by 12,670 votes.
Ten years ago: Fire raced through a garment factory in Bangladesh that supplied major retailers in the West, killing 112 people; an official said many of the victims were trapped because the eight-story building lacked emergency exits. Former championship boxer Hector “Macho” Camacho died at a hospital in Puerto Rico after doctors disconnected life support; he’d been shot in his hometown of Bayamon earlier in the week.
Five years ago: Militants attacked a crowded mosque in Egypt with gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades, killing more than 300 people in the deadliest-ever attack by Islamic extremists in the country. Zimbabwe swore in its new leader, Emmerson Mnangagwa, after the resignation of President Robert Mugabe, who had fired his longtime deputy just two and a half weeks earlier. South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal increased the prison sentence of Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius to 13 years and five months in the shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, more than doubling the original six-year sentence.