The Associated Press
Today is Sunday, Feb. 23, the 54th day of 2014. There are 311 days left in the year.
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 1633, English diarist Samuel Pepys (peeps) was born in London.
In 1836, the siege of the Alamo began in San Antonio, Texas.
In 1848, the sixth president of the United States, John Quincy Adams, died in Washington, D.C., at age 80.
In 1863, British explorers John H. Speke and James A. Grant announced they had found the source of the Nile River to be Lake Victoria.
In 1870, Mississippi was readmitted to the Union.
In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt signed an agreement with Cuba to lease the area around Guantanamo Bay to the United States.
In 1927, President Calvin Coolidge signed a bill creating the Federal Radio Commission, forerunner of the Federal Communications Commission.
In 1934, Leopold III succeeded his late father, Albert I, as King of the Belgians.
In 1944, U.S. forces secured Eniwetok Atoll from the Japanese during World War II.
In 1945, U.S. Marines on Iwo Jima captured Mount Suribachi.
In 1970, Guyana became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations.
In 1989, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted 11-9 along party lines to recommend rejection of John Tower as President George H.W. Bush’s defense secretary. (Tower’s nomination went down to defeat in the full Senate the following month.)
Ten years ago: The Army canceled its Comanche helicopter program after sinking $6.9 billion into it over 21 years. Education Secretary Rod Paige likened the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union, to a “terrorist organization” during a private White House meeting with governors. (Paige later called it a poor choice of words, but stood by his claim the NEA was using “obstructionist scare tactics.”)
Five years ago: President Barack Obama pledged to dramatically slash the skyrocketing annual budget deficit as he started to dole out the record $787 billion economic stimulus package he’d signed the previous week.
One year ago: 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 — including a tire — flew into the grandstands. The Ultimate Fighting Championship held its first women’s bout as Ronda Rousey beat Liz Carmouche on an armbar, her signature move, with 11 seconds left in the first round of their bantamweight title fight at UFC 157 in Anaheim, Calif.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Peter Fonda is 74. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Fred Biletnikoff is 71. Author John Sandford is 70. Singer-musician Johnny Winter is 70. Country-rock musician Rusty Young is 68. Actress Patricia Richardson is 63. Rock musician Brad Whitford (Aerosmith) is 62. Singer Howard Jones is 59. Rock musician Michael Wilton (Queensryche) is 52. Country singer Dusty Drake is 50. Actress Kristin Davis is 49. Tennis player Helena Sukova is 49. Actor Marc Price is 46. Actress Niecy Nash is 44. Rock musician Jeff Beres (Sister Hazel) is 43. Country singer Steve Holy is 42. Rock musician Lasse Johansson (The Cardigans) is 41. Actress Kelly MacDonald is 38. Actor Josh Gad (Film: “Jobs”) is 33. Actress Emily Blunt is 31. Actor Aziz Ansari is 31. Actress Dakota Fanning is 20.
Thought for Today: “If you wish to avoid seeing a fool you must first break your mirror.” — Francois Rabelais, French satirist (1494-1553).