What happened on February 23? There are more than 270 events that were made this day in history. Here are the important historical events, facts, and some myths about this day.

Interesting Facts & Myths About February 23

February 23 In HistoryFebruary 23 is the 54th day of the year 2021. There are 311 days remaining until the end of this year. The day of the week is Tuesday. This day falls under the 8th week of the year 2021.

On this day in Randolph, Maine 04346 sunrise occured at 06:24 AM and sunset occured at 05:20 PM (local time).

The zodiac sign of a person born on this day is Pisces. The modern birthstone for this month is Amethyst while the mystical birthstone is Bloodstone.

According to the Chinese calendar, there are 343 days remaining before the start of the next Chinese New Year (February 1, 2022).

Birthday curiousity Is your birthday coming up in two days? Are you not curious to find out who is sharing your special day? Discover all the September 30 famous birthdays. There are fun facts about that day that you must know. (Sponsored link)

Historical Events For February 23

  • 303
    Roman Emperor Diocletian orders the destruction of the Christian church in Nicomedia, beginning eight years of Diocletianic Persecution.
  • 1455
    Traditional date for the publication of the Gutenberg Bible, the first Western book printed with movable type.
  • 1660
    Charles XI becomes King of Sweden.
  • 1739
    Richard Palmer is identified at York Castle, by his former schoolteacher, as the outlaw Dick Turpin.
  • 1778
    American Revolution: 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, modern-day Romania.
  • 1836
    The Battle of the Alamo begins in San Antonio, Texas.
  • 1846
    John Henry Newman leaves the Church of England and is received into the Roman Catholic Church.
  • 1847
    Mexican-American War: Battle of Buena Vista – In Mexico, American troops under General Zachary Taylor defeat Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna.
  • 1848
    The French Revolution of 1848, which would lead to the establishment of the French Second Republic, begins.
  • 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
    In the United States, post-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 antitrust 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.
  • 1896
    The Tootsie Roll is invented.
  • 1898
    Émile Zola is imprisoned in France after writing “J'accuse”, a letter accusing the French government of anti-Semitism and wrongfully imprisoning Captain Alfred Dreyfus.
  • 1900
    In South Africa, 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 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
    First victory of Red Army over the Kaiser’s German troops near Narva and Pskov. In honor of this victory, the date is celebrated from 1923 onward as “Red Army Day”; it is renamed Defender of the Fatherland Day after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, and is colloquially known as “Men’s Day”.
  • 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
    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
    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: Capitulation of German garrison in Poznań. The city is liberated by Soviet and Polish forces.
  • 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 11th Airborne Division, with Filipino guerrillas, free the captives of the Los Baños internment camp.
  • 1945
    World War II: The German town of Pforzheim is completely destroyed in a raid by 379 British bombers.
  • 1945
    World War II: The capital of the Philippines, Manila, is liberated by combined Filipino and American forces.
  • 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 driving champion Juan Manuel Fangio.
  • 1966
    In Syria, Baath 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
    Iranian 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.
  • 1997
    A small fire occurs in the Russian Space station, Mir.
  • 1998
    In the United States, tornadoes in central Florida destroy or damage 2,600 structures and kill 42.
  • 1998
    Osama bin Laden publishes a fatwa declaring jihad against all Jews and “Crusaders”; the latter term is commonly interpreted to refer to the people of Europe and the United States.
  • 1999
    An avalanche destroys the Austrian village of Galtür, killing 31.
  • 1999
    Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Öcalan is charged with treason in Ankara, Turkey.
  • 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 22. This results in hundreds of points being checked over the UK after a few similar accidents.
  • 2008
    A United States Air Force B-2 Spirit 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, causing an environmental disaster.

Who Were Born On February 23?

