.With 314 days to go, February 21 is the 51st day of the year. However It has a long and varied history, space libraries and instant cameras, gold medals, and the first yellow pages, it surely is a day of remembrance.
1828 1st American Indian newspaper in the US, “Cherokee Phoenix”, published
On February 21, 1828, The Cherokee Phoenix had begun its publication in Georgia. Cherokee Phoenix was the first American Indian newspaper in the United States. It came out in two languages: English and Cherokee. Later, it was renamed “Cherokee Phoenix and Indians’ Advocate”. In 1834, the publication stopped. And consequently, Cherokees relocated to Oklahoma forcibly. Nowadays a rejuvenated version of the newspaper gets published every day in Oklahoma.
1878 – The world’s first telephone book is issued by the New Haven Connecticut Telephone Company containing the names of its 50 subscribers.
The Connecticut District Telephone Company of New Haven issued the world’s first telephone book on February 21st, 1878. This directory booklet contained the names and addresses of the first 391 subscribers. The subscribers paid 22$ per year in order to get the service. It was the first budding “yellow pages”. It had no phone numbers in it. However, contained lots of advertisements of business on the back pages.
1947 1st instant developing camera demonstrated by Edwin Land at the Optical Society of America in NYC
Edwin H. Land gets credit for the development of Instant photography. Known simply as Polaroid, the system transformed traditional photography in an easier way by compressing darkroom processes into an integrated film assembly. It can produce a final photograph in seconds within the click of the camera shutter.
1999 Lahore Declaration signed between India’s Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pakistan’s Navaz Sharif on use of nuclear weapons
The Lahore Declaration was a historic agreement between two capitals of the neighboring nations, Lahore and New Delhi. The then prime ministers, Atal Vihari Vajpayee, and the counterpart Nawaz Shariff from Pakistan agreed on it at a summit on February 21, 1999. It states that both countries shall share a similar vision of stability and peace. Several topics, such as the use of nuclear weapons, and the Jammu and Kashmir issue highlighted the agreement.
2008 Laykyun Sekkya, the world’s third tallest statue in Myanmar
The Laykyun Sekkya, the third-tallest statue in the world raised to a height of 116 meters. Located in Myanmar, this statue unveiled on February 21, 2008. It was a commission by Chief Abbot Ven. Laykun Sekkya is a dedication to Buddha. Impressive in size, it attracts tourists from all over the world to Myanmar.
2014 US President Barack Obama meets with the Dalai Lama
President Barack Obama held low-key talks with the Dalai Lama at the White House on February 21, 2014, after several warning signs from China that the meeting with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader would sincerely affect the ties with Washington. Previously, China used brutal methods in the past to enforce its rule on Tibetans. Obama also made it clear that he does not support Tibetan independence from China. In addition to that, Dalai Lama reassured he was not seeking that.
2018 Winter Olympics: Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall become the first Americans in history to win a cross country gold medal (team sprint)
The then 35-year-old Randall and her 26-year-old teammate Jessie Diggins smashed away with skiers from Sweden and Norway for the final 1.25 kilometers. The first U.S. medal in women’s cross country bagged by these two women. They made history on February 21, 2018.
2019 The Lunar Library launched
A Falcon 9 rocket carried Israel’s Beresheet spacecraft at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Feb. 21, 2019. It carried a 30 million page library to preserve human civilization. Also known as the Lunar library or the civilization backup. Most of the disc consisted of encyclopedias. A very tiny component consisted of songs, children’s drawings, and some historical stories.
2019 Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa-2 touches down on asteroid Ryugu on a mission to collect rock samples
A brief but historic touchdown on the facade of the asteroid Ryugu happened on 21 February. The Hayabusa2 spacecraft tapped down at its target location, where it shot a projectile at the surface to collect a sample from the space rock. It was a smooth landing. Also, It sent an asteroid dust sample to earth on 14 December 2020 in a capsule.