On This Day in History June 15

June 15 – Events:

  • 763 BC – Assyrians record a solar eclipse that will be used to fix the chronology of Mesopotamian history.
  • 923 – Battle of Soissons: King Robert I of France is killed and King Charles the Simple is arrested by the supporters of Duke Rudolph of Burgundy.
  • 1184 – King Magnus V of Norway is killed at the battle of Fimreite.
  • 1215 – King John of England puts his seal to the Magna Carta.
  • 1219 – Dannebrog – oldest national flag in the world – and flag of Denmark. According to legend, fell from the sky during the Battle of Lyndanisse (now Tallinn) in Estonia, and turned the Danes’ luck.
  • 1246 – With the death of Duke Frederick II, the Babenberg dynasty ends in Austria.
  • 1389 – Battle of Kosovo: The Ottoman Empire defeats Serbs and Bosnians.
  • 1520 – Pope Leo X threatens to excommunicate Martin Luther in papal bull Exsurge Domine.
  • 1580 – Phillip II of Spain declares William the Silent to be an outlaw.
  • 1667 – The first human blood transfusion is administered by Dr. Jean-Baptiste Denys.
  • 1752 – Benjamin Franklin proves that lightning is electricity.
  • 1775 – American Revolutionary War: George Washington is appointed commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.
  • 1776 – Delaware Separation Day – Delaware votes to suspend government under the British Crown and separate officially from Pennsylvania.
  • 1785 – Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier, co-pilot of the first-ever manned flight (1783), and his companion, Pierre Romain, become the first-ever casualties of an air crash when their hot air balloon explodes during their attempt to cross the English Channel.
  • 1804 – New Hampshire approves the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratifying the document.
  • 1808 – Joseph Bonaparte becomes King of Spain.
  • 1836 – Arkansas is admitted as the 25th U.S. state.
  • 1844 – Charles Goodyear receives a patent for vulcanization, a process to strengthen rubber.
  • 1846 – The Oregon Treaty establishes the 49th parallel as the border between the United States and Canada, from the Rocky Mountains to the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
  • 1859 – Pig War: Ambiguity in the Oregon Treaty leads to the “Northwestern Boundary Dispute” between U.S. and British/Canadian settlers.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: Siege of Petersburg begins.
  • 1864 – Arlington National Cemetery is established when 200 acres (0.8 km²) around Arlington Mansion are officially set aside as a military cemetery by U.S. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.
  • 1877 – Henry Ossian Flipper becomes the first African American cadet to graduate from the United States Military Academy.
  • 1888 – Crown Prince Wilhelm becomes Kaiser Wilhelm II and is the last emperor of the German Empire
  • 1904 – A fire aboard the steamboat General Slocum in New York City’s East River kills 1,000.
  • 1905 – Princess Margaret of Connaught marries Gustav, Crown Prince of Sweden.
  • 1909 – Representatives from England, Australia and South Africa meet at Lord’s and form the Imperial Cricket Conference.
  • 1911 – Tabulating Computing Recording Corporation (IBM) is incorporated.
  • 1913 – The Battle of Bud Bagsak in the Philippine concludes.
  • 1916 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson signs a bill incorporating the Boy Scouts of America, making them the only American youth organization with a federal charter.
  • 1919 – John Alcock and Arthur Brown complete the first nonstop transatlantic flight at Clifden, County Galway, Ireland.
  • 1920 – Duluth lynchings in Minnesota.
  • 1934 – The U.S.’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park is founded.
  • 1944 – World War II: Battle of Saipan: The United States invades Saipan.
  • 1944 – In the Saskatchewan general election, 1944, the CCF, led by Tommy Douglas, is elected and forms the first socialist government of North America.
  • 1945 – The General Dutch Youth League (ANJV) is founded in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • 1954 – UEFA (Union des Associations Européennes de Football) is formed in Basle, Switzerland.
  • 1955 – The Eisenhower administration stages the first annual “Operation Alert” (OPAL) exercise, an attempt to assess the USA’s preparations for a nuclear attack.
  • 1962 – Students for a Democratic Society complete the Port Huron Statement.
  • 1978 – King Hussein of Jordan weds American Lisa Halaby, who takes the name Queen Noor.
  • 1984 – Birth of Ugur Samut, German Statesman.
  • 1985 – Rembrandt’s painting Danaë is attacked by a man later judged insane; he threw sulfuric acid on the canvas and cut it twice with his knife.
  • 1991 – Birth of the first federal political party in Canada that supports Quebec nationalism, le Bloc Québécois.
  • 1992 – The United States Supreme Court rules in United States v. Álvarez-Machaín that it is permissible for the USA to forcibly extradite suspects in foreign countries and bring them to the USA for trial, without approval from those other countries.
  • 1994 – Israel and Vatican City establish full diplomatic relations.
  • 1996 – In Manchester, UK, a terrorist bomb injures over 200 people and devastates a large part of the city centre.
  • 2002 – Near earth asteroid 2002 MN missed the Earth by 75,000 miles (120,000 km), about one-third of the distance between the Earth and the Moon

