The Commercial Appeal
TODAY IN HISTORY
Today is Thursday, Feb. 23, the 54th day of 2023. There are 311 days left in the year. On this date in:
1685: Composer George Frideric Handel was born in present-day Germany.
1822: Boston was granted a charter to incorporate as a city.
1836: The siege of the Alamo began in San Antonio, Texas.
1861: President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrived secretly in Washington to take office, following word of a possible assassination plot in Baltimore.
1903: President Theodore Roosevelt signed an agreement with Cuba to lease the area around Guantanamo Bay to the United States.
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.
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.) 1954: The first mass inoculation of schoolchildren against polio using the Salk vaccine began in Pittsburgh as some 5,000 students were vaccinated.
1998: Forty-two people were killed, some 2,600 homes and businesses damaged or destroyed, by tornadoes in central Florida.
2007: A Mississippi grand jury refused to bring any new charges in the 1955 slaying of Emmett Till, the Black teenager who was beaten and shot after being accused of whistling at a white woman, declining to indict the woman, Carolyn Bryant Donham, for manslaughter.
2011: 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.