Today in History: February 23

Today in History: February 23

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0303

Emperor Diocletian orders the general persecution of Christians in Rome.

1516

The Hapsburg Charles I succeeds Ferdinand in Spain.

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.

1615

The Estates-General in Paris is dissolved, having been in session since October 1614.

1778

Baron von Steuben joins the Continental Army at Valley Forge.

1821

Poet John Keats dies of tuberculosis at the age of 25.

1836

The Alamo is besieged by Santa Anna.

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.

1854

Great Britain officially recognizes the independence of the Orange Free State.

1861

Texas becomes the seventh state to secede from the Union.

1885

John Lee survives three attempts to hang him in Exeter Prison, as the trap fails to open.

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.

1901

Britain and Germany agree on a boundary between German East Africa and Nyasaland.

1904

Japan guarantees Korean sovereignty in exchange for military assistance.

1916

Secretary of State Lansing hints that the U.S. may have to abandon the policy of avoiding "entangling foreign alliances".

1921

An airmail plane sets a record of 33 hours and 20 minutes from San Francisco to New York.

1926

President Calvin Coolidge opposes a large air force, believing it would be a menace to world peace.

1936

In Russia, an unmanned balloon rises to a record height of 25 miles.

1938

Twelve Chinese fighter planes drop bombs on Japan.

1942

A Japanese submarine shells an oil refinery near Santa Barbara, California, the first Axis bombs to hit American soil.

1944

American bombers strike the Marianas Islands bases, only 1,300 miles from Tokyo.

1945

Eisenhower opens a large offensive in the Rhineland.

1945

U.S. Marines plant an American flag atop Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima.

1946

Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita is hanged in Manila, the Philippines, for war crimes.

1947

Several hundred Nazi organizers are arrested in Frankfurt by U.S. and British forces.

1950

New York's Metropolitan Museum exhibits a collection of Hapsburg art. The first showing of this collection in the U.S.

1954

Mass innoculation begins as Salk's polio vaccine is given to children for first time.

1955

Eight nations meet in Bangkok for the first SEATO council.

1960

Whites join Negro students in a sit-in at a Winston-Salem, N.C. Woolworth store.

1964

The U.S. and Britain recognize the new Zanzibar government.

1967

American troops begin the largest offensive of the war, near the Cambodian border.

1972

Black activist Angela Davis is released from jail where she was held for kidnapping , conspiracy and murder.

1991

French forces unofficially start the Persian Gulf ground war by crossing the Saudi-Iraqi border.