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February 15: Mawlid (Sunni Islam, 2011); Candlemas in Eastern Christianity; Flag Day in Canada; National Day in Serbia

  • 1493 – Christopher Columbus wrote an open letter describing his discoveries and the unexpected items he came across in the New World, which was widely distributed upon his return to Portugal.
  • 1949 – Gerald Lankester Harding and Roland de Vaux began excavations at Cave 1 of the Qumran Caves in the West Bank region of Jordan, the location of the first seven Dead Sea Scrolls.
  • 1965 – Canada adopted the Maple Leaf flag, replacing the Canadian Red Ensign.
  • 1971 – The British pound sterling and the Irish pound were decimalised on what is called Decimal Day.
  • 1979 – Don Dunstan (pictured) resigned as Premier of South Australia, ending a decade of sweeping social liberalization.
  • 2003 – In one of the largest anti-war rallies in history, millions around the world in approximately 800 cities took part in protests against the impending invasion of Iraq.

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