February 15

Meteor over Russia in 2013Meteor over Russia in 2013

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.
1862 – American Civil War: General Ulysses S. Grant attacks Fort Donelson, Tennessee.
1870 – Stevens Institute of Technology is founded in New Jersey, USA and offers the first Bachelor of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering.
1879 – Women’s rights: 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 274. This event leads the United States to declare war on Spain.
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, 1933.
1945 – World War II: Third day of bombing in Dresden.
1946 – ENIAC, the first electronic general-purpose computer, is formally dedicated at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
1989 – Soviet war in Afghanistan: The Soviet Union officially announces that all of its troops have left Afghanistan.
2001 – The 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 eight million to 30 million people participate, making this the largest peace demonstration in history.
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. CLICK HERE TO VIEW IT STREAKING ACROSS THE SKY
Births
1471 – Piero the Unfortunate, Italian ruler (d. 1503)
1564 – Galileo Galilei, astronomer, physicist, and mathematician (d. 1642)
1809 – Cyrus McCormick, co-founded International Harvester (d. 1884)
1812 – Charles Lewis Tiffany, founded Tiffany & Co. (d. 1902)
1820 – Susan B. Anthony, American suffragist and activist (d. 1906)
1874 – Ernest Shackleton, Anglo-Irish captain and explorer (d. 1922)
1905 – Harold Arlen, American composer (d. 1986)
1909 – Miep Gies, Austrian-Dutch humanitarian, helped hide Anne Frank and her family (d. 2010)
1923 – Yelena Bonner, Soviet-Russian activist (d. 2011)
1929 – Graham Hill, English race car driver and businessman (d. 1975)
1948 – Art Spiegelman, Swedish-American cartoonist and critic
1954 – Matt Groening, ‘The Simpsons’ creator, animator, producer, and screenwriter
Deaths
1637 – Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1578)
1965 – Nat King Cole, American singer and pianist (b. 1919)
1981 – Mike Bloomfield, American guitarist and songwriter (b. 1943)
1984 – Ethel Merman, American actress and singer (b. 1908)
1988 – Richard Feynman, physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate

Edited from various sources including historyorb.com, wikipedia.com, NYTimes.com and internet searches

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