1836: The siege of the Alamo began in San Antonio, Texas.
1861: President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrived secretly in Washington to take office, following word of a possible assassination plot in Baltimore.
1870: Mississippi was readmitted to the Union.
1903: President Theodore Roosevelt signed an agreement with Cuba to lease the area around Guantanamo Bay to the United States.
1942: The first shelling of the U.S. mainland during World War II occurred as a Japanese submarine fired on an oil refinery near Santa Barbara, California, causing little damage.
1945: During World War II, U.S. Marines on Iwo Jima captured Mount Suribachi, where they raised two American flags. (The second flag-raising was captured in the iconic Associated Press photograph.)
1954: The first mass inoculation of schoolchildren against polio using the Salk vaccine began in Pittsburgh as some 5,000 students were vaccinated.
1965: Film comedian Stan Laurel, 74, died in Santa Monica, California.
1981: An attempted coup began in Spain as 200 members of the Civil Guard invaded Parliament, taking lawmakers hostage. (However, the attempt collapsed 18 hours later.)
1995: The Dow Jones industrial average closed above the 4,000 mark for the first time, ending the day at 4,003.33.
1998: 42 people were killed, some 2,600 homes and businesses damaged or destroyed, by tornadoes in central Florida.
2006: Japan’s Shizuka Arakawa stunned favorites Sasha Cohen of the United States and Irina Slutskaya of Russia to claim the ladies’ figure skating gold medal at the Turin Winter Olympics.
Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Fred Biletnikoff is 78. Author John Sandford is 77. Country-rock musician Rusty Young is 75. Actor Patricia Richardson is 70. Former NFL player Ed “Too Tall” Jones is 70. Rock musician Brad Whitford (Aerosmith) is 69. Singer Howard Jones is 66. Rock musician Michael Wilton (Queensryche) is 59. Country singer Dusty Drake is 57. Actor Kristin Davis is 56. Former tennis player Helena Sukova is 56. Actor Marc Price is 53. TV personality/businessman Daymond John (TV: “Shark Tank”) is 52. Actor Niecy Nash is 51. Rock musician Jeff Beres (Sister Hazel) is 50. Country singer Steve Holy is 49. Rock musician Lasse Johansson (The Cardigans) is 48. Film and theater composer Robert Lopez is 46. Actor Kelly Macdonald is 45. Rapper Residente (Calle 13) is 43. Actor Josh Gad is 40. Actor Emily Blunt is 38. Actor Aziz Ansari is 38. Actor Tye White (TV: “Greenleaf”) is 35. Actor Dakota Fanning is 27. — AP