February 22nd in History

This day in historyFebruary 22 is the 53rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 312 days remaining until the end of the year (313 in leap years).



In 705,  Empress Wu Zetian abdicates the throne, restoring the Tang Dynasty.

In 1076, Pope Gregory VII excommunicates, anesthetizes and deposes the Emperor Henry IV, and releases his subjects from their oaths of obedience.

In 1316,  The Battle of Picotin, between Ferdinand of Majorca and the forces of Matilda of Hainaut, ends in victory for Ferdinand.

In 1371,  Robert II becomes King of Scotland, beginning the Stuart dynasty.

In 1495,  King Charles VIII of France enters Naples to claim the city’s throne.

In 1630, Popcorn was introduced to the American settlers by an Indian named Quadequina at their first Thanksgiving dinner. Didn’t we see popcorn served in A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving?

In 1632,  Galileo‘s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems is published.

In 1651,  St. Peter’s Flood: A storm surge floods Germany coast, drowning 15.000 people.

In 1744,  War of the Austrian Succession: The Battle of Toulon begins.

In 1746, French troops conquer Brussels.

In 1775, Jews expelled from outskirts of Warsaw Poland.

In 1784, a U.S. merchant ship, the “Empress of China,” left New York City for the Far East.

In 1797,  The Last Invasion of Britain begins near Fishguard, Wales.

In 1819,  By the Adams–Onís Treaty, Spain sells Florida to the United States for five million U.S. dollars.

In 1821,  Greek War of Independence: Alexander Ypsilantis crosses the Prut river at Sculeni into the Danubian Principalities.

In 1825, Russia & Britain established the Alaska-Canada boundary.

In 1847,  Mexican–American War: The Battle of Buena Vista – 5,000 American troops defeat 15,000 Mexicans.

In 1848,  The French Revolution of 1848, which would lead to the establishment of the French Second Republic, begins.

In 1853,  Washington University in St. Louis is founded as Eliot Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri.

In 1855,  The Pennsylvania State University is founded in State College, Pennsylvania(as the Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania)

In 1856,  The Republican Party opens its first national meeting in Pittsburgh.

In 1860, Shoe-making workers of Lynn, MS, went on strike successfully for higher wages.

In 1861, On a bet Edward Weston leaves Boston to walk to Lincoln’s inauguration.

In 1862,  Jefferson Davis is officially inaugurated for a six-year term as the President of the Confederate States of America in Richmond, Virginia. He was previously inaugurated as a provisional president on February 18, 1861.

In 1864, Skirmish at Calfkiller Creek (Sparta) Tennessee.

In 1865, Wilmington, North Carolina is the last open southern port to fall to Union forces.

In 1865, At gun point, Tennessee adopted a new constitution abolishing slavery.

In 1872,  The Prohibition Party holds its first national convention in Columbus, Ohio, nominating James Black as its presidential nominee.

In 1876, Johns Hopkins University is opened.

In 1878, Greenback Labor Party formed at Toledo, Ohio.

In 1879,  In Utica, New York, Frank Woolworth opens the first of many of 5 and dime Woolworth stores.

In 1886, The Times of London became the first British newspaper to institute a personal column on its classified page.

In 1887, Union Labor Party organized in Cincinnati.

In 1889,  United States President Grover Cleveland signs a bill admitting North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Washington as U.S. states.

In 1899,  Filipino forces led by General Antonio Luna launch counterattacks for the first time against the American forces during the Philippine–American War. The Filipinos fail to regain Manila from the Americans.

John Jacob Astor III.jpg

John Jacob Astor III

In 1890,  John Jacob Astor III, American businessman (b. 1822) dies. He was a financier, philanthropist, and a prominent member of the Astor family. He was the eldest son of real estate businessman William Backhouse Astor, Sr. (1792–1875) and Margaret Rebecca Armstrong (1800–1872), a nephew of occasional poet John Jacob Astor, Jr. (1791–1869), and a grandson of fur-trader John Jacob Astor (1763–1848), Sarah Cox Todd (1761–1834), Senator John Armstrong, Jr. (1758–1843) and Alida Livingston (1761–1822) of the Livingston family. John Jacob III became the wealthiest member of the Astor family in his generation and the founder of the English branch of the Astor family. His younger brother businessman William Backhouse Astor, Jr. (1829–1892) was the patriarch of the male line of American Astors.

In 1900, Hawaii becomes a US Territory.

In 1902, A fistfight breaks out in the Senate. Senator Benjamin Tillman suffers a bloody nose for accusing Senator John McLaurin of bias on the Philippine tariff issue.

In 1904,  The United Kingdom sells a meteorological station on the South Orkney Islands to Argentina, the islands are subsequently claimed by the United Kingdom in 1908.

In 1909,  The sixteen battleships of the Great White Fleet, led by USS Connecticut, return to the United States after a voyage around the world.

In 1915,  World War I: Germany institutes unrestricted submarine warfare.

In 1917, German fleet torpedoes 7 Dutch ships.

In 1918, Germany claims Baltic states, Finland & Ukraine from Russia.

In 1921,  After Russian forces under Baron Roman von Ungern-Sternberg drive the Chinese out, the Bogd Khan is reinstalled as the emperor of Mongolia.

In 1923, The first successful chinchilla farm (we’re talking real chinchilla, here) opened on this day in Los Angeles, CA. It was the first such farm in the country.

In 1924,  U.S. President Calvin Coolidge becomes the first President to deliver a radio broadcast from the White House.

In 1932, the Purple Heart Award was re-instituted.

