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February 22, 2013

Today in History

Today is Friday, Feb. 22, the 53rd day of 2013. 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 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 November 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 1935, it became illegal for airplanes to fly over the White House.
  • 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 1973, the United States and China agreed to establish liaison offices.
  • 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 1993, the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved creation of an international war crimes tribunal to punish those responsible for atrocities in the former Yugoslavia.

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