February 23

Events

*1455 - Traditional date for the publication of the Gutenberg Bible, the first Western book printed from movable type.
*1660 - Charles XI becomes King of Sweden.
*1778 - American Revolution: Baron von Steuben arrives at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania to help to train the Continental Army.
*1820 - Cato Street Conspiracy: A plot to murder all the British cabinet ministers is exposed.
*1836 - The Battle of the Alamo begins in San Antonio, Texas.
*1847 - Mexican-American War: Battle of Buena Vista - In Mexico, American troops under General Zachary Taylor defeat Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna.
*1854 - The official independence of the Orange Free State is declared.
*1861 - President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrives secretly in Washington, D.C., after an assassination attempt in Baltimore, Maryland.
*1870 - Military control of Mississippi ends and it is readmitted to the Union.
*1883 - Alabama becomes the first U.S. state to enact an antitrust law.
*1887 - The French Riviera is hit by a large earthquake, killing around 2,000.
*1898 - Émile Zola is imprisoned in France after writing "J'accuse", a letter accusing the French government of anti-Semitism and wrongfully placing Captain Alfred Dreyfus in jail.
*1900 - In South Africa, the Boers and British troops fight in the Battle of Hart's Hill.
*1903 - Cuba leases Guantanamo Bay to the United States "in perpetuity".
*1904 - The United States gains control of the Panama Canal Zone for $10 million.
*1905 - Chicago attorney Paul Harris and three other businessmen meet for lunch to form the Rotary Club, the world's first service club.
*1909 - The AEA Silver Dart makes the first powered flight in Canada and the British Empire.
*1917 - First demonstrations in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The beginning of the February Revolution.
*1918 - First victory of Red Army over the Kaiser's German troops near Narva and Pskov. Since 1923 this date become the Day of Red Army in honour of this victory.
*1919 - Benito Mussolini forms the Fascist Party in Italy.
*1927 - The Federal Radio Commission (later renamed the Federal Communications Commission) begins to regulate the use of radio frequencies.
*1934 - Léopold III becomes King of Belgium.
*1941 - Plutonium was first produced and isolated by Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg.
*1943 - A fire breaks out at St. Joseph's Orphanage Co Cavan , Ireland , killing 36 people (35 of whom were children)
*1944 - Forced deportation of the Chechen and Ingush people to Central Asia.
*1945 - World War II: During the Battle of Iwo Jima, a group of United States Marines and a commonly forgotten U.S. Navy Corpsman, reach the top of Mount Suribachi on the island and are photographed raising the American flag. The photo would later win a Pulitzer Prize.
* 1945 - World War II: The capital of the Philippines, Manila, is liberated by American forces.
* 1945 - World War II: Capitulation of German garrison in Poznań, the city is liberated by Soviet and Polish forces.
* 1945 - World War II: The German town of Pforzheim is completely destroyed by a raid of 379 British bombers.
* 1945 - World War II: The Verona Philharmonic Theatre is bombed by Allied forces. It would later be re-opened in 1975.
*1947 - The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is founded.
*1954 - The first mass inoculation of children against polio with the Salk vaccine began in Pittsburgh.
*1955 - First meeting of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO).
*1957 - The founding congress of the Senegalese Popular Bloc is opened in Dakar.
*1958 - Cuban rebels kidnap 5-time world driving champion Juan Manuel Fangio.
*1966 - A military coup in Syria replaces the previous government.
*1974 - The Symbionese Liberation Army demands $4 million more to release kidnap victim Patty Hearst.
* 1975 - In response to the energy crisis, daylight saving time commences nearly two months early in the United States.
*1980 - Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini states that Iran's parliament would decide the fate of the American embassy hostages.
*1981 - 23-F, Antonio Tejero attempts a coup d'état by capturing the Spanish Congress of Deputies.
*1983 - The Spanish Socialist government of Felipe González and Miguel Boyer nationalizes Rumasa, a holding of José María Ruiz Mateos.
* 1983 - The United States Environmental Protection Agency announces its intent to buy out and evacuate the dioxin-contaminated community of Times Beach, Missouri.
*1987 - Supernova 1987a: A supernova is seen in the Large Magellanic Cloud.
*1991 - Gulf War: Ground troops cross the Saudi Arabia border and enter Iraq, thus starting the ground-phase of the war.
* 1991 - In Thailand, General Sunthorn Kongsompong leads a bloodless coup d'état, deposing Prime Minister Chatichai Choonhavan.
*1992 - The Socialist Labour Party is founded in Georgia.
*1997 - A large fire occurs in the Russian Space station, Mir.
*1998 - Kissimmee Tornado Outbreak: Tornadoes in central Florida destroy or damage 2,600 structures and kill 42.
* 1998 - Osama bin Laden publishes a fatwa declaring jihad against all Jews and Crusaders.
*1999 - Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Öcalan is charged with treason in Ankara, Turkey.
* 1999 - An avalanche destroys the Austrian village of Galtür, killing 31.
*2005 - Slovakia Summit 2005 begins, marking the first occasion when a sitting American President visits Slovakia; George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin are in attendance.
* 2005 - Vote of the controversial French law on colonialism, repealed start of 2006.
* 2006 - Dubai Ports World agrees to postpone its plans to take over management of six U.S. ports after the proposal ignited harsh bipartisan criticism on Capitol Hill.
*2007 - Japan launches its fourth spy satellite, stepping up its ability to monitor potential threats such as North Korea.
* 2007 - A train derails on an evening express service near Grayrigg, Cumbria, England, killing one person and injuring 22. This results in hundreds of points being checked over the UK after a few similar accidents.
* 2008 - a B-2 Spirit of the USAF crashes at Guam. The crew survived but the aircraft was written off, making it the most expensive air crash in human history (the aircraft alone cost $1.2Bn). The B-2 had a perfect safety record before the crash; not one B-2 ever crashed.

