Events - February 23
1821 - The Philadelphia College of Apothecaries was established. It was the first pharmacy college in the U.S. It became incorporated the following year as the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, the first college of pharmacy in the Western Hemisphere. Remember those little glass bottles called apothecary jars -- the ones we now use as canisters and for decoration?
1839 - William F. Harnden organized the nation’s first express service -- in Boston, MA. The service operated between Boston and New York City.
1886 - Charles M. Hall completed his invention of aluminum. He produced it using electricity; and just in time for wrapping the 20th century’s lunch sandwiches, too!
1905 - The Rotary Club was founded in Chicago, IL by Attorney Paul Harris. A national association of the very popular civic club was formed in 1910. In
1922 the organization which was for men only, adopted the name Rotary International. It continues with millions of members throughout the world -- both men and women.
1927 - U.S. President Calvin Coolidge signed a bill into law that created the Federal Radio Commission, “to bring order out of this terrible chaos.” The president was speaking, of course, of the nation’s then unregulated radio stations. The commission assigned frequencies, hours of operation and power allocations for radio broadcasters across the U.S. The name was changed to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on July 1, 1934.
1934 - Casey Stengel became manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team, as he signed his first major-league contracts.
1937 - Bing Crosby sang with Lani McIntyre and his band, as "Sweet Leilani" was recorded on Decca Records. The Academy Award-winning song was featured in the movie "Waikiki Wedding".
1939 - The 11th Academy Awards were celebrated at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles (for the flicks of 1938). Oscars were doled out for "You Can’t Take It with You" for Best Picture and Best Director (Frank Capra). Capra, who took home his third Best-Director prize, had won for 1934’s "It Happened One Night" and 1936’s "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town". The Best Actor award was claimed for the second year in a row ("Captains Courageous") by Spencer Tracy for "Boys Town". Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress awards were presented to Bette Davis and Fay Bainter, respectively, for their performances in "Jezebel"; while Walter Brennan took home the prized statuette for Best Supporting Actor in "Kentucky". These were Davis’ and Brennan’s second Academy Awards; the first for Davis was awarded three years earlier for "Dangerous", and Brennan received his first Oscar two years before for "Come and Get It". Walt Disney won an honorary Oscar for the film, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". Mr. Disney actually received one Oscar statuette and seven miniature ones for his work “ ... which has charmed millions and pioneered a great new entertainment field,” according to press accounts that day.
1942 - The first shelling of the U.S. mainland during World War II occurred as a Japanese submarine fired on an oil refinery in Ellwood, California (110 miles northwest of Los Angeles); it was the first enemy attack in almost 130 years.
1945 - Four days of bitter battle had taken its toll on the 28th Regiment of the Fifth Division of the U.S. Marines. Although losses were heavy, the Marine platoon succeeded in its mission to neutralize the defenses and scale the heavily fortified Mount Surabachi. The volcanic peak, at the southern tip of the Japanese island of Iwo Jima, was one of the first objectives of the Marines’ invasion of this small, strategic island, 750 miles south of Tokyo. Victory was triumphant -- as the famous photograph (by Joe Rosenthal) of these Marines raising the American flag portrayed. Navy Secretary Forrestal was standing on the beachhead below. When he saw Old Glory waving in the breeze, he told Lt. General Holland M. Smith, “The raising of that flag on Surabachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years.”
1946 - Japanese General Tomoyuki Yamashita was hanged in Manila, Philippines, for war crimes. Yamashita had been nown as the ‘Tiger of Malaya’ for his dramatic capture of Malaya and Singapore.
1954 - The first mass inoculation of children against polio with the Salk vaccine began in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
1960 - Wrecking crews began to demolish the venerable home of the Brooklyn Dodgers: Ebbets Field in New York City. The wrecking ball came in a little high and outside...
1963 - The Chiffons recording of "He’s So Fine" was released. It later rose to the #1 position (March 30th) for a four-week stay. The song later became the center of one of the most publicized lawsuits in music history. The estate of songwriter Ronnie Marks won the suit against former Beatle George Harrison, saying that the song "My Sweet Lord", was a note-for-note copy of "He’s So Fine". The Chiffons also scored big with "One Fine Day", "Sweet Talkin’ Guy" and others.
1967 - Jim Ryun set a record in the half-mile run at Lawrence, KS. Ryun ran the distance in 1:48.3.
