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Reuters historical calendar - February 23

Written by: Staff
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London, Feb 22 (Reuters) Following are some major events which occurred on February 23 since 1900: 1919 - Benito Mussolini broke with the Socialist party and went on to found his own Fasci del Combattimento (Fascist) party in Italy.

1934 - Sir Edward Elgar, English composer, died.

1942 - In World War Two, the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand signed a mutual aid agreement.

1944 - Joseph Stalin forced one million Chechens into exile and dissolved their republic, accusing them of collaboration with Nazi Germany.

1965 - Stan Laurel, British-born half of the Laurel and Hardy comedy duo, died.

1966 - Syria's military seized power in a coup and Dr Nureddin el-Atassi was named head of state.

1970 - Guyana, formerly British Guiana, became an independent republic within the Commonwealth.

1981 - Lieutenant-Colonel Antonio Tejero and a group of civil guards burst into the Spanish parliament, firing shots in a failed coup attempt.

1991 - Thailand's armed forces seized power in a bloodless coup and arrested Prime Minister Chatichai Choonhaven.

1994 - Bosnia's government and separatist Bosnian Croat forces agreed a comprehensive ceasefire under U.N. auspices.

1994 - The Russian parliament voted to pardon participants in an armed rebellion against President Yeltsin in October 1993 and a previous coup attempt against Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1991.

1998 - European Union foreign ministers lifted a ban on high-level diplomatic contacts with Iran.

2000 - An Australian-led multinational force formally left East Timor and handed over to U.N. peacekeepers, five months after going in to end a wave of mass killings.

2001 - Macedonia and Yugoslavia signed an agreement on border demarcation, ending a 10-year dispute.

2002 - Jonas Savimbi was confirmed dead by his National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) movement after television networks showed his bullet-riddled body. He was killed by government troops the previous day.

2003 - Rock musician Howie Epstein, who was guitarist, songwriter and bassist for the band Tom Petty&the Heartbreakers, died aged 47.

**2005 - New York authorities ended efforts to identify victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, leaving the remains of nearly half the 2,749 people killed in the World Trade Center unidentified.

REUTERS SI SP0955

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