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This Day In History

This Day In History - October 15

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October 15 is the 288th day of the year (289th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 77 days remaining until the end of the year.

Events

1066 – Edgar the Ætheling proclaimed King of England, but never crowned. Reigned until 10 December 1066.
1211 – Battle of the Rhyndacus: The Latin emperor Henry of Flanders defeats the Nicaean emperor Theodore I Lascaris.
1529 – The Siege of Vienna ends as the Austrians rout the invading Turks, turning the tide against almost a century of unchecked conquest throughout eastern and central Europe by the Ottoman Empire.
1582 – Pope Gregory XIII implements the Gregorian calendar. In Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain, October 4 of this year is followed directly by October 15.
1764 – Edward Gibbon observes a group of friars singing in the ruined Temple of Jupiter in Rome, which inspires him to begin work on The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
1783 – The Montgolfier brothers’ hot air balloon marks the first human ascent, by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier, (tethered balloon).
1793 – Queen Marie-Antoinette of France is tried and convicted in a swift, pre-determined trial in the Palais de Justice, Paris, and condemned to death the following day.
1815 – Napoleon I of France begins his exile on Saint Helena in the Atlantic Ocean.
1863 – American Civil War: The H. L. Hunley, the first submarine to sink a ship, sinks during a test, killing its inventor, Horace L. Hunley.
1864 – American Civil War: The Battle of Glasgow is fought, resulting in the surrender of Glasgow, Missouri, and its Union garrison, to the Confederacy.
1878 – The Edison Electric Light Company begins operation.
1880 – Mexican soldiers kill Victorio, one of the greatest Apache military strategists.
1888 – The “From Hell” letter sent by Jack the Ripper is received by investigators.
1894 – The Dreyfus affair: Alfred Dreyfus is arrested for spying.
1904 – The Russian Baltic Fleet leaves Reval, Estonia for Port Arthur during the Russo-Japanese War.
1910 – Airship America launched from New Jersey in the first attempt to cross the Atlantic by a powered aircraft.
1917 – World War I: At Vincennes outside of Paris, Dutch dancer Mata Hari is executed by firing squad for spying for the German Empire.
1928 – The airship, Graf Zeppelin completes its first trans-Atlantic flight, landing at Lakehurst, New Jersey, United States.
1932 – Tata Airlines (later to become Air India) makes its first flight.
1934 – The Soviet Republic of China collapses when Chiang Kai-shek’s National Revolutionary Army successfully encircles Ruijin, forcing the fleeing Communists to begin the Long March.
1939 – The New York Municipal Airport (later renamed LaGuardia Airport) is dedicated.
1940 – The President of Catalonia, Lluís Companys, is executed by the Spanish dictatorship of Francisco Franco, making him the only European president to have been executed.
1944 – The Arrow Cross Party (very similar to Hitler’s NSDAP (Nazi party)) takes power in Hungary.
1945 – World War II: The former premier of Vichy France Pierre Laval is shot by a firing squad for treason.
1951 – Mexican chemist Luis E. Miramontes conducts the very last step of the first synthesis of norethisterone, the progestin that would later be used in one of the first three oral contraceptives.
1951 – The first episode of I Love Lucy, an American television sitcom starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley, airs on the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS).
1953 – British nuclear test Totem 1 detonated at Emu Field, South Australia.
1954 – Hurricane Hazel devastates the eastern seaboard, killing 95 and causing massive floods as far north as Toronto. As a Category 4 upon landfall, it is the strongest storm on record to strike as far north as North Carolina.
1956 – Fortran, the first modern computer language, is shared with the coding community for the first time.
1965 – Vietnam War: The Catholic Worker Movement stages an anti-war rally in Manhattan including a public burning of a draft card; the first such act to result in arrest under a new amendment to the Selective Service Act.
1966 – Black Panther Party is created by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale.
1969 – Vietnam War; The Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam is held in Washington DC and across the US. Over 2 million demonstrate nationally; about 250,000 in the nation’s capital.
1970 – Thirty-five construction workers are killed when a section of the new West Gate Bridge in Melbourne collapses.
