Today in History – February 23, 2018

1945 – U.S. flag raised on Iwo Jima

During the bloody Battle for Iwo Jima, U.S. Marines from the 3rd Platoon, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Regiment of the 5th Division take the crest of Mount Suribachi, the island’s highest peak and most strategic position, and raise the U.S. flag. Marine photographer Louis Lowery was with them and recorded the event. American soldiers fighting for control of Suribachi’s slopes cheered the raising of the flag, and several hours later more Marines headed up to the crest with a larger flag. Joe Rosenthal, a photographer with the Associated Press, met them along the way and recorded the raising of the second flag along with a Marine still photographer and a motion-picture cameraman.

1861 – Lincoln avoids assassination attempt

On this day in 1861, Abraham Lincoln and his entourage show up unexpectedly at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., foiling a Baltimore plot against his life.

The president-elect left his home in Springfield, Illinois, by train several days earlier and had planned to stop in Baltimore before continuing to the capital. Before leaving, he delivered a poignant farewell to his hometown and close friends, who observed that he seemed to realize he might never return to the town where, he said, my children have been born, and one is buried. Shortly after departing Springfield, his aides received reports of a planned assassination attempt in Baltimore and ordered the train to proceed immediately to Washington.

1954 – Children receive first polio vaccine

On this day in 1954, a group of children from Arsenal Elementary School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, receive the first injections of the new polio vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk.