On This Day in History February 15

February 15 – Events:

  • 590 – Khosrau II is crowned as king of Persia.
  • 1637 – Ferdinand III becomes Holy Roman Emperor.
  • 1764 – The city of St. Louis, Missouri is established.
  • 1805 – Harmony Society is officially formed.
  • 1852 – Great Ormond St Hospital for Sick Children, London, admits its first patient.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: General Ulysses S. Grant attacks Fort Donelson, Tennessee.
  • 1879 – Women’s rights: American President Rutherford B. Hayes signs a bill allowing female attorneys to argue cases before the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • 1891 – AIK is founded at Biblioteksgatan 8 in Stockholm by Isidor Behrens.
  • 1898 – Spanish-American War: The USS Maine explodes and sinks in Havana harbor in Cuba, killing more than 260. This event leads the United States to declare war on Spain.
  • 1903 – First Teddy Bear introduced in America, made by Morris & Rose Michtom.
  • 1905 – First race meet at Oaklawn Park (Hot Springs, Ark).
  • 1906 – The British Labour Party is organised.
  • 1918 – First WW I US army troopship torpedoed & sunk by Germany, off Ireland.
  • 1918 – Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania adopt the Gregorian calendar.
  • 1919 – American Legion organizes in Paris.
  • 1926 – Contract air mail service begins in US.
  • 1930 – Weona beats Toluca in Illinois Basketball Tournament in 10 overtimes.
  • 1932 – US bobsled team member Eddie Eagan becomes only athlete to win gold in both Summer & Winter Olympics (1920 boxing gold)
  • 1933 – In Miami, Florida, Giuseppe Zangara attempts to assassinate President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt, but instead shoots Chicago, Illinois Mayor Anton J. Cermak, who dies of his wounds on March 6, 1933.
  • 1942 – World War II: The Fall of Singapore. Following an assault by Japanese forces, the British General Arthur Percival surrenders. About 80,000 Indian, United Kingdom and Australian soldiers become prisoners of war, the largest surrender of British-led military personnel in history. The Sook Ching massacre begins.
  • 1944 – World War II: The assault on Monte Cassino, Italy, begins.
  • 1946 – ENIAC (for “Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer”), the first general-purpose electronic computer, is unveiled at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • 1950 – Walt Disney’s “Cinderella” released.
  • 1950 – The Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China sign a mutual defense treaty.
  • 1952 – King George VI is buried in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
  • 1953 – Seventeen-year-old Tenley Albright becomes the first American to win the world figure skating championship.
  • 1957 – Andrei A. Gromyko succeeds Dmitri Shepilov as Soviet Foreign Minister.
  • 1961 – Sabena Flight 548 crashes in Belgium, killing 73, with the entire US Figure Skating team, several coaches and family.
  • 1965 – A new red-and-white maple leaf design is adopted as the flag of Canada, replacing the old Canadian Red Ensign banner.
  • 1970 – A Dominican DC-9 crashes into the sea during takeoff from Santo Domingo, killing 102.
  • 1971 – Decimalisation of British coinage is completed on Decimal Day.
  • 1976 – The 1976 Constitution of Cuba is adopted by the national referendum.
  • 1980 – Television One and Television Two (formerly South Pacific Television) under the newly formed Television New Zealand goes to air for the first time.
  • 1982 – The drilling rig Ocean Ranger sinks during a storm off the coast of Newfoundland, killing 84 rig workers.
  • 1989 – Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan: The Soviet Union officially announces that all of its troops have left Afghanistan.
  • 1991 – The Visegrád Agreement, establishing cooperation to move toward free-market systems, is signed by the leaders of Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland.
  • 1995 – Hacking: Kevin Mitnick is arrested by the FBI and charged with breaking into some of the United States’ most “secure” computer systems.
  • 1996 – Mortar attack on the US Embassy in Athens, Greece.
  • 1996 – At the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China, a Long March 3 rocket, carrying an Intelsat 708, crashes into a rural village after liftoff, killing many people.
  • 1999 – Kurdish human rights activist Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party), was arrested in Kenya.
  • 2005 – YouTube, the popular Internet site on which videos may be shared and viewed by others, is launched in the United States.

