Historical Events on February 15

Socrates Death Sentence

399 BC Philosopher Socrates is sentenced to death by the city of Athens for corrupting the minds of the youth of the city and for impiety

  • 438 The Theodosian Code of Roman laws proclaimed in the Eastern Empire (first law reforms since 295)
  • 590 Khosrau II, the last great Sasanian king is crowned King of Persia
  • 732 Zen teacher Ho-tse Shen-hui disputes founder of Northern Ch'an line
  • 1145 Bernardo elected Pope Eugene III

Siege of Bukhara

1220 Khwarezmian city of Bukhara taken by Genghis Khan's Mongol army after a 12-day siege, with the death of about 30,000 of its citizens

  • 1313 Peace of Angleur, Liège signed
  • 1386 Duke Philip the Stout forms Council of Flanders
  • 1539 Emperor Charles receives Cardinal Pole in Toledo
  • 1552 Dutch coast hit by heavy storm
  • 1563 Russian troops occupy Polotsk Lithuania
  • 1637 Ferdinand III succeeds Ferdinand II as Holy Roman Emperor

Event of Interest

1676 Isaac Newton writes to Robert Hooke “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants” (O.S. 5 Feb)

  • 1677 King Charles II reports anti-French covenant with Netherlands
  • 1686 Jean Baptiste Lully's opera "Armide" premieres in Paris
  • 1714 Parliament of Paris accepts Pope Clemens XI's "Unigenitus" decree
  • 1745 Colley Cibbers "Papal Tyranny" premieres in London
  • 1763 Austria, Prussia & Saxony sign the Treaty of Hubertusburg, marking the end of the French and Indian War and of the Seven Years' War
  • 1764 St. Louis, Missouri founded as a French trading post by Pierre Laclède
  • 1768 1st mustard manufactured in America advertised, Philadelphia

Papal Inauguration

1775 Angelo Braschi chosen as Pope Pius VI

  • 1798 Louis Alexandre Berthier proclaim a Roman Republic after conquering Rome
  • 1799 1st US printed ballots authorized, Pennsylvania
  • 1804 New Jersey becomes last northern state to abolish slavery
  • 1805 Harmony Society is officially formed.

Famous Debate

1830 Beginning of the famous debate between French naturalists Georges Cuvier and Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire on animal structure

  • 1842 1st adhesive postage stamps in US (private delivery company), NYC
  • 1845 William Parsons, Earl of Rosse, 1st uses 72 inch (183 cm) reflector
  • 1848 Sarah Roberts barred from white school in Boston
  • 1851 Black abolitionists invade Boston courtroom rescuing a fugitive slave
  • 1852 Great Ormond St Hospital for Sick Children, London, admits 1st patient
  • 1861 Fort Point, in San Francisco, California, completed & garrisoned (but has never fired cannon in anger)
  • 1862 Grant's major assault on Ft Donelson, Tennessee
  • 1864 Fire in Rotterdam damages Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
  • 1867 Johann Strauss' "Blue Danube" waltz premieres in Vienna
  • 1870 Ground broken for Northern Pacific Railway near Duluth, Minnesota
  • 1876 Historic Elm at Boston blown down
  • 1879 US Congress authorizes women lawyers to practise before Supreme Court
  • 1882 SS Dunedin leaves New Zealand for Britain with the first cargo of frozen meat.
  • 1891 AIK is founded at Biblioteksgatan 8 in Stockholm by Isidor Behrens.
  • 1895 23 cm (9 inches) of snow falls on New Orleans
  • 1898 USS Maine sinks in Havana harbor, cause unknown, 258 sailors die

Siege of Kimberley

1900 Boer War: Siege of Kimberley broken by British troops under Lieutenant-General John French after a 124 day siege. Kimberley defense led by Cecil Rhodes.