  • 1417
    Pope Paul II (d. 1471)
  • 1443
    Matthias Corvinus of Hungary, King of Hungary and Croatia (d. 1490)
  • 1583
    Jean-Baptiste Morin, French scientist (d. 1656)
  • 1633
    Samuel Pepys, English naval administrator and man of letters, posthumously famous as a diarist (d. 1703)
  • 1646
    Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, Japanese shogun (d. 1709)
  • 1648
    Arabella Churchill, English mistress of James II of England (d. 1730)
  • 1680
    Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, French colonizer and Governor of Louisiana (d. 1767)
  • 1685
    George Frideric Handel, German/British Baroque composer (d. 1759)
  • 1723
    Richard Price, Welsh philosopher (d. 1791)
  • 1729
    Josiah Hornblower, American statesman (d. 1809)
  • 1744
    Mayer Amschel Rothschild, German-born banker (d. 1812)
  • 1809
    William Sprague, American minister and politician from Michigan (d. 1868)
  • 1840
    Frederick Wicks, English author and inventor (d. 1910)
  • 1842
    Karl Robert Eduard von Hartmann, German philosopher (d. 1906)
  • 1850
    César Ritz, Swiss hotelier (d. 1918)
  • 1852
    Emperor Duc Duc (pronounced “dzup-duc”), the fifth emperor of the Vietnamese Nguyễn Dynasty (d. 1883)
  • 1868
    Anna Hoffman-Uddgren, Swedish director and actress (d. 1947)
  • 1868
    W. E. B. Du Bois, American civil rights leader (d. 1963)
  • 1873
    Liang Qichao, Chinese scholar (d. 1929)
  • 1874
    Konstantin Päts, Estonian president (d. 1956)
  • 1878
    Kazimir Malevich, Ukrainian painter and art theorist (d. 1935)
  • 1883
    Karl Jaspers, German philosopher (d. 1969)
  • 1889
    John Gilbert Winant, American politician (d. 1947)
  • 1889
    Musidora, French actress and director (d. 1957)
  • 1889
    Victor Fleming, American director (d. 1949)
  • 1891
    Harold Horder, Australian rugby league player (d. 1978)
  • 1899
    Erich Kästner, German writer (d. 1974)
  • 1899
    Norman Taurog, American film director (d. 1981)
  • 1901
    Edgar Ende, German painter (d. 1965)
  • 1904
    Leopold Trepper, Soviet spy (d. 1982)
  • 1904
    Terence Fisher, English film director (d. 1980)
  • 1904
    William L. Shirer, American historian (d. 1993)
  • 1908
    William McMahon, twentieth Prime Minister of Australia (d. 1988)
  • 1914
    Theofiel Middelkamp, Dutch cyclist (d. 2005)
  • 1915
    Jon Hall, American actor (d. 1979)
  • 1915
    Paul Tibbets, US Air Force retired Brigadier General and pilot of B-29 “Enola Gay” over Hiroshima (d. 2007)
  • 1918
    Richard G. Butler, founder of Aryan Nations (d. 2004)
  • 1920
    Paul Gérin-Lajoie, Canadian politician
  • 1923
    Mary Francis Shura, American writer (d. 1991)
  • 1923
    Miljenko Smoje, Dalmatian writer and journalist (d. 1995)
  • 1923
    Rafael Addiego Bruno, Uruguayan politician
  • 1923
    Yiannis Grivas, Greek judge, 87th Prime Minister of Greece
  • 1924
    Allan McLeod Cormack, South-African born physicist, Nobel laureate (d. 1998)
  • 1924
    Claude Sautet, French film director (d. 2000)
  • 1927
    Régine Crespin, French operatic soprano (d. 2007)
  • 1928
    Hans Herrmann, German race car driver
  • 1928
    Vasili Lazarev, cosmonaut (d. 1990)
  • 1929
    Elston Howard, American baseball player (d. 1980)
  • 1931
    Tom Wesselmann, American collage artist (d. 2004)
  • 1932
    Majel Barrett, American actress (d. 2008)
  • 1933
    Donna J. Stone, American poet (d. 1994)
  • 1937
    Tom Osborne, American football coach and politician
  • 1938
    Diane Varsi, American actress (d. 1992)
  • 1938
    Paul Morrissey, American film director
  • 1940
    Peter Fonda, American actor
  • 1941
    Ron Hunt, baseball player
  • 1943
    Fred Biletnikoff, American football player and coach
  • 1944
    Bernard Cornwell, English historical novelist
  • 1944
    John Sandford, American novelist
  • 1944
    Johnny Winter, American musician
  • 1945
    Allan Boesak, South African activist
  • 1946
    Rusty Young, American country-rock guitarist (Poco)
  • 1947
    John McWethy, American journalist (d. 2008)
  • 1947
    Pia Kjærsgaard, Danish politician
  • 1948
