On This Day in History September 15

September 15 – Events:

  • 668 – Eastern Roman Emperor Constans II is assassinated in his bath at Syracuse, Italy.
  • 921 – Saint Ludmila is murdered at the command of her daughter-in-law at Tetin.
  • 1556 – Vlissingen ex-emperor Charles V returns to Spain.
  • 1584 – San Lorenzo del Escorial Palace in Madrid is finished.
  • 1600 – Battle of Sekigahara
  • 1616 – The first non-aristocratic, free public school in Europe is opened in Frascati, Italy.
  • 1683 – Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is founded by 13 immigrant families.
  • 1762 – Battle of Signal Hill
  • 1776 – American Revolutionary War: British land at Kip’s Bay during the New York Campaign.
  • 1789 – The United States Department of State is established (formerly known as Department of Foreign Affairs).
  • 1812 – The French army under Napoleon reaches the Kremlin in Moscow.
  • 1820 – Constitutionalist revolution in Lisbon, Portugal; (see Portugal’s crises of the Nineteenth Century.
  • 1821 – Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica jointly declare independence from Spain.
  • 1830 – The Liverpool to Manchester railway line opens.
  • 1831 – The locomotive John Bull operates for the first time in New Jersey on the Camden and Amboy Railroad.
  • 1835 – The HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin aboard, reaches the Galápagos Islands.
  • 1851 – Saint Joseph’s University is founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: Confederate forces capture Harpers Ferry, Virginia.
  • 1873 – Franco-Prussian War: The last German troops leave France upon completion of payment of indemnity.
  • 1883 – The Bombay Natural History Society is founded in Bombay (now Mumbai), India.
  • 1894 – First Sino-Japanese War: Japan defeats China in the Battle of Pyongyang.
  • 1914 – World War I: The Battle of Aisne begins between Germany and France.
  • 1916 – World War I: Tanks are used for the first time in battle, at the Battle of the Somme.
  • 1928 – Sir Alexander Fleming notices a bacteria-killing mold growing in his laboratory, discovering what later became known as penicillin.
  • 1928 – Tich Freeman becomes the only bowler to take 300 wickets in an English cricket season.
  • 1931 – In Scotland, the two-day Invergordon Mutiny against Royal Navy pay cuts begins.
  • 1935 – Nuremberg Laws deprive German Jews of citizenship.
  • 1935 – Nazi Germany adopts a new national flag with the swastika.
  • 1940 – World War II: The climax of the Battle of Britain, when the Royal Air Force shoot down large numbers of Luftwaffe.
  • 1941 – The U.S. Attorney General rules that the Neutrality Act is not violated when U.S. ships carry war materiel to British territories, opening the door for the Lend-Lease Act.
  • 1942 – World War II: The U.S. aircraft carrier USS Wasp is torpedoed at Guadalcanal.
  • 1944 – Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill meet in Quebec as part of the Octagon Conference to discuss strategy.
  • 1945 – A hurricane in southern Florida and the Bahamas destroys 366 planes and 25 blimps at NAS Richmond.
  • 1947 – The U.S. Air Force is separated from the US Army to become a separate branch.
  • 1947 – RCA releases the 12AX7 vacuum tube.
  • 1948 – The F-86 Sabre sets the world aircraft speed record at 1080 km/h.
  • 1950 – Korean War: United States forces land at Incheon, Korea.
  • 1952 – United Nations gives Eritrea to Ethiopia.
  • 1957 – West Germany holds its third parliamentary election. Konrad Adenauer remains chancellor.
  • 1958 – A Central Railroad of New Jersey commuter train runs through an open drawbridge at the Newark Bay, killing 58.
  • 1959 – Nikita Khrushchev becomes the first Soviet leader to visit the United States.
  • 1961 – Hurricane Carla strikes Texas with winds of 175 miles per hour.
  • 1962 – The Soviet ship Poltava heads toward Cuba, one of the events that sets into motion the Cuban Missile Crisis.
  • 1963 – The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing kills four children at a black church in Birmingham, Alabama, United States.
  • 1968 – The Soviet Zond 5 spaceship is launched, becoming the first spacecraft to fly around the Moon and re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere.
  • 1972 – A magnitude 4.5 earthquake shakes Northern Illinois.
  • 1972 – An SAS domestic flight from Gothenburg to Stockholm was hijacked and flown to Malmö-Bulltofta Airport.
  • 1974 – Air Vietnam flight 727 is hijacked, then crashes while attempting to land with 75 on board.
  • 1975 – The French department of Corse (the entire island of Corsica) is divided into two: Haute-Corse and Corse-du-Sud.
  • 1981 – The United States Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approves Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice on the United States Supreme Court.
  • 1981 – The John Bull becomes the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world when the Smithsonian Institution operates it under its own power outside Washington, DC.
  • 1981 – Vanuatu becomes a member of the United Nations.
  • 1983 – Israeli premier Menachem Begin resigns.
  • 1987 – U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze sign a treaty to establish centers to reduce the risk of nuclear war.
  • 1989 – The U.S. Congress recognizes Terry Anderson’s continued captivity in Beirut.
  • 1990 – France announces it will send 4,000 troops to the Persian Gulf
  • 1993 – Liechtenstein Prince Hans-Adam II disbands parliament.
  • 2004 – NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced a lockout of the players union and cessation of operations by the NHL head office.
  • 2007 – Over 3000 Taiwanese Americans and their supporters rallied in front of UN in New York City to demonstrate the dedication that UN should accept Taiwan. At the same time, over 300,000 Taiwanese people rally in Taiwan to make the same plea.

