It happened today – on this day in history – Februay 15

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

1564: Birth of astronomer Galileo Galilei in Pisa.

1804: New Jersey becomes last northern state to abolish slavery.

1852: Great Ormond St Hospital for Sick Children admits its first patient.

1867: Johann Strauss’ “Blue Danube” waltz premieres in Vienna.

1887: Death of composer Alexander Borodin.

1906: British Labour Party founded.

1922: Marconi begins regular broadcasting transmissions from Essex.

1928: Death of former Prime Minister Herbert Asquith aged 75.

1933: President-elect Franklin D Roosevelt survives assassination attempt but Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak is mortally wounded.

1936: Adolf Hitler announces construction of the Volkswagen Beetle. On the same day, Sonja Henie of Norway becomes the most successful Olympic figure skater ever by winning her third consecutive gold medal at the Garmisch-Partenkirchen Winter Games.

1939: The German battleship Bismark is launched.

1941: Duke Ellington records ‘Take The A Train’.

1942: Singapore surrenders to the Japanese.

1944: 891 British bombers attack Berlin in the largest raid by the RAF against the city.

1952: George VI is buried in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

1961: The entire US figure skating team is killed in an air crash outside Brussels airport whilst flying to the World Championships in Prague.

1962: Ray Charles recorded ‘I Can’t Stop Loving You’ at United Studios in Hollywood.

1965: Singer and pianist Nat King Cole died of lung cancer.

1968: John and Cynthia Lennon, along with George and Patti Harrison, flew to India to study meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Paul and Ringo joined them a few days later. On the same day, blues musician Little Walter (Marion Walter Jacobs) died in his sleep aged 37 from injuries incurred in a fight while taking a break from a performance at a nightclub in Chicago.

1971: Britain adopts decimal currency.

1977: Glen Matlock was fired as bass player from the Sex Pistols, being replaced by Sid Vicious.

1978: Escaped serial killer Ted Bundy is recaptured in Florida. On the same day, Leon Spinks beats Muhammad Ali for the heavyweight boxing title.

1981: Guitarist Mike Bloomfield was found dead in his car in San Francisco from an accidental heroin overdose aged 37.

1984: 500,000 Iranian soldiers move into Iraq.

1989: The Soviet occupation of Afghanistan ends.

1992: Jeffrey Dahmer is found sane and guilty of killing 15 boys.

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

2003: An estimated 6-11 million people around the world take to the streets to protest against war with Iraq.

2018: Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn resigns in a surprise move.

2019: Donald Trump declares a national emergency to divert funds to build a border wall, after signing bipartisan spending agreement to avoid another government shutdown. On the same day, a fired employee opens fire at Henry Pratt Company in Aurora, Illinois, killing five and injuring six.

BIRTHDAYS: Claire Bloom, actress, 89; Brian Holland, songwriter, 79; Glyn Johns, producer, 78; Mick Avory, drummer (The Kinks) 76; John Helliwell, musician (Supertramp) 75; Jane Seymour (Joyce Frankenberg) actress, 69; Melissa Manchester, singer, 68; Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, 66; Ali Campbell, singer (UB40) 61; Mikey Craig, bassist (Culture Club) 60; Alex Borstein, actress, 47; Ronnie Vannucci Jr, drummer (The Killers) 44; Conor Oberst, singer/songwriter (Bright Eyes) 40.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]