Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Tuesday, Feb. 23, the 54th day of 2016. There are 312 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 23, 1836, the siege of the Alamo began in San Antonio, Texas.

On this date:

In 1848, the sixth president of the United States, John Quincy Adams, died in Washington, D.C., at age 80.

In 1863, British explorers John H. Speke and James A. Grant announced they had found the source of the Nile River to be Lake Victoria.

In 1870, Mississippi was readmitted to the Union.

In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt signed an agreement with Cuba to lease the area around Guantanamo Bay to the United States.

In 1927, President Calvin Coolidge signed a bill creating the Federal Radio Commission, forerunner of the Federal Communications Commission.

In 1934, Leopold III succeeded his late father, Albert I, as King of the Belgians.

In 1945, during World War II, U.S. Marines on Iwo Jima captured Mount Suribachi, where they raised a pair of American flags (the second flag-raising was captured in the iconic Associated Press photograph.)

In 1954, the first mass inoculation of schoolchildren against polio using the Salk vaccine began in Pittsburgh as some 5,000 students were vaccinated.

In 1965, film comedian Stan Laurel, 74, died in Santa Monica, California.

In 1970, Guyana became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations.

In 1989, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted 11-9 along party lines to recommend rejection of John Tower as President George H.W. Bush’s defense secretary. (Tower’s nomination went down to defeat in the full Senate the following month.)

In 1995, the Dow Jones industrial average closed above the 4,000 mark for the first time, ending the day at 4,003.33.

Ten years ago: The snow-covered roof of a Moscow market collapsed, killing 66 people. A United Arab Emirates company volunteered to postpone its takeover of significant operations at six major U.S. seaports, giving the White House more time to convince skeptical lawmakers the deal posed no increased risks from terrorism. Japan’s Shizuka Arakawa (shih-ZOO’-kuh ah-rah-KAH’-wah) stunned favorites Sasha Cohen of the United States and Irina Slutskaya (sloot-SKY’-yah) of Russia to claim the ladies’ figure skating gold medal at the Turin Winter Olympics.

Five years ago: In a major policy reversal, the Obama administration said it would no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law banning recognition of same-sex marriage.

One year ago: A jury in New York found the Palestinian Authority and Palestine Liberation Organization liable for their roles in terrorist attacks in Israel between 2002 and 2004 in which Americans were killed or injured; the Palestinians said later they would appeal the ruling. Tapping the anxieties of aging baby boomers, President Barack Obama called for tougher standards on brokers who manage retirement savings accounts. Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald apologized for misstating during a “CBS Evening News” segment that he had served in the military’s special forces.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Peter Fonda is 76. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Fred Biletnikoff is 73. Author John Sandford is 72. Country-rock musician Rusty Young is 70. Actress Patricia Richardson is 65. Former NFL player Ed “Too Tall” Jones is 65. Rock musician Brad Whitford (Aerosmith) is 64. Singer Howard Jones is 61. Rock musician Michael Wilton (Queensryche) is 54. Country singer Dusty Drake is 52. Actress Kristin Davis is 51. Tennis player Helena Sukova is 51. Actor Marc Price is 48. TV personality/businessman Daymond John (TV: “Shark Tank”) is 47. Actress Niecy Nash is 46. Rock musician Jeff Beres (Sister Hazel) is 45. Country singer Steve Holy is 44. Rock musician Lasse (loss) Johansson (The Cardigans) is 43. Actress Kelly Macdonald is 40. Actor Josh Gad is 35. Actress Emily Blunt is 33. Actor Aziz Ansari is 33. Actress Dakota Fanning is 22.

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