1970 – The domestic Soviet Aeroflot Flight 244 is hijacked and diverted to Turkey.
1971 – The start of the 2500-year celebration of Iran, celebrating the birth of Persia.
1979 – Black Monday in Malta. The Building of the Times of Malta, the residence of the opposition leader Eddie Fenech Adami and several Nationalist Party clubs are ransacked and destroyed by supporters of the Malta Labour Party.
1987 – The Great Storm of 1987 hits France and England.
1989 – Wayne Gretzky becomes the all-time leading points scorer in the NHL.
1990 – Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to lessen Cold War tensions and open up his nation.
1997 – The first supersonic land speed record is set by Andy Green in ThrustSSC (United Kingdom), exactly 50 years and 1 day after Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier in the Earth’s atmosphere.
1997 – The Cassini probe launches from Cape Canaveral on its way to Saturn.
2001 – NASA’s Galileo spacecraft passes within 112 miles of Jupiter’s moon Io.
2003 – China launches Shenzhou 5, its first manned space mission.
2003 – The Staten Island Ferry boat Andrew J. Barberi runs into a pier at the St. George Ferry Terminal in Staten Island, killing 11 people and injuring 43.
2005 – A riot in Toledo, Ohio breaks out during a National Socialist/Neo-Nazi protest; over 100 are arrested.
2007 – Seventeen activists in New Zealand are arrested in the country’s first post 9/11 anti-terrorism raids.
2008 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 733.08 points, or 7.87%, the second worst day in the Dow’s history based on a percentage drop.
2011 – Global protests break out in 951 cities in 82 countries.
Births

70 BC – Virgil, Roman poet (d. 19 BC)
1265 – Temür Khan, Emperor Chengzong of Yuan-China (d. 1307)
1471 – Konrad Mutian, German humanist (d. 1526)
1608 – Evangelista Torricelli, Italian physicist (d. 1647)
1686 – Allan Ramsay, Scottish poet (d. 1758)
1701 – Marie-Marguerite d’Youville, Canadian nun, founded Grey Nuns (d. 1771)
1711 – Elisabeth Therese of Lorraine (d. 1741)
1762 – Samuel Adams Holyoke, American composer and educator (d. 1820)
1784 – Thomas Robert Bugeaud, French marshal (d. 1849)
1785 – José Miguel Carrera, Chilean general and politician (d. 1821)
1814 – Mikhail Lermontov, Russian author (d. 1841)
1818 – Alexander Dreyschock, Czech pianist and composer (d. 1869)
1825 – Marie of Prussia (d. 1889)
1829 – Asaph Hall, American astronomer (d. 1907)
1836 – James Tissot, French painter (d. 1902)
1840 – Honoré Mercier, Canadian lawyer, journalist, and politician, 9th Premier of Quebec (d. 1894)
1844 – Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher (d. 1900)
1858 – John L. Sullivan, American boxer (d. 1918)
1865 – Albert Heijn, Dutch businessman (d. 1945)
1865 – Charles W. Clark, American baritone (d. 1925)
1872 – Wilhelm Miklas, Austrian politician, 3rd President of Austria (d. 1956)
1872 – August Nilsson, Swedish pole vaulter (d. 1921)
1874 – Alfred, Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, (d. 1899)
1878 – Paul Reynaud, French politician, 118th Prime Minister of France (d. 1966)
1879 – Jane Darwell, American actress (d. 1967)
1880 – Herman Glass, American gymnast (d. 1961)
1881 – P. G. Wodehouse, English author (d. 1975)
1882 – Charley O’Leary, American baseball player (d. 1941)
1884 – Archibald Hoxsey, American aviator (d. 1910)
1887 – Frederick Fleet, English crewman, survivor of the sinking of the RMS Titanic (d. 1965)
1890 – Álvaro de Campos, Portuguese poet (d. 1935)
1893 – Carol II of Romania, (d. 1953)
1894 – Moshe Sharett, Israeli politician, 2nd Prime Minister of Israel (d. 1965)
1898 – Boughera El Ouafi, Algerian runner (d. 1951)
1900 – Mervyn LeRoy, American director (d. 1987)
1905 – C. P. Snow, English chemist and author (d. 1980)
1906 – Hiram Fong, American politician (d. 2004)
1906 – Alicia Patterson, American publisher, co-founded Newsday (d. 1963)
1906 – Victoria Spivey, American singer-songwriter and pianist (d. 1976)
1907 – Varian Fry, American journalist (d. 1967)
1908 – Herman Chittison, American pianist (d. 1967)
1908 – John Kenneth Galbraith, Canadian-American economist (d. 2006)
1909 – Jesse L. Greenstein, American astronomer (d. 2002)
1909 – Robert Trout, American journalist (d. 2000)
1910 – Edwin O. Reischauer, American educator (d. 1990)
1912 – Nellie Lutcher, American singer and pianist (d. 2007)
1915 – Yitzhak Shamir, Israeli politician, 7th Prime Minister of Israel (d. 2012)
1916 – Al Killian, American trumpet player and bandleader (d. 2007)
1916 – George Turner, Australian science fiction author (d. 1997)
1917 – Jan Miner, American actress (d. 2004)
1917 – Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., American historian and critic (d. 2007)
1917 – Paul Tanner, American trombonist (Glenn Miller Orchestra) (d. 2013)
1919 – Malcolm Ross, American balloonist and physicist (d. 1985)
1920 – Chris Economaki, American sportscaster (d. 2012)
1920 – Mario Puzo, American author (d. 1999)
1920 – Henri Verneuil, French director (d. 2002)
1921 – Angelica Rozeanu, Romanian table-tennis player (d. 2006)
1922 – Agustina Bessa-Luís, Portuguese author
1922 – Preben Munthe, Norwegian economist (d. 2013)
1922 – William Y. Thompson, American historian and author (d. 2013)
1923 – Italo Calvino, Italian journalist and author (d. 1985)
1923 – Antonio Fontán, Spanish journalist and politician (d. 2010)
1923 – Eugene Patterson, American journalist and activist (d. 2013)
1924 – Marguerite Andersen, German-Canadian author and educator
1924 – Lee Iacocca, American businessman and author
1924 – Mark Lenard, American actor (d. 1996)
1924 – Frank X. McDermott, American politician (d. 2011)
1924 – Warren Miller, American director and producer
1925 – Mickey Baker, American guitarist (Mickey & Sylvia) (d. 2012)
1925 – Aurora Bautista, Spanish actress (d. 2012)
1926 – James E. Akins, American diplomat, United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (d. 2010)
1926 – Agustín García Calvo, Spanish philosopher and poet (d. 2012)
1926 – Michel Foucault, French philosopher (d. 1984)
1926 – Evan Hunter, American author (d. 2005)
1926 – Jean Peters, American actress (d. 2000)
1926 – Karl Richter, German conductor and organist (d. 1981)
1927 – Bill Henry, American baseball player
1930 – Fereydun M. Esfandiary, Iranian philosopher (d. 2000)
1931 – Freddy Cole, American singer and pianist
1931 – Gail Harris, American baseball player (d. 2012)
1931 – A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Indian scientist and politician, 11th President of India
1932 – Jaan Rääts, Estonian composer
1934 – N. Ramani, Indian flute player
1935 – Richard McTaggart, Scottish boxer
1935 – Bobby Morrow, American sprinter
1935 – Willie O’Ree, Canadian ice hockey player
1937 – Brad Corbett, American businessman (d. 2012)
1937 – Linda Lavin, American actress
1937 – Barry McGuire, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (The New Christy Minstrels)
1938 – Marv Johnson, American singer-songwriter and pianist (d. 1993)
1938 – Fela Kuti, Nigerian singer-songwriter, musician, and activist (d. 1997)
1938 – Robert Ward, American guitarist (d. 2008)
1940 – Tommy Bishop, English rugby player
1940 – Peter C. Doherty, Australian surgeon, Nobel Prize laureate
