On This Day in History March 15

March 15 – Events:

  • 44 BC – Julius Caesar, Dictator of the Roman Republic, is stabbed to death by Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus, Decimus Junius Brutus and several other Roman senators on the Ides of March.
  • 221 – Liu Bei, a Chinese warlord and member of the Han royal house, declares himself emperor of Shu-Han and claims his legitimate succession to the Han Dynasty.
  • 351 – Constantius II elevates his cousin Gallus to Caesar, and puts him in charge of the Eastern part of the Roman Empire.
  • 933 – After a ten-year truce, German King Henry I defeats a Hungarian army at the Battle of Riade near the Unstrut river.
  • 1311 – Battle of Halmyros: The Catalan Company defeats Walter V of Brienne to take control of the Duchy of Athens, a Crusader state in Greece.
  • 1493 – Christopher Columbus returns to Spain after his first trip to the Americas.
  • 1545 – First meeting of the Council of Trent.
  • 1672 – Charles II of England issues the Royal Declaration of Indulgence.
  • 1776 – South Carolina becomes the first American colony to declare its independence from Great Britain and set up its own government.
  • 1781 – American Revolutionary War: Battle of Guilford Courthouse – Near present-day Greensboro, North Carolina, 1,900 British troops under General Charles Cornwallis defeat an American force numbering 4,400.
  • 1783 – In an emotional speech in Newburgh, New York, George Washington asks his officers not to support the Newburgh Conspiracy. The plea is successful and the threatened coup d’etat never takes place.
  • 1820 – Maine becomes the 23rd U.S. state.
  • 1848 – A revolution breaks out in Hungary. The Habsburg rulers are compelled to meet the demands of the Reform party.
  • 1873 – The Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity is founded at Massachusetts Agricultural College.
  • 1877 – The first Test cricket match begins between England and Australia.
  • 1906 – Rolls-Royce Limited is incorporated.
  • 1916 – President Woodrow Wilson sends 12,000 United States troops over the U.S.- Mexico border to pursue Pancho Villa.
  • 1917 – Tsar Nicholas II of Russia abdicates the Russian throne and his brother the Grand Duke becomes Tsar.
  • 1919 – The American Legion forms in Paris.
  • 1922 – After Egypt gains nominal independence from the United Kingdom, Fuad I becomes King of Egypt.
  • 1926 – The dictator Theodoros Pangalos is elected President of Greece without opposition.
  • 1933 – Austrian Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss keeps members of the National Council from convening, starting the austrofascist dictatorship.
  • 1939 – World War II: German troops occupy the remaining part of Bohemia and Moravia; Czechoslovakia ceases to exist.
  • 1943 – World War II: Third Battle of Kharkov – the Germans retake the city of Kharkov from the Soviet armies in bitter street fighting.
  • 1944 – World War II: Battle of Monte Cassino – Allied aircraft bomb the German-held monastery and stage an assault.
  • 1952 – In Cilaos, Réunion, 1870 mm (73 inches) of rain falls in one day, setting a new world record.
  • 1961 – South Africa withdraws from the Commonwealth of Nations.
  • 1965 – President Lyndon B. Johnson, responding to the Selma crisis, tells U.S. Congress “We shall overcome” while advocating the Voting Rights Act.
  • 1970 – The Expo ’70 world’s fair opens in Osaka, Japan.
  • 1985 – The first Internet domain name is registered (symbolics.com).
  • 1988 – The Halabja poison gas attack of the Iran-Iraq War begins.
  • 1989 – The United States Department of Veterans Affairs is established.
  • 1990 – Gulf War: Iraq hangs British journalist Farzad Bazoft for spying.
  • 1990 – Mikhail Gorbachev is elected as the first executive president of the Soviet Union.
  • 1990 – The ethnic clashes of Târgu Mures begin on the anniversary of the Revolutions of 1848 in the Habsburg areas.
  • 1991 – Germany formally regains complete independence after the four post-World War II occupying powers (France, the United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union) relinquish all remaining rights.
  • 2003 – Hu Jintao takes over presidency for the People’s Republic of China.

March 15 – Birthdays:

