UPI Almanac for Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016

Texas patriots begin their defense of the Alamo, Cuba leases Guantanamo Bay to the U.S., in perpetuity ... on this date in history.
By United Press International  |  Feb. 23, 2016 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Tuesday, Feb. 23, the 54th day of 2016 with 312 to follow.

The moon is waning. Morning stars are Mercury and Venus. Evening stars are Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune.

Those born on this day are under the sign of Pisces. They include British diarist Samuel Pepys in 1633; German composer George Frideric Handel in 1685; Mayer Amschel Rothschild, European banker/founder of the Rothschild financial dynasty, in 1744; writer/philosopher W.E.B. DuBois in 1868; film director Victor Fleming (Gone With The Wind, The Wizard of Oz) in 1889; journalist/author William Shirer in 1904; Paul Tibbets, pilot of the Enola Gay on the 1945 flight that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, in 1915; former congressman/longtime University of Nebraska football Coach Tom Osborne in 1937 (age 79); actor Peter Fonda in 1940 (age 76); football Hall of Fame member Fred Biletnikoff in 1943 (age 73); musician Johnny Winter in 1944; novelist John Roswell Camp (who writes as John Sandford) in 1944 (age 72); former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko in 1954 (age 62); actor Patricia Richardson in 1951 (age 65); actor Emily Blunt in 1983 (age 33); actor Dakota Fanning in 1994 (age 22).

On this date in history:

In 1836, soldiers under the command of Mexican President General Antonio López de Santa Anna began their assault on the Alamo Mission near present-day San Antonio, Texas. Eleven days later, the Alamo's small group of Texian (Texan) defenders were defeated by the 1500-plus Mexican Army.

In 1903, the United States was granted a lease "in perpetuity" on Guantanamo Bay by Cuban officials.

In 1942, a Japanese submarine surfaced off the coast of California and fired 25 shells at an oil refinery near Santa Barbara.

In 1945, members of the 5th Division of the U.S. Marines planted a U.S. flag atop Mount Suribachi on the strategically important Pacific island of Iwo Jima near the end of one of World War II's bloodiest battles.

In 1982, Canada, Japan and the Common Market nations of Europe joined the United States in economic and diplomatic sanctions against Poland and the Soviet Union to protest imposition of martial law in Poland.

In 1991, military forces in Thailand overthrew the elected government and imposed martial law.

In 1994, Bosnia's warring Croats and Muslims signed a cease-fire. The Croats agreed to pull back from the Muslim city of Mostar, which had been under siege.

In 1995, the Dow Jones industrial average closed at more than 4,000 for the first time -- at 4,003.33.

In 1998, a series of tornadoes raked central Florida, killing 42 people and injuring more than 200 others.

In 1999, a jury in Jasper, Texas, convicted self-described white supremacist John King in the June 1998 killing of a black man who'd been dragged to his death behind a pickup truck. Two days later, King was sentenced to death.

In 2006, the snow-covered roof of a Moscow vegetable market collapsed, killing at least 60 people and injuring more than two dozen others.

In 2013, Iran's atomic energy agency announced plans to build 16 nuclear power plants throughout the country. The announcement came days before Iran was to resume talks on its internationally disputed nuclear program.

In 2014, the 22nd Winter Olympics ended in Sochi, Russia, with the home team winning the medals race, with 33 overall.

A thought for the day: Jack London said riding a bicycle is "something that makes life worth living."

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