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February 23, 2014

Today in History for Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014

-- — Highlight in History

On Feb. 23, 1954, the first mass inoculation of schoolchildren against polio using the Salk vaccine began in Pittsburgh as some 5,000 students were vaccinated.

On this date

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

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 1934, Leopold III succeeded his late father, Albert I, as King of the Belgians.

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

In 1945, U.S. Marines on Iwo Jima captured Mount Suribachi.

In 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. (Tower’s nomination went down to defeat in the full Senate the following month.)

Ten years ago

The Army canceled its Comanche helicopter program after sinking $6.9 billion into it over 21 years. Education Secretary Rod Paige likened the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union, to a “terrorist organization” during a private White House meeting with governors. (Paige later called it a poor choice of words, but stood by his claim the NEA was using “obstructionist scare tactics.”)

Five years ago

President Barack Obama pledged to dramatically slash the skyrocketing annual budget deficit as he started to dole out the record $787 billion economic stimulus package he’d signed the previous week.

One year ago

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. The Ultimate Fighting Championship held its first women’s bout as Ronda Rousey beat Liz Carmouche on an armbar, her signature move, with 11 seconds left in the first round of their bantamweight title fight at UFC 157 in Anaheim, Calif.

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