updated 2/23/2005 12:02:15 AM ET 2005-02-23T05:02:15

Today is Wednesday, Feb. 23, the 54th day of 2005. There are 311 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:
One hundred years ago, on Feb. 23, 1905, the first Rotary Club service organization was founded in Chicago by Paul Harris.

On this date:
In 1822, Boston was granted a charter to incorporate as a city.

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

In 1847, U.S. troops under Gen. Zachary Taylor defeated Mexican General Santa Anna at the Battle of Buena Vista in Mexico.

In 1848, the sixth president of the United States, John Quincy Adams, died of a stroke at age 80.

In 1861, President-elect Lincoln arrived secretly in Washington to take office, an assassination plot having been foiled in Baltimore.

In 1870, Mississippi was readmitted to the Union.

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

In 1965, Stan Laurel — the “skinny” half of the Laurel and Hardy comedy team — died in Santa Monica, Calif.

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: The Dow Jones industrial average closed above the 4,000 mark for the first time. Administration officials said President Clinton would review dozens of affirmative action programs. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter arrived in Haiti to help prepare for peaceful elections.

Five years ago: Carlos Santana won eight Grammy awards, including album of the year for “Supernatural,” tying the record set by Michael Jackson in 1983 for most trophies in one night.

One year 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” in its fight over the nation’s education law.)

Today’s birthdays: Songwriter Bob Willis is 71. Actor Peter Fonda is 65. Author John Sandford is 61. Singer-musician Johnny Winter is 61. Country-rock musician Rusty Young is 59. Actress Patricia Richardson is 54. Rock musician Brad Whitford (Aerosmith) is 53. Singer Howard Jones is 50. Rock musician Michael Wilton (Queensryche) is 43. Country singer Dusty Drake is 41. Actress Kristin Davis is 40. Tennis player Helena Sukova is 40. Actor Marc Price is 37. Rock musician Jeff Beres (Sister Hazel) is 34. Country singer Steve Holy is 33. Rock musician Lasse Johansson (The Cardigans) is 32. Actress Dakota Fanning is 11.

Thought for today: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead, American anthropologist (1901-1978).

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