1968 - Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia 76ers wowed the home crowd at the old Philadelphia Arena by becoming the first pro basketball player to score more than 25,000 career points.
1971 - James Franciscus starred in "Longstreet", a made-for-TV movie that became a series in the fall of 1971.
1974 - The Symbionese Liberation Army demanded $4 million more for the release of Patty Hearst. Hearst had been kidnapped on February 4th and her father, publisher Randolph Hearst, had already coughed up $2 million hoping for her freedom. Randolph said he would consider this request too. What a good pop...
1983 - The rock group, Toto, won Grammy Awards for the hit single, "Rosanna", and the album, "Toto IV", at the 25th annual ceremonies in Los Angeles. The group received four other awards to tie the 1965 record of six Grammies (Roger Miller).
1991 - The U.S. invaded Kuwait in the Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm) and quickly chased out the occupying Iraqi forces.
1985 - Breaking with tradition, the TV show, "Gimme a Break", was broadcast live before a studio audience. It was the first TV sitcom to be seen live since television’s Golden Age in the 1950s.
1996 - These films opened in U.S. theatres: "Before and After", with Meryl Streep, Liam Neeson and Edward Furlong; and "Rumble in the Bronx", with Jackie Chan and Anita Mui.
1997 - It had been considered ‘impossible’ until it was accomplished by Dr. Ian Wilmut in July of 1996, at the Roslin Institute, in Roslin, Scotland. Kept secret until this day, the story broke that Dolly, a seven-month old sheep, was the first clone of an adult mammal. Since July 1996, the institute had cloned “seven sheep, including three breeds from different cell types.” And they said the technology was “equally applicable to pigs, goats, rabbits and indeed, any mammal.”
2001 - Movies debuting in the U.S.: "Monkeybone", starring Brendan Fraser, Bridget Fonda and Whoopi Goldberg; and "3000 Miles to Graceland", with Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner, Courteney Cox, Christian Slater, Kevin Pollak, David Arquette, Jon Lovitz and Howie Long.
2003 - In the 45th Grammys in New York City, jazz-pop newcomer Norah Jones won three awards. Bruce Springsteen was also a triple-Grammy winner for his 9/11-inspired album The Rising.
2006 - A fire in a textile mill in Chittagong, Bangladesh, killed 51 people and injured more than 100.
2008 - China said freakish winter storms that coated much of the nation with in snow and ice had left 129 people dead.
Birthdays - February 23
1633 - Samuel Pepys (famous for his diary of events and quotes written in 1666; died May 26, 1703)
1685 - George Frederick Handel (composer: The Messiah; died Apr 14, 1759)
1787 - Emma (Hart) Willard (educator: pioneer in higher education for women: Waterford Academy for Young Ladies, Troy Female Seminary, Emma Willard School; Willard Association for the Mutual Improvement of Female Teachers ; writer: textbooks: geography, history, astronomy, A Treatise on the Motive Powers Which Produce the Circulation of the Blood [written a year before women were admitted to medical schools; died Apr 15, 1870)
1904 - William L. Shirer (journalist, author: The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Ghandi: A Memoir; died Dec 28, 1993)
1929 - Elston (Gene) Howard (baseball: NY Yankees [World Series: 1955-1958, 1960-1964/all-star: 1957-1965/AL Baseball Writers’ Award: 1963], Boston Red Sox [World Series: 1967]; died Dec 14, 1980)
1933 - Lee Calhoun (hurdler: National Track & Field Hall of Fame, Olympic Hall of Fame: the only Olympic athlete to win 110-meter hurdles twice; died June 22, 1989)
1938 - Sylvia Chase (newscaster: ABC News and 20/20; died Jan 3, 2019)
1938 - Diane Varsi (actress: Peyton Place, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden; died Nov 19, 1992)
1940 - Peter Fonda (director, actor: Easy Rider, Futureworld, The Wild Angel’s, Love and a .45; Jane’s brother; Henry’s son; Bridget’s Dad)
1943 - Fred Biletnikoff (Pro Football Hall of Famer [wide receiver]: Oakland Raiders wide receiver: Super Bowl II, XI)
