February 23rd

2011
The Obama administration said it would no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law banning recognition of same-sex marriage.
Defense of Marriage Act
2003
Norah Jones won five Grammy Awards for the album "Come Away With Me.".
List of awards and nominations received by Norah Jones
2000
Carlos Santana won eight Grammy Awards for his album "Supernatural," tying the record set by Michael Jackson in 1983 for "Thriller.".
Supernatural (Santana album)
1999
A jury in Jasper, Texas, convicted white supremacist John William King of murder in the dragging death of an African-American man, James Byrd Jr.
Murder of James Byrd Jr.
1998
Osama bin Laden publishes a fatwa declaring jihad against all Jews and Crusaders.
Fatawā of Osama bin Laden
1997
Scientists in Scotland announced they had cloned an adult mammal, producing a lamb named Dolly.
Dolly (sheep)
1991
President George H.W. Bush announced that the allied ground offensive against Iraqi forces had begun.
Gulf War
1965
Stan Laurel of the comedy team Laurel and Hardy died at age 74.
Stan Laurel
1954
The first mass inoculation against polio is conducted. Virologist Jonas Salk's vaccine is still one of the two versions used today, along with Hilary Koprowski's live polio vaccine.
Polio vaccine
1947
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) begins operating. The ISO issues standards for everything from bicycle tires to date formats.
International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
1945
US Marines raise the flag on Iwo Jima, later a famous photo and Marine Corps War Memorial sculpture.
Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima
1942
The first Axis shelling of U.S. soil took place near Santa Barbara, Calif.
American Theater (World War II)
1941
Glenn T. Seaborg and his team chemically identify Plutonium. The radioactive element plays an important role as nuclear fuel or in nuclear weapons.
Glenn T. Seaborg
1917
The February Revolution begins in Russia. The demonstrations and armed clashes ultimately resulted in the demise of the Russian Empire.
February Revolution
1904
United States acquires control of the Panama Canal Zone for $10 million.
History of the Panama Canal
1898
1898 French novelist Emile Zola was convicted of libel and sentenced to jail for writing his "J'accuse" letter accusing the government of anti-Semitism and wrongly jailing Captain Alfred Dreyfus.
J'accuse…!
1896
The Tootsie Roll was introduced by Leo Hirshfield.
Tootsie Roll
1870
Mississippi was readmitted to the Union.
Fourth Military District
1861
President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrived secretly in Washington to take office after an assassination plot was foiled in Baltimore.
Baltimore Plot
1848
John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States, died at age 80 in Washington, D.C., two days after suffering a stroke on the floor of the House of Representatives.
John Quincy Adams
1847
U.S. troops under Gen. Zachary Taylor defeated Mexican general Santa Anna at the Battle of Buena Vista in Mexico.
Battle of Buena Vista
1836
Mexican general Santa Anna began the siege of the Alamo.
Battle of the Alamo
1822
Boston was granted a charter to incorporate as a city.
Mayor of Boston
1821
John Keats, English Romantic poet, died.
John Keats
1685
Composer George Frideric Handel was born in Germany.
George Frideric Handel
1540
Francisco Vázquez de Coronado's expedition sets off from Mexico in search of the 7 cities of Cibola.
Francisco Vázquez de Coronado
1455
The Gutenberg Bible is published. Johannes Gutenberg's bible edition was the first book ever printed in movable type, heralding the age of the printed book in the West.
Gutenberg Bible
303
Roman Emperor Diocletian begins his policy of persecuting Christians, razing the church at Nicomedia.
Diocletianic Persecution