Births

*1417 - Pope Paul II (d. 1471)
*1583 - Jean-Baptiste Morin, French scientist (d. 1656)
*1633 - Samuel Pepys, English naval administrator and man of letters, posthumously famous as a diarist (d. 1703)
*1646 - Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, Japanese shogun (d. 1709)
*1648 - Arabella Churchill, English mistress of James II of England (d. 1730)
*1680 - Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, French colonizer and Governor of Louisiana (d. 1767)
*1685 - Georg Friedrich Handel, German/British Baroque composer (d. 1759)
*1723 - Richard Price, Welsh philosopher (d. 1791)
*1729 - Josiah Hornblower, American statesman (d. 1809)
*1743 - Mayer Amschel Rothschild, German-born banker (d. 1812)
*1809 - William Sprague, American minister and politician from Michigan (d. 1868)
*1842 - Karl Robert Eduard von Hartmann, German philosopher (d. 1906)
*1850 - César Ritz, Swiss hotelier (d. 1918)
*1868 - W.E.B. DuBois, American civil rights leader (d. 1963)
*1873 - Liang Qichao, Chinese scholar (d. 1929)
*1874 - Konstantin Päts, Estonian president (d. 1956)
*1878 - Kazimir Malevich, Ukrainian painter and art theorist (d. 1935)
*1883 - Karl Jaspers, German philosopher (d. 1969)
*1889 - Victor Fleming, American director (d. 1949)
* 1889 - Musidora, French actress and director (d. 1957)
*1891 - Harold Horder, Australian Rugby League player (d. 1978)
*1899 - Erich Kästner, German writer (d. 1974)
* 1899 - Norman Taurog, American film director (d. 1981)
*1901 - Edgar Ende, German painter (d. 1965)
*1904 - Terence Fisher, English film director (d. 1980)
* 1904 - William L. Shirer, American historian (d. 1993)
* 1904 - Leopold Trepper, Soviet spy (d. 1982)
*1908 - William McMahon, twentieth Prime Minister of Australia (d. 1988)
*1914 - Theofiel Middelkamp, Dutch cyclist (d. 2005)
*1915 - Jon Hall, American actor (d. 1979)
* 1915 - Paul Tibbets, US Air Force retired Brigadier General and Pilot of B-29 "Enola Gay" over Hiroshima (d. 2007)
*1918 - Richard G. Butler, American fascist (d. 2004)
*1920 - Paul Gérin-Lajoie, French Canadian politician
*1923 - Rafael Addiego Bruno, Uruguayan politician
*1924 - Allan McLeod Cormack, South-African born physicist, Nobel laureate (d. 1998)
* 1924 - Claude Sautet, French film director (d. 2000)
*1927 - Régine Crespin, French operatic soprano (d. 2007)
*1928 - Hans Herrmann, German race car driver
* 1928 - Vasili Lazarev, cosmonaut (d. 1990)
*1929 - Elston Howard, American Baseball Player
*1931 - Tom Wesselmann, American collage artist (d. 2004)
*1932 - Majel Barrett, American actress
*1937 - Tom Osborne, American football coach and politician
*1938 - Diane Varsi, American actress (d. 1992)
*1940 - Peter Fonda, American actor
*1941 - Ron Hunt, baseball player
*1943 - Fred Biletnikoff, American football player and coach
*1944 - Bernard Cornwell, English historical novelist
* 1944 - John Sandford, American novelist
* 1944 - Johnny Winter, American musician
*1945 - Allan Boesak, South African activist
*1946 - Rusty Young, American country-rock guitarist (Poco)
*1947 - John McWethy, American journalist (d. 2008)
*1947 - Pia Kjærsgaard, Danish politician