1943 - Bobby (Wayne) Mitchell (golf: champ: Cleveland Open , Tournament of Champions ; PGA Tour career earnings: $422,499)
1944 - Johnny Winter (John Dawson III) (musician: Still Alive and Well, Second Winter; died Jul 16, 2014)
1946 - Ken (Kenneth George) Boswell (baseball: NY Mets [World Series: 1969, 1973], Houston Astros)
1946 - Rusty Young (musician: steel guitar: group: Poco: Keep on Tryin’, Crazy Love, Heart of the Night)
1950 - Steve Priest (musician: bass, singer: group: The Sweet: Little Willy)
1950 - Jim Youngblood (football: Tennessee Tech Univ.; linebacker: LA Rams: Super Bowl XIV)
1951 - Eddie Dibbs (tennis: Univ. of Miami All-American [1971, 1972]; French Open semifinals [1975, 1976], French Open quarterfinals , U.S. Open quarterfinals [1975, 1976, 1979]; 22 career singles titles)
1951 - Ed ‘Too Tall’ Jones (football: Dallas Cowboys defensive end: Super Bowl X, XI, XIII)
1951 - Ray Oldham (football: Pittsburgh Steelers safety: Super Bowl XIII)
1952 - Lorne Henning (hockey: NHL: NY Islanders: shares season record for shorthanded goals [3 in 1980])
1952 - Brad Whitford (musician: guitar: group: Aerosmith: LPs: Toys in the Attic, Rocks, Draw the Line, Live! Bootleg, Night in the Ruts)
1955 - Howard Jones (singer: Look Mama, No One is to Blame, New Song, LP: Human’s Lib)
1958 - David Sylvian (Batt) (musician: guitar, singer: group: Japan: The Unconventional, The Tenant, Taking Islands in Africa, I Second that Emotion, Ghosts, Cantonese Boy, Bamboo Houses, Forbidden Colours)
1963 - Bobby (Roberto Martin Antonio) Bonilla (baseball: Chicago White Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates [all-star: 1988-1991], NY Mets [all-star: 1993, 1995/highest salary in baseball: 1994: $6,300,000], Baltimore Orioles)
1965 - Kristin Davis (actress: Sex and the City, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Couple Retreat, Sellevision, The Shaggy Dog, The Winning Season, Someone to Love)
1965 - Michael Dell (business magnate: founder, CEO of Dell, Inc. computer maker)
1967 - Steve Stricker (golf champ: Kemper Open , Motorola Western Open , WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship , The Barclays ; finished in the top 20 at the U.S. Open six times)
1969 - Rick Masters (actor [1990-2009]: X-rated films: The Dirtiest Girl in the World, Strange Sex in Strange Places, Sgt Peckers Lonely Hearts Club Gang Bang, Nasty Filthy Cab Rides 6, Submissive Little Sluts 11, Perverted Stories: The Movie
1976 - Kelly Macdonald (actress: Nanny McPhee, Gosford Park, Boardwalk Empire, No Country for Old Men, Intermission, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Brave, Boardwalk Empire, The Girl in the Café, State of Play)
1981 - Josh Gad (actor: Broadway: The Book of Mormon; TV: Back to You, ER, The Daily Show, Modern Family, Numb3rs, Good Vibes; films: The Rocker, Crossing Over, 21, Love and Other Drugs)
Chart Toppers - February 23
Dear Hearts and Gentle People - Bing Crosby
There’s No Tomorrow - Tony Martin
The Old Master Painter - Snooky Lanson
Chatanoogie Shoe Shine Boy - Red Foley
Don’t/I Beg of You - Elvis Presley
Sail Along Silvery Moon/Raunchy - Billy Vaughn
Short Shorts - The Royal Teens
Ballad of a Teenage Queen - Johnny Cash
Lightnin’ Strikes - Lou Christie
These Boots are Made for Walkin’ - Nancy Sinatra
My World is Empty Without You - The Supremes
Waitin’ in Your Welfare Line - Buck Owens
The Way We Were - Barbra Streisand
Seasons in the Sun - Terry Jacks
Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do) - Aretha Franklin
Another Lonely Song - Tammy Wynette
Centerfold - The J. Geils Band
Open Arms - Journey
Shake It Up - The Cars
Only One You - T.G. Sheppard
Opposites Attract - Paula Abdul with The Wild Pair
Two to Make It Right - Seduction
Escapade - Janet Jackson
On Second Thought - Eddie Rabbitt
Those were the days, my friend. We thought they’d never end...
Written and edited by Carol Williams and John Williams
Produced by John Williams
Those Were the Days, the Today in History feature
from 440 International
No portion of these files may be reproduced without the express, written permission of 440 International Inc.