What Happened on February 22?

  • The US hockey team made the "Miracle on Ice." (1980) On this day, the US Olympic Hockey team had a major surprise victory over the USSR's team at the Winter Olympics, and two days later won the gold medal for ice hockey. It is remembered by many as one of the high points of American participation in the Olympics.

  • Spain sold Florida to the US. (1819) Spain sold Florida to the US in the Adams-Onis Treaty for $5 million US Dollars (USD). The treaty also created a new boundary line between America and Mexico, which was then a Spanish territory

  • The first Woolworth's opened. (1879) The classic American five and dime store opened on a loan of $300 USD. It quickly became one of the fastest-growing retail chains in the world, although it declined in the second half of the 20th century. It later became the Venator corporation, and then Foot Locker, an athletic clothing and shoe sales store.

  • The Last Invasion of Britain began. (1797) The Battle of Fishguard started what is known as the "Last Invasion of Britain," since it was the last time a foreign power landed on British soil — although there were further attacks on Ireland. French forces landed in Wales, but were eventually beaten back by a combination of civilian and military forces.

  • Galileo published "Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems." (1632) The book discussed the possibility that the Earth actually revolved around the Sun, rather than the other way around, as was believed at the time. Galileo was eventually sentenced to life imprisonment for heresy for his writings, and the "Dialogue" was banned until 1835.

  • A gang of six men committed one of the largest robberies in history. (2006) Six men stole more than 53 million UK pounds (about $80 million USD) in bills from a bank depot in Britain. More than 30 people were arrested in connection with the case, but no one was convicted.

  • Suharto took power in Indonesia. (1967) Suharto had been a major military leader in Indonesia, and even saved the president, Sukarno, from a coup, but then ousted him himself. Though he stabilized the nation and oversaw a period of relative prosperity, he was often criticized for his harsh and repressive methods.

  • A failed assassination attempt on President Nixon took place. (1974) Samuel Joseph Byck, an unemployed tire salesman, attempted to hijack a plane and crash it into the White House to kill President Nixon. When police stormed the plane, he committed suicide. No one else was injured, and Nixon was unaffected.

  • The Battle of Buena Vista began. (1847) This was a turn-around battle in the Mexican-American War, and 5,000 US troops stopped 15,000 Mexican ones. It was also a political jumping off point for the American general, Zachary Taylor, who went on to become the president.

  • Edna St. Vincent Millay was born. (1892) Known for her wild and glamorous lifestyle, Millay was the crazy New York poet before it was popular to be one. She was one of the first women to write openly about her lovers, and was also the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize.

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