On This Day

Today is 23 February 2018, and this is some of what happened.

Events

303 - Roman emperor Diocletian orders the destruction of the Christian church in Nicomedia, beginning eight years of Diocletianic Persecution.
532 - Byzantine emperor Justinian I orders the building of a new Orthodox Christian basilica in Constantinople - the Hagia Sophia.
1455 - Traditional date for the publication of the Gutenberg Bible, the first Western book printed with movable type.
1554 - Mapuche forces, under the leadership of Lautaro, score a victory over the Spanish at the Battle of Marihuea▒u in Chile.
1739 - Richard Palmer is identified at York Castle, by his former schoolteacher, as the outlaw Dick Turpin.
1778 - American Revolutionary War: Baron von Steuben arrives at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania to help to train the Continental Army.
1820 - Cato Street Conspiracy: A plot to murder all the British cabinet ministers is exposed.
1836 - Texas Revolution: The Battle of the Alamo begins in San Antonio, Texas.
1847 - Mexicana/American War: Battle of Buena Vista: In Mexico, American troops under future president General Zachary Taylor defeat Mexican General Antonio L├│pez de Santa Anna.
1854 - The official independence of the Orange Free State is declared.
1861 - President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrives secretly in Washington, D.C., after the thwarting of an alleged assassination plot in Baltimore, Maryland.
1870 - Reconstruction Era: Post-U.S. Civil War military control of Mississippi ends and it is readmitted to the Union.
1883 - Alabama becomes the first U.S. state to enact an anti-trust law.
1886 - Charles Martin Hall produced the first samples of man-made aluminum, after several years of intensive work. He was assisted in this project by his older sister Julia Brainerd Hall.
1887 - The French Riviera is hit by a large earthquake, killing around 2,000.
1898 - Amile Zola is imprisoned in France after writing "J'accuse", a letter accusing the French government of antisemitism and wrongfully imprisoning Captain Alfred Dreyfus.
1900 - Second Boer War: During the Battle of the Tugela Heights, the first British attempt to take Hart's Hill fails.
1903 - Cuba leases Guantánamo Bay to the United States "in perpetuity".
1905 - Chicago attorney Paul Harris and three other businessmen meet for lunch to form the Rotary Club, the world's first service cluborn
1909 - The AEA Silver Dart makes the first powered flight in Canada and the British Empire.
1917 - First demonstrations in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The beginning of the February Revolution (March 8th in the Gregorian calendar).
1918 - Last monarch of Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz commits suicide.
1927 - U.S. President Calvin Coolidge signs a bill by Congress establishing the Federal Radio Commission (later replaced by the Federal Communications Commission) which was to regulate the use of radio frequencies in the United States.
1927 - German theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg writes a letter to fellow physicist Wolfgang Pauli, in which he describes his uncertainty principle for the first time.
1934 - Leopold III becomes King of Belgium.
1941 - Plutonium is first produced and isolated by Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg.
1942 - World War II: Japanese submarines fire artillery shells at the coastline near Santa Barbara, California.
1943 - A fire breaks out at St. Joseph's Orphanage, County Cavan, Ireland, killing 36 people (35 of whom are children).
1943 - Greek Resistance: The United Panhellenic Organization of Youth is founded is Greece.
1944 - The Soviet Union begins the forced deportation of the Chechen and Ingush people from the North Caucasus to Central Asia.
1945 - World War II: During the Battle of Iwo Jima, a group of United States Marines and a U.S. Navy hospital corpsman reach the top of Mount Suribachi on the island and are photographed raising the American flag.
1945 - World War II: The 11th Airborne Division, with Filipino guerrillas, free the captives of the Los Ba├▒os internment camp.
1945 - World War II: The capital of the Philippines, Manila, is liberated by combined Filipino and American forces.
1945 - World War II: Capitulation of German garrison in Pozna. The city is liberated by Soviet and Polish forces.
1945 - World War II: The German town of Pforzheim is annihilated in a raid by 379 British bombers.
1947 - The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is founded.
1954 - The first mass inoculation of children against polio with the Salk vaccine begins in Pittsburgh.
1955 - First meeting of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO).
1958 - Cuban rebels kidnap 5-time world F1 champion Juan Manuel Fangio.
1966 - In Syria, Ba'ath Party member Salah Jadid leads an intra-party military coup that replaces the previous government of General Amin al-Hafiz, also a Baathist.
1974 - The Symbionese Liberation Army demands $4 million more to release kidnap victim Patty Hearst.
1980 - Iran hostage crisis: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini states that Iran's parliament will decide the fate of the American embassy hostages.
1981 - In Spain, Antonio Tejero attempts a coup d'├ętat by capturing the Spanish Congress of Deputies.
1983 - The United States Environmental Protection Agency announces its intent to buy out and evacuate the dioxin-contaminated community of Times Beach, Missouri.
1987 - Supernova 1987a is seen in the Large Magellanic Cloud.
1991 - Gulf War: Ground troops cross the Saudi Arabian border and enter Iraq, thus beginning the ground phase of the war.
1991 - In Thailand, General Sunthorn Kongsompong leads a bloodless coup d'tat, deposing Prime Minister Chatichai Choonhavan.
1998 - In the United States, tornadoes in central Florida destroy or damage 2,600 structures and kill 42.
2005 - The controversial French law on colonialism is passed, requiring teachers to teach the "positive values of colonialism". After public outcry, it is repealed at the beginning of 2006.
2007 - A train derails on an evening express service near Grayrigg, Cumbria, England, killing one person and injuring 88. This results in hundreds of points being checked over the UK after a few similar accidents.
2008 - A U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit bomber crashes on Guam. It is the first operational loss of a B-2.
2010 - Unknown criminals pour more than 2.5 million liters of diesel oil and other hydrocarbons into the river Lambro, in northern Italy, sparking an environmental disaster.
2012 - A series of attacks across Iraq leave at least 83 killed and more than 250 injured.

