Today in History
Today is Wednesday, Feb. 15, the 46th day of 2023. There are 325 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History: On Feb. 15, 1879, President Rutherford B. Hayes signed a bill allowing female attorneys to argue cases before the Supreme Court. On this date:
In 1764, the site of present-day St. Louis was established by Pierre Laclede and Auguste Chouteau.
In 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.
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 in Italy.
In 1950, Walt Disney‘s animated film “Cinderella” premieres in Boston.
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 1965, singer Nat King Cole, 45, died in Santa Monica, California.
In 1967, the rock band Chicago was founded by Walter Parazaider, Terry Kath, Danny Seraphine, Lee Loughnane, James Pankow and Robert Lamm; the group originally called itself The Big Thing, then Chicago Transit Authority.
In 1989, the Soviet Union announced that the last of its troops had left Afghanistan, after more than nine years of military intervention.
In 1992, a Milwaukee jury found that Jeffrey Dahmer was sane when he killed and mutilated 15 men and boys. (The decision meant that Dahmer, who had already pleaded guilty to the murders, would receive a mandatory life sentence for each count; Dahmer was beaten to death in prison in 1994.)
In 2003, millions of protesters around the world demonstrated against the prospect of a U.S. attack on Iraq.
In 2005, defrocked priest Paul Shanley was sentenced in Boston to 12 to 15 years in prison on child rape charges.
In 2020, the U.S. government said Americans who were on board a cruise ship under quarantine in Japan because of the coronavirus would be flown back home on a chartered flight, but that they would face another two-week quarantine; about 380 Americans were aboard the Diamond Princess.
Ten years ago: With a blinding flash and a booming shock wave, a meteor blazed across Russia’s western Siberian sky and exploded, injuring more than 1,000 people as it blasted out windows. Pressing his case in Chicago, the town that launched his political career, President Barack Obama called for the government to take an active, wide-ranging role in ensuring every American had a “ladder of opportunity” into the middle class.
Five years ago: The last of the bodies of the 17 victims of a school shooting in Florida were removed from the building after authorities analyzed the crime scene; 13 wounded survivors were still hospitalized. In response to the shooting, President Donald Trump, in an address to the nation, promised to “tackle the difficult issue of mental health,” but avoided any mention of guns. Nikolas Cruz, the suspect in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was ordered held without bond at a brief court hearing. American Mikaela Shiffrin used a hard-charging final run to win the women’s giant slalom at the Winter Olympics in South Korea.
One year ago: Russian President Vladimir Putin said he welcomed a security dialogue with the West as his military reported pulling back some of its troops near Ukraine. U.S. President Joe Biden said the U.S. had “not yet verified” Russia’s claim and that an invasion still remains a distinct possibility. (Russia would invade Ukraine five days later.) The families of nine victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting agreed to a $73 million settlement of a lawsuit against the maker of the rifle used to kill 20 first graders and six educators in 2012.
Today’s birthdays: Actor Claire Bloom is 92. Author Susan Brownmiller is 88. Songwriter Brian Holland is 82. Rock musician Mick Avory (The Kinks) is 79. Jazz musician Henry Threadgill is 79. Actor-model Marisa Berenson is 76. Actor Jane Seymour is 72. Singer Melissa Manchester is 72. Actor Lynn Whitfield is 70. “Simpsons” creator Matt Groening is 69. Model Janice Dickinson is 68. Actor Christopher McDonald is 68. Reggae singer Ali Campbell is 64. Actor Joseph R.
Gannascoli is 64. Musician Mikey Craig (Culture Club) is 63. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Darrell Green is 63. Actor-comedian Steven Michael Quezada is 60. Actor Michael Easton is 56. Latin singer Gloria Trevi is 55. Rock musician Stevie Benton (Drowning Pool) is 52. Actor Alex Borstein is 52. Actor Renee O’Connor is 52. Actor Sarah Wynter is 50. Olympic gold medal swimmer Amy Van Dyken-Rouen is 50. Actordirector Miranda July is 49. Rock singer Brandon Boyd (Incubus) is 47. Rock musician Ronnie Vannucci (The Killers) is 47.