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This day in history

Saturday, Feb. 23, is the 54th day of 2013. There are 311 days left in the year.

Today’s birthdays: Actor Peter Fonda is 73. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Fred Biletnikoff is 70. Singer-musician Johnny Winter is 69. Rock musician Brad Whitford (Aerosmith) is 61. Singer Howard Jones is 58. Actress Kristin Davis is 48. Actress Kelly Macdonald is 37. Actress Emily Blunt is 30. Actor Aziz Ansari is 30. Actress Dakota Fanning is 19.

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

In 1848, the sixth president, 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 a possible assassination plot.

In 1863, British explorers John H. Speke and James A. Grant announced they had found the source of the Nile River to be Lake Victoria. (This finding was disputed by Speke’s colleague, Richard F. Burton, who felt that proof was lacking, but the lake is now considered the Nile’s source.)

In 1870, Mississippi was readmitted to the Union.

In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt signed an agreement with Cuba to lease the area around Guantanamo Bay to the United States.

In 1945, US Marines on Iwo Jima captured Mount Suribachi.

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

In 1965, film comedian Stan Laurel, 74, died in Santa Monica, Calif.

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