June 15 – Birthdays:

  • 1330 – Edward the Black Prince, Prince of Wales (d. 1376)
  • 1594 – Nicolas Poussin, French painter (d. 1665)
  • 1623 – Cornelis de Witt, Dutch politician (d. 1672)
  • 1624 – Hiob Ludolf, German orientalist (d. 1704)
  • 1640 – Bernard Lamy, French mathematician (d. 1715)
  • 1755 – Antoine François, comte de Fourcroy, French chemist (d. 1809)
  • 1765 – Johann Gottlieb Friedrich von Bohnenberger, German mathematician (d. 1831)
  • 1767 – Rachel Donelson Jackson, First Lady of the United States (d. 1828)
  • 1789 – Josiah Henson, American slave and settlement founder (d. 1883)
  • 1801 – Benjamin Raymond, Mayor of Chicago (d. 1883)
  • 1805 – William Butler Ogden, first Mayor of Chicago (d. 1877)
  • 1809 – François-Xavier Garneau, French-Canadian poet and historian (d. 1866)
  • 1843 – Edvard Grieg, Norwegian composer (d. 1907)
  • 1875 – Herman Smith-Johannsen, cross-country skier (d. 1987)
  • 1882 – Ion Antonescu, Prime Minister of Romania (d. 1946)
  • 1884 – Harry Langdon, American actor (d. 1944)
  • 1888 – Ramón López Velarde, Mexican poet (d. 1921)
  • 1894 – Nikolai Chebotaryov, Ukrainian mathematician (d. 1947)
  • 1894 – Robert Russell Bennett, American composer and arranger (d. 1981)
  • 1900 – Gotthard Günther, German philosopher (d. 1984)
  • 1900 – Otto Luening, German-American composer (d. 1996)
  • 1902 – Erik Erikson, psychoanalyst (d. 1994)
  • 1906 – Léon Degrelle, Belgian SS officer (d. 1994)
  • 1908 – Sam Giancana, American mafioso (d. 1975)
  • 1910 – David Rose, American songwriter, composer and orchestra leader (d. 1990)
  • 1911 – W.V. Awdry, British children’s writer (d. 1997)
  • 1914 – Yuri Andropov, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (d. 1984)
  • 1914 – Saul Steinberg, Romanian-American cartoonist (d. 1999)
  • 1915 – Thomas Huckle Weller, American virologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
  • 1916 – Herbert Simon, American economist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2001)
  • 1917 – John Fenn, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1917 – Lash La Rue, American actor (d. 1996)
  • 1917 – Michalis Genitsaris, Greek singer and composer (d. 2005)
  • 1920 – Alberto Sordi, Italian actor and director (d. 2003)
  • 1921 – Errol Garner, American musician (d. 1977)
  • 1922 – John Veale, English composer (d. 2006)
  • 1924 – Ezer Weizman, 7th President of Israel (d. 2005)
  • 1926 – Mac McGarry, game show host
  • 1926 – Shigeru Kayano, Japanese Ainu activist (d. 2006)
  • 1927 – Ibn-e-Insha, Pakistani humourist and Urdu poet (d. 1978)
  • 1930 – Marcel Pronovost, professional ice hockey player
  • 1932 – Mario Cuomo, Governor of New York
  • 1933 – Sergio Endrigo, Italian singer (d. 2005)
  • 1933 – Mark Jones, English footballer (d. 1958)
  • 1936 – William Joseph Levada, American Catholic prelate
  • 1937 – Waylon Jennings, American singer (d. 2002)
  • 1938 – Billy Williams, baseball player
  • 1939 – Ward Connerly, American political figure
  • 1939 – Brian Jacques, British author
  • 1941 – Harry Nilsson, American singer and composer (d. 1994)
  • 1942 – John E. McLaughlin, former Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
  • 1943 – Xaviera Hollander, Dutch author
  • 1943 – Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark
  • 1943 – Johnny Hallyday, French singer and actor
  • 1943 – Muff Winwood, British songwriter, producer and bassist (Spencer Davis Group)
  • 1944 – Robert Keppel, American criminologist
  • 1945 – Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Philippine senator
  • 1945 – Nicola Pagett, British actress
