Today in History – Monday, Feb. 15, 2016

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Today is Monday, Feb. 15, the 46th day of 2016. There are 320 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1677 – England’s King Charles II announces he has made an alliance with the Dutch against France.

1798 – The Roman Republic is proclaimed after the French capture Rome, but Pope Pius VI refuses to surrender temporal power and leaves for Valence, France.

He later dies in French captivity.

1806 – Franco-Prussian treaty against Britain, whereby Prussia closes her ports to British ships goes into effect.

1879 – U.S. President Rutherford Hayes signs a bill allowing female attorneys to argue cases before the Supreme Court.

1894 – France and Germany reach agreement on boundaries between French Congo and Cameroon.

1898 – The U.S. battleship Maine blows up in harbor of Havana, Cuba, killing 260 seamen. The cause of the explosion is never determined, but U.S. newspapers use the incident to whip up support for military intervention against the Spanish rule on Cuba.

1933 – U.S. President-elect Franklin Roosevelt escapes an assassination attempt in Miami that claims the life of Chicago Mayor Anton J. Cermak.

1942 – The British surrender the colony of Singapore to Japanese forces in World War II.

1944 – U.S. troops complete reconquest of Solomon Islands in Pacific Ocean in World War II; Nearly 1,000 British bombers pound Berlin.

1964 – Cassius Clay — who changed his name to Muhammad Ali — becomes the world’s heavyweight boxing champion.

1973 – The United States and Cuba sign agreement calling for prosecution or extradition of hijackers of airplanes and ships.

1978 – Agreement is announced in Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe, to bring blacks into key roles in government of Prime Minister Ian Smith.

1988 – Austria’s President Kurt Waldheim, accused of having a Nazi past, flatly rejects widespread calls for his resignation.

1989 – The last Soviet soldier leaves Afghanistan after a 10-year occupation.

1990 – Britain and Argentina restore diplomatic relations, broken off during the

1982 Falkland Islands War.

1991 – The South African government announces it will free all political prisoners and African National Congress agrees to end armed struggle against apartheid.

1995 – A fire roars through a three-story nightclub in Taichung, Taiwan, killing at least 67 people and injuring 11 in Taiwan’s deadliest fire on record.

1996 – Police deactivate a bomb in central London hours after the Irish Republican Army refused to rule out further attacks.

1998 – Nineteen explosions blamed on radical Muslim groups rock Coimbatore, India, over two days, killing at least 56 people.

1999 – Abdullah Ocalan, a Kurdish rebel leader, is captured by Turkish commandos in Kenya and is brought to Turkey to stand trial.

2000 – Stung by Britain’s decision to suspend Northern Ireland’s power-sharing

government, the Irish Republican Army deepens the province’s political crisis by breaking off negotiations on disarmament.

2008 – Czech President Vaclav Klaus, 66, wins a second five-year term.

2009 – President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela wins a referendum to eliminate term limits, paving the way for him to run again in 2012.

2012 – A fire started by an inmate tears through an overcrowded prison in Honduras, burning and suffocating screaming men in their locked cells as rescuers

desperately search for keys. As many as 300 people are killed in the world’s deadliest prison fire in eight decades.

2013 – A meteor blazes across the western Siberian sky and explodes with the force of 20 atomic bombs, injuring more than 1,000 people and spreading panic in Chelyabinsk, a city of 1 million.

2015 — Egypt says it has launched airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Libya after the extremist group released a grisly video of the beheading of several Egyptian Coptic Christians.

Today’s Birthdays:

Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer (1564-1642); Babur, founder of Mughal dynasty in India (1483-1530); A.N. Whitehead, English philosopher (1861-1947); Hank Locklin, U.S. country singer (1918-2009); Jane Seymour, English born actress

(1951–); Melissa Manchester, U.S. singer (1951–); Matt Groening, creator of “The Simpsons” (1954–).

Thought For Today:

Like all dreamers I confuse disenchantment with truth — Jean-Paul Sartre, French philosopher (1905-1980).

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