Today in History: Feb. 15

Lifeboats rescue surviving crewmen of the wrecked USS Maine after an underground explosion destroyed the battleship on the night of Feb. 15 as it was anchored in the Havana harbor, Cuba, in 1898.  About 260 U.S. Naval personnel were killed in the explosion.  The sinking of the U.S. warship was a catalyst for the outbreak of the Spanish-American War and the U.S. officially waged war on April 25.  (AP Photo)
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. (AP Photo)
President-elect Franklin Roosevelt is shown as he assured a crowd of supporters that he had received no injury after Joe (Giuseppe) Zingara attempted to assassinate him at a public reception in Bayfront Park at Miami the night of February 15, 1933.   Zingara's bullets missed Mr. Roosevelt but struck Mayor Anton Cermak of Chicago and four other persons.  (AP Photo)
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. Here, Roosevelt is shown as he assured a crowd of supporters that he had received no injury. (AP Photo)
The funeral procession of Britain's King George VI begins its journey from Westminster Hall to Paddington Station, in London, on Feb. 15, 1952. Naval ratings from H.M.S. Excelllent draw the gun carriage bearing the coffin of the late king. The carriage is flanked by Gentlemen At Arms and Yeoman of the Guard. (AP Photo/Rider)
In 1952, a funeral was held at Windsor Castle for Britain’s King George VI, who had died nine days earlier. (AP Photo/Rider)
Tenley Albright of Brookline, Massachusetts, U.S. national champion and defending world champion in women's figure skating, is seen on January 24, 1955, after five hours of practicing in preparation for the upcoming world championship in Austria.  (AP Photo)
In 1953, Tenley Albright, 17, became the first American woman to win the world figure skating championship, which was held in Davos, Switzerland. Here, Tenley Albright of Brookline, Massachusetts, U.S. national champion and defending world champion in women’s figure skating, is seen on Jan. 24, 1955. (AP Photo)
Two military knights guard the coffin of Britain's Princess Margaret before her funeral in St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, Windsor, England Friday, Feb. 15, 2002. Some 450 people including more than 30 royals were expected at the service. Princess Margaret, the younger sister of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, died Saturday aged 71. (AP Photo/Fiona Hanson/WPA pool)
In 2002, a private funeral was held at Windsor Castle for Britain’s Princess Margaret, who had died six days earlier at age 71. Here, two military knights guard the coffin of Britain’s Princess Margaret before her funeral in St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, Windsor, England Friday, Feb. 15, 2002. (AP Photo/Fiona Hanson/WPA pool)
A gate leading to the Armstrong Ranch in Armstrong, Texas, is seen Monday, Feb. 13, 2006. Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot Austin attorney and fellow hunter Harry Whittington, at the ranch Saturday, Feb. 11, 2006. (AP Photo/Paul Iverson)
A gate leading to the Armstrong Ranch in Armstrong, Texas, is seen Monday, Feb. 13, 2006. Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot Austin attorney and fellow hunter Harry Whittington, at the ranch Saturday, Feb. 11, 2006. (AP Photo/Paul Iverson)
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
In 2004, Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Daytona 500 on the same track where his father was killed three years earlier. Dale Earnhardt Jr. speaks with the media during a news conference before Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla., Friday, Nov. 17, 2017. Earnhardt is at peace with his decision to retire as he straps into the No. 88 Chevrolet for the final time in his NASCAR Cup career on Sunday. The 43-old Earnhardt has Homestead-Miami Speedway stamped as the final spot in his farewell tour. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)
iStock/Thinkstock
In 1965, Canada’s new maple-leaf flag, which replaced the “Red Ensign” design, was unfurled in ceremonies in Ottawa. (iStock/Thinkstock)
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Lifeboats rescue surviving crewmen of the wrecked USS Maine after an underground explosion destroyed the battleship on the night of Feb. 15 as it was anchored in the Havana harbor, Cuba, in 1898.  About 260 U.S. Naval personnel were killed in the explosion.  The sinking of the U.S. warship was a catalyst for the outbreak of the Spanish-American War and the U.S. officially waged war on April 25.  (AP Photo)
President-elect Franklin Roosevelt is shown as he assured a crowd of supporters that he had received no injury after Joe (Giuseppe) Zingara attempted to assassinate him at a public reception in Bayfront Park at Miami the night of February 15, 1933.   Zingara's bullets missed Mr. Roosevelt but struck Mayor Anton Cermak of Chicago and four other persons.  (AP Photo)
The funeral procession of Britain's King George VI begins its journey from Westminster Hall to Paddington Station, in London, on Feb. 15, 1952. Naval ratings from H.M.S. Excelllent draw the gun carriage bearing the coffin of the late king. The carriage is flanked by Gentlemen At Arms and Yeoman of the Guard. (AP Photo/Rider)
Tenley Albright of Brookline, Massachusetts, U.S. national champion and defending world champion in women's figure skating, is seen on January 24, 1955, after five hours of practicing in preparation for the upcoming world championship in Austria.  (AP Photo)
Two military knights guard the coffin of Britain's Princess Margaret before her funeral in St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, Windsor, England Friday, Feb. 15, 2002. Some 450 people including more than 30 royals were expected at the service. Princess Margaret, the younger sister of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, died Saturday aged 71. (AP Photo/Fiona Hanson/WPA pool)
A gate leading to the Armstrong Ranch in Armstrong, Texas, is seen Monday, Feb. 13, 2006. Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot Austin attorney and fellow hunter Harry Whittington, at the ranch Saturday, Feb. 11, 2006. (AP Photo/Paul Iverson)
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
iStock/Thinkstock

Today is Friday, Feb. 15, the 46th day of 2019.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 15, 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.

On this date:

In 1564, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei was born in Pisa.

In 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.)

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 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 1965, Canada’s new maple-leaf flag, which replaced the “Red Ensign” design, was unfurled in ceremonies in Ottawa. Singer Nat King Cole, 45, died in Santa Monica, California.

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.

In 2004, Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Daytona 500 on the same track where his father was killed three years earlier.

In 2006, Vice President Dick Cheney accepted blame for accidentally shooting a hunting companion, calling it “one of the worst days of my life,” but was defiantly unapologetic in a Fox News Channel interview about not publicly disclosing the incident until the next day.

Ten years ago: President Hugo Chavez (OO’-goh CHAH’-vez) of Venezuela won a referendum to eliminate term limits, paving the way for him to run again in 2012. The Western Conference beat the East 146-119 in the NBA All-Star game. Matt Kenseth won the rain-shortened Daytona 500.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama signed measures lifting the federal debt limit and restoring benefits that had been cut for younger military retirees. Michael Dunn was convicted in Jacksonville, Florida, of attempted murder for shooting into a carful of teenagers after an argument over loud music, but jurors deadlocked on the charge of first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis. (Dunn was found guilty of first-degree murder in a second trial and sentenced to life in prison without parole.) Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was caught on security video punching his then-fiancee (now wife) Janay Palmer inside a casino elevator in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Rice was charged with assault; he entered an intervention program to have the charges dropped. He has not played again in the NFL.) At the Sochi Olympics, the U.S. hockey team won a shootout to defeat Russia 3-2 in the marquee game of the preliminary round.

One year 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 Florida school 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. Chicago Cubs star Anthony Rizzo left spring training in Arizona for his home in Parkland, Florida, to offer support in the wake of the deadly shooting at his former high school. American Mikaela Shiffrin used a hard-charging final run to win the women’s giant slalom at the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

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