February 15 – Birthdays:

  • 1458 – Ivan the Young, Ruler of Tver (d. 1490)
  • 1471 – Piero di Lorenzo de’ Medici, ruler of Florence (d. 1503)
  • 1564 – Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer and physicist (d. 1642)
  • 1571 – Michael Praetorius, German composer (d. 1621)
  • 1620 – François Charpentier, French archaeologist (d. 1702)
  • 1705 – Charles-André van Loo, French painter (d. 1765)
  • 1710 – King Louis XV of France (d. 1774)
  • 1725 – Abraham Clark, American founding father (d. 1794)
  • 1734 – William Stacy, Continental Army officer, and pioneer to the Ohio Country (d. 1802)
  • 1739 – Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart, French architect (d. 1813)
  • 1759 – Friedrich August Wolf, German archaeologist (d. 1824)
  • 1809 – Cyrus McCormick, American inventor (d. 1884)
  • 1809 – André Dumont, Belgian geologist (d. 1857)
  • 1812 – Charles Lewis Tiffany, American jeweler (d. 1902)
  • 1820 – Susan B. Anthony, American feminist and suffragist (d. 1906)
  • 1825 – Carter Harrison, Sr., Mayor of Chicago (d. 1893)
  • 1835 – Demetrius Vikelas, Greek author, president of the International Olympic Committee (d. 1908)
  • 1841 – Manoel Ferraz de Campos Salles, President of Brazil (d. 1913)
  • 1845 – Elihu Root, American statesman and diplomat, Nobel Prize Laureate (d. 1937)
  • 1847 – Robert Fuchs, Austrian composer (d. 1927)
  • 1856 – Emil Kraepelin, German psychiatrist (d. 1926)
  • 1861 – Charles Edouard Guillaume, French physicist, Nobel Prize Laureate (d. 1938)
  • 1861 – Alfred North Whitehead, English mathematician and philosopher (d. 1947)
  • 1873 – Hans von Euler-Chelpin, German-born chemist, Nobel Prize Laureate (d. 1964)
  • 1874 – Sir Ernest Shackleton, British polar explorer (d. 1922)
  • 1877 – Louis Renault, French automobile pioneer (d. 1944)
  • 1882 – John Barrymore, American actor (d. 1942)
  • 1883 – Sax Rohmer, English author (d. 1959)
  • 1890 – Robert Ley, head of the Nazi German Labour Front (d. 1945)
  • 1892 – James Forrestal, United States Secretary of Defense (d. 1949)
  • 1893 – Walter Donaldson, American songwriter (d. 1947)
  • 1895 – Earl Thomson, Canadian athlete (d. 1971)
  • 1896 – Arthur Shields, Irish actor (d. 1970)
  • 1898 – Totò, Italian actor, writer, and composer (d. 1967)
  • 1898 – Allen Woodring, American runner (d. 1982)
  • 1899 – Georges Auric, French composer (d. 1983)
  • 1899 – Gale Sondergaard, American actress (d. 1985)
  • 1904 – Antonin Magne, French cyclist (d. 1983)
  • 1905 – Harold Arlen, American composer (d. 1986)
  • 1907 – Jean Langlais, French composer and organist (d. 1991)
  • 1907 – Cesar Romero, American actor (d. 1994)
  • 1908 – Sarto Fournier, Quebec politician (d. 1980)
  • 1909 – Miep Gies, Dutch biographer of Anne Frank
  • 1909 – Guillermo Gorostiza Paredes, Spanish footballer (d. 1966)
  • 1910 – Irena Sendler, aided Jewish children during the Holocaust
  • 1911 – Leonard Woodcock, labor union official, ambassador to China (d. 2001)
  • 1913 – Erich Eliskases, Austrian-born chess player (d. 1997)
  • 1914 – Hale Boggs, American politician (d. 1972)
  • 1914 – Kevin McCarthy, American actor
  • 1916 – Mary Jane Croft, American actress (d. 1999)
  • 1918 – Allan Arbus, American actor
  • 1918 – Hank Locklin, American country music singer and songwriter
  • 1920 – Endicott Peabody, 62 Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1997)
  • 1921 – Radha Krishna Choudhary, Indian historian, thinker and writer (d. 1985)
  • 1922 – John Bayard Anderson, American politician
  • 1923 – Yelena Bonner, Russian human rights activist, widow of physicist Andrei Sakharov
  • 1927 – Harvey Korman, American actor and comedian
  • 1929 – Graham Hill, English two-time F1 World Champion (d. 1975)
  • 1929 – James Schlesinger, American politician
  • 1930 – Nico Minardos, American actor
  • 1931 – Claire Bloom, British actress
  • 1931 – Geoff Edwards, American television game show host
  • 1934 – Graham Kennedy, Australian actor (d. 2005)
  • 1934 – Niklaus Wirth, Swiss computer scientist
  • 1935 – Susan Brownmiller, American feminist and writer
  • 1935 – Roger Chaffee, astronaut (d. 1967)
  • 1935 – Gene Hickerson, American football player
  • 1937 – Gregory Mcdonald, American author
  • 1939 – Ole Ellefsæter, Norwegian cross-country skier
  • 1940 – John Hadl, American football player
  • 1940 – Hamzah Haz, Indonesian politician
  • 1941 – Florinda Bolkan, Brazilian actress
  • 1941 – Brian Holland, American songwriter and producer
  • 1944 – Mick Avory, British drummer (The Kinks)
  • 1945 – John Helliwell, British musician (Supertramp)
  • 1945 – Douglas Hofstadter, American academic and writer
  • 1946 – Esko Seppänen, Finnish politician
  • 1947 – John Coolidge Adams, American composer
  • 1947 – Marisa Berenson, American actress
  • 1947 – David Brown, American musician (Santana) (d. 2000)
  • 1947 – Rusty Hamer, American actor (d. 1990)
  • 1948 – Ron Cey, baseball player
  • 1948 – Art Spiegelman, American cartoonist
  • 1949 – Ken Anderson, American football player
  • 1949 – Hans Graf, Austrian conductor
  • 1950 – Hark Tsui, Hong Kong film director
  • 1951 – Melissa Manchester, American singer
  • 1951 – Jane Seymour, British actress
  • 1953 – Tony Adams, Irish film producer (d. 2005)
  • 1954 – Matt Groening, American cartoonist
  • 1955 – Christopher McDonald, American actor
  • 1955 – Janice Dickinson, American Ex-Supermodel
  • 1956 – Hitoshi Ogawa, Japanese racing driver (d. 1992)
  • 1957 – Jimmy Spencer, American race car driver
  • 1958 – Chrystine Brouillet, Quebec novelist
  • 1959 – Ali Campbell, British singer and songwriter (UB40)
  • 1959 – Brian Propp, Canadian hockey player
  • 1959 – Hugo Savinovich, Ecuadorian wrestler
  • 1960 – Mikey Craig, British musician (Culture Club)
  • 1960 – Darrell Green, NFL Hall of Famer
  • 1964 – Chris Farley, American actor and comedian (d. 1997)
  • 1967 – Jane Child, Canadian musician
  • 1968 – Axelle Red, Belgian singer and songwriter
  • 1969 – Josh Marshall, American journalist
  • 1969 – Bryan Williams, founder of Cash Money Records
  • 1970 – Craig Gass, American impressionist/comedian
  • 1971 – Renée O’Connor, American actress and director
  • 1971 – Ray Sefo, New Zealand kick boxer
  • 1972 – Jaromír Jágr, Czech hockey player
  • 1973 – Katerina Neumannová, Czech cross country skier
  • 1973 – Amy Van Dyken, American swimmer
  • 1973 – Sarah Wynter, Australian actress
  • 1973 – Alex Borstein, American actress and animator
  • 1974 – Miranda July, American performance artist, film director, musician and writer
  • 1974 – Gina Lynn, American porn actress
  • 1974 – Tomi Putaansuu, Finnish singer (Lordi)
  • 1974 – Seattle Slew, American racehorse (d. 2002)
  • 1974 – Ugueth Urbina, Venezuelan Major League Baseball player
  • 1974 – Alexander Wurz, Austrian race car driver
  • 1975 – Serge Aubin, National Hockey League player
  • 1975 – Brendon Small, American comedian and creator of the cartoons Home Movies and Metalocalypse
  • 1976 – Brandon Boyd, American musician (Incubus)
  • 1976 – Óscar Freire, Spanish cyclist
  • 1976 – Ronnie Vannucci Jr., American musician (The Killers)
  • 1977 – Brooks Wackerman, American drummer
  • 1978 – Kimberly Goss, American singer and musician (Sinergy)
  • 1978 – Tuan Le, American poker player
  • 1979 – Alenka Kejžar, Slovenian swimmer
  • 1979 – Josh Low, English footballer
  • 1979 – Gordon Shedden, Scottish Race Car Driver
  • 1980 – Conor Oberst, American singer and songwriter (Bright Eyes)
  • 1981 – Matt Hoopes, American musician (Relient K)
  • 1981 – Olivia Longott, American singer
  • 1981 – Diego Martínez, Mexican footballer
  • 1981 – Jenna Morasca, American model
  • 1982 – Ashley Tesoro, American actress and singer
  • 1983 – Russell Martin, Canadian born baseball player
  • 1984 – Meera Jasmine, Indian actress
  • 1984 – Dorota Rabczewska, Polish singer (Virgin)
  • 1986 – Gabriel Paletta, Argentine footballer
  • 1988 – Hironori Kusano, Japanese Idol
  • 1990 – Erwin Sak, Polish footballer

