Today In History, 15 February: What Happened On This Day

What happened today in history (February 15): Galileo Galilei and KG Subramanyan were born, Mirza Ghalib and Bappi Lahiri died, the last Soviet troops withdrew from Afghanistan, the first teddy bear went on sale, Muhammad Ali lost to Leon Spinks, the British gave Singapore to the Japanese and more.

Image caption: This day in history (February 15): The birth of Galileo Galilei

Image caption: This day in history (February 15): The birth of Galileo Galilei

Today in History, February 15: Valentine’s Day has already passed. Yesterday there was much anguish and cheering. Now is the time to come back to reality and focus on learning again.

Today is February 15, another seemingly normal day of the winter month of February. However, February 15 occupies a fundamental place in world history.

Read on to find out what happened that day (February 15) in sports, politics and art, along with famous birthdays and deaths in world history.

Historical events on this day

  • In 399 BC, the Greek philosopher Socrates was sentenced to death in Athens for corrupting the minds of young people.
  • In 590, the last Sassanid king of Iran before the Muslim conquest, Khosrau II, was crowned king of Persia.
  • In 1898, the Spanish-American War broke out after the sinking of the battleship USS Maine in Havana, in which 260 sailors died.
  • In 1903, inventor and toy manufacturer Morris Michtom put the first teddy bear on sale.
  • In 1923, Greece became the last European country to adopt the Gregorian calendar.
  • In 1942, Singapore fell to Japanese forces in World War II after the surrender of the British Army, consisting of 80,000 Indian, English and Australian soldiers.
  • In 1965, Canada adopted the red and white maple leaf flag.
  • In 1989, the Soviet-Afghan War officially ended, when the Soviet Union declared that all its troops had left Afghanistan.
  • In 2001, the first draft of the complete human genome was published in the British scientific journal Nature.
  • In 2003, widespread protests against the Iraq War occurred in more than 600 cities around the world, involving between 8 and 30 million people, making it the largest peace demonstration in history.
  • In 2017, the Indian space rocket PSLV-C37 made history by successfully launching 104 satellites in a single flight.
  • In 2021, Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala became the first woman and first African to lead the World Trade Organization.

Sports events today

  • In 1932, American boxer and Olympic gold medalist Eddie Eagan became the first of only two people to win an Olympic gold medal in summer and winter games in separate events after taking bobsleigh team gold in the Lake Placid Winter Olympics.
  • In 1978, newcomer Leon Spinks defeated boxing legend Muhammad Ali in a stunning upset to win the heavyweight title.
  • In 1985, the World Chess Championship match between Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov was controversially abandoned with Karpov winning 5-3.

Art and culture events today

  • In 1927, the silent film “It” was released in the United States, starring Clara Bow, coining the term “the It girl.”
  • In 1941, American jazz pioneer Duke Ellington first recorded his iconic song “Take the A Train.”
  • In 1950, Disney’s classic animated film Cinderella was released.
  • In 2016, Ed Sheeran won Best Song (“Thinking Out Loud”) and Taylor Swift won Best Album (“1989”) at the 58th Grammy Awards.

Notable deaths on this day

No sir

Year of death




Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia, Hungary and Croatia from 1619 to 1637



Mirza Ghalib, legendary Indian poet known for his iconic poems, letters and prose in Urdu and Persian.



Nat King Cole, American singer, jazz pianist, and actor known for his smooth baritone voice and hits such as “Unforgettable,” “Smile,” and “Mona Lisa.”



Richard Feynman, American theoretical physicist known for his work in quantum electrodynamics and winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics for the same in 1965.



Bappi Lahiri, Indian singer and songwriter who popularized disco music in the Indian music industry, especially in the 1980s and 1990s, with Bollywood songs such as “Yaad Aa Raha Hai” and “Tamma Tamma Loge.”

Famous birthdays on this day

No sir

Year of birth




Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor from 1410 to 1437



Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer, engineer and physicist considered one of the greatest figures in science due to his numerous contributions to motion, gravity, pendulums, inventing the thermoscope and discovering the moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn and the phases of Venus.



Louis XV, France’s second longest-reigning monarch (1715-1774), who brought his kingdom to ruin with his corrupt regime and costly wars.



Susan B. Anthony, American activist and suffragette who led the National Woman Suffrage Association to gain women the right to vote.



Ernest Shackleton, Irish-English explorer who led four expeditions to Antarctica



KG Subramanyan, Indian artist, sculptor and muralist who participated in the independence movement and later taught art at the university of Baroda.



Matt Groening, American cartoonist and creator of the animated series The Simpsons and Futurama



Ashutosh Gowariker, Indian filmmaker made for his epic Hindi films Lagaan and Swades

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Categories: Optical Illusion

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