September 15 – Birthdays:

  • 973 – Al-Biruni, mathematician (d. 1048)
  • 1254 – Marco Polo, Italian explorer (d. 1324)
  • 1533 – Catherine of Austria, queen consort of Poland and Lithuania (d. 1572)
  • 1580 – Charles Annibal Fabrot, French lawyer (d. 1659)
  • 1613 – François de La Rochefoucauld, French writer (d. 1680)
  • 1649 – Titus Oates, English minister and plotter (d. 1705)
  • 1666 – Princess Sophia Dorothea of Celle (d. 1726)
  • 1715 – Jean Baptiste Vaquette de Gribeauval, French artillery specialist (d. 1789)
  • 1789 – James Fenimore Cooper, American novelist (d. 1851)
  • 1828 – Aleksandr Mikhailovich Butlerov, Russian chemist (d. 1886)
  • 1830 – Porfirio Díaz, President of Mexico (d. 1915)
  • 1852 – Edward Bouchet, American physicist (d. 1918)
  • 1857 – William Howard Taft, 27th President of the United States (d. 1930)
  • 1858 – Jeno Hubay, Hungarian violinist (d. 1937)
  • 1860 – Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvarayya, Indian engineer (d. 1962)
  • 1863 – Horatio Parker, American composer (d. 1919)
  • 1867 – Vladimir May-Mayevsky, Russian counter-revolutionary (d. 1920)
  • 1876 – Bruno Walter, German conductor (d. 1962)
  • 1876 – Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay, Indian novelist (d. 1938)
  • 1877 – Jakob Ehrlich, Austrian politician and zionist (d. 1938)
  • 1879 – Joseph Lyons, 10th Prime Minister of Australia (d. 1939)
  • 1881 – Ettore Bugatti, Italian automobile engineer and designer (d. 1947)
  • 1883 – Esteban Terradas i Illa, Spanish mathematician and engineer (d. 1950)
  • 1887 – Carlos Dávila, former President of Chile (d. 1955)
  • 1888 – Antonio Ascari, Italian racing driver (d. 1925)
  • 1889 – Robert Benchley, American author (d. 1945)
  • 1890 – Agatha Christie, English writer (d. 1976)
  • 1890 – Frank Martin, Swiss composer (d. 1974)
  • 1892 – Silpa Bhirasri, Italian sculptor (d. 1962)
  • 1894 – Jean Renoir, French film director (d. 1979)
  • 1894 – Oskar Klein, Swedish physicist (d. 1977)
  • 1895 – Magda Lupescu, consort of King Carol II of Romania (d. 1977)
  • 1898 – J. Slauerhoff, Dutch poet and novelist (d. 1936)
  • 1901 – Sir Donald Bailey, British engineer (d. 1985)
  • 1903 – Roy Acuff, American country musician (d. 1992)
  • 1904 – King Umberto II of Italy (d. 1983)
  • 1906 – Jacques Becker, French screenwriter and director (d. 1960)
  • 1907 – Gunnar Ekelöf, Swedish poet and writer (d. 1968)
  • 1907 – Fay Wray, Canadian-born American actress (d. 2004)
  • 1908 – Penny Singleton, American actress (d. 2003)
  • 1909 – C.N.Annadurai, Former Chief Minnister of Tamilnadu
  • 1911 – Karsten Solheim, Norwegian-born American golf entrepreneur (d. 2000)
  • 1913 – John N. Mitchell, United States Attorney General and Watergate figure (d. 1988)
  • 1913 – Johannes Steinhoff, German fighter pilot & NATO commander (d.1994)
  • 1914 – Creighton Abrams, American Army general (d. 1974)
  • 1914 – Adolfo Bioy Casares, Argentine writer (d. 1999)
  • 1915 – Albert Whitlock, English motion picture matte artist (d. 1999)
  • 1916 – Margaret Lockwood, English actress (d. 1990)
  • 1918 – Nipsey Russell, American comedian (d. 2005)
  • 1919 – Fausto Coppi, Italian racing cyclist (d. 1960)
  • 1919 – Nelson Gidding, American screenwriter (d. 2004)
  • 1921 – Norma MacMillan, Canadian actress (d. 2001)
  • 1922 – Jackie Cooper, American actor and director
  • 1922 – Bob Anderson (fencer), English sword-master
  • 1923 – Anton Heiller, Austrian organist (d. 1979)
  • 1924 – Bobby Short, American musician (d. 2005)
  • 1926 – Jean-Pierre Serre, French mathematician
  • 1926 – Shohei Imamura, Japanese film director (d. 2006)
