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This Day in History: February 23

Events

1778 – American Revolutionary War: Baron von Steuben arrives at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania to help to train the Continental Army.

1836 – Texas Revolution: The Battle of the Alamo begins in San Antonio, Texas.

1847 – Mexican–American War: Battle of Buena Vista: In Mexico, American troops under future president General Zachary Taylor defeat Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna.

1861 – President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrives secretly in Washington, D.C., after the thwarting of an alleged assassination plot in Baltimore, Maryland.

1870 – Reconstruction Era: Post-U.S. Civil War military control of Mississippi ends and it is readmitted to the Union.

1883 – Alabama becomes the first U.S. state to enact an anti-trust law.

1903 – Cuba leases Guantánamo Bay to the United States "in perpetuity".

1905 – Chicago attorney Paul Harris and three other businessmen meet for lunch to form the Rotary Club, the world's first service club.

1927 – U.S. President Calvin Coolidge signs a bill by Congress establishing the Federal Radio Commission (later replaced by the Federal Communications Commission) which was to regulate the use of radio frequencies in the United States.

1942 – World War II: Japanese submarines fire artillery shells at the coastline near Santa Barbara, California.

1945 – World War II: During the Battle of Iwo Jima, a group of United States Marines and a U.S. Navy hospital corpsman reach the top of Mount Suribachi on the island and are photographed raising the American flag.

1945 – World War II: The capital of the Philippines, Manila, is liberated by combined Filipino and American forces.

1954 – The first mass inoculation of children against polio with the Salk vaccine begins in Pittsburgh.

1974 – The Symbionese Liberation Army demands $4 million more to release kidnap victim Patty Hearst.

1980 – Iran hostage crisis: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini states that Iran's parliament will decide the fate of the American embassy hostages.

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

1991 – Gulf War: Ground troops cross the Saudi Arabian border and enter Iraq, thus beginning the ground phase of the war.

1998 – In the United States, tornadoes in central Florida destroy or damage 2,600 structures and kill 42.

Births

1868 – W. E. B. Du Bois, American sociologist, historian, and activist (d. 1963)

1915 – Paul Tibbets, American general and pilot (d. 2007)

1955 – Flip Saunders, American basketball player and coach (d. 2015)

1994 – Dakota Fanning, American actress

1995 – Andrew Wiggins, Canadian basketball player

Deaths

1848 – John Quincy Adams, American politician, 6th President of the United States (b. 1767)

1995 – Melvin Franklin, American singer (The Temptations) (b. 1942)