  • 1902 Berlin U-Bahn (Underground railway) opened
  • 1903 1st Teddy Bear introduced in America, made by Morris & Rose Michtom
  • 1905 1st race meet at Oaklawn Park (Hot Springs, Ark)
  • 1906 British Labour Party founded
  • 1912 Schooner 'Fram' reaches latitude 78° 41' S, farthest south ever by ship
  • 1913 1st avant-garde art show in America opens in NYC
  • 1916 NY Yankees buy Frank "Home Run" Baker from the Athletics for $37,500
  • 1917 San Francisco Public Library (Main Branch at Civic center) dedicated
  • 1918 US army troop ship torpedoed & sunk by Germany off Ireland
  • 1919 American Legion organizes in Paris
  • 1921 Arthur Mailey completes 9-121 v England, Australian Test Cricket rec

Radio History

1922 Marconi begins regular broadcasting transmissions from Essex

  • 1924 A deputation for the South African Indian Congress (SAIC) meets with the Minister of the Interior, Sir Patrick Duncan, and presents him with a memorandum setting out their objections concerning the Class Areas Bill
  • 1926 Brooks Atkinson Theatre opens at 256 W 47th St NYC
  • 1926 Contract air mail service begins in US

Film Release

1927 Silent film "It" is released in the US starring Clara Bow

  • 1930 Wenona Mustangs beat Toluca Wildcats in Illinois Basketball Tournament in 10 overtimes, 26-22
  • 1931 Spring training site of NY Yankees in St Petersburg is renamed Miller Huggins Field in honor of the team's late manager
  • 1932 American brothers Hubert and Curtis Stevens beat the 8-nation field to win the 2-man bobsleigh gold medal at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics

Olympic Gold

1932 As a member of gold medal winning US 4-man bobsleigh team at Lake Placid, Eddie Eagan (boxing gold Antwerp 1920) becomes only Olympian to win gold medals at both summer & winter Games in different sports

  • 1932 Australia beat South Africa in cricket by an innings in 5 hrs 53 min playing time
  • 1932 George Burns & Gracie Allen debut as regulars on the "Guy Lombardo Show"
  • 1932 III Winter Olympic Games close at Lake Placid, New York

There's Always Juliet

1932 John Van Druten's play "There's Always Juliet" premieres in NYC

  • 1933 Karl Radek praises invincible force of German communist party

Assassination Attempt

1933 President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt survives assassination in Miami, Florida, attempt but Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak is mortally wounded, he would die on March 29

  • 1933 Social-democratic newspaper "Vorwarts" banned again in Berlin
  • 1936 -60°F (-51°C), Parshall, North Dakota (state record)

Volkswagen Beetle

1936 Adolf Hitler announces construction of the Volkswagen Beetle (the People's Car, aka the Käfer/Beetle)

  • 1936 Great Britain’s 0-0 tie with the US is enough to clinch their first ever Olympic ice hockey gold medal at the Garmisch-Partenkirchen Winter Games; breaks Canada’s 4 straight Games golden streak

Olympic Gold

1936 Sonja Henie of Norway becomes the most successful Olympic figure skater ever by winning her 3rd consecutive gold medal at the Garmisch-Partenkirchen Winter Games; beats Cecilia College of Great Britain by 6.4 points

  • 1939 German battleship Bismarck was launched

Theater Premiere

1939 Lillian Hellman's play "The Little Foxes" premieres in New York City

Music Recording

1941 Duke Ellington first records "Take the A Train"

Music History

1941 Greek-American singer Maria Callas makes her professional opera debut as Beatrice, in Franz von Suppé's "Boccaccio" at the Olympia Theatre in Athens, Greece

  • 1942 German U-boat shells Antillian oil refinery
  • 1942 Japanese troops march into Palembang, South Sumatra
  • 1942 World War II: British ruled Singapore surrenders to the Japanese

We Can Do It!

