First Posted: 1/30/2014
The History Channel
* On Feb. 21, 1885, the Washington Monument, built in honor of America’s revolutionary hero and first president, is dedicated in Washington, D.C. The 555-foot-high marble obelisk was the tallest structure in the world when completed, and it remains today, by District of Columbia law, the tallest building in the nation’s capital.
* On Feb. 20, 1902, the famous Western photographer Ansel Adams is born in San Francisco. Adams’ dramatic black and white images of Yosemite and the West are some of the most widely recognized and admired photographs of the 20th century. Adams was dedicated to the use of “straight” images free from darkroom trickery.
* On Feb. 18, 1929, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces the winners of the first Academy Awards: The first award recipients’ names were printed on the back page of the academy’s newsletter.
* On Feb. 19, 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066, initiating a controversial World War II policy with lasting consequences for Japanese Americans. The document ordered the removal of resident enemy aliens from parts of the West vaguely identified as military areas and into detention camps.
* On Feb. 23, 1954, a group of children from Arsenal Elementary School in Pittsburgh receive the first injections of the new polio vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk. After mass inoculations began in 1954, everyone marveled at the high success rate — some 60 percent to 70 percent
* On Feb. 17, 1972, the 15,007,034th Volkswagen Beetle comes off the assembly line, breaking a world car production record held for more than four decades by the Ford Motor Company’s iconic Model T, which was in production from 1908 and 1927. The history of the VW Beetle dates back to 1930s Germany.
* On Feb. 22, 1980, 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, N.Y.