On This Day in History January 15

January 15 – Events:

  • 588 BC – Nebuchadrezzar II of Babylon lays siege to Jerusalem under Zedekiah’s reign. The siege lasts until July 23, 586 BC.
  • 69 – Otho seizes power in Rome, proclaiming himself Emperor of Rome, but only rules for three months before committing suicide.
  • 1535 – Henry VIII declares himself head of English Church
  • 1582 – Russia cedes Livonia and Estonia to Poland.
  • 1759 – The British Museum opens.
  • 1777 – American Revolutionary War: New Connecticut (present day Vermont) declares its independence.
  • 1782 – Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris goes before the U.S. Congress to recommend establishment of a national mint and decimal coinage.
  • 1822 – Greek War of Independence: Demetrius Ypsilanti is elected president of the legislative assembly.
  • 1844 – University of Notre Dame receives its charter from the state of Indiana.
  • 1865 – American Civil War – Fort Fisher North Carolina falls to the Union, thus cutting off the last major seaport of the Confederacy.
  • 1870 – A political cartoon for the first time symbolizes the United States Democratic Party with a donkey (“A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion” by Thomas Nast for Harper’s Weekly).
  • 1892 – James Naismith publishes the rules for basketball.
  • 1907 – 3-element vacuum tube patented by Dr. Lee de Forest.
  • 1907 – Gold dental inlays first described by Williamm Taggart (inventor).
  • 1908 – The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority becomes the first Greek-letter organization founded and established by African-American college women.
  • 1919 – 2 million gallons of molasses “Tidal Wave” Boston MA, drowning 21.
  • 1919 – Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, two of the most prominent socialists in Germany, are tortured and murdered by the Freikorps.
  • 1936 – The first building to be completely covered in glass is completed in Toledo, Ohio (the building was for the Owens-Illinois Glass Company).
  • 1943 – World War II: The Japanese are driven off Guadalcanal.
  • 1943 – World War II: The Soviet counter-offensive at Voronezh begins.
  • 1943 – The world’s largest office building, The Pentagon, is dedicated in Arlington, Virginia.
  • 1947 – The brutalized corpse of Elizabeth Short (“The Black Dahlia”) is found in Leimert Park, Los Angeles, California.
  • 1951 – “Cloud of Death” rolls down Mount Lamington, New Guinea kills 5,000
  • 1951 – Ilse Koch, The “Bitch of Buchenwald,” wife of the commandant of the Buchenwald concentration camp, is sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in West Germany.
  • 1965 – Rock group Who releases first album “I Can’t Explain”
  • 1967 – Green Bay Packers beat Kansas City Chiefs 35-10 in Super Bowl I.
  • 1969 – The Soviet Union launches Soyuz 5.
  • 1970 – After a 32-month fight for independence from Nigeria, Biafra surrenders.
  • 1970 – Muammar al-Qaddafi is proclaimed premier of Libya.
  • 1973 – Vietnam War: Citing progress in peace negotiations, President Richard Nixon announces the suspension of offensive action in North Vietnam.
  • 1974 – “Happy Days” premiers on ABC.
  • 1974 – Expert panel reports 18 minute gap in Watergate tape, 5 separate erasures.
  • 1976 – Gerald Ford’s would-be assassin, Sara Jane Moore, is sentenced to life in prison.
  • 1977 – The Kälvesta air disaster kills 22 people, the worst air crash in Sweden’s history.
  • 1978 – Ted Bundy kills Florida State University coeds Lisa Levy & Margaret Bowman.
  • 1981 – “Hill Street Blues” premiers on NBC-TV.
  • 1984 – Hana Mandlikova ends Martina Navratilova’s 54-match winning streak.
  • 1985 – Tancredo Neves becomes first elected president of Brazil in 21 years
  • 1986 – The Living Seas opens at EPCOT Center in Walt Disney World, Florida.
  • 1990 – AT&T’s long distance telephone network suffers a cascade switching failure.
  • 1990 – 42 year old George Foreman KO’s George Cooney in 2 rounds
  • 1991 – The United Nations deadline for the withdrawal of Iraqi forces from occupied Kuwait expires, preparing the way for the start of Operation Desert Storm.
  • 1992 – The international community recognizes the independence of Slovenia and Croatia from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
  • 1993 – Salvatore Riina, the Mafia boss known as ‘The Beast,’ is arrested in Sicily after three decades as a fugitive.
  • 1999 – The Racak incident: 45 Albanians in the Kosovo village of Racak are killed by Yugoslav security forces.
  • 2001 – Wikipedia, a free Wiki content encyclopedia, goes online.
  • 2005 – An intense solar flare blasts X-rays across the solar system.
  • 2005 – ESA’s SMART-1 lunar orbiter discovers elements such as calcium, aluminum, silicon, iron, and other surface elements on the moon.
  • 2007 – Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, former Iraqi intelligence chief and half-brother of Saddam Hussein, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, former chief judge of the Revolutionary Court, are executed by hanging in Iraq.

January 15 – Birthdays:

  • 1342 – Philip II, Duke of Burgundy (d. 1404)
  • 1432 – King Afonso V of Portugal (d. 1481)
  • 1481 – Ashikaga Yoshizumi, Japanese shogun (b. 1511)
  • 1538 – Maeda Toshiie, Japanese general (d. 1599)
  • 1622 – Molière, French playwright (d. 1673)
  • 1671 – Abraham de la Pryme, English antiquarian (d. 1704)
  • 1674 – Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon, French writer (d. 1762)
  • 1716 – Philip Livingston, American founding father (d. 1778)
  • 1747 – John Aikin, English doctor and writer (d. 1822)
  • 1754 – Richard Martin, Irish founder of the SPCA (d. 1834)
  • 1791 – Franz Grillparzer, Austrian writer (d. 1872)
  • 1795 – Alexandr Griboyedov, Russian playwright (d. 1829)
  • 1803 – Marjory Fleming, Scottish child writer and poet, who died aged 8 (d. 1811)
  • 1809 – Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, French anarchist (d. 1865)
  • 1812 – Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, Norwegian writer (d. 1885)
  • 1816 – Marie LaFarge, French murderer (d. 1852)
  • 1824 – Marie Duplessis, French courtesan, inspiration for La Dame aux Camelias (d. 1847)
  • 1841 – Frederick Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby, Governor General of Canada (d. 1908)
  • 1842 – Blessed Mary McKillop, Australian candidate for sainthood (d. 1909)
  • 1842 – Josef Breuer, Austrian psychologist (d. 1925)
  • 1850 – Mihai Eminescu, Romanian poet (d. 1889)
  • 1850 – Sofia Kovalevskaya, Russian mathematician (d. 1891)
  • 1855 – Jacques Damala, Greek military officer and actor (d. 1889)
  • 1859 – Archibald Peake, Premier of South Australia (d. 1920)
  • 1863 – Wilhelm Marx, Chancellor of Germany (d. 1946)
  • 1866 – Nathan Söderblom, Swedish archbishop, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1931)
  • 1869 – Stanislaw Wyspianski, Polish dramatist (d. 1907)
  • 1870 – Pierre S. du Pont, President of the DuPont company (d. 1954)
  • 1872 – Arsen Kotsoyev, Russian writer (d. 1944)
  • 1875 – Tom Burke, American runner (d. 1929)
  • 1877 – Lewis Terman, U.S psychologist, inventor of the Stanford-Binet IQ test (d. 1956)
  • 1879 – Mazo de la Roche, Canadian author (d. 1961)
  • 1882 – Princess Margaret of Connaught, Crown Princess of Sweden (d. 1920)
  • 1885 – Lorenz Böhler, Austrian physician (d. 1973)
  • 1885 – Huang Yuanyong, Chinese writer (d. 1915)
  • 1885 – Grover Lowdermilk, American baseball player (d. 1968)
  • 1890 – Tommy Fleming, American soccer player (d. 1965)
  • 1891 – Ray Chapman, American baseball player (d. 1920)
  • 1891 – Osip Mandelstam, Russian poet (d. 1938)
  • 1892 – Rex Ingram, Irish director (d. 1950)
  • 1893 – Ivor Novello, Welsh composer and actor (d. 1951)
  • 1895 – Artturi Ilmari Virtanen, Finnish chemist, Nobel laureate (d. 1973)
  • 1897 – Xu Zhimo, Chinese poet (d. 1931)
  • 1899 – Goodman Ace, American actor (d. 1982)
  • 1902 – King Saud of Saudi Arabia (d. 1969)
  • 1903 – Paul A. Dever, 58 Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1958)
  • 1905 – Torin Thatcher, English actor (d. 1981)
  • 1906 – Aristotle Onassis, Greek shipping magnate (d. 1975)
  • 1908 – Edward Teller, Hungarian-born physicist (d. 2003)
  • 1909 – Jean Bugatti, German-born automobile designer (d. 1939)
  • 1909 – Gene Krupa, American drummer (d. 1973)
  • 1912 – Michel Debré, French politician (d. 1996)
  • 1912 – Harry Hay, Founder of American Gay Rights Movement (d. 2002)
  • 1913 – Lloyd Bridges, American actor (d. 1998)
  • 1913 – Miriam Hyde, Australian composer (d. 2005)
  • 1914 – Hugh Trevor-Roper, Baron Dacre of Glanton, English historian (d. 2003)
  • 1918 – João Figueiredo, President of Brazil (d. 1999)
  • 1918 – Édouard Gagnon, Canadian Roman Catholic cardinal (d. 2007)
  • 1918 – Gamal Abdal Nasser, President of Egypt (d. 1970)
  • 1920 – John Cardinal O’Connor, American Catholic cardinal (d. 2000)
  • 1920 – Steve Gromek, American baseball player (d. 2002)
  • 1921 – Frank Thornton, English actor (Captain Peacock in Are You Being Served?)
  • 1922 – Sir Eric Willis, Australian politician, Premier of New South Wales (d. 1999)
  • 1923 – Ivor Cutler, Scottish poet (d. 2006)
  • 1923 – Lee Teng-hui, Taiwanese politician
  • 1925 – Ruth Slenczynska, U.S. pianist
  • 1926 – Florence Buchsbaum, theater director (d. 1996)
  • 1926 – Maria Schell, Swiss actress (d. 2005)
  • 1927 – Phyllis Coates, American actress
  • 1929 – Martin Luther King, Jr., American civil rights leader, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1968)
  • 1930 – Eddie Graham, American professional wrestler (d. 1985)
  • 1933 – Ernest J. Gaines, American author
  • 1937 – Margaret O’Brien, American actress
  • 1938 – Chuni Goswami, Indian footballer and cricketer
  • 1939 – Tony Bullimore, English sailor, adventurer
  • 1941 – Captain Beefheart, American musician and visual artist
  • 1941 – Charo, Spanish-born singer
  • 1943 – Mike Marshall, American baseball player
  • 1945 – Vince Foster, American lawyer (d. 1993)
  • 1945 – William R. Higgins, USMC colonel (d. 1990)
  • 1945 – Princess Michael of Kent, British royal
  • 1947 – Andrea Martin, Canadian actress
  • 1948 – Ronnie Van Zant, American singer (Lynyrd Skynyrd) (d. 1977)
  • 1949 – Luis Alvarado, Puerto Rican baseball player (d. 1987)
  • 1949 – Panos Mihalopoulos, Greek actor
  • 1950 – Marius Trésor, French footballer
  • 1953 – Kent Hovind, American evangelist and Young Earth creationist
  • 1953 – Ta-Tanisha, American actress
  • 1953 – Randy White, American football player
  • 1954 – Nikos Sarganis, Greek footballer
  • 1955 – Nigel Benson, English author
  • 1956 – Mayawati, Indian politician
  • 1957 – Patrick Dixon, English entrepreneur
  • 1957 – Marty Lyons, American football player
  • 1957 – Mario Van Peebles, American actor
  • 1958 – Boris Tadic, President of Serbia
  • 1959 – Pete Trewavas, English bass guitarist (Marillion)
  • 1960 – Kelly Asbury, American director and actor
  • 1960 – Aaron Jay Kernis, American composer
  • 1961 – Yves P. Pelletier, Canadian comedian (Rock et Belles Oreilles), actor and film director
  • 1962 – Creflo Dollar, American televangelist
  • 1962 – Conrad Lant (aka Cronos), English musician
  • 1964 – Osmo Tapio Räihälä, Finnish composer
  • 1965 – Maurizio Fondriest, Italian cyclist
  • 1965 – Bernard Hopkins, American boxer
  • 1965 – Adam Jones, American musician (Tool)
  • 1965 – James Nesbitt, Northern Irish actor
  • 1968 – Chad Lowe, American actor
  • 1968 – Iñaki Urdangarín, Spanish royalty
  • 1969 – Delino DeShields, American baseball player
  • 1970 – Shane McMahon, American professional wrestler
  • 1971 – Max Beesley, English musician and actor
  • 1971 – Teanna Kai, American porn star
  • 1971 – Regina King, American actress
  • 1972 – Kobe Tai, American porn star
  • 1972 – Claudia Winkleman, English television presenter
  • 1973 – Essam El-Hadary, Egyptian footballer
  • 1974 – Ray King, American baseball player
  • 1975 – Edith Bowman, Scottish television and radio presenter
  • 1975 – Mary Pierce, French tennis player
  • 1976 – Corey Chavous, American football player
  • 1976 – Dorian Missick, American actor
  • 1978 – Eddie Cahill, American actor
  • 1978 – Franco Pellizotti, Italian cyclist
  • 1979 – Drew Brees, American football player
  • 1979 – Young Dro, American rapper
  • 1979 – Ken Chu, Taiwanese singer-actor and taichi champ
  • 1979 – Martin Petrov, Bulgarian footballer
  • 1980 – Matt Holliday, American baseball player
  • 1981 – Howie Day, American singer
  • 1981 – El Hadji Diouf, Senegalese footballer
  • 1981 – Sean Lamont, Scottish rugby union footballer
  • 1982 – Benjamin Agosto, American skater
  • 1982 – Armando Galarraga, Major League Baseball player
  • 1982 – Philip and Alexander, American-born princes of the Yugoslav Royal Family
  • 1983 – Jermaine Pennant, English footballer
  • 1983 – Hugo Viana, Portuguese footballer
  • 1984 – Megan Jendrick, American swimmer
  • 1984 – Megan Quann, American swimmer
  • 1984 – Victor Rasuk, American actor
  • 1985 – Kenneth Emil Petersen, Danish footballer
  • 1986 – Fred Davis, American football player
  • 1987 – Kelly Kelly, American WWE Diva
  • 1987 – David Knight, English footballer
  • 1987 – Michael Seater, Canadian actor
  • 1990 – Chris Warren Jr., American actor

January 15 – Deaths:

  • 69 – Galba, Roman Emperor (b. 3 BC)
  • 570 – Saint Ita, Irish nun (b. 475)
  • 936 – King Rudolph of France
  • 1345 – Martin Zaccaria, Italo-Greek ruler
  • 1595 – Murat III, Ottoman Sultan (b. 1546)
  • 1623 – Fra Paolo Sarpi, Italian patriot, scholar, scientist and church reformer (b. 1552)
  • 1672 – John Cosin, English clergyman (b. 1594)
  • 1683 – Philip Warwick, English writer and politician (b. 1609)
  • 1775 – Giovanni Battista Sammartini, Italian composer (b. 1700 or 1701)
  • 1781 – Marianne Victoria of Borbón, queen regent of Portugal (b. 1718)
  • 1790 – John Landen, English mathematician (b. 1719)
  • 1804 – Dru Drury, English entomologist (b. 1725)
  • 1815 – Emma, Lady Hamilton, English mistress of Lord Nelson (b. 1761
  • 1864 – Isaac Nathan, UK-Australian composer (b. 1792)
  • 1876 – Eliza Johnson, U.S. First Lady (b. 1810)
  • 1885 – Leopold Damrosch, German-American orchestral conductor (b. 1832)
  • 1893 – Fanny Kemble, British actress and author (b. 1809)
  • 1896 – Mathew Brady, U.S. photographer (b. 1822)
  • 1909 – Arnold Janssen missionary (b. 1837)
  • 1916 – Modest Tchaikovsky, Russian writer (b. 1850)
  • 1919 – Rosa Luxemburg, German politician (b. 1870)
  • 1919 – Karl Liebknecht, German politician (b. 1871)
  • 1926 – Enrico Toselli, Italian composer (b. 1883)
  • 1936 – Henry Forster, 1st Baron Forster, Governor-General of Australia (b. 1866)
  • 1945 – Wilhelm Wirtinger, Austrian mathematician (b. 1865)
  • 1947 – Elizabeth Short, the Black Dahlia (b. 1924)
  • 1950 – Gen Henry “Hap” Arnold, U.S. General of the Air Force (b. 1886)
  • 1952 – Ned Hanlon, Premier of Queensland (b. 1887)
  • 1955 – Yves Tanguy, French painter (b. 1900)
  • 1964 – Jack Teagarden, American musician (b. 1905)
  • 1967 – David Burliuk, Ukrainian artist (b. 1882)
  • 1968 – Bill Masterton, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1938)
  • 1970 – William T. Piper, American aircraft designer (b. 1881)
  • 1972 – Daisy Ashford, English child writer (The Young Visiters) (b. 1881)
  • 1973 – Ivan Petrovsky, Russian mathematician (b. 1901)
  • 1973 – Coleman Francis, American film director (b. 1919)
  • 1983 – Meyer Lansky, Russian-born gangster (b. 1902)
  • 1983 – Shepperd Strudwick, American actor (b. 1907)
  • 1987 – Ray Bolger, American actor, singer, and dancer (b. 1904)
  • 1988 – Seán MacBride, Irish statesman, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1904)
