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Today is Sunday, Feb. 15, the 46th day of 2009. There are 319 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 15, 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.

On this date:

In 1564, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei was born in Pisa.

In 1764, the city of St. Louis was established by Pierre Laclede and Auguste Chouteau.

In 1809, American inventor Cyrus Hall McCormick, creator of the first successful horse-drawn mechanical reaper, was born in Rockbridge County, Va.

In 1820, American suffragist Susan B. Anthony was born in Adams, Mass.

In 1879, President Rutherford B. Hayes signed a bill allowing female attorneys to argue cases before the Supreme Court.

In 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.

In 1942, the British colony Singapore surrendered to the Japanese during World War II.

In 1961, 73 people, including the 18-member U.S. figure skating team en route to 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 1989, the Soviet Union announced that the last of its troops had left Afghanistan, after more than nine years of military intervention.

Ten years ago: President Bill Clinton continued his whirlwind visit to Mexico, where he conferred with President Ernesto Zedillo. The body of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed West African gunned down by New York City police, was returned to his native Guinea.

Five years ago: A pair of blazes in China killed at least 93 people. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Daytona 500 on the same track where his father was killed three years earlier. The West defeated the East 136-132 in the NBA All-Star game. Actress Jan Miner, best known as “Madge the Manicurist” in Palmolive TV ads, died in Bethel, Conn., at age 86.

One year ago: Business tycoon Steve Fossett, 63, was declared dead by a judge in Cook County, Ill., five months after his small plane vanished after taking off from an airstrip near Yerington, Nev. (Fossett’s remains were discovered in late October 2008 in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains.)

Thought for Today:

“Nothing is mine. I have only nothing but it is enough, it is beautiful and it is all mine.” – Katherine Anne Porter, American author (1894-1980).