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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Today in history—February 15

1748: Legal reformer and utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham is born at Houndsditch, London.

1764: Pierre Laclede and his son-in-law, Auguste Chouteau, who have been operating a trading post on the site for several months, formally found the town of St. Louis on a 40-foot mound overlooking the Mississippi River.

1805: The most successful communist enterprise in U.S. history, the Harmony Society, is organized in Butler County, Pennsylvania.

1809: Cyrus Hall McCormick is born in what is now Roane County, West Virginia.  At age 22 he will invent the first practical grain-reaping machine and start the forerunner of the International Harvester Co.

1879: President Rutherford B. Hayes signs a bill allowing female attorneys to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.

1922: John Bayard Anderson, who will go on to prove that getting creamed in an election won’t keep you from being a successful law professor, is born at Rockford, Illinois.

1965: Canada gets a new flag, as the red-and-white maple leaf replaces the old "Canadian Red Ensign."

1974: Thoroughbred Seattle Slew is foaled. He will be sold a year later for $17,500, but will go on to win the Triple Crown and $1.2 million in prize money—plus millions more in stud fees.

1991: The premiers of Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary sign the Visegrád Agreement, which binds them to move toward free market economies.

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