    Doug Moench, American comic book writer
  • 1949
    Marc Garneau, Canadian astronaut
  • 1950
    Maxi, Irish singer and radio personality
  • 1951
    Ed Jones, American football player
  • 1951
    Patricia Richardson, American actress
  • 1952
    Brad Whitford, American musician (Aerosmith)
  • 1953
    Kenny Bee,Hong Kong actor,musician and singer
  • 1953
    Satoru Nakajima, Japanese racing driver
  • 1954
    Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine
  • 1955
    Flip Saunders, American basketball coach
  • 1955
    Howard Jones, British pop singer
  • 1955
    Tom Bodett, American voice actor, radio personality, and writer
  • 1957
    Ria Brieffies, Dutch singer (d. 2009)
  • 1958
    David Sylvian, English musician (Japan, Nine Horses)
  • 1958
    Tony Barrell, English writer and journalist
  • 1959
    Clayton Anderson, American astronaut
  • 1959
    Richard Dodds, British field hockey player
  • 1960
    Alan Griffin, Australian politician
  • 1960
    Ivan Vdović, also known as VD, Yugoslavian musician (Šarlo Akrobata) (d. 1992)
  • 1960
    Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan
  • 1961
    Kelly Hansen, American drummer (Summer Lights)
  • 1962
    John David Brown, American illustrator, cartoonist
  • 1962
    Michael Wilton, American musician (Queensrÿche)
  • 1963
    Bobby Bonilla, American baseball player
  • 1963
    Radosław Sikorski, Polish politician
  • 1964
    David E. Clemmer, American ion mobility-mass spectrometrist, 2006 recipient of Biemann Medal
  • 1965
    Helena Suková, Czech former tennis player
  • 1965
    John Norum, Norwegian guitarist (Europe)
  • 1965
    Michael Dell, American computer manufacturer
  • 1966
    Neal McDonough, American actor
  • 1967
    Chris Vrenna, American musician, producer and sound engineer Nine Inch Nails, Tweaker
  • 1967
    Tamsin Greig, English actress
  • 1968
    Justin Bell, British racing driver
  • 1969
    Daymond John, American fashion designer
  • 1969
    Marc Wauters, Belgian cyclist
  • 1969
    Michael Campbell, New Zealand golfer
  • 1970
    Marie-Josée Croze, Canadian actress
  • 1970
    Niecy Nash, American actress
  • 1971
    Don Maxwell, Canadian cricketer
  • 1971
    Jeong Chan, South Korean actor
  • 1971
    Joe-Max Moore, American soccer player
  • 1971
    Melinda Messenger, English television presenter
  • 1972
    Alessandro Sturba, Italian footballer
  • 1972
    Rondell White, American baseball player
  • 1972
    Steve Holy, American country singer
  • 1973
    Jack Case, American artist
  • 1973
    Lars-Olof Johansson, Swedish musician (The Cardigans)
  • 1974
    Herschelle Gibbs, South African cricketer
  • 1974
    Leko, American DJ
  • 1975
    Michael Cornacchia, American actor
  • 1975
    Natalia Verbeke, Argentine actress
  • 1975
    Robert Lopez, American composer
  • 1976
    Kelly Macdonald, British actress
  • 1976
    Scott Elarton, American baseball player
  • 1977
    Kristina Šmigun-Vähi, Estonian cross-country skier
  • 1978
    Dan Snyder, Canadian ice hockey player (d. 2003)
  • 1978
    Jo Joyner, English actress
  • 1978
    René Pérez, Puerto Rican musician (Calle 13)
  • 1979
    S.E. Cupp, American author and political commentator
  • 1981
    Charles Tillman, American football player
  • 1981
    Gareth Barry, English footballer
  • 1982
    Adam Hann-Byrd, American actor
  • 1982
    Karan Singh, Indian actor
  • 1982
    Malia Metella, French swimmer
  • 1983
    Aziz Ansari, Indian-American comedian
  • 1983
    Courtney Culkin, American Playboy Playmate
  • 1983
    Emily Blunt, British actress
  • 1983
    Mido, Egyptian footballer
  • 1983
    Mirco Bergamasco, Italian rugby player
  • 1986
    Emerson da Conceição, Brazilian footballer
  • 1986
    Jerod Mayo, American football player
  • 1986
    Kazuya Kamenashi, Japanese idol (KAT-TUN)
  • 1986
    Ola Svensson, Swedish pop singer
  • 1986
    Skylar Grey, American musician
  • 1989
    Evan Bates, American ice dancer
  • 1992
    Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Greek footballer
  • 1994
    Dakota Fanning, American actress