  • 1928 – Cannonball Adderley, American saxophonist and bandleader (d. 1975)
  • 1929 – Eva Burrows, the 13th General of The Salvation Army
  • 1929 – Murray Gell-Mann, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1933 – Henry Darrow, American actor
  • 1933 – Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Spanish conductor
  • 1934 – Fred Nile, Australian politician
  • 1937 – Robert Lucas, Jr., American economist, Nobel laureate
  • 1937 – Fernando de la Rúa, 51st President of Argentina
  • 1938 – Gaylord Perry, baseball player
  • 1940 – Merlin Olsen, American football player and actor
  • 1940 – Norman Spinrad, American science fiction author
  • 1941 – Flórián Albert, Hungarian footballer
  • 1941 – Signe Toly Anderson, American singer
  • 1941 – Miroslaw Hermaszewski, Polish cosmonaut
  • 1941 – Yuri Norstein, Russian animator
  • 1941 – Viktor Zubkov, Russian government official
  • 1942 – Lee Dorman, American Bassist
  • 1944 – Sotirios Hatzigakis, Greek politician
  • 1945 – Carmen Maura, Spanish actress
  • 1945 – Jessye Norman, American opera singer
  • 1945 – Ron Shelton, American film director
  • 1946 – Tommy Lee Jones, American actor
  • 1946 – Oliver Stone, American film director
  • 1946 – Howard Waldrop, American science fiction author
  • 1948 – Suzyn Waldman, American Sportscaster
  • 1949 – Joe Barton, American politician
  • 1951 – Pete Carroll, American football coach
  • 1951 – Johan Neeskens, Dutch footballer
  • 1954 – Hrant Dink, Turkish-Armenian newspaper editor (d. 2007)
  • 1955 – Željka Antunovic, Croatian politician
  • 1955 – Theodore Long, American professional wrestling executive
  • 1956 – Jaki Graham, English singer
  • 1956 – Maggie Reilly, Scottish folk singer
  • 1958 – Dr. Know, American guitarist (Bad Brains)
  • 1958 – Joel Quenneville, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1958 – Wendie Jo Sperber, American actress (d. 2005)
  • 1960 – Kevin Allen, Welsh actor
  • 1961 – Terry Lamb, Australian rugby league footballer
  • 1961 – Dan Marino, American football player
  • 1964 – Róbert Fico, Slovak Prime minister
  • 1964 – Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein, former guitarrist for horror punk band The Misfits
  • 1968 – Danny Nucci, American actor
  • 1969 – Jim Curtiss, American writer
  • 1971 – Nathan Astle, New Zealand cricketer
  • 1971 – Josh Charles, American actor
  • 1971 – Ben Wallers, English musician and songwriter (Country Teasers)
  • 1972 – Jimmy Carr, English comedian
  • 1972 – Kit Chan, Singaporean singer
  • 1972 – Princess Letizia of Spain
  • 1973 – Julie Cox, English actress
  • 1975 – Jamie Stevens, German singer
  • 1976 – Paul Thomson, Scottish drummer (Franz Ferdinand)
  • 1976 – Matt Thornton, American baseball player
  • 1977 – Angela Aki, Japanese singer-songwriter
  • 1977 – Sophie Dahl, English model
  • 1977 – Leander Jordan, National Football League offensive lineman
  • 1977 – Marisa Ramirez, American actress
  • 1977 – Jason Terry, American basketball player
  • 1977 – Tom Hardy, British actor
  • 1978 – Eiður Guðjohnsen, Icelandic footballer
  • 1979 – Dave Annable, American actor
  • 1979 – Amy Davidson, American actress
  • 1979 – Carlos Ruiz, Guatemalan soccer player
  • 1979 – Patrick Marleau, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1980 – David Diehl, American football player
  • 1980 – Jolin Tsai, Taiwanese pop singer
  • 1980 – Mike Dunleavy, Jr., American basketball player
  • 1983 – Luke Hochevar, American baseball player
  • 1984 – Prince Henry of Wales
  • 1986 – Heidi Montag, American reality television star

September 15 – Deaths:

