Today in History

Published 12:01 am Friday, February 23, 2018

Today is Friday, Feb. 23, the 54th day of 2018. There are 311 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 23, 1945, during World War II, U.S. Marines on Iwo Jima captured Mount Suribachi, where they raised two American flags (the second flag-raising was captured in the iconic Associated Press photograph.)

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On this date:

In 1685, composer George Frideric Handel was born in present-day Germany.

In 1836, the siege of the Alamo began in San Antonio, Texas.

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

In 1870, Mississippi was readmitted to the Union.

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 1942, the first shelling of the U.S. mainland during World War II occurred as a Japanese submarine fired on an oil refinery near Santa Barbara, California, causing little damage.

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 1981, an attempted coup began in Spain as 200 members of the Civil Guard invaded Parliament, taking lawmakers hostage. (However, the attempt collapsed 18 hours later.)

In 1992, the XVI Winter Olympic Games ended in Albertville, France.

Ten years ago: Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other U.S. officials held daylong meetings with Australian leaders in Canberra. Former United Auto Workers president Douglas A. Fraser died in Southfield, Michigan, at age 91.

Five years ago: Some 30 NASCAR fans were injured when rookie Kyle Larson’s car was propelled by a crash into the fence at Daytona International Speedway, and large chunks of debris flew into the grandstands. The Ultimate Fighting Championship held its first women’s bout as Ronda Rousey beat Liz Carmouche on an armbar, her signature move, with 11 seconds left in the first round of their bantamweight title fight at UFC 157 in Anaheim, California.

One year ago: Seeking to tamp down growing unease in Latin America, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly pledged during a visit to Mexico City that the United States would not enlist its military to enforce immigration laws and that there would be “no mass deportations.” Lottery officials said the sole winning ticket for an estimated $435 million Powerball jackpot was sold at a Lafayette, Indiana, convenience store.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Peter Fonda is 78. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Fred Biletnikoff is 75. Author John Sandford is 74. Country-rock musician Rusty Young is 72. Actress Patricia Richardson is 67. Former NFL player Ed “Too Tall” Jones is 67. Rock musician Brad Whitford (Aerosmith) is 66. Singer Howard Jones is 63. Rock musician Michael Wilton (Queensryche) is 56. Country singer Dusty Drake is 54. Actress Kristin Davis is 53. Tennis player Helena Sukova is 53. Actor Marc Price is 50. TV personality/businessman Daymond John (TV: “Shark Tank”) is 49. Actress Niecy Nash is 48. Rock musician Jeff Beres (Sister Hazel) is 47. Country singer Steve Holy is 46. Rock musician Lasse (loss) Johansson (The Cardigans) is 45. Actress Kelly Macdonald is 42. Rapper Residente (Calle 13) is 40. Actor Josh Gad is 37. Actress Emily Blunt is 35. Actor Aziz Ansari is 35. Actor Tye White (TV: “Greenleaf”) is 32. Actress Dakota Fanning is 24.