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    THIS DAY, FEBRUARY 21, ... YEARS AGO

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    IN THE WORLD:

    - The beginning of the new 1425th year according to the Moslem lunar calendar (the beginning of calendar months corresponds to moments of new moon appearance. The lunar month (synodical) is 29 days 12 hours 44 minutes 2.9 seconds. 12 such months total a lunar year of 354 days, which is 11 days shorter than the tropical year. In line with the Islamic tradition, the first day of the first month of year 622, which corresponds to July 16, 622 is believed to be the beginning of chronology. Nevertheless, the event that gave its name to the Moslem calendar - "khidjra" (in Arab, resettlement) happened later, in September 622, when prophet Mohammed with his supporters (ansars), escaping from pursuit, resettled (made "khidjra") from Mecca to Medina, from where he gradually distributed his influence on the whole Arabian Peninsula).

    - The International day of native language; marked since 2000 on UNESCO initiative and is aimed at preserving and developing the disappearing languages, encouraging linguistic variety as well as giving more knowledge about linguistic and cultural traditions.

    - 1874 - Dmitry Gulia was born 130 years ago (died in 1960), Abkhazia's national poet, educator, a founder of Abkhazian literature.

    - 1934 - Augusto Sandino died 70 years ago (born in 1895), the hero of Nicaraguan people's national liberation struggle.

    IN RUSSIA:

    - 1613 - The Zemsky Sobor elected Mikhail Romanov Russian Tsar; the Romanovs dynasty ruled Russia up to 1917.

    - 1783 - Count Fyodor P. Tolstoy was born 221 years ago (died in 1873), a painter, sculptor, medallist, author of medallions in commemoration of the Patriotic War of 1812 and foreign campaigns of the Russian army in 1813-1814.

    - 1859 - Mikhail V. Rodzyanko was born 145 years ago (died in 1924), a political figure, a leader of Octobrist Party (emigrated in 1920); the author of memoirs "The Collapse of the Empire."

    - 1888 - Mikhail A. Bonch-Bruyevich was born 116 years ago (died in 1940), a scientist, one of pioneers of radio engineering; organized the first domestic production of electronic lamps; the world's first powerful radio broadcasting Komintern station was created in Moscow under his guidance.

    - 1904 - Aleksei N. Kosygin was born 100 years ago (died in 1980), a state and political figure, chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers in 1964-1980, initiator of economic reforms of the 1960s.

    - 1961 - The Novosti Press Agency (APN) was established 43 years ago, a public information body, predecessor of RIA Novosti.

    - 1972 - The Soviet automatic station Luna-20 made a soft landing on the Moon's surface 32 years ago.

    - 1978 - The first flight of the heavy transport helicopter Mi-26 took place 26 years ago.

    - 1984 - Mikhail A. Sholokhov died 20 years ago (born in 1905), a writer, Nobel prize winner (1965), author of novels "And Quiet Flows The Don", "Virgin Soil Upturned", "They Fought For the Motherland" (unfinished).

    - 1996 - The spaceship Soyuz TM-23 with the crew of the 21st main space expedition - Yuri Onufriyenko and Yuri Usachev - was launched from the Baikonur space center 8 years ago.

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