Feb. 23, 1836: The siege of the Alamo began in San Antonio, Texas.
1848: The sixth president of the United States, John Quincy Adams, died in Washington, D.C., at age 80.
1863: British explorers John H. Speke and James A. Grant announced they had found the source of the Nile River to be Lake Victoria.
1870: Mississippi was readmitted to the Union.
1903: President Theodore Roosevelt signed an agreement with Cuba to lease the area around Guantánamo Bay to the United States.
1927: President Calvin Coolidge signed a bill creating the Federal Radio Commission, forerunner of the Federal Communications Commission.
1934: Leopold III succeeded his late father, Albert I, as King of the Belgians.
1945: During World War II, U.S. Marines on Iwo Jima captured Mount Suribachi, where they raised a pair of American flags.
1954: The first mass inoculation of schoolchildren against polio using the Salk vaccine began in Pittsburgh as some 5,000 students were vaccinated.
1965: Film comedian Stan Laurel, 74, died in Santa Monica, California.
1970: Guyana became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations.
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.
1995: The Dow Jones industrial average closed above the 4,000 mark for the first time, ending the day at 4,003.33.
"Men are more often bribed by their loyalties and ambitions than by money."
Robert H. Jackson, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (1892-1954)