Tuesday, February 15, 2005
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.