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On February 23rd...

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1417 Pope Paul II was born.

1633 Diarist Samuel Pepys was born.

1685 Composer George Frideric Handel was born.

1689 Dutch Prince William III was proclaimed King of England.

William Eaton1764 William Eaton, American soldier and diplomat, was born.

Baron von Steuben1778 Baron von Steuben joined the Continental Army at Valley Forge.

1792 The Humane Society of Massachusetts was incorporated.

1813 The first U. S. raw cotton-to-cloth mill was founded in Waltham, Massachusetts.

1821 The first pharmaceutical college in the United States, College of Apothecaries, was established in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1821 Poet John Keats died.

1822 Boston, Massachusetts, was incorporated as a city.

Santa Anna1836 The Alamo was besieged by General Antonio L. de Santa Anna.

Zachary Taylor1847 U. S. forces led by General Zachary Taylor defeated a far larger Mexican army led by General Antonio L. de Santa Anna at Buena Vista, Mexico.

John Quincy Adams1848 John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States, died.

1855 Mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss died.

President Abraham Lincoln1861 President-elect Abraham Lincoln secretly arrived in Washington, D.C., to take the oath of office.

Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza1866 Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza of Romania was overthrown by a military conspiracy.

1868 American civil rights leader W. E. B. Du Bois was born.

1869 The 15th Amendment, guaranteeing the right of all citizens to vote, was sent to the states for ratification.

Mississippi1870 Mississippi was re-admitted to the Union.
1870 The first New York City subway line was opened.

1874 Walter Winfield patented a game called "sphairistike" (lawn tennis).

Alabama1883 Alabama became the first state to enact an antitrust law.
1883 The American Antivivisection Society was organized in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1883 Film director Victor Fleming was born.

1886 The London Times published the world's first classified ad.
1886 A process for manufacturing aluminum was developed.

1891 The first buffalo were purchased for Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California.

1892 The first college student government was formed at Bryn Mawr.

1895 Michael Owens patented a glass-blowing machine.

1896 The Tootsie Roll was introduced by Leo Hirshfield.

1903 Cuba agreed to lease Guantanamo and Bahia Hondo to the United States for use as naval stations.

1904 The United States acquired control of the Panama Canal Zone for $10 million.

1905 The first Rotary Club was established by four men in Chicago, Illinois.

1907 Royal Oil and Shell merged to form British Petroleum.
1907 U. S. Congress members raised their own salaries to $7,500.

1910 The first radio contest was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Quanah1911 Quanah, leader of the Quahadi Comanche, died.

1915 Paul Tibbets, pilot of the Enola Gay, was born.

1917 The Federal Board of Vocational Education was established.

1918 Russia's Red Army defeated a German army near Narva and Pskov.

Benito Mussolini1919 Benito Mussolini founded the Fascist Party of Italy.

1921 The first transcontinental air mail flight arrived in New York City, New York, from San Francisco, California.

1927 The Federal Radio Commission was created.

1930 The first red and green traffic lights were installed, in Manhattan, New York.

1931 Opera singer Nellie Melba died.

1932 Actress Majel Barrett was born.

1934 Edward Elgar, composer of "Pomp and Circumstance," died.

1936 Adolf Hitler introduced Ferdinand Porsche's "Volkswagen."
1936 The first rocket air mail flight was launched at Greenwood Lake, New York.

1940 Walt Disney's animated movie Pinocchio was released.
1940 Actor Peter Fonda was born.

1941 Plutonium was first produced and isolated by Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg.

1942 U. S. Navy pilot Don Mason sent the message "Sighted sub sank same."

1943 Football player Fred Biletnikof was born.

Leo H. Baekland1944 Leo H. Baekeland, inventor of Bakelite, died.

Iwo Jima1945 U.S. Marines raised the U.S. flag over Iwo Jima.

1951 Football player Ed "Too Tall" Jones was born.

1954 The first mass inoculation with the Salk polio vaccine was carried out in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Gamal Abdul Nasser1954 Gamal Abdul Nasser was named Prime Minister of Egypt.

1955 Voice actor Tom Bodett was born.

1963 Baseball player Bobby Bonilla was born.

1964 Richard Petty won the Daytona 500.

1965 Comic actor Stan Laurel died.

1966 Premier Milton Obote seized power in Uganda.

1967 The 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, establishing the order of presidential succession, was proclaimed.

Wilt Chamberlain1968 Wilt Chamberlain became the first NBA player to score 25,000 points.

1969 North Vietnamese and Vietcong troops launched an offensive against Saigon and more than 100 towns and military targets.
1969 LeeRoy Yarbrough won the Daytona 500.

Cooperative Republic of Guyana1970 Guyana became a republic.

1979 Frank Peterson, Jr., was named the first black General in the U. S. Marine Corps.

1981 A coup led by Spanish Civil Guard Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Tejero Molina failed.

1983 The United States Environmental Protection Agency announced its intent to buy out and evacuate the dioxin-contaminated community of Times Beach, Missouri.

1985 Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight threw a chair during a game.

1987 Supernova 1987A became the first supernova to be visible to the naked eye since 1604.

1990 José Napoleón Duarte, former President of El Salvador, died.

1994 Actress Dakota Fanning was born.

1995 Novelist James Herriot died.

1997 Scientists in Scotland announced they had succeeded in cloning an adult mammal, a lamb named Dolly.

1998 Tornadoes killed at least 31 people in Florida.

1999 An avalance destroyed the village of Galtür, Austria, and killed 31 persons.

2004 Singer Carl Anderson died.

2014 Dale Earnhardt, Jr., won the Daytona 500.

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This page was last updated on February 23, 2018.