Births

1417 - Pope Paul II (died 1471)
1443 - Matthias Corvinus, Hungarian king (died 1490)
1583 - Jean-Baptiste Morin, French mathematician, astrologer, and astronomer (died 1656)
1633 - Samuel Pepys, English soldier and politician (died 1703)
1646 - Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, Japanese shogun (died 1709)
1680 - Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, Canadian politician, 2nd Colonial Governor of Louisiana (died 1767)
1685 - George Frideric Handel, German-English organist and composer (died 1759)
1723 - Richard Price, Welsh-English minister and philosopher (died 1791)
1744 - Mayer Amschel Rothschild, German banker and businessman (died 1812)
1840 - Carl Menger, Austrian economist and educator (died 1921)
1842 - Karl Robert Eduard von Hartmann, German philosopher and author (died 1906)
1868 - W. E. born Du Bois, American sociologist, historian, and activist (died 1963)
1868 - Anna Hofman-Uddgren, Swedish actress, singer, and director (died 1947)
1873 - Liang Qichao, Chinese journalist, philosopher, and scholar (died 1929)
1878 - Kazimir Malevich, Ukrainian painter and theorist (died 1935)
1883 - Karl Jaspers, German-Swiss psychiatrist and philosopher (died 1969)
1883 - Guy C. Wiggins, American painter (died 1962)
1889 - Musidora, French actress and director (died 1957)
1889 - Cyril Delevanti, English-American actor (died 1975)
1889 - Victor Fleming, American director, cinematographer, and producer (died 1949)
1889 - John Gilbert Winant, American captain, pilot, and politician, 60th Governor of New Hampshire (died 1947)
1892 - Kathleen Harrison, English actress (died 1995)
1894 - Harold Horder, Australian rugby player and coach (died 1978)
1899 - Erich K├Ąstner, German author and poet (died 1974)
1899 - Norman Taurog, American director and screenwriter (died 1981)
1904 - Terence Fisher, English director and screenwriter (died 1980)
1904 - William L. Shirer, American journalist and historian (died 1993)
1908 - William McMahon, Australian lawyer and politician, 20th Prime Minister of Australia (died 1988)
1915 - Jon Hall, American actor and director (died 1979)
1915 - Paul Tibbets, American general and pilot (died 2007)
1919 - Johnny Carey, Irish footballer and manager (died 1995)
1923 - Rafael Addiego Bruno, Uruguayan jurist and politician, President of Uruguay (died 2014)
1923 - Ioannis Grivas, Greek judge and politician, 176th Prime Minister of Greece
1923 - Mary Francis Shura, American author (died 1991)
1924 - Allan McLeod Cormack, South-African-American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (died 1998)
1925 - Louis Stokes, American lawyer and politician (died 2015)
1928 - Hans Herrmann, German race car driver
1928 - Vasily Lazarev, Russian colonel, physician, and astronaut (died 1990)
1929 - Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow (died 2008)
1929 - Elston Howard, American baseball player and coach (died 1980)
1930 - Paul West, English-American author, poet, and academic (died 2015)
1931 - Tom Wesselmann, American painter and sculptor (died 2004)
1932 - Majel Barrett, American actress and producer (died 2008)
1933 - Donna J. Stone, American poet and philanthropist (died 1994)
1937 - Tom Osborne, American football player, coach, and politician
1938 - Paul Morrissey, American director, producer, and screenwriter
1938 - Diane Varsi, American actress (died 1992)
1940 - Peter Fonda, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter
1940 - Jackie Smith, American football player
1941 - Ron Hunt, American baseball player
1943 - Fred Biletnikoff, American football player and coach
1944 - Bernard Cornwell, English author and educator
1944 - Florian Fricke, German keyboard player and composer (Popol Vuh and Gila) (died 2001)
1944 - Johnny Winter, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (died 2014)
1945 - Allan Boesak, South African cleric and politician
1946 - Rusty Young, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (Poco)
1947 - Anton Mosimann, Swiss chef and author