In 1935, it became illegal for airplanes to fly over the White House.

In 1940, Finnish troops vacate Koivisto island.

In 1941,  Secret police begin rounding up Jews in Amsterdam.

In 1941, Arthur T “Bomber” Harris becomes British Air Marshal.

In 1941, German assault on El Agheila Libya.

In 1942,  World War II: President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders General Douglas MacArthur out of the Philippines as the Japanese victory becomes inevitable.

In 1943,  World War II: Members of the White Rose resistance, Sophie Scholl, Hans Scholl, and Christoph Probst are executed in Nazi Germany.

In 1944,  World War II: American aircraft mistakenly bomb the Dutch towns of Nijmegen, Arnhem, Enschede and Deventer, resulting in 800 dead in Nijmegen alone.

In 1948,  Communist revolution in Czechoslovakia.

In 1957,  Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam survives a communist shooting assassination attempt in Ban Me Thuot.

In 1958,  Egypt and Syria join to form the United Arab Republic.

In 1959,  Lee Petty wins the first Daytona 500.

In 1967, more than 25,000 U.S. and South Vietnamese troops launched Operation Junction City, an offensive aimed at smashing a Viet Cong stronghold near the Cambodian border.

In 1972,  The Official Irish Republican Army detonates a car bomb at Aldershot barracks, killing seven and injuring nineteen others.

In 1973,  Cold War: Following President Richard Nixon‘s visit to the People’s Republic of China, the two countries agree to establish liaison offices.

In 1973, Israeli fighter planes shot down an unarmed Libyan commercial airliner, killing 106 of the 113 people aboard.

In 1974,  The Organisation of the Islamic Conference summit begins in Lahore, Pakistan. Thirty-seven countries attend and twenty-two heads of state and government participate. It also recognizes Bangladesh.

In 1974,  Samuel Byck tries and fails to assassinate U.S. President Richard Nixon.

In 1979,  Independence of Saint Lucia from the United Kingdom.

In 1980,  Miracle on Ice: In Lake Placid, New York, the United States hockey team defeats the Soviet Union hockey team 4–3.

In 1983,  The notorious Broadway flop Moose Murders opens and closes on the same night at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre.

In 1983, Illinois Congressman Harold Washington won Chicago’s Democratic mayoral primary on his way to becoming the city’s first black mayor.

In 1984, a 12-year-old Houston boy known publicly only as “David,” who’d spent most 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.

In 1984, Britain and the U.S. send warships to the Persian Gulf following an Iranian offensive against Iraq.

In 1986,  Start of the People Power Revolution in the Philippines.

In 1987, the United States, Japan, West Germany, Britain, France and Canada agreed to cooperate to stem the decline of dollar.

In 1987, Andy Warhol died in New York City at 6:32 am.  According to news reports, he had been making good recovery from a routine gallbladder surgery at New York Hospital before dying in his sleep from a sudden post-operative cardiac arrhythmia. was an American artist who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement that flourished by the 1960s. After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became a renowned and sometimes controversial artist. The Andy Warhol Museum in his native city, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, holds an extensive permanent collection of art and archives. It is the largest museum in the United States dedicated to a single artist. Warhol’s art encompassed many forms of media, including hand drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, silk screening, sculpture, film, and music. He was also a pioneer in computer-generated art using Amiga computers that were introduced in 1984, two years before his death. He founded Interview Magazine and was the author of numerous books, including The Philosophy of Andy Warhol and Popism: The Warhol Sixties. He is also notable as a gay man who lived openly as such before the gay liberation movement. His studio, The Factory, was a famous gathering place that brought together distinguished intellectuals, drag queens, playwrights, Bohemian street people, Hollywood celebrities, and wealthy patrons.

In 1991, President Bush and America’s Gulf War allies gave Iraq 24 hours to begin withdrawing from Kuwait, or face a final all-out attack. Iraq denounced the “shameful” U.S. ultimatum, aligning itself with a Soviet peace plan the United States had rejected. Iraqi troops began setting fire to dozens of oil facilities in occupied Kuwait as the Gulf War raged on. The astronauts aboard the shuttle later reported they could see the resulting smoke from orbit.

In 1994,  Aldrich Ames and his wife are charged by the United States Department of Justice with spying for the Soviet Union.

In 1995,  The Corona reconnaissance satellite program, in existence from 1959 to 1972, is declassified.

In 1995, Steve Fossett completes 1st air balloon over Pacific Ocean (9600 km).

In 1997,  In Roslin, Scotland, scientists announce that an adult sheep named Dolly has been successfully cloned.

In 2002,  Angolan political and rebel leader Jonas Savimbi is killed in a military ambush.

In 2006,  At least six men stage Britain’s biggest robbery, stealing £53m (about $92.5 million or €78 million) from a Securitas depot in Tonbridge, Kent.

In 2011,  An earthquake measuring 6.3 in magnitude strikes Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 185 people.

In 2011,  Bahraini uprising: Tens of thousands of people march in protest against the deaths of seven victims killed by police and army forces during previous protests.

In 2012,  A train crash in Buenos Aires, Argentina, kills 51 people and injures 700 others.

In 2014,  President Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine is impeached by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine by a vote of 328-0, fulfilling a major goal of the Euromaidan rebellion.

In 2015,  A ferry carrying 100 passengers capsizes in the Padma River, killing 70 people.

In 2018,  A man throws a grenade at the U.S embassy in PodgoricaMontenegro. He dies at the scene from a second explosion, with no one else hurt.

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