1943 Wartime propaganda poster "We Can Do It!" produced by J. Howard Miller and posted on the walls of Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company's plants in the Midwest

  • 1943 Women's camp Tamtui on Ambon (Moluccas) hit by allied air raid
  • 1944 891 British bombers attack Berlin in the largest raid by the RAF against the city
  • 1944 Allies begin attack on Axis held Monte Cassino monastery, Italy
  • 1947 "Toplitzky of Notre Dame" closes at Century Theater NYC after 60 performances
  • 1950 KENS TV channel 5 in San Antonio, TX (CBS) begins broadcasting

Cinderella Premieres

1950 Walt Disney's animated film "Cinderella" premieres in Boston

  • 1950 WM Inge's "Come Back, Little Sheba" premieres in NYC
  • 1950 WSYR (now WSTM) TV channel 3 in Syracuse, NY (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • 1952 Giant slalom event for men debuts at the Winter Olympics at Oslo Games; Stein Erikson of Norway wins gold ahead of Austrians Christian Pravda and Toni Spiß

Funeral of George VI

1952 King George VI is buried in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, England

  • 1954 1st Bevatron particle accelerator in operation at Berkeley, California
  • 1954 WRDW TV channel 12 in Augusta, GA (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1955 1st pilot plant to produce man-made diamonds announced
  • 1956 Pirates & KC As cancel an exhibition game in Birmingham Alabama, because of local ordinance barring black from playing against white
  • 1956 Urho Kekkonen appointed president of Finland
  • 1957 Andrei A Gromyko succeeds Dmitri Shepilov as Soviet foreign minister
  • 1958 Ice Dance Championship at Paris won by June Markham/Courtney Jones GRB
  • 1958 Ice Pairs Championship at Paris won by Barbara Wagner/Rob Paul of CAN
  • 1958 Ladies' Figure Skating Championship in Paris won by Carol Heiss of USA
  • 1958 Men's Figure Skating Championship in Paris won by David Jenkins USA
  • 1958 Sjafroeddin Prawiranegara forms anti-government of Middle Sumatra

Italian History

1959 Antonio Segni forms Italian government

  • 1961 Australia beat West Indies 2-1 in one of best Test Cricket series ever
  • 1961 Plane crash kills entire US figure skating team outside Brussels airport in Belgium enroute to World Championships in Prague from NYC; 73 crew and passengers (including 34 American skaters, coaches, officials, and other team members), and a farmer on the ground are lost
  • 1962 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Sports History

1963 1st US female world figure skating champ (Tenley Albright)

  • 1963 Ken Lynch records "Misery," 1st Lennon-McCartney song by someone else
  • 1964 Beatles' "Meet the Beatles!" album goes #1 & stays #1 for 11 weeks

College Basketball

1964 Bill Bradley scores 51 points for Princeton

Music History

1965 John Lennon passes his driving test

  • 1965 Red Maple Leaf Flag becomes the official flag of Canada
  • 1966 Kees Verkerk becomes world champion all-round skater
  • 1967 1st anti-bootleg recording laws enacted

Golden Globes

1967 24th Golden Globes: A Man for All Seasons, Paul Scofield, & Anouk Aimee win

  • 1967 D66 (D'66) wins 7 seats in Dutch 2nd Chamber
  • 1967 Longest dream (REM sleep) on record, Bill Carskadon, Chicago (2:23)
  • 1968 Anaheim's Les Salvage scores 10, 3-pt baskets in ABA game vs Denver
  • 1968 Biathlon 4 x 7.5k relay debuts at the Grenoble Winter Olympics with the Soviet Union taking the gold medal ahead of Norway and Sweden
  • 1968 Fred Anton Maier of Norway skates a world record 7:22.4 in winning the 5,000m at the Grenoble Winter Olympics; Dutch 1,500m champion Kees Verkerk is just 0.8s behind for silver
  • 1968 WVUT TV channel 22 in Vincennes, IN (PBS) begins broadcasting