1948 - Bill Alexander, English director and producer
1948 - Steve Priest, English singer-songwriter and bass player (Sweet)
1949 - C├ęsar Aira, Argentinian author and translator
1949 - Marc Garneau, Canadian engineer, astronaut, and politician
1950 - Rebecca Goldstein, American philosopher and author
1951 - Ed "Too Tall" Jones, American football player and boxer
1951 - Patricia Richardson, American actress
1952 - Brad Whitford, American guitarist and songwriter (Aerosmith and The Joe Perry Project)
1953 - Kenny Bee, Hong Kong singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor (The Wynners)
1953 - Satoru Nakajima, Japanese race car driver
1954 - Rajini Thiranagama, Sri Lankan physician and academic (died 1989)
1954 - Viktor Yushchenko, Ukrainian captain and politician, 3rd President of Ukraine
1955 - Howard Jones, English singer-songwriter
1955 - Flip Saunders, American basketball player and coach (died 2015)
1956 - Sandra Osborne, Scottish politician
1957 - Ria Brieffies, Dutch singer (Dolly Dots) (died 2009)
1958 - David Sylvian, English singer-songwriter (Japan and Nine Horses)
1959 - Clayton Anderson, American engineer and astronaut
1959 - Nick de Bois, English politician
1959 - Ian Liddell-Grainger, Scottish soldier and politician
1959 - Linda Nolan, Irish singer and actress (The Nolans)
1960 - Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan
1962 - Michael Wilton, American guitarist (Queensr├┐che and Soulbender)
1963 - Bobby Bonilla, American baseball player
1963 - Radosaw Sikorski, Polish journalist and politician, 11th Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland
1964 - John Norum, Norwegian guitarist and songwriter (Europe)
1965 - Michael Dell, American businessman and philanthropist, founded Dell
1965 - Helena Sukova, Czech-Monacan tennis player
1967 - Steve Stricker, American golfer
1967 - Chris Vrenna, American drummer, songwriter, and producer (Nine Inch Nails, Tweaker, Die Warzau, and Exotic Birds)
1969 - Michael Campbell, New Zealand-Australian golfer
1969 - Daymond John, American fashion designer and businessman, founded FUBU
1970 - Niecy Nash, American actress and producer
1971 - Melinda Messenger, English model and television host
1971 - Joe-Max Moore, American soccer player
1972 - Steve Holy, American singer
1972 - Alessandro Sturba, Italian footballer
1972 - Rondell White, American baseball player
1973 - Jeff Nordgaard, American-Polish basketball player
1974 - Herschelle Gibbs, South African cricketer
1975 - Michael Cornacchia, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter
1975 - Robert Lopez, American composer
1975 - Ryan McCourt, Canadian artist
1976 - Scott Elarton, American baseball player and coach
1976 - Kelly Macdonald, Scottish actress
1976 - Jeff O'Neill, Canadian ice hockey player and sportscaster
1978 - Residente, Puerto Rican-American singer-songwriter (Calle 13)
1978 - Dan Snyder, Canadian ice hockey player (died 2003)
1979 - S. E. Cupp, American journalist and author
1981 - Gareth Barry, English footballer
1981 - Josh Gad, American actor, producer, and screenwriter
1981 - Charles Tillman, American football player
1982 - Adam Hann-Byrd, American actor and screenwriter
1983 - Mido, Egyptian footballer and sportscaster
1983 - Aziz Ansari, American comedian, actor, producer, and screenwriter
1983 - Emily Blunt, English actress
1986 - Skylar Grey, American singer-songwriter
1986 - Kazuya Kamenashi, Japanese singer-songwriter and actor (KAT-TUN and Sh┼źji to Akira)
1986 - Jerod Mayo, American football player
1986 - Ola Svensson, Swedish singer-songwriter
1987 - Ab-Soul, American rapper (Black Hippy)
1987 - Theophilus London, Trinidadian-American singer-songwriter and producer
1989 - Evan Bates, American ice dancer
1990 - Terry Hawkridge, English footballer
1992 - Casemiro, Brazilian footballer
1992 - Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Greek footballer
1992 - Samara Weaving, Australian actress and model
1994 - Dakota Fanning, American actress
1995 - Andrew Wiggins, Canadian basketball player

