Today in History

  • Friday, February 21, 2014 7:04pm
  • Life

Today is Saturday, Feb. 22, the 53rd day of 2014. There are 312 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On Feb. 22, 1732, 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 adopted a new constitution which included the abolition of 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 1934, Frank Capra’s romantic comedy “It Happened One Night,” starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, opened at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.

In 1943, Pan Am Flight 9035, a Boeing 314 flying boat, crashed while attempting to land in Lisbon, Portugal. Twenty-five people were killed; 14 survived, including actress-singer Jane Froman.

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, N.Y., as the United States Olympic hockey team upset the Soviets, 4-3. (The U.S. team went on to win the gold medal.)

In 1984, David Vetter, a 12-year-old Texas boy who’d spent most of his life in a plastic bubble because he had no immunity to disease, died 15 days after being removed from the bubble for a bone-marrow transplant.

Ten years ago: Consumer advocate Ralph Nader announced he was running again for president, this time as an independent. A Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up on a crowded Jerusalem bus, killing eight passengers. Rebels captured Haiti’s second-largest city, claiming Cap-Haitien as their biggest prize in a two-week-old uprising.

Five years ago: “Slumdog Millionaire” won best picture and seven other Academy Awards; the late Heath Ledger won the best supporting actor Oscar for “The Dark Knight.” A gas explosion in a coal mine in northern China killed more than 70 miners.

One year ago: The Justice Department joined a lawsuit against disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong alleging the former seven-time Tour de France champion had concealed his use of performance-enhancing drugs and defrauded his longtime sponsor, the U.S. Postal Service. Paralympian Oscar Pistorius walked out of a South African court after a magistrate agreed to release him on bail ahead of his premeditated murder trial over the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Associated Press

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