Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Monday, Feb. 15, the 46th day of 2016. There are 320 days left in the year. This is Presidents Day.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 15, 1898, the U.S. battleship Maine mysteriously blew up in Havana Harbor, killing more than 260 crew members and bringing the United States closer to war with Spain.

On this date:

In 1764, the site of present-day St. Louis was established by Pierre Laclede and Auguste Chouteau.

In 1879, President Rutherford B. Hayes signed a bill allowing female attorneys to argue cases before the Supreme Court.

In 1933, President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt escaped an assassination attempt in Miami that mortally wounded Chicago Mayor Anton J. Cermak; gunman Giuseppe Zangara was executed more than four weeks later.

In 1944, Allied bombers destroyed the monastery atop Monte Cassino (MAWN’-tay kah-SEE’-noh) in Italy.

In 1952, a funeral was held at Windsor Castle for Britain’s King George VI, who had died nine days earlier.

In 1961, 73 people, including an 18-member U.S. figure skating team en route to the World Championships in Czechoslovakia, were killed in the crash of a Sabena Airlines Boeing 707 in Belgium.

In 1971, Britain and Ireland “decimalised” their currencies, making one pound equal to 100 new pence instead of 240 pence.

In 1982, 84 men were killed when a huge oil-drilling rig, the Ocean Ranger, sank off the coast of Newfoundland during a fierce storm.

In 1986, the Philippines National Assembly proclaimed Ferdinand E. Marcos president for another six years, following an election marked by allegations of fraud. (Marcos ended up being ousted from power.)

In 1989, the Soviet Union announced that the last of its troops had left Afghanistan, after more than nine years of military intervention.

In 1995, the FBI arrested Kevin Mitnick, its “most wanted hacker,” and charged him with cracking security for some of the nation’s most protected computers. (Mitnick ended up serving five years behind bars.)

In 2002, a private funeral was held at Windsor Castle for Britain’s Princess Margaret, who had died six days earlier at age 71.

Ten years ago: Vice President Dick Cheney accepted blame for accidentally shooting a hunting companion, calling it “one of the worst days of my life,” but was defiantly unapologetic in a Fox News Channel interview about not publicly disclosing the incident until the next day. Testifying before the Senate, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff acknowledged delayed aid and fumbled coordination in the federal response to Hurricane Katrina.

Five years ago: Protesters swarmed Wisconsin’s capitol after Gov. Scott Walker proposed cutbacks in benefits and abolishing bargaining rights for most public employees. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was ordered to stand trial on charges he’d paid a 17-year-old Moroccan girl for sex and then used his influence to cover it up. (Berlusconi was found guilty, but had his conviction overturned.)

One year ago: A video purporting to show the mass beheading of Egyptian Coptic Christian hostages was released by militants in Libya affiliated with the Islamic State group. Russell Westbrook scored 41 points to lead the Western Conference to a 163-158 win over the East in the NBA All-Star Game. Foreign correspondent and news executive Arnaud de Borchgrave, 88, died in Washington.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Illinois Congressman John Anderson is 94. Actress Claire Bloom is 85. Author Susan Brownmiller is 81. Songwriter Brian Holland is 75. Rock musician Mick Avory (The Kinks) is 72. Jazz musician Henry Threadgill is 72. Actress-model Marisa Berenson is 69. Actress Jane Seymour is 65. Singer Melissa Manchester is 65. Actress Lynn Whitfield is 63. “Simpsons” creator Matt Groening (GREE’-ning) is 62. Model Janice Dickinson is 61. Actor Christopher McDonald is 61. Reggae singer Ali Campbell is 57. Actor Joseph R. Gannascoli is 57. Musician Mikey Craig (Culture Club) is 56. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Darrell Green is 56. Country singer Michael Reynolds (Pinmonkey) is 52. Actor Michael Easton is 49. Rock musician Stevie Benton (Drowning Pool) is 45. Actress Renee O’Connor is 45. Actress Sarah Wynter is 43. Olympic gold medal swimmer Amy Van Dyken-Rouen is 43. Actress-director Miranda July is 42. Rock singer Brandon Boyd (Incubus) is 40. Rock musician Ronnie Vannucci (The Killers) is 40. Singer-songwriter-musician Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) is 36. Actress Ashley Lyn Cafagna is 33. Blues-rock musician Gary Clark Jr. is 32. Actress Natalie Morales is 31. Actress Amber Riley is 30.

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