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Wednesday 24 January 2024 Calendar with holidays, observances and special days

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Holidays and observances


  • 2003 – The United States Department of Homeland Security officially begins operation.
  • 1990 – Japan launches Hiten, the country's first lunar probe, the first robotic lunar probe since the Soviet Union's Luna 24 in 1976, and the first lunar probe launched by a country other than Soviet Union or the United States.
  • 1984 – Apple Computer places the Macintosh personal computer on sale in the United States.
  • 1946 – The United Nations General Assembly passes its first resolution to establish the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission.
  • 1942 – World War II: The Allies bombard Bangkok, leading Thailand, then under Japanese control, to declare war against the United States and United Kingdom.
  • 1933 – The 20th Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, changing the beginning and end of terms for all elected federal offices.
  • 1916 – In Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad Co., the Supreme Court of the United States declares the federal income tax constitutional.
  • 1908 – The first Boy Scout troop is organized in England by Robert Baden-Powell.
  • 1857 – The University of Calcutta is formally founded as the first fully fledged university in South Asia.


  • 1986 – Mischa Barton, English-American actress. She made her screen debut with a guest appearance on the American soap opera All My Children (1996), and voicing a character on the Nickelodeon cartoon series KaBlam! (1996–97).
  • 1986 – Ricky Ullman, Israeli-American actor. He is best known for playing Phil Diffy, the main character in the Disney Channel series Phil of the Future.
  • 1984 – Scott Kazmir, American baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays/Rays, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Cleveland Indians, Oakland Athletics, Houston Astros, and Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • 1983 – Scott Speed, American race car driver. Scott Andrew Speed (born January 24, 1983) is an American race car driver, who currently races in Americas Rallycross Championship for Subaru Rally Team USA.
  • 1980 – Rocky Boiman, American football player and sportscaster. Rocky Michael Boiman (born January 24, 1980) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League for the Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • 1979 – Nik Wallenda, American acrobat and tightrope walker. He holds nine Guinness World Records for various acrobatic feats, but is best known as the first person to walk a tightrope stretched directly over Niagara Falls.
  • 1978 – Kristen Schaal, American actress and voice artist. She is best known for her voice roles as Louise Belcher on Bob's Burgers and Mabel Pines on Gravity Falls, as well as for playing Mel on Flight of the Conchords, Hurshe Heartshe on The Heart, She Holler and Carol Pilbasian on The Last Man on Earth.
  • 1974 – Ed Helms, American actor, producer, and screenwriter. He also provided the voice of The Once-ler in Illumination Entertainment’s The Lorax and Captain Underpants in Dreamworks Animation's Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie.
  • 1970 – Matthew Lillard, American actor. He played Shaggy Rogers in two live action Scooby-Doo movies, Scooby-Doo (2002) and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004), and in animation, he's been the voice of Shaggy since Casey Kasem retired from the role in 2009.
  • 1968 – Mary Lou Retton, American gymnast. Her performance made her one of the most popular athletes in the United States.
  • 1967 – John Myung, American bass player and songwriter. John Ro Myung (/ˈmaɪ.əŋ/; born January 24, 1967) is a Korean American bassist and a founding member of the progressive metal group Dream Theater.
  • 1967 – Phil LaMarr, American actor, singer, and screenwriter. Phillip LaMarr (born January 24, 1967) is an American actor, voice actor, and former improv and sketch comedian, best known as one of the original featured cast members on the sketch comedy television series Mad TV and for has extensive voice acting career, with roles in animated series including Jack in Samurai Jack, Green Lantern/John Stewart and Ed Reiss in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, Hermes Conrad in Futurama, Virgil Ovid Hawkins/Static in Static Shock, Ollie Williams in Family Guy and Wilt in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.
  • 1965 – Carlos Saldanha, Brazilian-American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter. Carlos Saldanha (Portuguese pronunciation: ; born January 24, 1965) is a Brazilian director, producer, animator and voice actor of animated films who works with Blue Sky Studios.
