This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
February 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).
On this day in 1980, the U.S. Olympic hockey team makes “miracle on ice”.
In one of the most dramatic upsets in Olympic history, the underdog U.S. hockey team, made up of college players, defeats the four-time defending gold-medal winning Soviet team at the XIII Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, New York. The Soviet squad, previously regarded as the finest in the world, fell to the youthful American team 4-3 before a frenzied crowd of 10,000 spectators.
The United States did not win the gold medal upon defeating the USSR. In 1980 the medal round was a round-robin, not a single elimination format as it is today. Under Olympic rules at the time, the group game with Sweden was counted along with the medal round games versus the Soviet Union and Finland so it was mathematically possible for the United States to finish anywhere from first to fourth.
Needing to win to secure the gold medal, Team USA came back from a 2-1 third period deficit to defeat Finland 4-2. According to Mike Eruzione, coming into the dressing room in the second intermission, Brooks turned to his players, looked at them and said, “If you lose this game, you’ll take it to your graves.” He then paused, took a few steps, turned again, said, “Your fucking graves,” and walked out.
At the time, the players ascended a podium to receive their medals and then lined up on the ice for the playing of the national anthem, as the podium was only meant to accommodate one person. Only the team captains remained on the podium for the duration. After the completion of the anthem, Eruzione motioned for his teammates to join him on the podium. Today, the podiums are large enough to accommodate all of the players.
The victory bolstered many American citizens’ feelings of national pride, which had been severely strained during the turbulent 1970s. The match against the Soviets popularized the “U-S-A! U-S-A!” chant, which has been used by American supporters at many international sports competitions since 1980.
1371 – Robert II became King of Scotland, beginning the Stuart dynasty.
1495 – King Charles VIII of France enters Naples to claim the city’s throne.
1632 – Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems is published.
1744 – War of the Austrian Succession: The Battle of Toulon begins.
1797 – The Last Invasion of Britain begins near Fishguard, Wales.
1819 – By the Adams-Onís Treaty, Spain sells Florida to the United States for five million U.S. dollars.
1847 – Mexican-American War: The Battle of Buena Vista – 5,000 American troops drive off 15,000 Mexicans.
1853 – Washington University in St. Louis is founded as Eliot Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri.
1855 – The Pennsylvania State University is founded in State College, Pennsylvania (as the Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania)
1856 – The Republican Party opens its first national meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
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.
1872 – The Prohibition Party held its first national convention in Columbus, Ohio, nominating James Black as its presidential nominee.
1879 – In Utica, New York, Frank Woolworth opens the first of many of 5 and dime Woolworth stores.
1882 – The Serbian kingdom is refounded.
1889 – President Grover Cleveland signs a bill admitting North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Washington as U.S. states.
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.
1909 – The sixteen battleships of the Great White Fleet, led by Connecticut, returns to the United States after a voyage around the world.
1915 – World War I: Germany institutes unrestricted submarine warfare.
1924 – U.S. President Calvin Coolidge becomes the first President to deliver a radio broadcast from the White House.
1942 – World War II: President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders General Douglas MacArthur out of the Philippines as the Japanese victory becomes inevitable.
1943 – World War II: Members of White Rose are executed in Nazi Germany.
1944 – World War II: American aircraft mistakenly bomb the Dutch towns of Nijmegen, Arnhem, Enschede and Deventer, resulting in 800 dead in Nijmegen alone.
1948 – Communist revolution in Czechoslovakia.
1957 – Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam survived a communist shooting assassination attempt in Ban Me Thuot.
1958 – Egypt and Syria join to form the United Arab Republic.
1959 – Lee Petty wins the first Daytona 500.
1972 – The Official Irish Republican Army detonates a car bomb at Aldershot barracks, killing seven and injuring nineteen others.
1973 – Cold War: Following United States President Richard Nixon’s visit to the People’s Republic of China, the two countries agree to establish liaison offices.
1974 – Organisation of the Islamic Conferencesummit begins in Lahore, Pakistan.
Thirty-seven countries attend and twenty-two heads of state and government participate. It also recognizes Bangladesh.
1974 – Samuel Byck tries and fails to assassinate U.S. President Richard Nixon.
1979 – Independence of Saint Lucia from the United Kingdom.
1980 – Miracle on Ice: In Lake Placid, New York, the United States hockey team defeats the Soviet Union hockey team 4-3, in what is considered to be one of the greatest upsets in sports history.
1983 – The notorious Broadway flop Moose Murders opens and closes on the same night at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre.
1986 – Start of the People Power Revolution in the Philippines.
1994 – Aldrich Ames and his wife are charged by the United States Department of Justice with spying for the Soviet Union.
1995 – The Corona reconnaissance satellite program, in existence from 1959 to 1972, is declassified.
1997 – In Roslin, Scotland, scientists announce that an adult sheep named Dolly had been successfully cloned.
2002 – Angolan political and rebel leader Jonas Savimbi is killed in a military ambush.
2006 – At least six men stage Britain’s biggest robbery ever, stealing about $92.5 million from a Securitas depot in Tonbridge, Kent.
* Celebrity Day (Church of Scientology)
* Christian Feast Day:
* Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter (Roman Catholic Church)
* Washington’s Birthday, celebrate George Washington’s birthday on February 11, 1732. The different date is caused by the form of Julian calendar. (United States)
* World Thinking Day, also known as “B.-P. day” or “Founder’s Day” (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts)