February 23 events in history

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 Marihueñu 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
1821 Alexander Ypsilantis starts the Greek War of Independence in Iași, Wallachia (now part of Romania)
1836 Texas Revolution: The Battle of the Alamo begins in San Antonio, Texas
1847 Mexican–American War: Battle of Buena Vista – In Mexico, American troops under future president General Zachary Taylor defeat Mexican General Antonio López 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
1885 Sino-French War: French Army gains an important victory in the Battle of Đồng Đăng in the Tonkin region of Vietnam
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
1896 The Tootsie Roll is invented
1898 Émile 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: Boers and British troops fight in the Battle of Hart's Hill
1903 Cuba leases Guantánamo Bay to the United States "in perpetuity"
1905 Chicago, Illinois attorney Paul Harris and three other businessmen meet for lunch to form the Rotary Club, the world's first service club
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
1918 Last monarch of Mecklenburg-Strelitz commits suicide
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
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
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 California coastline near Santa Barbara
1943 Greek Resistance: The United Panhellenic Organization of Youth is founded is Greece
1943 A fire breaks out at St. Joseph's Orphanage, County Cavan, Ireland, killing 36 people (35 of whom are children)
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 commonly forgotten U.S. Navy Corpsman, reach the top of Mount Suribachi on the island and are photographed raising the American flag
1945 World War II: The capital of the Philippines, Manila, is liberated by combined Filipino and American forces
1945 World War II: The 11th Airborne Division, with Filipino guerrillas, free the captives of the Los Baños internment camp
1945 World War II: Capitulation of German garrison in Poznań. 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 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'état 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'état, deposing Prime Minister Chatichai Choonhavan