  • 938 – Romanos II, Byzantine emperor (d. 963)
  • 1275 – Margaret Plantagenet, English princess (d. 1318)
  • 1455 – Pietro Accolti, Italian Catholic cardinal (d. 1532)
  • 1493 – Anne de Montmorency, Constable of France (d. 1567)
  • 1591 – Alexandre de Rhodes, French Jesuit missionary (d. 1660)
  • 1638 – Shunzhi Emperor of China
  • 1666 – George Bähr, German architect (d. 1738)
  • 1684 – Francesco Durante, Italian composer (d. 1755)
  • 1713 – Nicolas Louis de Lacaille, French astronomer (d. 1762)
  • 1767 – Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States (d. 1845)
  • 1779 – Lord Melbourne, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, (d. 1848)
  • 1790 – Ludwig Immanuel Magnus, German mathematician (d. 1861)
  • 1791 – Charles Knight, English publisher (d. 1873)
  • 1809 – Joseph Jenkins Roberts, first President of Liberia (d. 1876)
  • 1809 – Karl Josef von Hefele, German theologian (d. 1893)
  • 1813 – John Snow, English epidemiologist (d. 1858)
  • 1821 – William Milligan, Scottish theologian (d. 1892)
  • 1821 – Eduard Heine, German mathematician (d. 1881)
  • 1821 – Johann Josef Loschmidt, Austrian scientist (d. 1895)
  • 1824 – Jules Chevalier, French priest (d. 1907)
  • 1830 – Paul Heyse, German writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1914)
  • 1830 – Élisée Reclus, French geographer (d. 1905)
  • 1831 – Daniel Comboni, Italian missionary (d. 1881)
  • 1835 – Eduard Strauss, Austrian composer (d. 1916)
  • 1835 – John Henrie Kagi, American abolitionist (d. 1859)
  • 1838 – Karl Davydov, Russian cellist (d. 1889)
  • 1851 – William Mitchell Ramsay, Scottish archaeologist (d. 1939)
  • 1852 – Augusta, Lady Gregory, Anglo-Irish dramatist (d. 1932)
  • 1854 – Emil Adolf von Behring, German physician; Nobel laureate (d. 1917)
  • 1864 – Johan Halvorsen, Norwegian composer (d. 1935)
  • 1866 – Matthew Charlton, Australian politician (d. 1948)
  • 1866 – Johan Vaaler, Norwegian inventor (d. 1910)
  • 1868 – Grace Chisholm Young, English mathematician (d. 1944)
  • 1869 – Stanislaw Wojciechowski, President of Poland (d. 1953)
  • 1874 – Eugène Fiset, Lieutenant Governor of Quebec (d. 1951)
  • 1882 – Jim Lightbody, American runner (d. 1953)
  • 1884 – Angelos Sikelianos, Greek poet and playwright, Nobel Prize for Literature candidate (d. 1951)
  • 1887 – Marjorie Merriweather Post, American socialite and businesswoman (d. 1973)
  • 1890 – Boris Nikolaevich Delaunay, Russian mathematician (d. 1980)
  • 1892 – James Basevi Ord, US army officer (d. 1938)
  • 1897 – Jackson Scholz, American runner (d. 1986)
  • 1899 – George Brent, American film actor (d. 1979)
  • 1905 – Berthold von Stauffenberg, German lawyer and Nazi opponent (d. 1944)
  • 1907 – Zarah Leander, Swedish actress and singer (d. 1981)
  • 1912 – Lightnin’ Hopkins, American musician (d. 1982)
  • 1912 – Louis Paul Boon, Flemish journalist and novelist (d. 1979)
  • 1913 – MacDonald Carey, American actor (d. 1994)
  • 1913 – Jack Fairman, British racing driver (d. 2002)
  • 1914 – Aniello Dellacroce, American gangster (d. 1985)
  • 1915 – Joe E. Ross, American actor and comedian (d. 1982)
  • 1916 – Harry James, American musician and band leader (d. 1983)
  • 1916 – Fadil Hoxha, Yugoslav politician (d. 2001)
  • 1918 – Richard Ellmann, American biographer (d. 1987)
  • 1918 – Punch Imlach, Canadian hockey coach and general manager (d. 1987)
  • 1919 – Lawrence Tierney, American actor (d. 2002)
  • 1920 – Lawrence Sanders, American novelist (d. 1998)
  • 1920 – E. Donnall Thomas, American physician, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
  • 1921 – Stafford Smythe, Canadian hockey executive (d. 1971)
  • 1924 – Walter Gotell, German actor (d. 1997)
  • 1925 – Bert Bolin, Swedish meteorologist
  • 1926 – Norm Van Brocklin, American football player (d. 1983)
  • 1926 – Ben Johnston, American composer
  • 1927 – Stanislaw Kania, Polish politician
  • 1927 – Carl Smith, American singer
  • 1927 – Christian Marquand, French actor and director (d. 2000)
  • 1929 – Cecil Taylor, American jazz pianist
  • 1930 – Zhores Ivanovich Alferov, Russian physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1932 – Alan Bean, American astronaut
