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US Marine Corps Memorial

February 23, 1945


During the ongoing battle of Iwo Jima in the Pacific today, US Marines captured the crest of the island’s highest peak, Mount Suribachi.

Two groups of Marines of the 3rd platoon, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Division raised 2 flags at the top.  

The 1st flag raisers were photographed by Louis Lowery & then a few hours later the 2nd flag raising was captured on film by AP photographer Joe Rosenthal.*

*Rosenthal would win the Pulitzer Prize for his famous photograph which was to become the model for the US Marine Corps War Memorial.

The War Memorial, located near Rosslyn, Virginia, was dedicated in 1954. 

JFK issued a proclamation in 1961 which provides for the American flag to fly from the memorial 24 hours a day.

The US Marine Corps War Memorial honors all Marines who have died in battle since 1775.

On the base of the memorial is a quote from Admiral Chester Nimitz who honored the American Marines on Iwo Jima:

“Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue”*

*The 6 flag raisers who are depicted in the memorial are: Ira Hayes, Franklin Sousley, John Bradley, Harlon Block, Michael Strank & Rene Gagnon.

Block, Sousley & Strank were killed on Iwo shortly after the flag raising.  The 3 survivors quickly became national heroes.

February 23, 1961


President Kennedy met today at the White House with long time director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar Hoover.

Also attending the meeting was Hoover’s boss in the Justice Department & JFK’s brother, Robert F. Kennedy.

JFK also met today with the Joint Chiefs & Staff of the US military & sent to congress a message on the nation’s natural resources.

February 23, 1961


President Janio Quadros of Brazil spoke in favor today of a debate at the United Nations on the admission of communist China to the world organization for peace.

Brazil becomes the second Latin American country along with Cuba to support such debate.

The government of the United States has remained opposed to debate on the issue.

February 22, 1954


The 1st polio vaccine, developed by Dr. Jonas Salk, was administered today to children at the Arsenal Elementary School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.*

*After mass inoculations were begun, 4 million polio shots were given in the U.S. by August 1955. 

Personal note: I was one of the “baby boomers” who stood in a long line to get my polio shot.  I remember a lot of kids crying, including myself, & as a child had a dream that the needle went all the way through my arm.

February 23, 1861


President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrived in Washington, D.C. after his train bypassed a stop in Baltimore, Maryland.

Detectives of the Pinkerton Agency uncovered a plot about a week ago to assassinate Lincoln during his stop in Baltimore.

While Mr. Lincoln expressed the desire to make the stop in any case, his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, convinced him it would not be advisable.

After arriving early this morning, the President was whisked to Willard Hotel where he plans to reside until the inaugural early next month.

This drawing appeared in “Harper’s Weekly” on March 9, 1861 depicting Lincoln sneaking into the Nation’s Capital

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