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    FEBRUARY 15: THIS DAY IN HISTORY IN THE WORLD:

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    * February 15 is the World Day of Orthodox Youth. It is annually marked on Candlemas Day on the initiative of the Sindesmos International Orthodox Youth Organisation.

    * Afghanistan marks the National Salvation Day (the anniversary of the withdrawal of Soviet troops in 1989).

    * German classic philologist and teacher Friedrich August WOLF (1759-1824) was born 245 years ago. He was a member of the Berlin Academy of Scientists and the Society of Weimar Art Friends founded by Goethe and Schiller. In his main work "Prolegomena ad Homerum" Wolf questioned the reality of Homer's personality and the authenticity of "Iliad".

    * Italian Renaissance scientist, astronomer and physicist Galileo GALILEI (1564-1642), a co-founder of the exact natural science, was born 440 years ago. Galilei was an active defender of the heliocentric world order and was put on trial by the Inquisition (1633). In 1992 Pope John Paul II rehabilitated Galileo Galilei.

    * English Antarctic researcher Ernest Henry SHACKLETON (1874-1922) was born 130 years ago.

    * Latvian composer and folklore expert Emilis MELNGAITIS (1874-1954), master of Latvian choir songs and chief conductor of Latvian song festivals (1926-1938) was born 130 years ago.

    IN RUSSIA:

    * February 15 is the day of commemoration of soldiers-internationalists.

    Painter, graphic artist and writer Kuzma PETROV-VODKIN (1878-1939) died 65 years ago. Famous pictures "Bathing of a Red Horse", "Madonna of Petrograd", "The Death of a Commissar". Autobiographic prose works "Khlynovsk", "Euclid's Space", etc.

    * Cosmonaut Alexander SEREBROV, hero of the Soviet Union, was born 60 years ago, in 1944.

    * Ten years ago, in 1994 Boris Yeltsin issued a decree to establish the standard (flag) of the President of the Russian Federation, the main symbol of presidential power.

    * The treaty "On the division of competence and mutual delegation of authority between state bodies of the Russian Federation and The Republic of Tatarstan" was signed ten years ago, in 1994.

    * The Orthodox Church celebrates Candlemas, one of the main Christian holidays. On that day the Christ child met with Simeon the Just. Theologians regard it as the meeting of the Old and New Testaments.

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