  • 1961 – Nastassja Kinski, German-American actress and producer. Nastassja Aglaia Kinski (née Nakszynski; born 24 January 1961) is a German actress and former model who has appeared in more than 60 films in Europe and the United States.
  • 1960 – Mark Reeds, Canadian-American ice hockey player and coach (d. 2015), was a Canadian professional ice hockey player who played in the National Hockey League (NHL), and was also an assistant coach for the Ottawa Senators of the NHL. He was born in Toronto, Ontario, and grew up in Burlington, Ontario.
  • 1958 – Neil Allen, American baseball player and coach. Neil Patrick Allen (born January 24, 1958) is an American baseball former pitcher in Major League Baseball (MLB).
  • 1957 – Mark Eaton, American basketball player and sportscaster. Eaton (born January 24, 1957) is an American former professional basketball player who was a member of the National Basketball Association's Utah Jazz from 1982 to 1993, with one NBA All-Star selection in 1989, and two NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards in 1985 and 1989.
  • 1955 – Alan Sokal, American physicist and author. Alan David Sokal (/ˈsoʊkəl/; born January 24, 1955) is a professor of mathematics at University College London and professor of physics at New York University.
  • 1955 – Lynda Weinman, American businesswoman and author. Lynda Susan Weinman (born January 24, 1955) is an American business owner, computer instructor, and author, who founded an online software training website,, with her husband, Bruce Heavin.
  • 1951 – Yakov Smirnoff, Ukrainian-American comedian and actor. He began his career as a stand-up comedian in Ukraine, then immigrated to the United States in 1977 in order to pursue an American show business career, not yet knowing any English.
  • 1949 – John Belushi, American actor and screenwriter (d. 1982), was an American comedian, actor, singer, and one of the seven original cast members of the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL). Throughout his career, Belushi had a close personal and artistic partnership with his fellow SNL star Dan Aykroyd, whom he met while they were both working at Chicago's The Second City comedy club.
  • 1947 – Michio Kaku, American physicist and academic. Michio Kaku (/ˈmiːtʃioʊ ˈkɑːkuː/; born January 24, 1947) is an American theoretical physicist, futurist, and popularizer of science (science communicator).
  • 1947 – Warren Zevon, American singer-songwriter (d. 2003), was an American rock singer-songwriter and musician.
  • 1945 – John Garamendi, American football player and politician, 1st United States Deputy Secretary of the Interior. John Raymond Garamendi (/ˌɡærəˈmɛndi/; born January 24, 1945) is an American businessman, politician, and member of the Democratic Party who has represented areas of Northern California between San Francisco and Sacramento, including the cities of Fairfield and Suisun City, in the United States House of Representatives since November 2009.
  • 1943 – Sharon Tate, American model and actress (d. 1969), was an American actress and model. During the 1960s, she played small television roles before appearing in films and was regularly featured in fashion magazines as a model and cover girl.
  • 1942 – Melvin Fitting, American logician. Melvin "Mel" Fitting (born January 24, 1942) is a logician with special interests in philosophical logic and tableau proof systems.
  • 1941 – Aaron Neville, American singer. His debut single, from 1966, was #1 on the Soul chart for five weeks.
  • 1941 – Neil Diamond, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. On the Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts, he has had ten No. 1 singles: "Cracklin' Rosie", "Song Sung Blue", "Longfellow Serenade", "I've Been This Way Before", "If You Know What I Mean", "Desirée", "You Don't Bring Me Flowers", "America", "Yesterday's Songs", and "Heartlight".
  • 1939 – Ray Stevens, American singer-songwriter and actor. Harold Ray Ragsdale (born January 24, 1939), known professionally as Ray Stevens, is an American country and pop singer-songwriter and comedian, known for his Grammy-winning recordings "Everything Is Beautiful" and "Misty", as well as comedic hits such as "Gitarzan" and "The Streak".