*1948 - Doug Moench, American comic book writer
*1949 - Marc Garneau, French Canadian astronaut
*1950 - Maxi, Irish singer and radio personality
*1951 - Ed Jones, American football player
* 1951 - Patricia Richardson, American actress
*1952 - Brad Whitford, American musician (Aerosmith)
*1953 - Satoru Nakajima, Japanese racing driver
*1954 - Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine
*1955 - Tom Bodett, American voice actor, radio personality, and writer
* 1955 - Howard Jones, British pop singer
*1958 - Tony Barrell, English writer and journalist
* 1958 - David Sylvian, English musician (Japan, Nine Horses)
*1959 - Richard Dodds, British field hockey player
*1960 - Alan Griffin, Australian politician
* 1960 - Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan
*1961 - Kelly Hansen, American drummer (Summer Lights)
*1962 - Michael Wilton, American musician (Queensrÿche)
*1963 - Bobby Bonilla, former baseball player
* 1963 - Radosław Sikorski, Polish politician
*1964 - John Norum, Norwegian guitarist (Europe)
*1965 - Kristin Davis, American actress
* 1965 - Michael Dell, American computer manufacturer
* 1965 - Helena Suková, former Czech tennis player
* 1965 - Veronica Webb, American supermodel and actress
*1967 - Tamsin Greig, English actress
* 1967 - Chris Vrenna, American musician, producer and sound engineer Nine Inch Nails, Tweaker
*1968 - Justin Bell, British racing driver
*1969 - Marc Wauters, Belgian cyclist
* 1969 - Michael Campbell, New Zealand golfer
*1970 - Marie-Josée Croze, French Canadian actress
* 1970 - Niecy Nash, American actress
*1971 - Jeong Chan, South Korean actor
* 1971 - Don Maxwell, Canadian cricketer
* 1971 - Melinda Messenger, English television presenter
* 1971 - Joe-Max Moore, American soccer player
*1972 - Steve Holy, American country singer
* 1972 - Rondell White, American baseball player
*1973 - Jack Case, American artist
* 1973 - Lars-Olof Johansson, Swedish musician (The Cardigans)
*1974 - Leko, American DJ
* 1974 - Jaime Villarreal, Mexican musician
* 1974 - Herschelle Gibbs, South African cricketer
*1975 - Michael Cornacchia, American actor
* 1975 - Robert Lopez, American composer
* 1975 - Natalia Verbeke, Argentine actress
*1976 - Kelly Macdonald, British actress
* 1976 - Scott Elarton, American baseball player
*1977 - Kristina Šmigun, Estonian cross-country skier
*1978 - René Pérez, Puerto Rican musician (Calle 13)
* 1978 - Dan Snyder, Canadian ice hockey player (d. 2003)
* 1979 - D-Roc, American rapper (Ying Yang Twins)
*1980 - Karan Singh Grover, an Indian television actor
*1981 - Gareth Barry, English footballer
* 1981 - Charles Tillman, American football player
*1982 - Adam Hann-Byrd, American actor
* 1982 - Karan Singh Grover, Indian Television Actor
*1983 - Mirco Bergamasco, Italian rugby player
* 1983 - Mido, Egyptian footballer
* 1983 - Emily Blunt, British actress
* 1983 - Aziz Ansari, Indian American Comedian
*1986 - Holly Brook, American musician
* 1986 - Kazuya Kamenashi, Japanese pop star (KAT-TUN)
* 1986 - Jerod Mayo, American Football player
*1989 - Evan Bates, American ice dancer
*1994 - Dakota Fanning, American actress