World Skating Champion

1970 Ard Schenk becomes world champion all-round skater

  • 1970 Dominican DC-9 crashes into sea at Santo Domingo, kills 102
  • 1970 KAMU TV channel 15 in College Station, TX (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1970 Nationalists disrupt UN session on Congo
  • 1971 A British soldier dies 7 days after being mortally wounded in an Irish Republican Army attack in North Ireland
  • 1971 After 1,200 years Great Britain abandons pence & shilling system for decimal currency
  • 1972 Dimitrios Papadopoulos becomes metropolitan of Imbros and Tenedos
  • 1972 Newly-formed NHL franchise New York Islanders hire Bill Torrey as their first General Manager
  • 1972 President Velasco Ibarra of Ecuador deposed for 4th time
  • 1972 Sound recordings are granted U.S. federal copyright protection for the first time.
  • 1973 Friendsville Academy (Tenn) ends 138-game basketball losing streak
  • 1973 USSR launches Prognoz 3 to study sun (589/200,300 km)

Daytona 500

1976 18th Daytona 500: David Pearson makes contact with Richard Petty just yards from finish line into a wall and to infield; Petty stalls whilst Pearson restarts to win

  • 1976 XII Winter Olympic Games close in Innsbruck, Austria
  • 1977 Social-democrats win Danish parliamentary election
  • 1978 England all out 64 for 1st loss to NZ in cricket (Geoffrey Boycott captain)

Crime History

1978 Escaped mass murderer Ted Bundy recaptured, Pensacola, Florida

  • 1978 Zaire revises its constitution

Grammy Awards

1979 21st Grammy Awards: Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are"; A Taste of Honey win

  • 1979 Paul Shirley (21) of Australia, sucked a lifesaver for 4 hrs 40 mins
  • 1979 Temple City Kazoo Orchestra appears on "he Mike Douglas Show"
  • 1979 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Olympic Gold

1980 American speed skater Eric Heiden wins 500m in Olympic record 38.03s; first of record 5 gold medal sweep of events at Lake Placid, New York

  • 1980 East German speed skater Karin Enke wins first of 3 career Olympic gold medals with victory in the 500m at Lake Placid Winter; wins 1,000m & 1,500m in Sarajevo (1984)

NHL Record

1980 NHL Oilers Wayne Gretzky assists on NHL-record-tying 7 goals, in 8-2 victory over Washington at Northlands Coliseum, Edmonton

  • 1980 Soviet cross-country skier Raisa Smetanina claims her 3rd of 4 career Olympic gold medals in 5k event at Lake Placid; also wins 10k and relay gold (Innsbruck 1976) and relay (Albertville 1992)
  • 1981 23rd Daytona 500: Richard Petty wins record 7th title at Daytona, beating Bobby Allison to the line by 3.5 seconds
  • 1981 Rocket-powered ice sled attains 399 kph, Lake George, New York
  • 1982 Dan Issel (NBA-Nuggets), begins streak of 63 consecutive free throw
  • 1982 Ocean Ranger oil-drilling platform lost off Newfoundland, 84 die
  • 1984 500,000 Iranian soldiers move into Iraq
  • 1984 An East German sweep of the medals in the women's 3,000m speed skating at the Sarajevo Winter Olympics; Andrea Schöne takes gold ahead of teammates Karin Enke and Gabi Zange
  • 1985 35th Berlin International Film Festival: "The Woman and the Stranger" and "Wetherby" win the Golden Bear (tie)
  • 1985 STS 51-E vehicle moves to launch pad

Chess Controversy

1985 World chess championship match abandoned with Anatoly Karpov 25 leading Gary Kasparov 23

  • 1986 44,180 largest NBA crowd to date-Philadelphia at Detroit

People Power Revolution

1986 National Assembly of the Philippines proclaims Ferdinand Marcos President for six more years after rigged elections against Corazon Aquino, supercharging the EDSA people power revolution [1]

