It happened today – this day in history – February 22

1512: Death of Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci.

1630: Native Amerian Indians introduce pilgrims to popcorn at Thanksgiving.

1732: Birth of George Washington, first president of the US.

1746: Jacobite troops vacate Aberdeen.

1774: The House of Lords rules authors do not own copyright of their work in perpetuity.

1797: The Last Invasion of Britain by the French, begins near Fishguard.

1821: Spain sells (east) Florida to the United States for $5 million.

1847: US troops beat the Mexican army at the Battle of Buena Vista.

1865: Tennessee adopts a new constitution abolishing slavery.

1892: “Lady Windermere’s Fan” by Oscar Wilde premieres at St James Theatre, London.

1917: The German Navy torpedoes seven Dutch ships.

1918: Germany claims Finland and Ukraine from Russia.

1922: London issues a unilateral declaration of Egyptian independence.

1933: Malcolm Campbell sets world land speed record at 272.46mph driving his Bluebird car at Daytona Beach, Florida.

1941: Nazi police raid Amsterdam and round up 429 young Jews for deportation to be sent to Buchenwald and Mauthausen concentration camps.

1942: President Franklin D Roosevelt orders Gen Douglas MacArthur out of the Philippines as American defenses collapse.

1944: US planes accidentally bomb the Dutch town of Nijmegen, killing around 800 civilians.

1955: Maureen Connolly, one of America’s greatest tennis players, announces her retirement from the sport after a horse riding accident. On the same day, the British aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal sets sail.

1958: Egypt and Syria form the United Arab Republic.

1967: Working on the Sgt Pepper album at EMI Studios in Abbey Road, St John’s Wood, The Beatles record the giant piano chord, played simultaneously on three pianos, at the end of A Day In The Life.

1970: Session singer Tony Burrows appears on three records in today’s Top 10 as the lead vocalist on the songs United We Stand, My Baby Loves Lovin’ and the No 1 Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes).


1972: Five women and an army priest are killed in an IRA bomb attack on the 16th Parachute Brigade headquarters at Aldershot Barracks.

1974: Fighting breaks out around food distribution points in California as newspaper tycoon Randolph Hearst pays a $2million ransom for his kidnapped daughter Patty.

1979: St Lucia gains independence from Britain.

1980: Afghanistan declares martial law.

1983: Hindus kill 3000 Muslims in Assam, India.

1987: Pop artist Andy Warhol dies after a gall bladder operation.

1991: US President George Bush gives Iraq until 1700 GMT tomorrow to pull out of Kuwait or face the full force of the allies.

1995: Steve Fossett completes the first air balloon journey over the Pacific Ocean.

1997: A sheep named Dolly is cloned by scientists in Edinburgh.

2004: Singles chart:

  1. Who’s David – Busted
  2. With A Little Help From My Friends – Sam & Mark
  3. Somewhere Only We Know – Keane
  4. Take Me To The Clouds Above – LMC vs U2
  5. Milkshake – Kelis
  6. Hey Ya – Outkast
  7. She Believes (In Me) – Ronan Keating
  8. Somenbody To Love – Boogie Pimps
  9. Give It Away – Deepest Blue
  10. Can’t Get Enough – Raghav
2004: Nora Jones – Feels Like Home

Album chart:

  1. Feels Like Home – Nora Jones
  2. Call Off The Search – Katie Melua
  3. The Meaning Of Love – Michelle
  4. Greatest – Durran Duran
  5. Permission To Land – The Darkness
  6. Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand
  7. The Best Of – Leann Rimes
  8. Elephunk – The Black Eyed Peas
  9. Final Straw – Snow Patrol
  10. Life For Rent – Dido

2006: At least six men stage Britain’s biggest ever robbery, stealing £53m from a Securitas depot in Tonbridge, Kent.

2009: Heath Ledger posthumously wins the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for his performance as the Joker in “The Dark Knight”.

2010: Johnny Marr is described as “ecstatic” after getting back a 1964 Gibson SG guitar which had been stolen in 2000 after a gig at the Scala nightclub in Kings Cross, London.

2011: An earthquake measuring 6.3 in magnitude strikes Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 181 people.

2014: Viktor Yanukovych is ousted as President of Ukraine following the Euromaidan revolution.

2016: Country singer-songwriter Sonny James dies in Nashville aged 87.

2019: Actor Jussie Smollett is suspended from US TV show “Empire” after it is revealed that the actor made false claims about a racist and homophobic attack.

2021: Daft Punk announce they are splitting up.

2022: President Joe Biden announces new sanctions against Russia, saying its latest moves in Ukraine amount to “the beginning of a Russian invasion”. On the same day, comedy actress Anna Karen dies aged 85 in a house fire and rock singer Mark Lanegan dies aged 57.

Dame Julie Walters (Photo: Christopher William Adach)

BIRTHDAYS: Dame Sheila Hancock, actress, 91; John Radford, footballer, 76; Dame Julie (Julia) Walters, actress, 74; Nigel Planer, actor, 71; Sparko (John Sparks), bassist (Dr Feelgood) 71; Kyle MachLachlan, actor, 65; Rachel Dratch, actress/writer/comedian, 58; Jeri Ryan (Zimmerman), actress, 56; Thomas Jane (Elliott), actor, 55; Brian Laudrup, footballer/manager, 55; Shaka Hislop, goalkeeper, 55; Scott Phillips, drummer, (Creed) 51; James Blunt (Blount) singer-songwriter, 50; Chris Moyles, broadcaster, 50; Drew Barrymore. actress, 49; Jenny Frost, singer (Atomic Kitten) 46; Iliza Shlesinger, comedian, 41; Branislav Ivanović, footballer, 40; Pablo Fornals, footballer, 28.