TODAY HISTORY LESSON: FEBRUARY 23
0303 Emperor Diocletian orders the general persecution of Christians in Rome.
1455 Johannes Gutenberg prints his first Bible (estimated date)
1540 Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado begins his unsuccessful search for the fabled Seven Cities of Gold in the American Southwest.
1574 The 5th War of Religion breaks out in France.
1778 Baron von Steuben joins the Continental Army at Valley Forge.
1836 Alamo besieged for 13 days until March 6 by Mexican army under General Santa Anna; entire garrison eventually killed
1846 The Liberty Bell tolls for the last time, to mark George Washington’s birthday.
1847 Forces led by Zachary Taylor defeat the Mexicans at the Battle of Buena Vista.
1861 By popular referendum, Texas becomes 7th state to secede from US
1892 1st college student government established, Bryn Mawr PA
1896 The Tootsie Roll was introduced by Leo Hirshfield.
1898 Writer Emile Zola is imprisoned in France for his letter J’accuse in which he accuses the French government of anti-semitism and the wrongful imprisonment of army captain Alfred Dreyfus
1916 Secretary of State Lansing hints that the U.S. may have to abandon the policy of avoiding “entangling foreign alliances”.
1926 President Calvin Coolidge opposes a large air force, believing it would be a menace to world peace.
1941 Glenn T. Seaborg and his team chemically identify Plutonium
1942 A Japanese submarine shells an oil refinery near Santa Barbara, California, the first Axis bombs to hit American soil.
1945 US Marines raise American flag on top of Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima. Photo of which by Joe Rosenthall later became iconic, inspiring the Marine Corps War Memorial sculpture
1946 Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita is hanged in Manila, the Philippines, for war crimes.
1954 1st mass inoculation against Polio with the Jonas Salk vaccine takes place at Arsenal Elementary School in Pittsburgh
1960 Whites join Negro students in a sit-in at a Winston-Salem, N.C. Woolworth store.
1980 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini declared that Iran’s new parliament would have to decide the fate of the hostages taken on November 4, 1979, at the U.S. embassy in Tehran.
1991 During the Persian Gulf War, ground forces crossed the border of Saudi Arabia into the country of Iraq. Less than four days later the war was over due to the surrender or withdraw of Iraqi forces.
1997 Ali Hassan Abu Kamal, a Palestinian teacher, opened fire on the 86th-floor observation deck of New York City’s Empire State Building. He killed one person and wounded six more before killing himself.
1997 Scientists in Scotland announced they succeeded in cloning an adult mammal, producing a lamb named “Dolly”
1998 Osama bin Laden publishes a fatwa declaring jihad against all Jews and Crusaders
1999 White supremacist John William King was found guilty of kidnapping and murdering James Byrd Jr. Byrd was dragged behind a truck for two miles on a country road in Texas.
2005 The New York, NY, city medical examiner’s office annouced that it had exhausted all efforts to identify the remains of the people killed at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, due to the limits of DNA technology. About 1,600 people had been identified leaving more than 1,100 unidentified.
2011 The Obama Administration determines that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.
REFERENCE: history.net, onthisday.com, thepeopleshistory.com, timeanddate.com, scopesys.com, on-this-day.com