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February 14, 2013

Today in History

Today is Friday, Feb. 15, the 46th day of 2013. There are 319 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:

On Feb. 15, 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.

On this date:

In 1764, the city of 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 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 became the first American woman to win the world figure skating championship, 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 1965, Canada’s new maple-leaf flag was unfurled in ceremonies in Ottawa.

In 1971, Britain and Ireland “decimalised” their currencies, making one pound equal to 100 new pence instead of 240 pence.

In 1982, 84 men were killed when a huge oil-drilling rig, the Ocean Ranger, sank off the coast of Newfoundland during a fierce storm.

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. Benjamin L. Hooks announced plans to retire as executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

In 2002, a private funeral was held at Windsor Castle for Britain’s Princess Margaret, who had died six days earlier at age 71.

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