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The Almanac for Feb. 15, the 46th day of 2017

UPI News Service, 02/15/2017 

Today is Wednesday, Feb. 15, the 46th day of 2017 with 319 to follow.

The moon is waning. Morning stars are Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury. Evening stars are Neptune, Venus, Mars and Uranus.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include: Italian astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei in 1564; inventor Cyrus McCormick in 1809; jeweler Charles Tiffany in 1812; feminist pioneer Susan B. Anthony in 1820; Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elihu Root in 1845; British philosopher/mathematician Alfred North Whitehead in 1861; Irish explorer Ernest Shackleton in 1874; songwriter Harold Arlen in 1905; actor John Barrymore in 1882; actor Cesar Romero in 1907; actor Harvey Korman in 1927; actor Claire Bloom in 1931 (age 86); astronaut Roger Chaffee (killed in a fire on the ground during a 1967 Apollo I test) in 1935; football Hall of Fame member John Hadl in 1940 (age 77); actor Marisa Berenson in 1947 (age 70); actor Jane Seymour in 1951 (age 66); singer Melissa Manchester in 1951 (age 66); "Simpsons" cartoonist Matt Groening in 1954 (age 63); comedian Chris Farley in 1964; actor Renee O'Connor in 1971 (age 46); longtime NHL player Jaromir Jagr in 1972 (age 45).

On this date in history:

In 1764, the city of St. Louis was founded along the Mississippi River.

In 1898, the U.S. battleship Maine exploded in Havana harbor, killing 260 crewmen and leading to a U.S. declaration of war against Spain.

In 1933, U.S. President-elect Franklin Roosevelt narrowly escaped assassination in Miami when several shots were fired at him, fatally wounding Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak.

In 1942, the British bastion of Singapore surrendered to the Japanese army.

In 1965, Canada adopted a new national flag featuring a maple leaf emblem.

In 1982, the oil-drilling rig Ocean Ranger capsized and sank in a storm off Newfoundland. All 84 people aboard were lost.

In 1989, Radio Moscow announced the last Soviet soldier had left Kabul, Afghanistan.

In 1997, Tara Lipinski, 14, defeated defending women's champion Michelle Kwan to become the youngest U.S. figure skating champion.

In 2002, discovery of a human skull in a wooded area near a crematory in Georgia led investigators to remains of more than 300 bodies that were to have been cremated but instead were stacked in sheds and in the woods.

In 2005, a U.S. appeals court in Washington ruled that journalists have no First Amendment privilege to protect confidential sources.

In 2008, Steve Fossett, the 63-year-old millionaire commodities trader turned record-breaking aviator, was declared legally dead five months after he vanished while flying in Nevada.

In 2012, fire broke out in an overcrowded Honduras prison, killing a reported 359 inmates and a visiting wife, one of the worst prison fire death tolls in history. One of the convicts was suspected of starting the fast-moving conflagration by setting his mattress on fire.

In 2013, Russian officials said a hail of meteorite fragments hit the Chelyabinsk region, injuring more than 1,000 people, most of the victims hit by glass from shattered windows.

In 2014, the pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said more 140,000 people, including 7,600 children, had been killed in Syria's 3-year-old civil war.

A thought for the day: "To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life." -- W. Somerset Maugham

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