  • 1938 – Julius Hemphill, American saxophonist and composer (d. 1995), was a jazz composer and saxophone player. He performed mainly on alto saxophone, less often on soprano and tenor saxophones and flute.
  • 1931 – Leonard Baker, American historian and author (d. 1984). Baker (January 24, 1931 – November 23, 1984) was an American writer.
  • 1930 – Bernard Matthews, English farmer and businessman, founded Bernard Matthews Farms (d. 2010), was the founder of Bernard Matthews Farms, a company that is best known for producing turkey meat products.
  • 1930 – John Romita Sr., American soldier and illustrator. Romita (/rəˈmiːtə/; born January 24, 1930), is an American comic book artist best known for his work on Marvel Comics' The Amazing Spider-Man and for co-creating the character The Punisher.
  • 1926 – Ruth Asawa, American sculptor (d. 2013). Asawa's work is in the collections of the Solomon R.
  • 1925 – Maria Tallchief, American ballerina and actress (d. 2013). She was considered America's first major prima ballerina, and was the first Native American to hold the rank.
  • 1920 – Jimmy Forrest, American saxophonist (d. 1980), was an American jazz musician, who played tenor saxophone throughout his career.
  • 1919 – Coleman Francis, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 1973). He was best known for his film trilogy consisting of The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961), The Skydivers (1963) and Red Zone Cuba (1966), all three of which were filmed in the general vicinity of Santa Clarita, California.
  • 1919 – Leon Kirchner, American composer and educator (d. 2009), was an American composer of contemporary classical music. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he won a Pulitzer Prize for his String Quartet No. 3.
  • 1918 – Oral Roberts, American evangelist, founded Oral Roberts University and Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association (d. 2009), was an American Charismatic Christian televangelist, ordained in both the Pentecostal Holiness and United Methodist churches. He is considered the godfather of the charismatic movement and was one of the most recognized preachers worldwide at the height of his fame.
  • 1917 – Ernest Borgnine, American actor (d. 2012), was an American actor whose career spanned over six decades. He was noted for his gruff but calm voice and gap-toothed Cheshire Cat grin.
  • 1916 – Gene Mako, Hungarian-American tennis player and actor (d. 2013), was an American tennis player and art gallery owner. He was born in Budapest, capital of Hungary.
  • 1915 – Robert Motherwell, American painter and academic (d. 1991), was an American abstract expressionist painter, printmaker, and editor. He was one of the youngest of the New York School, which also included Philip Guston, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and Mark Rothko.
  • 1913 – Norman Dello Joio, American organist and composer (d. 2008), was an American composer whose output spanned over half a century, and who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1957.
  • 1912 – Frederick Ashworth, American admiral (d. 2005), was a United States Navy officer who served as the weaponeer on the B-29 Bockscar that dropped a Fat Man atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan on 9 August 1945 during World War II.
  • 1910 – Doris Haddock, American political activist (d. 2010), was an American political activist from New Hampshire. Haddock achieved national fame when, between the ages of 88 and 90, starting on January 1, 1999, and culminating on February 29, 2000, she walked over 3,200 miles (5,100 km) across the continental United States to advocate for campaign finance reform.
  • 1905 – J. Howard Marshall, American lawyer and businessman (d. 1995), was an American businessman, academic, attorney, and government official. His life spanned nine decades and almost the entire history of the oil industry.
  • 1902 – Ephraim Avigdor Speiser, Ukrainian-American archaeologist and scholar (d. 1965), was an Jewish Polish-born American Assyriologist. He discovered the ancient site of Tepe Gawra in 1927 and supervised its excavation between 1931 and 1938.
  • 1900 – Theodosius Dobzhansky, Ukrainian-American geneticist and biologist (d. 1975), was a prominent Russian-American geneticist and evolutionary biologist, and a central figure in the field of evolutionary biology for his work in shaping the modern synthesis. Dobzhansky was born in Ukraine, then part of the Russian Empire, and became an immigrant to the United States in 1927, aged 27.
