Today in History
Today is Wednesday, Feb. 22, the 53rd day of 2017. There are 312 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 1862, Jefferson Davis, already the provisional president of the Confederacy, was inaugurated for a six-year term following his election in Nov. 1861.
In 1892, “Lady Windermere’s Fan” by Oscar Wilde was first performed at London’s St. James’ Theater.
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 1987, pop artist Andy Warhol died at a New York City hospital at age 58; talk-show host David Susskind was found dead in his Manhattan hotel suite; he was 66.
In 1997, scientists in Scotland announced they had succeeded in cloning an adult mammal, producing a lamb named “Dolly.” (Dolly, however, was later put down after a short life marred by premature aging and disease.)
Ten years ago: Britain’s Ministry of Defense announced that Prince Harry, a second lieutenant in the British army, would be deployed to Iraq (officials later reversed the decision because of insurgent threats; Harry later served two tours of duty in Afghanistan). The U.N. nuclear watchdog agency said Iran had ignored a Security Council ultimatum to freeze uranium enrichment, and instead expanded its program by setting up hundreds of centrifuges.
Five years ago: Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum swapped accusations about health care, spending earmarks and federal bailouts in the 20th debate of the roller-coaster race for the Republican presidential nomination, held in Mesa, Arizona. Two Marine Corps helicopters collided over a remote section of the California desert during a nighttime exercise, killing seven Marines. A jury in Charlottesville, Virginia, found University of Virginia lacrosse player George W. Huguely (HYOOG’-lee) V (the Fifth) guilty of second-degree murder in the death of his ex-girlfriend and lacrosse player Yeardley (YAHRD’-lee) Love in May 2010 (Huguely was sentenced to 23 years in prison).
One year ago: President Barack Obama sent lawmakers an official $1.9 billion request to combat the spread of the Zika (ZEE’-kuh) virus in Latin America and the U.S. (Congress passed a $1.1 billion package in Sept. 2016.) The City Council of Charlotte, North Carolina, voted 7-4 to pass a new law allowing transgender people to choose public bathrooms that corresponded to their gender identity. Country singer Sonny James, 87, died in Nashville. British cinematographer Douglas Slocombe, 103, died in London. The Lady Vols’ streak of 565 consecutive weeks in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll ended as Tennessee fell out of the Top 25.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Paul Dooley is 89. Actor James Hong is 88. Movie director Jonathan Demme (DEH’-mee) is 73. Actor John Ashton is 69. Actress Miou-Miou is 67. Actress Julie Walters is 67. Basketball Hall of Famer Julius Erving is 67. Actress Ellen Greene is 66. Former Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., is 65. Former White House adviser David Axelrod is 62. Actor Kyle MacLachlan is 58. World Golf Hall of Famer Vijay Singh is 54. Actress-comedian Rachel Dratch is 51. Actor Paul Lieberstein is 50. Actress Jeri Ryan is 49. Actor Thomas Jane is 48. TV host Clinton Kelly is 48. Actress Tamara Mello is 47. Actress-singer Lea Salonga (LAY’-uh suh-LONG’-guh) is 46. Actor Jose Solano is 46. International Tennis Hall-of-Famer Michael Chang is 45. Rock musician Scott Phillips is 44. Singer James Blunt is 43. Actress Drew Barrymore is 42. Actress Liza Huber is 42. Rock singer Tom Higgenson (Plain White T’s) is 38. Actor Zach Roerig is 32. Actor Daniel E. Smith is 27.
Thought for Today: “It is infinitely better to have a few good men than many indifferent ones.” — President George Washington (1732-1799).
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