February 15, 2024 at 1:12 p.m.
Today In History

Today In History – February 15

February 15 is the 46th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar


There are many events that happened on this date in history. Here are just a few of them!

February 15 is the 46th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar; 319 days remain until the end of the year (320 in leap years).

EVENTS

1493 – While on board the Niña, Christopher Columbus writes an open letter (widely distributed upon his return to Portugal) describing his discoveries and the unexpected items he came across in the New World.

1637 – Ferdinand III becomes Holy Roman Emperor.

1764 – The city of St. Louis is established in Spanish Louisiana (now in Missouri, USA).

1862 – American Civil War: Confederates commanded by Brig. Gen. John B. Floyd attack General Ulysses S. Grant's Union forces besieging Fort Donelson in Tennessee. Unable to break the fort's encirclement, the Confederates surrender the following day.

1870 – Stevens Institute of Technology is founded in New Jersey, US, and offers the first Bachelor of Engineering degree in mechanical engineering.

1879 – Women's rights: US President Rutherford B. Hayes signs a bill allowing female attorneys to argue cases before the Supreme Court of the United States.

1898 – The battleship USS Maine explodes and sinks in Havana harbor in Cuba, killing about 274 of the ship's roughly 354 crew.[13] The disaster pushes the United States to declare war on Spain.

1923 – Greece becomes the last European country to adopt the Gregorian calendar.

1933 – In Miami, Giuseppe Zangara attempts to assassinate US President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt, but instead shoots Chicago mayor Anton J. Cermak, who dies of his wounds on March 6.

1946 – ENIAC, the first electronic general-purpose computer, is formally dedicated at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

1949 – Gerald Lankester Harding and Roland de Vaux begin excavations at Cave 1 of the Qumran Caves, where they will eventually discover the first seven Dead Sea Scrolls.

1952 – King George VI of the United Kingdom is buried in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.

1972 – Sound recordings are granted U.S. federal copyright protection for the first time.

1992 – Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is sentenced in Milwaukee to 15 terms of life in prison.

2013 – A meteor explodes over Russia, injuring 1,500 people as a shock wave blows out windows and rocks buildings. This happens unexpectedly only hours before the expected closest ever approach of the larger and unrelated asteroid 2012 DA14.

BIRTHS

1519 – Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, first Spanish Governor of Florida (d. 1574)

1557 – Alfonso Fontanelli, Italian composer (d. 1622)

1564 – Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer, physicist, and mathematician (d. 1642)

1710 – Louis XV of France (d. 1774)

1809 – Cyrus McCormick, American journalist and businessman, co-founded International Harvester (d. 1884)

1810 – Mary S. B. Shindler, American poet, writer, and editor (d. 1883)

1812 – Charles Lewis Tiffany, American businessman, founded Tiffany & Co. (d. 1902)

1820 – Susan B. Anthony, American suffragist and activist (d. 1906)

1905 – Harold Arlen, American composer (d. 1986)

1907 – Cesar Romero, American actor (d. 1994)

1931 – Claire Bloom, English actress

1951 – Jane Seymour, English-American actress, producer, and jewelry designer

Deaths

1508 – Giovanni II Bentivoglio, tyrant of Bologna (b. 1443)

1600 – José de Acosta, Spanish Jesuit missionary and naturalist (b. 1540)

1924 – Lionel Monckton, English composer (b. 1861)

1933 – Pat Sullivan, Australian animator and producer, co-created Felix the Cat (b. 1887)

1965 – Nat King Cole, American singer and pianist (b. 1919)

1973 – Wally Cox, American actor (b. 1924)

1984 – Ethel Merman, American actress and singer (b. 1908)

2002 – Howard K. Smith, American journalist and actor (b. 1914)

2008 – Johnny Weaver, American wrestler and sportscaster (b. 1935)

2023 – Raquel Welch, American actress and singer (b. 1940)



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