On this day, Nov. 24 …
1971: A hijacker calling himself “Dan Cooper” (but who would become popularly known as “D.B. Cooper”) parachutes from a Northwest Orient Airlines 727 over the Pacific Northwest after receiving $200,000 in ransom; his fate remains unknown.
Also on this day:
- 1859: Charles Darwin publishes “On the Origin of Species,” which explains his theory of evolution by means of natural selection.
- 1917: Nine members of the Milwaukee police department and two civilians are killed when a bomb explodes inside a police station. (The suspicious-looking package was brought to the station by a local resident after it was discovered outside a church; anarchists were suspected, but the culprits were never caught.)
- 1941: The U.S. Supreme Court, in Edwards v. California, unanimously strikes down a California law prohibiting people from bringing impoverished nonresidents into the state.
- 1944: During World War II, U.S. bombers based on Saipan attack Tokyo in the first raid against the Japanese capital by land-based planes.
- 1947: A group of writers, producers and directors that became known as the “Hollywood Ten” is cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions about alleged Communist influence in the movie industry.
- 1947: John Steinbeck’s novel “The Pearl” is first published.
- 1963: Jack Ruby shoots and mortally wounds Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy, on live television.
- 1969: Apollo 12 splashes down safely in the Pacific.
- 1985: The hijacking of an Egyptair jetliner parked on the ground in Malta ends violently as Egyptian commandos storm the plane. Fifty-eight people die in the raid, in addition to two others killed by the hijackers.
- 1987: The United States and the Soviet Union agree on terms to scrap shorter- and medium-range missiles. (The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty would be signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev the following month.)
- 1991: Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury dies in London at age 45 of AIDS-related pneumonia.
- 2000: The U.S. Supreme Court gets involved in the bitter struggle for the White House, agreeing to consider George W. Bush’s appeal against the hand recounting of ballots in Florida.
- 2008: A Muslim charity, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, and five of its former leaders are convicted by a federal jury in Dallas of funneling millions of dollars to the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
- 2013: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu harshly condemns the international community’s nuclear deal with Iran, calling it a “historic mistake” and saying he was not bound by the agreement.
- 2017: Militants attack 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.
- 2017: South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal increases 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.