1942 – Harold W. Gehman, Jr., American admiral
1942 – Penny Marshall, American actress and director
1944 – Sali Berisha, Albanian politician, 2nd President of Albania
1944 – David Trimble, Irish politician, Nobel Prize laureate
1944 – Haim Saban, Egyptian-American businessman
1945 – Jere Burns, American actor
1945 – Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Spanish cardinal
1945 – Neophyte of Bulgaria, Bulgarian patriarch
1945 – Jim Palmer, American baseball player
1946 – Richard Carpenter, American singer-songwriter and pianist (The Carpenters)
1946 – Palle Danielsson, Swedish bassist
1946 – John Getz, American actor
1946 – Stewart Stevenson, Scottish politician
1947 – Jaroslav Erno Šedivý, Czech drummer (The Primitives Group and Life After Life)
1948 – Chris de Burgh, Argentinian-Irish singer-songwriter
1949 – Laurie McBain, American author
1949 – Prannoy Roy, Indian journalist, founded NDTV
1951 – Peter Richardson, English actor, director, and screenwriter
1951 – Rafael Vaganian, Armenian chess player
1951 – A. F. Th. van der Heijden, Dutch author
1953 – Betsy Clifford, Canadian skier
1953 – Tito Jackson, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (The Jackson 5)
1953 – Larry Miller, American actor and comedian
1953 – Walter Jon Williams, American science fiction author
1954 – Peter Bakowski, Australian poet
1954 – Jere Burns, American actor
1954 – Princess Friederike of Hanover
1955 – Kulbir Bhaura, Indian field hockey player
1955 – Al Green, American wrestler (d. 2013)
1955 – Tanya Roberts, American actress
1957 – Michael Caton-Jones, Scottish director
1957 – Mira Nair, Indian director
1957 – Stacy Peralta, American director
1958 – Stephen Clarke, English-French author
1958 – Renée Jones, American actress
1959 – Sarah, Duchess of York
1959 – Emeril Lagasse, American chef and author
1959 – Alex Paterson, English keyboard player (The Orb and Transit Kings)
1959 – Todd Solondz, American director
1963 – Stanley Menzo, Dutch footballer and manager
1964 – Roberto Vittori, Italian astronaut
1965 – Nasser El Sonbaty, German bodybuilder (d. 2013)
1966 – Jorge Campos, Mexican footballer
1966 – Bill Charlap, American pianist
1966 – Ilse Huizinga, Dutch singer
1966 – Dave Stead, English drummer (Beautiful South)
1967 – Götz Otto, German actor
1968 – Jyrki 69, Finnish singer-songwriter (The 69 Eyes)
1968 – Didier Deschamps, French footballer
1968 – Vanessa Marcil, American actress
1969 – Vítor Baía, Portuguese footballer
1969 – Paige Davis, American actress
1969 – Dominic West, English actor
1970 – Eric Benét, American singer-songwriter and actor
1971 – Jason Arhndt, American wrestler
1971 – Andrew Cole, English footballer
1972 – Fred Hoiberg, American basketball player
1972 – Matt Keeslar, American actor
1972 – Sandra Kim, Belgian singer
1973 – Dax Riggs, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (Acid Bath, Daisyhead & The Mooncrickets, Agents of Oblivion, and Deadboy & the Elephantmen)
1974 – Bianca Rinaldi, Brazilian actress
1975 – Ginuwine, American singer-songwriter and actor
1975 – Alessandro Doga, Italian footballer
1975 – Glen Little, English footballer
1976 – Christian Allen, American video game designer
1976 – Manuel Dallan, Italian rugby player
1977 – Polow da Don, American hip-hop record producer
1977 – Masato Kawabata, Japanese race car driver
1977 – Erin McKeown, American singer-songwriter
1977 – David Trezeguet, French footballer
1977 – Patricio Urrutia, Ecuadorian footballer
1978 – Devon Gummersall, American actor
1978 – Takeshi Morishima, Japanese wrestler
