Thursday, February 22, 2007

Today in History....February 21

On this day in …

* 1819, Spain agreed to cede Florida to the U.S. under the Adams-Onis Treaty

* 1879, Frank Winfield Woolworth kicked off a retail revolution by opening the Great 5 Cents Store in Utica, New York. Pledging to sell "nothing" that cost more than a nickel, Woolworth packed his store with a smorgasbord of goods, ranging from items for the kitchen to beauty products. In 1997, the company threw in the towel and closed its last 400 shops when it wasn't able to compete with super-sized discount rivals like Target and Wal-Mart

* 1889, President Grover Cleveland signed an omnibus bill to admit the Dakotas, Montana and Washington state to the Union

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

* 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.

* 1968, Tet Offensive ends. Claims by President Lyndon Johnson that the offensive was a complete failure were misleading. Though the North Vietnamese death toll was 20 times that of its enemies, strongholds previously thought impenetrable had been shaken. The prospect of increasing American forces added substantial strength to the anti-war movement and led to Johnson's announcement that he would not seek re-election

* 1973, the U.S. and Communist China agreed to establish liaison offices

* 1980, the U.S. Olympic hockey team upset the Soviets at Lake Placid, N.Y., 4-3. (The U.S. team went on to win the gold medal.)

* 1997, cutbacks began under new welfare law limiting childless adults, under age 50 and able to work, to three months of food stamps in any three-year period

* 2006, insurgents destroyed the golden dome of one of Iraq's holiest Shiite shrines, the Askariya mosque in Samarra, setting off an unprecedented spasm of sectarian violence. ALSO: Thieves stole
$96 million from a Bank of England cash depot 30 miles southeast of London in Britain's largest cash robbery. AND: Eight workers at a Nebraska meatpacking plant came forward to claim a $365 million Powerball jackpot

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