Today in History

By The Associated Press

Today is Saturday, Feb. 23, the 54th day of 2008. There are 312 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Feb. 23, 1945, during World War II, U.S. Marines on Iwo Jima captured Mount Suribachi, where they raised the American flag.

On this date:

In 1633, English diarist Samuel Pepys was born in London.

In 1836, the siege of the Alamo began in San Antonio.

In 1847, the Battle of Buena Vista took place during the Mexican-American War. U.S. troops led by General Zachary Taylor fought Mexican General Santa Anna's forces, who ended up withdrawing.

In 1848, the 6th president of the United States, John Quincy Adams, died in Washington, D.C., at age 80.

In 1861, President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrived secretly in Washington to take office, following word of an assassination plot in Baltimore.

In 1870, Mississippi was readmitted to the Union.

In 1927, President Coolidge signed a bill creating the Federal Radio Commission, forerunner of the Federal Communications Commission.

In 1954, the first mass inoculation of children against polio with the Salk vaccine began in Pittsburgh.

In 1981, an attempted coup began in Spain as 200 members of the Civil Guard invaded the Parliament, taking lawmakers hostage. (However, the attempt collapsed 18 hours later.)

In 1997, scientists in Scotland announced they had succeeded in cloning an adult mammal, producing a lamb named Dolly. (Dolly, however, was later put down after a short life marred by premature aging and disease.)

Ten years ago: Forty-two people were killed, some 2,600 homes and businesses damaged or destroyed, by tornadoes in central Florida. President Clinton gave cautious approval to a U.N. agreement reached by Secretary-General Kofi Annan with Saddam Hussein for monitoring suspected weapons sites in Iraq.

Five years ago: In West Warwick, R.I., relatives of the victims of a deadly nightclub fire were allowed to walk up to the charred rubble to pray and say goodbye. Norah Jones won five Grammys, including album and record of the year.

One year ago: A Mississippi grand jury refused to bring any new charges in the 1955 slaying of Emmett Till, a black teenager who was beaten and shot after whistling at a white woman, declining to indict the woman, Carolyn Bryant Donham, for manslaughter. Democrat Tom Vilsack abandoned his bid for the presidency. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport became the first in the United States to begin testing new X-ray screening technology that can see through people's clothes. Forty-six countries attending a conference in Oslo, Norway, agreed to push for a global treaty banning cluster bombs.

Today's Birthdays: Country songwriter Bob Willis is 74. Actor Peter Fonda is 68. Author John Sandford is 64. Singer-musician Johnny Winter is 64. Country-rock musician Rusty Young is 62. Actress Patricia Richardson is 57. Rock musician Brad Whitford (Aerosmith) is 56. Singer Howard Jones is 53. Rock musician Michael Wilton (Queensryche) is 46. Country singer Dusty Drake is 44. Actress Kristin Davis is 43. Tennis player Helena Sukova is 43. Actor Marc Price is 40. Actress Niecy Nash is 38. Rock musician Jeff Beres (Sister Hazel) is 37. Country singer Steve Holy is 36. Rock musician Lasse Johansson (The Cardigans) is 35. Actress Dakota Fanning is 14.

Thought for Today: "Men are more often bribed by their loyalties and ambitions than by money." -- Robert H. Jackson, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (1892-1954).