Today's History Trivia for February 15
1848 Abraham Lincoln on Preemptive War Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so, whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose-and you allow him to make war at pleasure. Study to see if you can fix any limit to his power in this respect, after you have given him so much as you propose. If, today, he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada, to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, "I see no probability of the British invading us" but he will say to you "be silent; I see it, if you don't." The provision of the Constitution giving the war-making power to Congress, was dictated, as I understand it, by the following reasons. Kings had always been involving and impoverishing their people in wars, pretending generally, if not always, that the good of the people was the object. This, our Convention understood to be the most oppressive of all Kingly oppressions; and they resolved to so frame the Constitution that no one man should hold the power of bringing this oppression upon us. (see full letter)
First Brawl on the Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives
During an argument, Matthew Lyon (Vermont) spits in the face of Roger Griswold (Connecticut). Two weeks later, after the resolution to remove Lyon failed, Griswold attacked Lyon with his cane.
2003 Iraq War Millions of people in 800 cities around the world protest the upcoming war. This was listed in Guinness Book of Records as the world's largest protest.
1993 First woman to pitch in an NCAA or NCIA college baseball game Freshman Ila Borders pitches the entire game for Southern California College in their 12-1 victory over Claremont-Mudd.
1965 Canada's new red and white Maple Leaf Flag is officially raised.
1946 Computers ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), the first general-purpose stored program electronic digital computer, is dedicated at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering in Pennsylvania. It could calculate 1,000 times faster than anything previous. It required 18,000 vacuum tubes and 130,000 watts of power.
1898 Spanish-American War U.S. battleship Maine explodes in the Havana, Cuba harbor killing 260 men. Although the cause of the explosion has never been verified, it was blamed on the Spanish, and with the rallying cry "Remember the Maine, to hell with Spain" and led the U.S. into war.
1856 First camels imported to the U.S. for commercial purposes American naval officer David Dixon Porter leaves Turkey with a shipload of camels. They were unloaded in Texas the following May. Source: Famous First Facts
1764 City of St. Louis Missouri is founded.
Today's Birthdays for February 15
1954 Matt Groening American Emmy-winning cartoonist. Creator of The Simpsons and Futurama. The Simpsons is the longest-running U.S. primetime-television series in history, as well as the longest-running animated series and sitcom.
1746 Bathsheba Spooner d. 1778 American criminal. She was the first woman executed in the U.S. by American courts. She conspired with her boyfriend and two others to kill her husband. She tried to get her execution delayed because she was pregnant with her boyfriend's child. Her request was denied. An autopsy showed that she was pregnant with five-month-old male fetus at the time of execution.
1564 Galileo Galilei d. 1642 Italian astronomer, physicist. He built the first complete astronomical telescope, which he used to prove that the Earth revolved around the Sun. He was imprisoned by the Catholic Church for this belief.
1964 Chris Farley d. 1997 American actor, comedian. TV: Saturday Night Live. Film: Tommy Boy (1995), Beverly Hills Ninja (1997), and Almost Heroes (1998).
1951 Melissa Manchester American singer. Music: You Should Hear How She Talks About You (1982).
1951 Jane Seymour (Joyce Frankenberg), British actress. TV: Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman (title role).
1935 Roger B. Chaffee d. 1967 American astronaut. He died with two other astronauts when Apollo 1 caught fire on the launch pad during a simulation.
1933 Adolfo (Adolfo F. Sardina), Cuban-born award-winning fashion designer.
1931 Claire Bloom English actress. Film: Chaplin's Limelight (1952, Terry) and Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989).
1927 Harvey Korman d. 2008 American Emmy-winning comedian. TV: The Carol Burnett Show and Mama's Family (Ed Higgins).
1918 Allan Arbus d. 2013 American actor. TV: M*A*S*H (Dr. Sidney Freedman).
1914 Kevin McCarthy d. 2010 American actor. Film: Death of a Salesman (1951, Biff) and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956, lead role, and the 1978 remake as a man running through the streets shouting a warning in the same fashion as his character did in the original film). TV: The Survivors (Philip Hastings).
1907 Cesar Romero d. 1994 American actor. TV: Batman (the Joker) and Falcon Crest (Peter Stavros).
1905 Harold Arlen d. 1986 (Hyman Arluck), American Oscar-winning composer. Music: Stormy Weather (1943), It's Only a Paper Moon (1932), That Old Black Magic (1942), and Over the Rainbow (1939, Oscar).
1883 Sax Rohmer d. 1959 (Arthur Henry Ward), English author. Creator of the master criminal Dr. Fu Manchu (1912). He based his mystery-solving magician character Bazarada on his friend Houdini.
1882 John Barrymore d. 1942 (John Sidney Blyth), American actor. His portrayals of Hamlet and Richard III are considered the greatest of his time. According to Errol Flynn, when Barrymore died, some of his friends took his body from the funeral home and propped it up in a chair in Flynn's home to frighten him. Quote: "A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams."
1820 Susan Brownell Anthony d. 1906 woman's rights leader.
1809 Cyrus Hall McCormick d. 1884 American inventor. He invented the modern style reaper (1831), which was largely responsible for the U.S. agricultural revolution. His company became International Harvester in 1902.
1803 John Augustus Sutter d. 1880 German-born American explorer, trader. He was prosperous until gold was discovered on his mill (1848) - the incoming prospectors stole his land and his workers quit to seek their own fortunes.
1797 Henry Engelhard Steinway d. 1871 German piano maker, founder of Steinway and Sons (1853).
1782 William Miller d. 1849 American religious leader of the Second Adventists in America. He and his followers believed the world would end on Oct 22, 1844. Many supposedly gave away their earthly possessions in preparation for the event.
1710 Louis XV d. 1774 King of France (1715-74), became king at the age of 5.
1519 Pedro Menéndes de Avilés d. 1574 Spanish explorer. First governor of Florida (1565-74). He founded St. Augustine, Florida (1565), which is the oldest continuously-inhabited, European-established settlement in the continental U.S.
Deaths for February 15
1996 McLean Stevenson b. 1927 American actor. TV: M*A*S*H (Lt. Col. Blake).
1984 Ethel Merman b. 1908 (Ethel Zimmerman), American singer, actress. For three decades she reigned as "The Queen of Broadway."
1973 Wally Cox b. 1924 American comedian. TV: Mr. Peepers (title role) and Underdog (voice of Underdog: "There's no need to fear-Underdog is here").
1965 Nat King Cole b. 1919 (Nathaniel Adams Coles), American jazz singer. Music: Unforgettable (1951) and Stardust (1957).
1929 Melville Elijah Stone b. 1848 American newspaper publisher. He is credited with introducing the odd-pricing strategy. He encouraged his advertisers to subtract a penny from the price - for example, making a $3 item $2.99.
1918 Vernon Castle b. 1887 English dancer, aviator. He and his wife Irene popularized the Fox-trot dance (c1912). He was also the originator of the Castle-walk, one-step, and turkey-trot.
1911 Edward Hitchcock Jr b. 1828 American physician. The first U.S. professor of physical education and hygiene (1861). He was appointed by Amherst College of Massachusetts.
1905 General Lew Wallace b. 1827 American politician, author. Writings: Ben Hur (1880), which he wrote while governor of the New Mexico territory.
1820 William Ellery b. 1727 American patriot, signer of the Declaration of Independence.
1145 Lucius II b. ???? religious leader, 166th Pope (1144-45).