On February 23:
632 The Last Sermon (Khutbah, Khutbatul Wada’) of Prophet Muhammad.
1455 Traditional date for the publication of the Gutenberg Bible, the first Western book printed from movable type.
1633 Samuel Pepys, English naval administrator, man of letters and diarist, was born.
1743 Mayer Amschel Rothschild, German-born banker, was born.
1840 Frederick Wicks, English author and inventor, was born.
1850 César Ritz, Swiss hotelier, was born.
1854 The official independence of the Orange Free State was declared.
1904 940,000 hectares of west Southland were permanently reserved for what became Fiordland national park.
1905 Chicago attorney Paul Harris and three other businessmen met for lunch to form the Rotary Club, the world’s first service club.
1909 The AEA Silver Dart made the first powered flight in Canada.
1917 First demonstrations in Saint Petersburg. The beginning of the February Revolution.
1918 First victory of Red Army over the Kaiser’s German troops near Narva and Pskov. In honor of this victory, the date has been celebrated from 1923 onward as “Red Army Day”; it was renamed Defender of the Fatherland Day after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, and is colloquially known as “Men’s Day”.
1919 Benito Mussolini formed the Fascist Party in Italy.
1934 Léopold III became King of Belgium.
1940 100,000 people welcomed home HMS Achilles, the ship involved in the Batte of the River Plate, the Allies first naval victory in WWII.
1940 Peter Fonda, American actor, was born.
1945 During the Battle of Iwo Jima, a group of United States Marines and a U.S. Navy Corpsman, reached the top of Mount Suribachi on the island and were photographed raising the American flag. The photo won a Pulitzer Prize and became the model for the national USMC War Memorial.
Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, by Joe Rosenthal / The Associated Press.
1945 Manila, was liberated by American forces.
1945 Capitulation of German garrison in Poznań.
1945 The Verona Philharmonic Theatre was bombed by Allied forces.
1947 The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) was founded.
1955 First meeting of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO).
1957 The founding congress of the Senegalese Popular Bloc was opened in Dakar.
1958 Cuban rebels kidnapped 5-time world driving champion Juan Manuel Fangio.
1960 Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan, was born.
1966 In Syria Baath party member Salah Jadid led an intra-party military coup that replaced the previous government of General Amin Hafiz, also a Baathist.
1969 Michael Campbell, New Zealand golfer, was born.
1981 Antonio Tejero attempted a coup d’état by capturing the Spanish Congress of Deputies.
1983 Emily Blunt, British actress, was born.
1991 Ground troops crossed the Saudi Arabian border and entered Iraq, starting the ground phase of the Gulf War.
1999 Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Öcalan was charged with treason in Ankara.
1999 An avalanche destroyed the Austrian village of Galtür, killing 31.
2005 n Slovakia, a two-day “Slovakia Summit 2005” took place between U.S. President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
2005 The French law on colonialism was passed, requiring teachers to teach the “positive values of colonialism”.
2007 – A train derailed on an evening express service near Grayrigg, Cumbria, killing one person and injuring 22.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipeida.