Learning Opportunities! Today in History: February 15
are a list of events that took place today in history.
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- 590 – Khosrau II is crowned king of Persia.
- 1113 – Pope Paschal II issued a bill sanctioning the establishment of the Order of Hospitallers.
- 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.
- 1690 – Constantin Cantemir, Prince of Moldavia and the Holy Roman Empire sign a secret treaty in Sibiu, stipulating that Moldavia would support the actions led by the House of Habsburg against the Ottoman Empire.
- 1764 – The city of St. Louis, Missouri is established.
- 1804 – The Serbian revolution begins.
- 1835 – The first constitutional law in modern Serbia is adopted.
- 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.
- 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.
- 1909 – The Flores Theater fire in Acapulco, Mexico kills 250.
- 1921 – Kingdom of Romania establishes its legation in Helsinki.
- 1933 – In Miami, Florida, Giuseppe Zangara attempts to assassinate President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt, but instead shoots Chicago 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.
- 1944 – World War II: The assault on Monte Cassino, Italy, begins.
- 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 is buried in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.
- 1954 – Canada and the United States agree to construct the Distant Early Warning Line, a system of radar stations in the far northern Arctic regions of Canada and Alaska.
- 1961 – Sabena Flight 548 crashes in Belgium, killing 73, including the entire United States figure skating team, several coaches and family members.
- 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 – The decimalisation of British coinage is completed on Decimal Day.
- 1972 – Sound recordings are granted U.S. federal copyright protection for the first time.
- 1972 – José María Velasco Ibarra, serving as President of Ecuador for the fifth time, is overthrown by the military for the fourth time.
- 1976 – The 1976 Constitution of Cuba is adopted by national referendum.
- 1979 – Don Dunstan resigns as Premier of South Australia, ending a decade of sweeping social liberalisation.
- 1982 – The drilling rig Ocean Ranger sinks during a storm off the coast of Newfoundland, killing 84 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.
- 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 – Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party, is arrested in Kenya.
- 2000 – Indian Point II nuclear power plant in New York State vents a small amount of radioactive steam when a steam generator fails.
- 2001 – First draft of the complete human genome is published in Nature.
- 2003 – Protests against the Iraq war take place in over 600 cities worldwide. It is estimated that between 8 million to 30 million people participate, making this the largest peace demonstration in history.