February 15-Deaths

  • 1145 – Pope Lucius II
  • 1621 – Michael Praetorius, German composer (b. 1571)
  • 1637 – Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1578)
  • 1738 – Matthias Braun, Czech sculptor (b. 1684)
  • 1775 – Peter Dens, Flemish Catholic theologian (b. 1690)
  • 1781 – Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, German author and philosopher (b. 1729)
  • 1818 – Friedrich Ludwig, Fürst zu Hohenlohe-Ingelfingen, Prussian general (b. 1746)
  • 1835 – Henry Hunt, British politician (b. 1773)
  • 1839 – Chevalier de Lorimier, Quebec notary and Patriote (b. 1803)
  • 1843 – Theodoros Kolokotronis, Greek general in the Greek War of Independence (b. 1770)
  • 1844 – Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1757)
  • 1847 – Germinal Pierre Dandelin, Belgian mathematician (b. 1794)
  • 1848 – Hermann von Boyen, Prussian field marshal (b. 1771)
  • 1849 – Pierre François Verhulst, Belgian mathematician (b. 1804)
  • 1857 – Mikhail Glinka, Russian composer (b. 1804)
  • 1869 – Mirza Ghalib, Indian poet (b. 1796)
  • 1911 – Theodor Escherich, German pediatrician (b. 1859)
  • 1928 – H. H. Asquith, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1852)
  • 1932 – Minnie Maddern Fiske, American actress (b. 1865)
  • 1939 – Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, Russian painter (b. 1878)
  • 1959 – Owen Willans Richardson, British physicist, Nobel Prize Laureate (b. 1879)
  • 1964 – Robert L. Thornton, American businessman, philanthropist, and Mayor of Dallas, Texas (b. 1880)
  • 1965 – Nat King Cole, American singer and musician (b. 1919)
  • 1966 – Gerard Ciolek, Polish architect and historian of gardens (b. 1909)
  • 1971 – Dimitrios Loundras, Greek gymnast (b. 1885)
  • 1973 – Wally Cox, American actor (b. 1924)
  • 1973 – Tim Holt, American actor (b. 1919)
  • 1974 – Kurt Atterberg, Swedish composer (b. 1887)
  • 1981 – Mike Bloomfield, American musician (b. 1943)
  • 1981 – Karl Richter, German conductor (b. 1926)
  • 1984 – Ethel Merman, American singer and actress (b. 1908)
  • 1988 – Richard Feynman, American physicist, Nobel Prize Laureate (b. 1918)
  • 1992 – María Elena Moyano, Peruvian activist (b. 1960)
  • 1992 – William Schuman, American composer (b. 1910)
  • 1996 – Tommy Rettig, American actor (b. 1941)
  • 1996 – McLean Stevenson, American actor (b. 1929)
  • 1996 – Lucio Agostini, Canadian composer and conductor (b. 1913)
  • 1998 – Louie Spicolli, American professional wrestler
  • 1999 – Big L (Lamont Coleman), American rapper (b. 1974)
  • 1999 – Henry Way Kendall, American physicist, Nobel Prize Laureate (b. 1926)
  • 2002 – Howard K. Smith, American journalist (b. 1914)
  • 2002 – Kevin Smith, New Zealand actor (b. 1963)
  • 2004 – Jens Evensen, Norwegian minister and International Court of Justice judge (b. 1917)
  • 2004 – Jan Miner, American actress (b. 1917)
  • 2005 – Samuel Francis, American journalist (b. 1947)
  • 2005 – Pierre Bachelet, French singer and songwriter (b. 1944)
  • 2007 – Walker Edmiston, actor (b. 1926)
  • 2007 – Ray Evans, American songwriter (b. 1915)
  • 2008 – Willie P. Bennett Canadian songwriter and singer (b. 1951)
  • 2008 – Ashley Callie, South African Actress (b. 1976)

February 15 – Holidays:

  • Lupercalia
  • Flag Day in Canada
  • John Frum Day in Vanuatu
  • National Day in Serbia
  • Total Defence Day in Singapore
  • In the Eastern Orthodox Church
    • Candlemas
    • In the Roman Catholic Church:
      • Saint Siegfried of Sweden
      • Saints Faustin and Jovita
      • Saint Claude de la Colombière
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