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Reuters historical calendar - February 23

Written by: Staff

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.


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