Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 23, 1954, the first mass inoculation of schoolchildren against polio using the Salk vaccine began in Pittsburgh as some 5,000 students were vaccinated.
On this date:
In 1685, composer George Frideric Handel was born in present-day Germany.
In 1822, Boston was granted a charter to incorporate as a city.
In 1836, the siege of the Alamo began in San Antonio, Texas.
In 1861, President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrived secretly in Washington to take office, following word of a possible assassination plot in Baltimore.
In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt signed an agreement with Cuba to lease the area around Guantanamo Bay to the United States.
In 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.
In 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.)
In 1998, 42 people were killed, some 2,600 homes and businesses damaged or destroyed, by tornadoes in central Florida.
In 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.
In 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.
In 2013, some 30 NASCAR fans were injured when rookie Kyle Larson’s car was propelled by a crash into the fence at Daytona International Speedway, and large chunks of debris flew into the grandstands.
In 2020, Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, was fatally shot on a residential Georgia street; a white father and son had armed themselves and pursued him after seeing him running through their neighborhood. (Greg and Travis McMichael and neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan were convicted of murder, aggravated assault and other charges and were sentenced to life in prison.)
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama, speaking in Miami, sought to confront public anxiety over rising gasoline prices as he promoted the expansion of domestic oil and gas exploration, as well as the development of new forms of energy.
Five years ago: Seeking to tamp down growing unease in Latin America, President Donald Trump’s Homeland Security secretary, John Kelly, pledged during a visit to Mexico City that the United States would not enlist its military to enforce immigration laws and that there would be “no mass deportations.”
One year ago: Officials who were in charge of Capitol security at the time of the Jan. 6 riot told lawmakers that missed intelligence was to blame for the failure to anticipate the violent mob. Golfer Tiger Woods was seriously injured when his SUV crashed into a median and rolled over several times on a steep road in suburban Los Angeles.
Today’s Birthdays: Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Fred Biletnikoff is 79. Author John Sandford is 78. Actor Patricia Richardson is 71. Former NFL player Ed “Too Tall” Jones is 71.
Rock musician Brad Whitford (Aerosmith) is 70. Singer Howard Jones is 67. Rock musician Michael Wilton (Queensryche) is 60. Country singer Dusty Drake is 58. Actor Kristin Davis is 57. Former tennis player Helena Sukova is 57. Actor Marc Price is 54. TV personality/businessman Daymond John (TV: “Shark Tank”) is 53. Actor Niecy Nash is 52. Rock musician Jeff Beres (Sister Hazel) is 51. Country singer Steve Holy is 50. Rock musician Lasse (loss) Johansson (The Cardigans) is 49. Film and theater composer Robert Lopez is 47. Actor Kelly Macdonald is 46. Rapper Residente (Calle 13) is 44. Actor Josh Gad is 41. Actor Emily Blunt is 39. Actor Aziz Ansari is 39. Actor Tye White (TV: “Greenleaf”) is 36. Actor Dakota Fanning is 28.