  • 1933 – Ruth Bader Ginsburg, U.S. Supreme Court Justice
  • 1933 – Philippe de Broca, French film director (d. 2004)
  • 1934 – Aldo Giorgini, Italian artist
  • 1935 – Judd Hirsch, American actor
  • 1935 – Jimmy Swaggart, American televangelist
  • 1936 – Paul Zindel, American author, playwright, and educator (d. 2003)
  • 1936 – Howard Greenfield, American songwriter (d. 1986)
  • 1936 – David Andrews, Irish politician
  • 1939 – Jack Whyte, Scottish-Canadian author
  • 1940 – Phil Lesh, American musician (Grateful Dead)
  • 1940 – Frank Dobson, British politician
  • 1941 – Mike Love, American musician (The Beach Boys)
  • 1943 – David Cronenberg, Canadian film director
  • 1943 – Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, aka Iron Sheik, professional wrestler
  • 1944 – Sly Stone, American musician
  • 1944 – Jacques Doillon, French film director
  • 1944 – Chi Cheng, Taiwanese athlete and politician
  • 1945 – A. K. Faezul Huq, Bengali lawyer and politician (d. 2007)
  • 1945 – Mark J. Green, American public official
  • 1946 – Bobby Bonds, American baseball player (d. 2003)
  • 1946 – Masaharu Sato, Japanese seiyu
  • 1946 – Howard E. Scott, American musician (War)
  • 1947 – Ry Cooder, American guitarist
  • 1948 – Sérgio Vieira de Mello, Brazilian diplomat (d. 2003)
  • 1948 – Kate Bornstein, American author
  • 1950 – Jørgen Olsen, Danish singer
  • 1952 – Howard Koh, former Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Health
  • 1953 – Richard Bruton, Irish politician
  • 1954 – Craig Wasson, American actor
  • 1955 – Dee Snider, American singer (Twisted Sister)
  • 1956 – Clay Matthews, American football player
  • 1957 – Park Overall, American actress
  • 1957 – David Silverman, American animator
  • 1957 – Víctor Muñoz, Spanish football manager
  • 1959 – Harold Baines, American baseball player
  • 1959 – Renny Harlin, Finnish film director
  • 1959 – Lisa Holton, American writer
  • 1959 – Fabio Lanzoni, Italian model
  • 1960 – Chris Sanders, American animator and director
  • 1960 – Marco Pennette, American television producer
  • 1961 – Terry Cummings, American basketball player
  • 1961 – Craig Ludwig, American ice hockey player
  • 1962 – Sananda Maitreya (formerly Terence Trent D’Arby), American singer
  • 1962 – Jimmy Baio, American actor
  • 1963 – Bret Michaels, American musician (Poison)
  • 1967 – Naoko Takeuchi, Japanese artist
  • 1968 – Kahimi Karie, Japanese singer
  • 1968 – Mark McGrath, American musician (Sugar Ray)
  • 1968 – Sabrina Salerno, Italian singer
  • 1968 – Jon Schaffer, American guitarist (Iced Earth)
  • 1969 – Rona Ambrose, Canadian politician
  • 1969 – Timo Kotipelto, Finnish musician
  • 1969 – Kim Raver, American actress
  • 1969 – Gianluca Festa, Italian footballer
  • 1969 – Yutaka Take, Japanese jockey
  • 1970 – Derek Parra, American speed skater
  • 1971 – Penny Lancaster, English model
  • 1971 – Joanne Wise, English long jumper
  • 1972 – Mark Hoppus, American musician (+44 and blink-182)
  • 1974 – Robert Fick, baseball player
  • 1975 – Eva Longoria, American actress
  • 1975 – Will.i.am, American musician
  • 1975 – Veselin Topalov, Bulgarian chess player
  • 1975 – Darcy Tucker, Canadian hockey player
  • 1976 – Jose Sanchez Zolliker, Mexican writer
  • 1977 – Joe Hahn, American musician
  • 1977 – Brian Tee, American actor
  • 1978 – Takeru Kobayashi, Japanese competitive eater
  • 1978 – Sid Wilson, American musician (Slipknot)
  • 1979 – Kevin Youkilis, American baseball player
  • 1980 – Freddie Bynum, American baseball player
  • 1981 – Mikael Forssell, Finnish footballer
  • 1981 – Young Buck, American rapper
  • 1982 – Emily Kennard, American actress
  • 1982 – Rafael Perez, Dominican baseball player
  • 1982 – Jordan Hastings, Canadian drummer in the band Alexisonfire
  • 1983 – Sean Biggerstaff, Scottish actor
  • 1983 – Daryl Murphy, Irish footballer
  • 1984 – Kostas Vassiliadis, Greek basketball player
  • 1985 – Antti Autti, Finnish snowboarder
  • 1985 – Eva Amurri, American actress
  • 1985 – Tom Chilton, British racing driver
  • 1987 – Taiwan Brown, video jockey
  • 1988 – Ever Guzman, Mexican footballer
  • 1989 – Caitlin Wachs, American actress

