The Commercial Appeal



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.

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