Deaths

715 - Al-Walid I, Arab caliph (born 668)
943 - Herbert II, Count of Vermandois, (born 884)
1011 - Willigis, German archbishop (born 940)
1100 - Emperor Zhezong of Song (born 1076)
1270 - Isabel of France (born 1225)
1447 - Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (born 1390)
1447 - Pope Eugene IV (born 1383)
1464 - Emperor Yingzong of Ming (born 1427)
1554 - Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk, English politician, Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire (born 1515)
1603 - Andrea Cesalpino, Italian philosopher, physician, and botanist (born 1519)
1704 - Georg Muffat, French organist and composer (born 1653)
1781 - George Taylor, Irish-American blacksmith and politician (born 1716)
1792 - Joshua Reynolds, English painter and academic (born 1723)
1821 - John Keats, English poet (born 1795)
1848 - John Quincy Adams, American politician, 6th President of the United States (born 1767)
1855 - Carl Friedrich Gauss, German mathematician, astronomer, and physicist (born 1777)
1859 - Zygmunt Krasiaski, Polish poet and playwright (born 1812)
1879 - Albrecht von Roon, Prussian soldier and politician, 10th Minister President of Prussia (born 1803)
1897 - Woldemar Bargiel, German composer and educator (born 1828)
1900 - Ernest Dowson, English poet, novelist, and short story writer (born 1867)
1908 - Friedrich von Esmarch, German surgeon and academic (born 1823)
1918 - Adolphus Frederick VI, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (born 1882)
1930 - Horst Wessel, German SA officer (born 1907)
1931 - Nellie Melba, Australian soprano and actress (born 1861)
1934 - Edward Elgar, English composer and academic (born 1857)
1944 - Leo Baekeland, Belgian-American chemist and engineer (born 1863)
1946 - Tomoyuki Yamashita, Japanese general (born 1885)
1948 - John Robert Gregg, Irish-American publisher and educator (born 1866)
1955 - Paul Claudel, French poet and playwright (born 1868)
1965 - Stan Laurel, English actor and director (born 1890)
1969 - Madhubala, Indian actress and producer (born 1933)
1973 - Dickinson W. Richards, American physician and physiologist, Nobel Prize laureate (born 1895)
1974 - Harry Ruby, American composer and screenwriter (born 1895)
1976 - L. S. Lowry, English painter (born 1887)
1979 - W. A. C. Bennett, Canadian businessman and politician, 25th Premier of British Columbia (born 1900)
1983 - Herbert Howells, English organist and composer (born 1892)
1995 - Melvin Franklin, American singer (The Temptations) (born 1942)
1995 - James Herriot, English veterinarian and author (born 1916)
1996 - William Bonin, American serial killer and sex offender (born 1947)
1997 - Tony Williams, American drummer, composer, and producer (The Tony Williams Lifetime) (born 1945)
1998 - Philip Abbott, American actor and director (born 1924)
1999 - The Renegade, American wrestler (born 1965)
2000 - Ofra Haza, Israeli singer-songwriter and actress (born 1957)
2000 - Stanley Matthews, English footballer and manager (born 1915)
2003 - Howie Epstein, American bass player, songwriter, and producer (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) (born 1955)
2003 - Robert K. Merton, American sociologist and academic (born 1910)
2004 - Vijay Anand, Indian director, producer, screenwriter, and actor (born 1934)
2004 - Carl Anderson, American singer and actor (born 1945)
2004 - Sikander Bakht, Indian politician, Indian Minister of External Affairs (born 1918)
2006 - Telmo Zarra, Spanish footballer (born 1921)
2007 - John Ritchie, English footballer (born 1941)
2008 - Janez Drnovšek, Slovenian economist and politician, 2nd President of Slovenia (born 1950)
2010 - Orlando Zapata, Cuban plumber and activist (born 1967)
2011 - Nirmala Srivastava, Indian religious leader, founded Sahaja Yoga (born 1923)
2012 - William Raggio, American lawyer and politician (born 1926)
2012 - David Sayre, American physicist and mathematician (born 1924)
2012 - Kazimierz ┼╗ygulski, Polish sociologist and activist (born 1919)
2013 - Eugene Bookhammer, American soldier and politician, 18th Lieutenant Governor of Delaware (born 1918)
2013 - Julien Ries, Belgian cardinal (born 1920)
2013 - Lotika Sarkar, Indian lawyer and academic (born 1945)
2014 - Alice Herz-Sommer, Czech-English Holocaust survivor, pianist and educator (born 1903)
2014 - Roger Hilsman, American soldier, academic, and politician (born 1919)
2014 - Samuel Sheinbein, American-Israeli murderer (born 1980)
2015 - James Aldridge, Australian-English journalist and author (born 1918)
2015 - Rana Bhagwandas, Pakistani lawyer and judge, Chief Justice of Pakistan (born 1942)
2015 - W. E. "Bill" Dykes, American soldier and politician (born 1925)
2016 - Peter Lustig, German television host and author (born 1937)
2016 - Jacqueline Mattson, American baseball player (born 1928)