March 15 – Deaths:

  • 44 BC – Julius Caesar (b. 100 BC)
  • 220 – Cao Cao, King of Wei (b. 155)
  • 493 – Odoacer, King of Italy (murdered) (b. 435)
  • 1145 – Pope Lucius II
  • 1311 – Walter V of Brienne, Duke of Athens
  • 1416 – John, Duke of Berry, son of John II of France (b. 1340)
  • 1536 – Pargali Ibrahim Pasha, Grand Vizer under Suleiman the Magnificent
  • 1575 – Annibale Padovano, Italian composer (b. 1527)
  • 1644 – Louise Juliana of Nassau, Regent of Bohemia (born 1576)
  • 1670 – John Davenport, Connecticut pioneer (b. 1597)
  • 1673 – Salvator Rosa, Italian painter and poet (b. 1615)
  • 1701 – Jean Renaud de Segrais, French writer (b. 1624)
  • 1711 – Eusebio Kino, Italian Catholic missionary (b. 1645)
  • 1820 – Clemens Maria Hofbauer, patron saint of Vienna (b. 1751
  • 1842 – Luigi Cherubini, Italian composer (b. 1760)
  • 1849 – Giuseppe Caspar Mezzofanti, Italian cardinal and linguist (b. 1774)
  • 1891 – Théodore de Banville, French writer (b. 1823)
  • 1891 – Joseph Bazalgette, English civil engineer (b. 1819)
  • 1898 – Henry Bessemer, English metallurgist (b. 1813)
  • 1914 – Jalaleddin Ali Mir Abolfazl Angha, Sufi master (b. 1849)
  • 1937 – H. P. Lovecraft, American writer (b. 1890)
  • 1941 – Alexej von Jawlensky, Russian painter (b. 1864)
  • 1951 – John S. Paraskevopoulos, Greek-born astronomer (b. 1889)
  • 1957 – Ernst Nobs, Swiss Federal Councilor (b. 1886)
  • 1959 – Lester Young, American musician (b. 1909)
  • 1962 – Arthur Compton, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1892)
  • 1966 – Abe Saperstein, American basketball executive (b. 1902)
  • 1970 – Tarjei Vesaas, Norwegian writer (b. 1897)
  • 1972 – Aleksandr Ivanovich Laktionov, Russian painter (b. 1910)
  • 1975 – Aristotle Onassis, Greek shipping magnate (b. 1900)
  • 1977 – Antonino Rocca, Argentine professional wrestler
  • 1977 – Hubert Aquin, Quebec novelist, political activist and editor (b. 1929)
  • 1981 – René Clair, French film director (b. 1898)
  • 1983 – Rebecca West, English writer (b. 1892)
  • 1985 – Radha Krishna Choudhary, Indian historian and writer (b. 1921)
  • 1988 – Dmitri Polyakov, Soviet double-agent (b. 1926)
  • 1989 – Muhammad Jameel Didi, Maldivian poet (b. 1915)
  • 1990 – Farzad Bazoft, Iranian-born journalist (hanged) (b. 1958)
  • 1990 – Tom Harmon, American football player and broadcaster (b. 1919)
  • 1991 – Bud Freeman, American jazz musician (b. 1906)
  • 1994 – Mai Zetterling, Swedish actress and director (b. 1925)
  • 1997 – Gail Davis, American actress (b. 1925)
  • 1997 – Victor Vasarely, Hungarian painter (b. 1906)
  • 1998 – Benjamin Spock, American pediatrician and writer (b. 1903)
  • 2001 – Ann Sothern, American actress (b. 1909)
  • 2003 – Dame Thora Hird, British actress (b. 1911)
  • 2003 – Paul Stojanovich, Reality TV pioneer (b. 1956)
  • 2004 – Sir William Pickering, New Zealand-born space scientist (b. 1910)
  • 2004 – John Pople, English chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1925)
  • 2005 – Bob Bellear, Australian judge (b. 1944)
  • 2005 – Shoji Nishio, Japanese martial artist (b. 1927)
  • 2006 – George Rallis, Prime Minister of Greece (b. 1918)
  • 2006 – Red Storey, Canadian football player and hockey referee (b. 1918)
  • 2007 – Charles Harrelson, American hitman and father of Woody Harrelson (b. 1938)
  • 2007 – Bowie Kuhn, American commissioner of baseball (b. 1926)
  • 2007 – Stuart Rosenberg, American film and television director (b. 1927)
  • 2008 – Vytautas Kernagis, Lithuanian singer, TV shows announcer (b. 1951)

March 15 – Holidays:

  • In the Roman calendar, the Ides of March.
  • International Day Against Police Brutality
  • Constitution Day in Belarus
  • National holiday in Hungary celebrating the 1848 Revolution.
  • In Japan, Honen Matsuri (harvest festival)
  • Saint Clemens Maria Hofbauer (died 1820)
  • Saint Louise of Marillac
  • Saint Leocritia
  • Saint Longinus
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