  • 1946 – Noddy Holder, British singer (Slade)
  • 1946 – Demis Roussos, Greek singer
  • 1947 – John Hoagland, American photographer
  • 1947 – Lee Purcell, American actress
  • 1948 – Mike Holmgren, American football coach
  • 1949 – Dusty Baker, baseball player and manager
  • 1949 – Simon Callow, British actor
  • 1949 – Russell Hitchcock, Member of Air Supply
  • 1949 – Jim Varney, American actor (d. 2000)
  • 1950 – Lakshmi Mittal, Indian industrialist
  • 1951 – Steve Walsh, American singer (Kansas)
  • 1952 – Sandra Cassel, American actress
  • 1953 – Rita Lee, American model and Playboy Playmate
  • 1954 – James Belushi, American actor
  • 1954 – Paul Rusesabagina, Rwandan hotel manager
  • 1954 – Beverley Whitfield, Australian swimmer (d. 1996)
  • 1955 – Julie Hagerty, American actress
  • 1956 – Ava Cadell, American actress/sex therapist
  • 1956 – Robin Curtis, American actress
  • 1956 – Polly Draper, American actress
  • 1957 – Seppo Pääkkönen, Finnish actor
  • 1958 – Wade Boggs, American baseball player
  • 1958 – Riccardo Paletti, Italian racing driver (d. 1982)
  • 1959 – Eileen Davidson, American actress
  • 1960 – Michèle Laroque, French actress
  • 1960 – Marieke van Doorn, Dutch field hockey player
  • 1961 – Kai Eckhardt, German musician (Garaj Mahal)
  • 1961 – Dave McAuley, Northern Irish boxer
  • 1961 – Yoshimi Iwasaki, Japanese singer/actress
  • 1962 – Andrea Rost, Hungarian soprano
  • 1963 – Helen Hunt, American actress
  • 1963 – Blanca Portillo, Spanish actress
  • 1963 – Nigel Walker, Welsh athlete and rugby union player
  • 1964 – Courteney Cox, American actress
  • 1964 – Michael Laudrup, Danish footballer
  • 1965 – Annelies Bredael, Belgian rower
  • 1965 – Adam Smith, American politician
  • 1966 – Idalis DeLeon, American actress/singer
  • 1967 – Yuji Ueda, Japanese voice actor
  • 1968 – Oh Dal-su, South Korean actor
  • 1969 – Ice Cube, American rapper
  • 1969 – Oliver Kahn, German footballer
  • 1969 – Cédric Pioline, French tennis player
  • 1969 – Maurice Odumbe, Kenyan cricketer
  • 1970 – Leah Remini, American actress
  • 1970 – Gaëlle Méchaly, French soprano
  • 1971 – Edwin Brienen, Dutch director
  • 1971 – Bif Naked, Canadian musician
  • 1971 – Nathan Astle, New Zealand cricketer
  • 1972 – Justin Leonard, American golfer
  • 1972 – Andy Pettitte, American baseball player
  • 1972 – Marcus Hahnemann, American footballer
  • 1972 – Hank Von Helvete, Turbonegro Frontman
  • 1973 – Neil Patrick Harris, American actor
  • 1973 – Tore André Flo, Norwegian footballer
  • 1973 – Pia Miranda, Australian actress
  • 1973 – Greg Vaughan, American actor
  • 1975 – Elizabeth Reaser, American actress
  • 1975 – Rachel Wacholder, American beach volleyballer
  • 1976 – Gary Lightbody, Irish musician (Snow Patrol)
  • 1977 – Nina Liu, Australian actress
  • 1978 – Wilfred Bouma, Dutch footballer
  • 1978 – Zach Day, American baseball player
  • 1979 – Yulia Nestsiarenka, Belarusian athlete
  • 1979 – Julia Schultz, American model
  • 1980 – Mary Carey, American pornographic actress
  • 1980 – Christopher Castile, American actor
  • 1980 – Almudena Cid, Spanish gymnast
  • 1980 – Cara Zavaleta, American model
  • 1981 – Billy Dean Martin, American musician (Good Charlotte)
  • 1981 – Jeremy Reed, American baseball player
  • 1982 – Abdur Razzak, Bangladeshi cricketer
  • 1982 – Haley Scarnato, American singer
  • 1983 – Derek Anderson, American football player
  • 1983 – Julia Fischer, German violinist
  • 1984 – Tim Lincecum, American baseball player
  • 1985 – Nadine Coyle, Northern Irish singer (Girls Aloud)
  • 1988 – Miku Ishida, Japanese teen idol

June 15 – Deaths:

  • 923 – Robert I of France (b. c. 865)
  • 991 – Empress Theophanu
  • 1073 – Emperor Go-Sanjo of Japan (b. 1034)
  • 1246 – Duke Frederick II of Austria (b. 1219)
  • 1341 – Andronikos III Palaiologos, Byzantine Emperor (b. 1297)
  • 1381 – John Cavendish, Lord Chief Justice of England
  • 1381 – Wat Tyler, English rebel
  • 1383 – John VI Cantacuzenus, Byzantine Emperor
  • 1389 – Prince Lazar, Serbian Orthodox saint (b. 1329)
  • 1467 – Philip III, Duke of Burgundy (b. 1396)
  • 1521 – Tamás Bakócz. Hungarian Catholic cardinal and statesman (b. 1442)
  • 1614 – Henry Howard, 1st Earl of Northampton, English politician (b. 1540)
  • 1679 – Guillaume Courtois, French painter (b. 1628)
  • 1724 – Henry Sacheverell, English churchman and politician (b. 1674)
  • 1750 – Marguerite De Launay, Baronne Staal, French writer (b. 1684)
  • 1768 – James Short, Scottish mathematician and optician (b. 1710)
  • 1772 – Louis-Claude Daquin, French composer (b. 1694)
  • 1849 – James Knox Polk, 11th President of the United States (b. 1795)
  • 1858 – Ary Scheffer, Dutch-French painter (b. 1795)
  • 1888 – Emperor Friedrich III of Germany (b. 1831)
  • 1889 – Mihai Eminescu, Romanian poet (b. 1850)
  • 1917 – Kristian Birkeland, Norwegian physicist (b. 1867)
  • 1934 – Alfred Bruneau, French composer (b. 1857)
  • 1941 – Evelyn Underhill, British writer (b. 1875)
  • 1941 – Otfrid Foerster, German neurologist (b. 1873)
  • 1962 – Alfred Cortot, Swiss pianist (b. 1877)
  • 1965 – E. A. Speiser, American Bible scholar (b. 1902
  • 1965 – Steve Cochran, American actor (b. 1917)
  • 1968 – Sam Crawford, baseball player (b. 1880)
  • 1968 – Wes Montgomery, American jazz guitarist (b. 1925)
  • 1971 – Wendell Meredith Stanley, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1904)
  • 1976 – Jimmy Dykes, baseball player and manager (b. 1896)
  • 1983 – Srirangam Srinivasarao, also known as Sri Sri, Telugu poet (b. 1910)
  • 1984 – Meredith Willson, American composer (b. 1902)
  • 1985 – Andy Stanfield, American athlete (b. 1927)
  • 1985 – Robert Stethem, U.S. Navy Seabee diver murdered by terrorists on TWA Flight 847 (b. 1961)
  • 1989 – Victor French, American actor (b. 1934)
  • 1989 – Maurice Bellemare, French Canadian politician (b. 1912)
  • 1991 – Arthur Lewis, British economist, Nobel laureate (b. 1915)
  • 1991 – Happy Chandler, American politician and Commissioner of Baseball (b. 1898)
  • 1993 – John Connally, American politician (b. 1917)
  • 1993 – James Hunt, English race car driver and one-time F1 world champion (b. 1947)
  • 1994 – Manos Hadjidakis, Greek composer (b. 1925)
  • 1995 – John Vincent Atanasoff, American computer pioneer (b. 1903)
  • 1996 – Ella Fitzgerald, American singer (b. 1917)
  • 1996 – Dick Murdoch, professional wrestler (b. 1946)
  • 2002 – Choi Hong Hi, founder of Taekwon-Do (b. 1918)
  • 2003 – Hume Cronyn, Canadian actor (b. 1911)
  • 2006 – Raymond Devos, French humourist (b. 1922)
  • 2006 – Herb Pearson, New Zealand cricketer (b. 1910)
  • 2007 – Claudia Cohen, American gossip columnist and socialite (b. 1950)
  • 2007 – Sherri Martel, American professional wrestler and valet (b. 1958)

June 15 – Holidays:

  • Commemoration of Evelyn Underhill (Anglican mystic and poet)
  • Roman Empire – ninth and final day of the Vestalia in honor of Vesta
  • Flag Day in Denmark
  • Malawi Freedom Day
  • Liturgical feasts:
    • Augustine of Hippo’s feast in many Eastern Orthodox Churches
    • Saint Vitus (observed with Sts. Modestus and Crescentia), patron of actors and epileptics
    • Saint Landelin (7th century)
    • Saint Edburga of Winchester (d. 960)
    • Saint Germaine Cousin, (d. 1601), patron of shepherdesses and of victims of child abuse
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