Today in History
Today is Monday, Feb. 22, the 53rd day of 2016. There are 313 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 22, 1732 (New Style date), the first president of the United States, George Washington, was born in Westmoreland County in the Virginia Colony.
On this date:
In 1784, a U.S. merchant ship, the Empress of China, left New York for the Far East to trade goods with China.
In 1862, Jefferson Davis, already the provisional president of the Confederacy, was inaugurated for a six-year term following his election in Nov. 1861.
In 1865, Tennessee amended its constitution to abolish slavery.
In 1909, the Great White Fleet, a naval task force sent on a round-the-world voyage by President Theodore Roosevelt, returned after more than a year at sea.
In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge delivered the first radio broadcast from the White House as he addressed the country over 42 stations.
In 1935, it became illegal for airplanes to fly over the White House.
In 1940, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, was enthroned at age four in Lhasa, Tibet.
In 1959, the inaugural Daytona 500 race was held; although Johnny Beauchamp was initially declared the winner, the victory was later awarded to Lee Petty.
In 1967, more than 25,000 U.S. and South Vietnamese troops launched Operation Junction City, aimed at smashing a Vietcong stronghold near the Cambodian border. (Although the communists were driven out, they later returned.)
In 1974, Pakistan officially recognized Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan).
In 1980, the “Miracle on Ice” took place in Lake Placid, New York, as the United States Olympic hockey team upset the Soviets, 4-3. (The U.S. team went on to win the gold medal.)
In 1996, the space shuttle Columbia blasted into orbit on a mission to unreel a satellite on the end of a 12.8-mile tether. (The cord broke just before being extended to its full length.)
Ten years ago: Insurgents destroyed the golden dome of one of Iraq’s holiest Shiite shrines, the Askariya mosque in Samarra, setting off an unprecedented spasm of sectarian violence. Thieves stole $96 million from a Bank of England cash depot 30 miles southeast of London in Britain’s largest cash robbery. (Six men were later caught and almost half of the money was recovered.) Eight workers at a Nebraska meatpacking plant came forward to claim a $365 million Powerball jackpot.
Five years ago: A defiant Moammar Gadhafi vowed to fight to his “last drop of blood” and roared at supporters to strike back against Libyan protesters to defend his embattled regime. A magnitude-6.1 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, killed 184 people. Somali pirates shot to death four Americans taken hostage on their yacht several hundred miles south of Oman. Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel was elected mayor of Chicago.
One year ago: At the 87th Academy Awards, “Birdman” won best picture; Julianne Moore received the best actress Oscar for “Still Alice” while Eddie Redmayne was recognized as best actor for “The Theory of Everything.” Joey Logano won his first career Daytona 500 after taking the lead following a restart with 19 laps remaining.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Paul Dooley is 88. Actor James Hong is 87. Hollywood “ghost singer” Marni Nixon is 86. Movie director Jonathan Demme (DEH’-mee) is 72. Actor John Ashton is 68. Actress Miou-Miou is 66. Actress Julie Walters is 66. Basketball Hall of Famer Julius Erving is 66. Actress Ellen Greene is 65. Former Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., is 64. Former White House adviser David Axelrod is 61. Actor Kyle MacLachlan is 57. World Golf Hall of Famer Vijay Singh is 53. Actress-comedian Rachel Dratch is 50. Actor Paul Lieberstein is 49. Actress Jeri Ryan is 48. Actor Thomas Jane is 47. TV host Clinton Kelly is 47. Actress Tamara Mello is 46. Actress-singer Lea Salonga (LAY’-uh suh-LAHN’-guh) is 45. Actor Jose Solano is 45. International Tennis Hall-of-Famer Michael Chang is 44. Rock musician Scott Phillips is 43. Singer James Blunt is 42. Actress Drew Barrymore is 41. Actress Liza Huber is 41. Rock singer Tom Higgenson (Plain White T’s) is 37. Actor Zach Roerig is 31. Actor Daniel E. Smith is 26.
Thought for Today: “It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” — President George Washington (1732-1799).
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