By The Associated Press
Today is Thursday, Feb. 15, the 46th day of 2018. There are 319 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 15, 1798, a feud between two members of the U.S. House of Representatives (meeting in Philadelphia) boiled over as Roger Griswold of Connecticut used a cane to attack Vermont’s Matthew Lyon, who defended himself with a set of tongs. (Griswold was enraged over the House’s refusal to expel Lyon for spitting tobacco juice in his face two weeks earlier; after the two men were separated, a motion to expel them both was defeated.)
On this date:
In 1564, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei was born in Pisa.
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 1942, the British colony Singapore surrendered to Japanese forces during World War II.
In 1952, a funeral was held at Windsor Castle for Britain’s King George VI, who had died nine days earlier.
In 1953, Tenley Albright, 17, became the first American woman to win the world figure skating championship, which was held in Davos, Switzerland.
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 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 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: Business tycoon Steve Fossett, 63, was declared dead by a judge in Cook County, Illinois, five months after his small plane vanished after taking off from an airstrip near Yerington, Nevada. (Fossett’s remains were discovered in October 2008 in California’s Sierra Nevada.)
Five 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.
One year ago: President Donald Trump’s nominee for labor secretary, Andrew Puzder, abruptly withdrew his nomination after Senate Republicans balked at supporting him, in part over taxes he had belatedly paid on a former housekeeper not authorized to work in the United States. In an ultimatum to America’s allies, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told fellow NATO members to increase military spending by year’s end or risk seeing the U.S. curtail its defense support.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Claire Bloom is 87. Author Susan Brownmiller is 83. Songwriter Brian Holland is 77. Rock musician Mick Avory (The Kinks) is 74. Jazz musician Henry Threadgill is 74. Actress-model Marisa Berenson is 71. Actress Jane Seymour is 67. Singer Melissa Manchester is 67. Actress Lynn Whitfield is 65. “Simpsons” creator Matt Groening (GREE’-ning) is 64. Model Janice Dickinson is 63. Actor Christopher McDonald is 63. Reggae singer Ali Campbell is 59. Actor Joseph R. Gannascoli is 59. Musician Mikey Craig (Culture Club) is 58. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Darrell Green is 58. Actor-comedian Steven Michael Quezada is 55. Country singer Michael Reynolds (Pinmonkey) is 54. Actor Michael Easton is 51. Rock musician Stevie Benton (Drowning Pool) is 47. Actress Renee O’Connor is 47. Actress Sarah Wynter is 45. Olympic gold medal swimmer Amy Van Dyken-Rouen is 45. Actress-director Miranda July is 44. Rock singer Brandon Boyd (Incubus) is 42. Rock musician Ronnie Vannucci (The Killers) is 42. Singer-songwriter-musician Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) is 38. Actress Ashley Lyn Cafagna is 35. Blues-rock musician Gary Clark Jr. is 34. Actress Natalie Morales is 33. Actress Amber Riley is 32.
Thought for Today: “We live by encouragement and die without it — slowly, sadly and angrily.” — Celeste Holm, American actress (1917-2012).
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