Deaths

* 943 - Herbert II, Count of Vermandois, (b. 884)
*1011 - Willigis, Archbishop of Mainz
*1100 - Emperor Zhezong of China (b. 1076)
*1270 - Saint Isabel of France, daughter of Louis VIII of France (b. 1225)
*1447 - Pope Eugene IV (b. 1383)
* 1447 - Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (b. 1390)
*1464 - Zhengtong, Emperor of China (b. 1427)
*1526 - Diego Colón, Spanish Viceroy of the Indies
*1554 - Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk, English politician (executed) (bc. 1515)
*1572 - Pierre Certon, French composer
*1603 - Andrea Cesalpino, Italian philosopher, physician, and botanist (b. 1519)
*1669 - Leo Aitzema, Dutch historian and statesman (b. 1600)
*1704 - Georg Muffat, French composer (b. 1653)
*1730 - Pope Benedict XIII (b. 1649)
*1766 - Stanislaw Leszczynski, King of Poland (b. 1677)
*1781 - George Taylor, American signer of the Declaration of Independence (bc. 1716)
*1792 - Joshua Reynolds, English painter (b. 1723)
*1800 - Joseph Warton, English literary critic (b. 1722)
*1821 - John Keats, English poet (b. 1795)
*1848 - John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States (b. 1767)
*1855 - Carl Friedrich Gauss, German mathematician, astronomer, and physicist (b. 1777)
*1859 - Zygmunt Krasiński, Polish Romantic poet (b. 1812)
*1879 - Albrecht Graf von Roon, Prime Minister of Prussia (b. 1803)
*1897 - Woldemar Bargiel, German composer (b. 1828)
*1908 - Johannes Friedrich August von Esmarch, German surgeon (b. 1823)
*1922 - Albert Victor Bäcklund, Swedish physicist (b. 1845)
*1930 - Horst Wessel, Nazi ideologue and composer (b. 1907)
*1931 - Nellie Melba, Australian opera soprano (b. 1861)
*1934 - Edward Elgar, English composer (b. 1857)
*1944 - Leo Hendrik Baekeland, Flemish-American chemist and inventor of the first synthetic plastic, Bakelite (b. 1863)
*1946 - Tomoyuki Yamashita, Japanese general (hanged) (b. 1885)
*1948 - John Robert Gregg, Irish-born publisher and inventor (b. 1866)
*1955 - Paul Claudel, French poet and playwright (b. 1868)
*1957 - Marika Ninou, Greek singer (b. 1918)
*1960 - Arthur Legat, Belgian racing driver (b. 1898)
*1965 - Stan Laurel, British born actor and comedian (b. 1890)
*1969 - King Saud of Saudi Arabia (b. 1902)
*1970 - Hirsch Jacobs, American thoroughbred horse trainer and owner (b. 1904)
*1973 - Dickinson W. Richards, American physician, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1895)
*1974 - Harry Ruby, American composer and writer (b. 1895)
*1976 - LS Lowry, English artist (b. 1887)
*1979 - W.A.C. Bennett, Canadian politician (b. 1900)
*1983 - Herbert Howells, English composer (b. 1892)
*1990 - José Napoleón Duarte, President of El Salvador (b. 1925)
*1992 - Markos Vafiadis, Greek politician (b. 1906)
*1995 - Melvin Franklin, American singer (The Temptations) (b. 1942)
* 1995 - James Herriot, English writer (b. 1916)
*1997 - Tony Williams, American jazz drummer (b. 1945)
*1999 - Carlos Hathcock, USMC Sniper, 93 Confirmed Kills (b. 1942)
*2000 - Ofra Haza, Israeli singer (b. 1957)
* 2000 - Stanley Matthews, English footballer (b. 1915)
*2001 - Robert Enrico, French film director and screenwriter (b. 1931)
*2003 - Robert K. Merton, American sociologist (b. 1910)
* 2003 - Howie Epstein, American bass guitarist (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) (b. 1955)
*2004 - Vijay Anand, Indian film director (b. 1934)
* 2004 - Carl Anderson, American singer (b. 1945)
* 2004 - Sikander Bakht, Governor of Kerala (b. 1918)
* 2004 - Don Cornell, American singer (b. 1919)
* 2004 - Carl Liscombe, Canadian hockey player (b. 1915)
*2006 - Benno Besson, Swiss actor and film director (b. 1922)
* 2006 - Telmo Zarraonaindía, Spanish footballer (b. 1921)
*2007 - Donnie Brooks, American singer (b. 1936)
* 2007 - John Ritchie, British footballer (b. 1941)
*2008 - Janez Drnovšek, Slovenian prime minister and president (b. 1950)
* 2008 - Paul Frère, Belgian race car driver and motorsport journalist (b. 1917)
* 2008 - Douglas Fraser, Scottish pilot, first to land at Newfoundland Airport on January 11, 1938 (b. 1916)

Holidays and observances

* Roman Empire - Terminalia held in honor of Terminus.
* Guyana - Mashramani-Republic Day.
* Russia - Defender of the Fatherland Day (formerly Red Army Day or Day of Soviet Army and Navy).
* Brunei - National Day.
* February 23 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
* Catholicism - Feast day of Saint Polycarp of Smyrna (died 155)

External links

* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/february/23 BBC: On This Day]
*
* [http://www1.sympatico.ca/cgi-bin/on_this_day?mth=Feb&day=23 On This Day in Canada] ----


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