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This Day in History: February 15

Events

1764 – The city of St. Louis is established in Spanish Louisiana (now in Missouri, USA).

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: US 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.

1944 – World War II: The assault on Monte Cassino, Italy begins.

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.

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.

1992 – Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was sentenced in Milwaukee to life in prison.

Births

1792 – Floride Calhoun, American wife of John C. Calhoun, 4th Second Lady of the United States (d. 1866)

1797 – Henry E. Steinway, German-American businessman, founded Steinway & Sons (d. 1871)

1809 – Cyrus McCormick, American journalist and businessman, co-founded International Harvester (d. 1884)

1812 – Charles Lewis Tiffany, American businessman, founded Tiffany & Co. (d. 1902)

1820 – Susan B. Anthony, American activist (d. 1906)

1845 – Elihu Root, American lawyer and politician (d. 1937)

1907 – Cesar Romero, American actor, singer, and dancer (d. 1994)

1928 – Norman Bridwell, American author and illustrator, created Clifford the Big Red Dog (d. 2014)

1935 – Roger B. Chaffee, American lieutenant, engineer, and astronaut (d. 1967)

1954 – Matt Groening, American animator, producer, and screenwriter

1955 – Janice Dickinson, American model, agent, and author

Deaths

1965 – Nat King Cole, American singer and pianist (b. 1919)

1984 – Ethel Merman, American actress and singer (b. 1908)

1988 – Richard Feynman, American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1918)

2002 – Howard K. Smith, American journalist and actor (b. 1914)

2014 – Horst Rechelbacher, Austrian-American businessman, founded the Aveda Corporation (b. 1941)