Today is Wednesday, Feb. 23, the 54th day of 2011. There are 311 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Feb. 23, 1861, President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrived secretly in Washington to take office, following word of a possible assassination plot in Baltimore.
On this date:
In 1685, composer George Frideric Handel was born in Germany.
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 1870, Mississippi was readmitted to the Union.
In 1927, President Calvin Coolidge signed a bill creating the Federal Radio Commission, forerunner of the Federal Communications Commission.
In 1942, the first shelling of the U.S. mainland during World War II occurred as a Japanese submarine fired on an oil refinery near Santa Barbara, Calif., causing little damage.
In 1945, during World War II, U.S. 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 1970, Guyana became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations.
In 1981, an attempted coup began in Spain as 200 members of the Civil Guard invaded the Parliament, taking lawmakers hostage. (However, the attempt collapsed 18 hours later.)
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush opened a two-day summit with British Prime Minister Tony Blair at Camp David. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ordered an indefinite moratorium on civilian visitors operating military equipment, a possible factor in the collision of a U.S. submarine collision with a Japanese fishing boat.
Five years ago: The snow-covered roof of a Moscow market collapsed, killing 66 people. A United Arab Emirates company volunteered to postpone its takeover of significant operations at six major U.S. seaports, giving the White House more time to convince skeptical lawmakers the deal posed no increased risks from terrorism. Japan's Shizuka Arakawa (shih-ZOO'-kuh ah-rah-KAH'-wah) stunned favorites Sasha Cohen of the United States and Irina Slutskaya (sloot-SKY'-yah) of Russia to claim the women's figure skating gold medal at the Turin Winter Olympics.
One year ago: The House Energy and Commerce Committee, looking into cases of sudden, unintended acceleration of Toyota automobiles, heard tearful testimony from Rhonda Smith, of Sevierville, Tenn., who said her Lexus raced out of control to speeds up to 100 miles an hour. Dutch skater Sven Kramer lost the Olympic gold medal to Lee Seung-hoon of South Korea when coach Gerard Kemkers sent him the wrong way on a changeover during the 10,000-meter speedskating race at Vancouver.
Today's Birthdays: Actor Peter Fonda is 71. Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Fred Biletnikoff is 68. Author John Sandford is 67. Singer-musician Johnny Winter is 67. Country-rock musician Rusty Young is 65. Actress Patricia Richardson is 60. Rock musician Brad Whitford (Aerosmith) is 59. Singer Howard Jones is 56. Rock musician Michael Wilton (Queensryche) is 49. Country singer Dusty Drake is 47. Actress Kristin Davis is 46. Tennis player Helena Sukova is 46. Actor Marc Price is 43. Actress Niecy Nash is 41. Rock musician Jeff Beres (Sister Hazel) is 40. Country singer Steve Holy is 39. Rock musician Lasse (loss) Johansson (The Cardigans) is 38. Actress Emily Blunt is 28. Actor Aziz Ansari is 28. Actress Dakota Fanning is 17.
Thought for Today: "The essential conditions of everything you do must be choice, love, passion." _ Nadia Boulanger (boo-lahn-ZHAY'), French composer and teacher (1887-1979).
(Above Advance for Use Wednesday, Feb. 23)
Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.