Today in History

Published 12:01 am Friday, February 22, 2019

Today is Friday, Feb. 22, the 53rd day of 2019. There are 312 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 22, 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.)

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On this date:

In 1630, English colonists in the Massachusetts Bay Colony first sampled popcorn brought to them by a Native American named Quadequina for their Thanksgiving celebration.

In 1732 (New Style date), the first president of the United States, George Washington, was born in Westmoreland County in the Virginia Colony.

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

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 1965, former Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, 82, died in Washington D.C.

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 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.

In 1987, pop artist Andy Warhol died at a New York City hospital at age 58.

Ten 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.

Five years ago: Retired Pope Benedict XVI joined Pope Francis in a ceremony in St. Peter’s Basilica creating the cardinals who will elect their successor in an unprecedented blending of papacies past, present and future. Ukraine’s former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko left prison as her arch foe, President Viktor Yanukovych, decamped to the country’s east, vowing to remain in power. At the Sochi Olympics, Marit Bjoergen became the most decorated female Winter Olympian in history, winning her sixth career gold medal by leading a Norwegian sweep in the women’s 30-kilometer cross-country race. Mario Matt of Austria won the men’s slalom to become, at age 34, the oldest Alpine champion in Olympic history.

One year ago: Defying his supporters in the National Rifle Association, President Donald Trump said the nation should keep assault rifles out of the hands of anyone under 21. Authorities announced that the armed officer who was on duty at the Parkland, Florida school where a shooter killed 17 people never went into the building to engage the gunman. A grand jury indicted Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on a felony charge of invasion of privacy for allegedly taking a compromising photo of a woman with whom he had an affair in 2015; Greitens responded that he made a mistake but committed no crime. (He would resign on June 1 while facing potential impeachment over allegations of sexual and political misconduct.) The U.S. women’s hockey team won the gold medal at the Winter Olympics in South Korea, beating Canada 3-2 after a shootout tiebreaker.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Paul Dooley is 91. Actor James Hong is 90. Actor John Ashton is 71. Actress Miou-Miou is 69. Actress Julie Walters is 69. Basketball Hall of Famer Julius Erving is 69. Actress Ellen Greene is 68. Former Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., is 67. Former White House adviser David Axelrod is 64. Actor Kyle MacLachlan is 60. World Golf Hall of Famer Vijay Singh is 56. Actress-comedian Rachel Dratch is 53. Actor Paul Lieberstein is 52. Actress Jeri Ryan is 51. Actor Thomas Jane is 50. TV host Clinton Kelly is 50. Actress Tamara Mello is 49. Actress-singer Lea Salonga is 48. Actor Jose Solano is 48. International Tennis Hall of Famer Michael Chang is 47. Rock musician Scott Phillips is 46. Singer James Blunt is 45. Actress Drew Barrymore is 44. Actress Liza Huber is 44. Rock singer Tom Higgenson (Plain White T’s) is 40. Rock musician Joe Hottinger (Halestorm) is 37. Actor Zach Roerig is 34. Actor Daniel E. Smith is 29.