On This Day in
American History:
February 23

On February 23, 1778, Baron von Steuben arrived in Valley Forge to provide training and discipline to Washington’s Continental Army. 

Baron von Steuben remained with the Americans throughout the rest of the Revolution. He became an American Citizen and received land in New York State.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain

On February 23, 1945, Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal captured US Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima’s Mt. Surabachi. Upon seeing the image an AP photo editor said “Here’s one for all time!” Three of the Marines pictured were killed in action before the island was secured on March 26.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, copyright not renewed public domain in the US.

On today’s date February 23, 1896, the Tootsie Roll was introduced by founder Leo Hirshfield.

Image: Ad promoting Tootsie Rolls in 1918 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain

Fifth Avenue Storm 

by American Artist Guy C. Wiggins who was born in Brooklyn, New York on February 23, 1883

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain

Zachary Taylor directing Captain Braxton Bragg to double his shot during the Battle of Buena Vista on February 23, 1847.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain

On today’s date February 23, 1846, The Liberty Bell was rung for the last time.

The over one ton bell was rung on this day in honor of Washington’s Birthday and was never rung again after its fateful fracture became visible.

Image: The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia in 1872 or earlier via Wikimedia Commons, public domain

On February 23, 1954, the polio vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk began to be administered to school children in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Salk vaccinated his own children a year before the “polio pioneers” mass inoculation program. Shown are children receiving the vaccine in Mississippi in 1956.

Image from MS Dept. of Archives and History via Flickr, no known copyright.

On February 23, 1921, the U.S. post office completed a transcontinental relay airmail delivery in just over 33 hours. Part of that relay team was this pilot, Jack Knight, who flew more than 800 miles in darkness. 

 Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain 

John Glenn receiving the Distinguished Service Medal from President John F. Kennedy at Cape Canaveral on February 23, 1962.

Photo from NASA via Wikimedia Commons, public domain 

The city of Brea in Orange County, California was incorporated on February 23, 1917. Brea means “tar” in Spanish and the Brea-Olinda Oil Field was discovered there in 1880. 
Over 400 million barrels of oil have been produced since it was drilled. 

Hall of Fame baseball pitcher, Walter Johnson, worked in the nearby oil fields in his teens.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain 

On February 23, 1836, the siege of the Alamo began in present day San Antonio, Texas.

Image of the historic Alamo by Dean Fikar via Shutterstock

A photo of the Hanover House Hotel at 43rd St. and 6th Ave. (101 West 43rd St.) in New York City from 1952.

Twelve years earlier, on February 23, 1940, Woody Guthrie composed the lyrics to “This Land is Your Land” in a room at the hotel.

Image from John Eric Albert via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0

Five women in swimsuits on icy beach

- February 23, 1924

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions

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