Up to 30 million people in 600 cities protested against the impending Iraq War. More than 200,000 people gathered in New York City to march to the UN building. Three million demonstrated in Rome, while 750,000 took to the streets in London. Nevertheless, on March 19, 2003, the Bush Administration officially sent U.S. military forces into Iraq.

Other notable events on February 15th:

In 2001, the first working draft of the human genome is published.

In 1989, President Mikhail Gorbachev called for the Soviet Union withdrawal of its last troops from Afghanistan 10 years if it occupied the country.

In 1965, Canada officially adopts the Maple Leaf Flag.

In 1898, an explosion sinks the USS Maine in Havana, killing 260 American seamen and precipitating the Spanish-American War.

February 15, 2003 anti-war protest, London/ Photo: Simon Rutherford