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This Day in History

Today is Sunday, Feb. 23, the 54th day of 2014. There are 311 days left in the year.

Birthdays: Actor Peter Fonda is 74. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Fred Biletnikoff is 71. Author John Sandford is 70. Singer-musician Johnny Winter is 70. Country-rock musician Rusty Young is 68. Actress Patricia Richardson is 63. Rock musician Brad Whitford (Aerosmith) is 62. Singer Howard Jones is 59. Rock musician Michael Wilton (Queensryche) is 52. Country singer Dusty Drake is 50. Actress Kristin Davis is 49. Tennis player Helena Sukova is 49. Actor Marc Price is 46. Actress Niecy Nash is 44. Rock musician Jeff Beres (Sister Hazel) is 43. Country singer Steve Holy is 42. Rock musician Lasse Johansson (The Cardigans) is 41. Actress Kelly Macdonald is 38. Actor Josh Gad (Film: ‘‘Jobs”) is 33. Actress Emily Blunt is 31. Actor Aziz Ansari is 31. Actress Dakota Fanning is 20.

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In 1633, English diarist Samuel Pepys was born in London.

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

In 1848, the sixth president of the United States, John Quincy Adams, died in Washington, D.C., at age 80.

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.

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 1927, President Calvin Coolidge signed a bill creating the Federal Radio Commission, forerunner of the Federal Communications Commission.

In 1944, US forces secured Eniwetok Atoll from the Japanese during World War II.

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

In 1954, the first mass inoculation of students against polio using the Salk vaccine began in Pittsburgh as some 5,000 children were vaccinated.

In 2004, the Army canceled its Comanche helicopter program after sinking $6.9 billion into it over 21 years.

In 2013, some 30 NASCAR fans were injured when rookie Kyle Larson’s car was propelled by a crash into the fence at Daytona International Speedway, and large chunks of debris — including a tire — flew into the grandstands.

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