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Today in history: February 23

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Thursday, Feb. 23, the 54th day of 2006. There are 311 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 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 Gen. 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 1905, the first Rotary Club service organization was founded in Chicago by Paul Harris.

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 Iraqi News Agency reported that Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamel al-Majid and his brother Saddam Kamel al-Majid, a pair of defectors who were also the sons-in-law of Saddam Hussein, were killed by clan members after returning to their homeland. Dutch tourist Tosca Dieperink, 39, was killed in a holdup at a Miami service station. (Two men later pleaded guilty to the slaying and were sentenced to prison.)

Five years ago: President Bush opened a two-day summit with British Prime Minister Tony Blair at Camp David. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ordered an indefinite moratorium on civilian visitors operating military equipment, a possible factor in the collision of a U.S. submarine collision with a Japanese fishing boat.

One year ago: A jury was selected in Santa Maria, Calif., to decide Michael Jackson’s fate on charges that he’d molested a teenage boy at his Neverland Ranch. (Jackson was later acquitted.) President Bush and Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder agreed to turn down the volume on their disagreements about Iraq and Iran. French film star Simone Simon died in Paris at age 93.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Peter Fonda is 66. Author John Sandford is 62. Singer-musician Johnny Winter is 62. Country-rock musician Rusty Young is 60. Actress Patricia Richardson is 55. Rock musician Brad Whitford (Aerosmith) is 54. Singer Howard Jones is 51. Rock musician Michael Wilton (Queensryche) is 44. Country singer Dusty Drake is 42. Actress Kristin Davis is 41. Tennis player Helena Sukova is 41. Actor Marc Price is 38. Rock musician Jeff Beres (Sister Hazel) is 35. Country singer Steve Holy is 34. Rock musician Lasse Johansson (The Cardigans) is 33. Actress Dakota Fanning is 12.

Thought for Today: “If you wish to avoid seeing a fool you must first break your mirror.” — Francois Rabelais, French satirist (1494-1553).