Who Died On February 23?

  • 155
    Polycarp, Christian bishop of Smyrna (b. 69)
  • 943
    Herbert II, Count of Vermandois, (b. 884)
  • 1011
    Willigis, Archbishop of Mainz (b. 940)
  • 1072
    Peter Damian, theologian and Doctor of the Church (b. 1007)
  • 1100
    Emperor Zhezong of China (b. 1076)
  • 1270
    Saint Isabel of France, daughter of Louis VIII of France (b. 1225)
  • 1447
    Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (b. 1390)
  • 1447
    Pope Eugene IV (b. 1383)
  • 1464
    Zhengtong, Emperor of China (b. 1427)
  • 1526
    Diego Colón, Spanish Viceroy of the Indies
  • 1554
    Henry Grey, 1st Duke of Suffolk, English politician and nobelman (b. c.1515)
  • 1572
    Pierre Certon, French composer
  • 1603
    Andrea Cesalpino, Italian philosopher, physician, and botanist (b. 1519)
  • 1669
    Leo Aitzema, Dutch historian and statesman (b. 1600)
  • 1704
    Georg Muffat, French composer (b. 1653)
  • 1766
    Stanisław I Leszczyński, King of Poland (b. 1677)
  • 1781
    George Taylor, American signatory to the Declaration of Independence (b. c.1716)
  • 1792
    Joshua Reynolds, English painter (b. 1723)
  • 1800
    Joseph Warton, English literary critic (b. 1722)
  • 1821
    John Keats, English poet (b. 1795)
  • 1848
    John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States (b. 1767)
  • 1855
    Carl Friedrich Gauss, German mathematician, astronomer, and physicist (b. 1777)
  • 1859
    Zygmunt Krasiński, Polish Romantic poet (b. 1812)
  • 1879
    Albrecht Graf von Roon, Prime Minister of Prussia (b. 1803)
  • 1897
    Woldemar Bargiel, German composer (b. 1828)
  • 1908
    Johannes Friedrich August von Esmarch, German surgeon (b. 1823)
  • 1922
    Albert Victor Bäcklund, Swedish physicist (b. 1845)
  • 1930
    Horst Wessel, Nazi ideologue and composer (b. 1907)
  • 1931
    Dame Nellie Melba, Australian opera soprano (b. 1861)
  • 1934
    Edward Elgar, English composer (b. 1857)
  • 1944
    Leo Hendrik Baekeland, Flemish-American chemist and inventor of the first synthetic plastic, Bakelite (b. 1863)
  • 1946
    Tomoyuki Yamashita, Japanese general (hanged) (b. 1885)
  • 1948
    John Robert Gregg, Irish-born publisher and inventor (b. 1866)
  • 1955
    Paul Claudel, French poet and playwright (b. 1868)
  • 1957
    Marika Ninou, Greek singer (b. 1918)
  • 1960
    Arthur Legat, Belgian racing driver (b. 1898)
  • 1961
    Davey Crockett, American baseball player (b. 1875)
  • 1965
    Stan Laurel, British actor and comedian (b. 1890)
  • 1969
    King Saud of Saudi Arabia (b. 1902)
  • 1970
    Hirsch Jacobs, American thoroughbred horse trainer and owner (b. 1904)
  • 1973
    Dickinson W. Richards, American physician, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1895)
  • 1974
    Harry Ruby, American composer and writer (b. 1895)
  • 1976
    L. S. Lowry, English artist (b. 1887)
  • 1979
    W.A.C. Bennett, Canadian politician (b. 1900)
  • 1983
    Herbert Howells, English composer (b. 1892)
  • 1990
    José Napoleón Duarte, President of El Salvador (b. 1925)
  • 1992
    Markos Vafiadis, Greek politician (b. 1906)
  • 1995
    James Herriot, English writer (b. 1916)
  • 1995
    Melvin Franklin, American singer (The Temptations) (b. 1942)
  • 1996
    William Bonin, American serial killer and sex offender (b. 1947)
  • 1997
    Tony Williams, American jazz drummer (b. 1945)
  • 1999
    Carlos Hathcock, USMC sniper (b. 1942)
  • 2000
    Ofra Haza, Israeli singer (b. 1957)
  • 2000
    Stanley Matthews, English footballer (b. 1915)
  • 2001
    Robert Enrico, French film director and screenwriter (b. 1931)
  • 2003
    Howie Epstein, American bass guitarist (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) (b. 1955)
  • 2003
    Robert K. Merton, American sociologist (b. 1910)
  • 2003
    Titos Vandis, Greek actor (b. 1917)
  • 2004
    Carl Anderson, American singer (b. 1945)
  • 2004
    Carl Liscombe, Canadian hockey player (b. 1915)
  • 2004
    Don Cornell, American singer (b. 1919)
  • 2004
    Neil Ardley, English jazz pianist and composer (b. 1937)
  • 2004
    Sikander Bakht, Governor of Kerala (b. 1918)
  • 2004
    Vijay Anand, Indian film director (b. 1934)
  • 2006
    Benno Besson, Swiss actor and film director (b. 1922)
  • 2006
    Telmo Zarraonaindía, Spanish footballer (b. 1921)
  • 2007
    Donnie Brooks, American singer (b. 1936)
  • 2007
    John Ritchie, British footballer (b. 1941)
  • 2008
    Douglas Fraser, Scottish pilot (b. 1916)
  • 2008
    Janez Drnovšek, Slovenian prime minister and president (b. 1950)
  • 2008
    Paul Frère, Belgian race car driver and motorsport journalist (b. 1917)

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