  • 1990 – Dame Peggy van Praagh, British ballet dancer, choreographer, director (b. 1910)
  • 1990 – Gordon Jackson, Scottish actor (b. 1923)
  • 1992 – Dee Murray, English bassist (b. 1946)
  • 1993 – Sammy Cahn, American songwriter (b. 1913)
  • 1994 – Georges Cziffra, Hungarian-French pianist (b. 1921
  • 1994 – Harry Nilsson, American musician (b. 1941)
  • 1995 – Vera Maxwell, American fashion designer (b. 1901)
  • 1996 – Minnesota Fats, American billiards player (b. 1913)
  • 1996 – Les Baxter, American musician and composer (b. 1922)
  • 1996 – Paramount Chief Moshoeshoe II of Lesotho (b. 1938)
  • 1998 – Junior Wells, American musician (b. 1934)
  • 1999 – Betty Box, British film producer (b. 1915)
  • 2000 – Georges-Henri Lévesque, Canadian Dominican priest and sociologist (b. 1903)
  • 2000 – Fran Ryan, American actress (b. 1916)
  • 2000 – Željko Ražnatovic, aka Arkan, Serbian paramilitary leader (b. 1952)
  • 2001 – Ted Mann, American screenwriter (b. 1916)
  • 2002 – Steve Gromek, American baseball player (b. 1920)
  • 2003 – Doris Fisher, American singer and songwriter (b. 1915)
  • 2005 – Elizabeth Janeway, American author (b. 1913)
  • 2005 – Ruth Warrick, American actress (b. 1915)
  • 2005 – Walter Ernsting, German author (b. 1920)
  • 2005 – Victoria de los Angeles, Catalan soprano (b. 1923)
  • 2005 – Deem Bristow, American video game voice actor (b. 1947)
  • 2005 – Dan Lee, Canadian animator (b. 1969)
  • 2006 – Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Emir of Kuwait (b. 1926)
  • 2007 – Bo Yibo, Chinese politician (b. 1908)
  • 2007 – James Hillier, Canadian inventor of electron microscope (b. 1915)
  • 2007 – Awad Hamed al-Bandar, former chief judge of the Iraqi Revolutionary Court (b. 1945) (executed)
  • 2007 – Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, former Iraqi intelligence chief and half-brother of Saddam Hussein (b. 1951) (executed)
  • 2007 – David Vanole, American soccer player (b. 1963)
  • 2008 – Mark Haigh-Hutchinson, Game Designer (b. 1964)
  • 2008 – Brad Renfro, American actor (b. 1982)

January 15 – Holidays:

  • Roman Empire – Second day of the Carmentalia in honor of Carmenta.
  • Malawi – John Chilembwe Day.
  • North Korea – Korean Alphabet Day.
  • Kerala in India – Makaravilakku or Makara Sankranthy at Sabarimala.
  • Jallikattu in South India.
  • Abeluzius in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church

 

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