  • 1898 – Cliff Heathcote, American baseball player (d. 1939), was a center fielder in Major League Baseball who played for the St. Louis Cardinals (1918–1922), Chicago Cubs (1922–1930), Cincinnati Reds (1931–1932) and Philadelphia Phillies (1932).
  • 1889 – Charles Hawes, American historian and author (d. 1923), was an American writer of fiction and nonfiction sea stories, best known for three historical novels. He died suddenly at age 34, after only two of his five books had been published.
  • 1888 – Ernst Heinkel, German engineer and businessman, founded the Heinkel Aircraft Manufacturing Company (d. 1958). Ernst Heinkel (24 January 1888 – 30 January 1958) was a German aircraft designer, manufacturer, Wehrwirtschaftsführer in the Third Reich, and member of the Nazi party.
  • 1862 – Edith Wharton, American novelist and short story writer (d. 1937), was an American novelist, short story writer, playwright, and designer. Wharton drew upon her insider's knowledge of the upper class New York "aristocracy" to realistically portray the lives and morals of the Gilded Age.
  • 1754 – Andrew Ellicott, American soldier and surveyor (d. 1820), was a U.S. land surveyor who helped map many of the territories west of the Appalachians, surveyed the boundaries of the District of Columbia, continued and completed Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant's work on the plan for Washington, D.C., and served as a teacher in survey methods for Meriwether Lewis.


  • 2017 – Butch Trucks, American drummer (b. 1947)
  • 2016 – Marvin Minsky, American computer scientist and academic (b. 1927)
  • 2015 – Joe Franklin, American radio and television host (b. 1926)
  • 2013 – Richard G. Stern, American novelist, short story writer (b. 1928)
  • 2012 – J. Joseph Garrahy, American soldier and politician, 69th Governor of Rhode Island (b. 1930)
  • 2012 – Patricia Neway, American soprano and actress (b. 1919)
  • 2010 – Pernell Roberts, American actor (b. 1928)
  • 2009 – Kay Yow, American basketball player and coach (b. 1942)
  • 2008 – Lee Embree, American sergeant and photographer (b. 1915)
  • 2008 – Randy Salerno, American journalist (b. 1963)
  • 2007 – Emiliano Mercado del Toro, Puerto Rican-American soldier (b. 1891)
  • 2006 – Fayard Nicholas, American actor, dancer, and choreographer (b. 1914)
  • 1998 – Walter D. Edmonds, American journalist and author (b. 1903)
  • 1993 – Thurgood Marshall, American lawyer and jurist, 32nd United States Solicitor General (b. 1908)
  • 1992 – Ken Darby, American composer and conductor (b. 1909)
  • 1991 – Jack Schaefer, American journalist and author (b. 1907)
  • 1990 – Madge Bellamy, American actress (b. 1899)
  • 1986 – Gordon MacRae, American actor and singer (b. 1921)
  • 1986 – L. Ron Hubbard, American religious leader and author, founded the Church of Scientology (b. 1911)
  • 1983 – George Cukor, American director and producer (b. 1899)
  • 1975 – Larry Fine, American comedian (b. 1902)
  • 1971 – Bill W., American activist, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (b. 1895)
  • 1970 – Caresse Crosby, American fashion designer and publisher, co-founded the Black Sun Press (b. 1891)
  • 1961 – Alfred Carlton Gilbert, American pole vaulter and businessman, founded the A. C. Gilbert Company (b. 1884)
  • 1932 – Alfred Yarrow, English businessman and philanthropist, founded Yarrow Shipbuilders (b. 1842)
  • 1918 – George Arthur Crump, American architect, designed the Pine Valley Golf Club (b. 1871)
  • 1911 – David Graham Phillips, American journalist and author (b. 1867)
  • 1882 – Levi Boone, American physician and politician, 17th Mayor of Chicago (b. 1808)
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