John’s Believe It Or Not… February 22nd

Fioravanti stands in front of the classroom blackboard with his hands on his hips. Picture was taken in August, 2006.

It’s Welcoming Wednesday! Did you know…

1774 British House of Lords rules authors do not have perpetual copyright.

1980 U.S. 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. Two days later, the Americans defeated Finland 4-2 to clinch the hockey gold.)

1819 The U.S. acquires Spanish Florida. (Spanish minister Do Luis de Onis and U.S. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams sign the Florida Purchase Treaty, in which Spain agrees to cede the remainder of its old province of Florida to the United States.)

*2006 Gang commits the largest robbery in British history. (In the early morning hours of February 22, 2006, a gang of at least six men, some of them armed, steal £53 million [$65.83 million US today] from the Securitas bank depot in Kent, Great Britain. It was the largest such theft in British history.)

1959 Lee Petty wins first Daytona 500. (On this day in 1959, Lee Petty defeats Johnny Beauchamp in a photo finish at the just-opened Daytona International Speedway in Florida to win the first-ever Daytona 500. The race was so close that Beauchamp was initially named the winner by William France, the owner of the track and head of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR). However, Petty, who was driving a hardtop Oldsmobile 88, challenged the results and three days later, with the assistance of news photographs, he was officially named the champ. There was speculation that France declared Beauchamp the winner in order to intentionally stir up controversy and generate publicity for his new race track.)


Look who was born on this date!

* George Washington in 1732. (Presidential Term: April 30, 1789 – March 4, 1797. Often titled “Father of His Country”, Washington served as Commander of the Continental Army during the American Revolution. Afterwards, he was chosen to lead the Constitutional Convention to decide the new government’s form and then elected its first President.)

* Steve Irwin in 1962. (Australian naturalist and TV Star, nicknamed ‘The Crocodile Hunter’ and star of the internationally broadcast wildlife documentary series of the same name.)

* Drew Barrymore in 1975. (American actress and a descendant of the Barrymore family of well-known American stage and cinema actors, and the granddaughter of film legend John Barrymore, she first appeared in an advertisement when she was eleven months old, before starring in her breakout role in “E.T.”. Subsequently, she established herself in romantic comedies such as “The Wedding Singer” and later, “50 First Dates”.)


Author: John Fioravanti

I'm a retired History teacher (35 years), husband, father of three, grandfather of three. My wife, Anne, and I became business partners in December, 2013, and launched our own publishing company, Fiora Books (, to publish my books. We have been married since 1973 and hope our joint business venture will be as successful as our marriage.

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