  • 668 – Constans II, Byzantine emperor (b. 630)
  • 866 – Robert the Strong, Margrave of Neustria
  • 1231 – Louis I, Duke of Bavaria (b. 1173)
  • 1352 – Ewostatewos, Ethiopian monk and religious leader (b. 1273)
  • 1500 – John Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury
  • 1596 – Leonhard Rauwolf, German physician and botanist (b. 1535 or 1540)
  • 1613 – Thomas Overbury, English writer (b. 1581)
  • 1643 – Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork, Irish politician (b. 1566)
  • 1649 – John Floyd, English Jesuit preacher (b. 1572)
  • 1700 – André Le Nôtre, French landscape architect (b. 1613)
  • 1701 – Edmé Boursault, French writer (b. 1638)
  • 1707 – George Stepney, English poet and diplomat (b. 1663)
  • 1712 – Sidney Godolphin, 1st Earl of Godolphin, English politician
  • 1750 – Charles Theodore Pachelbel, German composer (b. 1690)
  • 1794 – Abraham Clark, American signer of the Declaration of Independence (b. 1725)
  • 1803 – Gian Francesco Albani, Italian Catholic cardinal (b. 1719)
  • 1830 – William Huskisson, first rail fatality (b. 1770)
  • 1835 – Sarah Knox Taylor, wife of Jefferson Davis (b. 1814)
  • 1842 – Pierre Baillot, French violinist and composer (b. 1771)
  • 1859 – Isambard Kingdom Brunel, British engineer (b. 1806)
  • 1864 – John Hanning Speke, British explorer (b. 1827)
  • 1883 – Joseph Plateau, Belgian physicist (b. 1801)
  • 1885 – Jumbo, P. T. Barnum’s circus elephant (hit by a train)
  • 1893 – Thomas Hawksley, English civil engineer (b. 1807)
  • 1921 – Roman Ungern von Sternberg, Russian counter-revolutionary (b. 1886)
  • 1926 – Rudolf Christoph Eucken, German writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1846)
  • 1930 – Milton Sills, American actor (b. 1882)
  • 1945 – André Tardieu, Prime Minister of France (b. 1876)
  • 1945 – Anton Webern, Austrian composer (b. 1883)
  • 1965 – Steve Brown, American musician (b. 1890)
  • 1972 – Geoffrey Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury (b. 1887)
  • 1973 – Gustav VI Adolf of Sweden (b. 1882)
  • 1973 – Victor Jara, Chilean musician (b. 1941)
  • 1978 – Willy Messerschmitt, German aircraft designer (b. 1898)
  • 1978 – Robert Cliche, French Canadian politician and judge (b. 1921)
  • 1980 – Bill Evans, American jazz pianist (b. 1929)
  • 1983 – Prince Far I, reggae toaster and producer
  • 1985 – Cootie Williams, American jazz trumpeter (b. 1910)
  • 1987 – Steven Tuomi, murder victim of Jeffery Dahmer (b. 1963)
  • 1989 – Robert Penn Warren, American writer (b. 1905)
  • 1991 – John Hoyt, American actor (b. 1904)
  • 1993 – Ethan Allen, American baseball player (b. 1903)
  • 1995 – Harry Calder, South African cricketer (b. 1901)
  • 2000 – Vincent Canby, American movie critic (b. 1924)
  • 2003 – Jack Brymer, English clarinetist (b. 1915)
  • 2003 – Josef Hirsal, Czech novelist (b. 1920)
  • 2004 – Johnny Ramone, American guitarist (The Ramones) (b. 1948)
  • 2004 – Walter Stewart, Canadian journalist (b. 1931)
  • 2005 – Sidney Luft, American film director (b. 1915)
  • 2006 – Raymond Baxter, British television presenter (b. 1922)
  • 2006 – Oriana Fallaci, Italian journalist and writer (b. 1929)
  • 2006 – Pablo Santos, Mexican actor (b. 1987)
  • 2006 – Rob Levin, Freenode IRC Network Founder (b. 1955)
  • 2007 – Colin McRae, Scottish rally driver (b. 1968)
  • 2007 – Aldemaro Romero, Venezuelan musician (b. 1928)
  • 2007 – Brett Somers, Canadian-born American actress and Match Game panelist (b. 1924)

September 15 – Holidays:

  • International Day of Democracy.
  • In ancient Greece, the second day of the Eleusinian Mysteries, when the priests of Demeter declared the public start of the rites.
  • The United Kingdom – the British commemorate the Battle of Britain on the day of the last massive Luftwaffe attack in 1940.
  • Thailand – Silpa Bhirasri Day.
  • In India Engineer’s Day celebrated on birthday of Mokshagundam Visvesvarayya.
  • Slovenia – Restoration of Primorska to the Motherland Day
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