Disqualified for Kneeling

1987 1982 Masters champion Craig Stadler is disqualified from Andy Williams Open for kneeling on a towel to make a shot

Daytona 500

1987 29th Daytona 500: Bill Elliott leads for 104 of 200 laps including the last 3; had won pole with record speed of 210.364 mph

  • 1987 ABC-TV begins broadcasting "Amerika" mini-series
  • 1987 Karlstad skates world record 10km (14:03,92)
  • 1987 Nikolai Guljajev becomes world champion skater
  • 1987 Senior PGA Championship, PGA National GC: Chi-Chi Rodríguez wins his second and final Champions Tour major title by 1 stroke from Dale Douglass
  • 1988 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1989 Israel attacks border strip Taba near Egypt

Soviet Union Leaves Afghanistan

1989 Soviet military occupation of Afghanistan ends as the last Soviet troops cross the Soviet-Afghan border

  • 1990 Baseball owners lock out players
  • 1991 41st Berlin International Film Festival: "The House of Smiles" wins the Golden Bear
  • 1991 Daily market volatility as Hussein mentions withdrawal, but Bush calls his offer a "cruel hoax"
  • 1991 Freighter with dynamite explodes in Phang Nga Thailand, 120 die
  • 1991 Troy State sets NCAA Div II record with 103 points in 2nd half routing DeVry Institute 187-117
  • 1992 100th episode of "Cops" airs on Fox

Trial of Interest

1992 Jeffrey Dahmer found sane and guilty of killing 15 boys

  • 1993 Bombings by mafia drug lords kill 14 in Bogota, Colombia
  • 1993 Howard Stern Radio Show begins transmitting to Rochester, New York on WRQI 95.1 FM
  • 1994 Tom Barrasso becomes winningest US born goalie in NHL history, as the Pittsburgh Penguins win, 5-3 over visiting Winnipeg; passes record of 252 career wins set by Frank Brimsek
  • 1994 US asks Aristide to adopt a peace plan from Haiti
  • 1995 Burundi premier Anatole Kanyenkiko resigns
  • 1995 Dow-Jones closes at record 3986.17
  • 1995 Population of People's Republic of China hits 1.2 billion
  • 1996 46th Berlin International Film Festival: "Sense and Sensibility" wins the Golden Bear

Sports History

1996 American boxer Tommy Morrison announces he has contracted HIV

  • 1996 Mortar attack on the US Embassy in Athens, Greece

NFL Record

1996 NFL coaching maestro Bill Belichick is fired by Cleveland, finishing his Browns coaching career with a record of 36-44

Film Release

1996 Tamil romantic comedy film "Poove Unakkaga" released directed by Vikraman, starring Sangita and Vijay in his breakthrough role

  • 1997 US female Figure Skating championship won by Tara Lipinski
  • 1997 US male Figure Skating championship won by Todd Eldridge

Daytona 500

1998 40th Daytona 500: Dale Earnhardt's only Daytona win in his 20th start; snaps a 59-race winless streak

Angel of the North

1998 The Angel of the North, a large-scale steel sculpture 20 m (66 ft) tall by Antony Gormley is installed at Gateshead, northern England

ESPY Awards

1999 7th ESPY Awards: Mark McGwire, Chamique Holdsclaw win

  • 1999 Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party, widely recognized as terrorist organization), was arrested in Kenya.
  • 1999 Wayne Gretzky records 5 assists in NY Rangers' 7-4 win over the Predators; takes a 1,000 point lead over Gordie Howe in all time NHL scoring lead; Gretzky's only appearance in Nashville
  • 2000 Indian Point II nuclear power plant in New York State vents a small amount of radioactive steam when a steam generator fails

NHL History

2000 Martin Brodeur becomes first goaltender in NHL history to get credit for a "game winning" goal as New Jersey wins, 4-2 over the visiting Philadelphia Flyers