1979 – Bohemia, Pakistani-American rapper and producer
1979 – Blue Adams, American football player
1979 – Paul Robinson, English footballer
1979 – Jaci Velasquez, American singer
1979 – Māris Verpakovskis, Latvian footballer
1980 – Tom Boonen, Belgian cyclist
1980 – Siiri Nordin, Finnish singer-songwriter (Killer)
1981 – Keyshia Cole, American singer-songwriter
1981 – Elena Dementieva, Russian tennis player
1981 – Abram Elam, American football player
1981 – Guo Jingjing, Chinese diver
1981 – Radoslav Židek, Slovak snowboarder
1982 – Paulini, Fijian-Australian singer-songwriter and actress
1982 – Charline Labonté, Canadian ice hockey player
1982 – Sachiko Yamada, Japanese swimmer
1983 – Holly Montag, American reality TV personality
1983 – Stephy Tang, Hong Kong singer and actress (Cookies)
1983 – Bruno Senna, Brazilian race car driver
1984 – Johan Voskamp, Dutch footballer
1985 – Arron Afflalo, American basketball player
1985 – Walter Alberto López, Uruguayan footballer
1985 – Marcos Martínez, Spanish race car driver
1986 – Lee Donghae, South Korean singer-songwriter and actor (Super Junior and Super Junior-M)
1986 – Carlo Janka, Swiss skier
1987 – Jesse Levine, Canadian-American tennis player
1987 – Chantal Strand, Canadian voice actress and singer
1987 – Ott Tänak, Estonian rally driver
1988 – Mesut Özil, German footballer
1989 – Blaine Gabbert, American football player
1989 – Leandro Antonio Martínez, Argentinian-Italian footballer
1989 – Alen Pamić, Croatian footballer (d. 2013)
1990 – Jeon Ji-yoon, South Korean singer (4minute)
1992 – Vincent Martella, American actor
1995 – Billy Unger, American actor
1996 – Zelo, South Korean singer (B.A.P)
1999 – Bailee Madison, American actress
2005 – Prince Christian of Denmark
Deaths

898 – Lambert II of Spoleto (b. 880)
912 – Abdullah ibn Muhammad al-Umawi, Spanish emperor (b. 844)
1080 – Rudolf of Rheinfelden (b. 1025)
1326 – Walter de Stapledon, English bishop (b. 1261)
1389 – Pope Urban VI (b. 1318)
1564 – Andreas Vesalius, Flemish anatomist (b. 1514)
1690 – Juan de Valdés Leal, Spanish painter and etcher (b. 1622)
1715 – Humphry Ditton, English mathematician (b. 1675)
1788 – Samuel Greig, Scottish-Russian admiral (b. 1735)
1810 – Alfred Moore, American judge (b. 1755)
1811 – Nathaniel Dance-Holland, English painter (b. 1735)
1817 – Tadeusz Kościuszko, Lithuanian-Polish military officer (b. 1746)
1819 – Sergey Vyazmitinov, Russian general and statesman (b. 1744)
1820 – Karl Philipp Fürst zu Schwarzenberg, Austrian field marshal (b. 1771)
1837 – Ivan Dmitriev, Russian statesman and poet (b. 1760)
1891 – Gilbert Arthur à Beckett, English author (b. 1837)
1900 – Zdeněk Fibich, Czech composer (b. 1850)
1910 – Stanley Ketchel, American boxer (b. 1886)
1917 – Mata Hari, Dutch dancer (b. 1876)
1918 – Sai Baba of Shirdi, Indian guru (b. 1838)
1930 – Herbert Henry Dow, Canadian-American businessman, founded the Dow Chemical Company (b. 1866)
1934 – Emil Beyer, American gymnast (b. 1876)
1934 – Raymond Poincaré, French politician, President of France (b. 1860)
1945 – Pierre Laval, French politician, Prime Minister of France (b. 1883)
1946 – Hermann Göring, German nazi politician (b. 1893)
1948 – Edythe Chapman, American actress (b. 1863)
1955 – Fumio Hayasaka, Japanese composer (b. 1914)
1959 – Lipót Fejér, Hungarian mathematician (b. 1880)
1960 – Clara Kimball Young, American actress (b. 1890)
1961 – Suryakant Tripathi ‘Nirala’, Indian poet and author (b. 1896)
1963 – Horton Smith, American golfer (b. 1908)
1964 – Cole Porter, American composer (b. 1891)
1965 – Abraham Fraenkel, Israeli mathematician (b. 1891)
1966 – Frederick Montague, 1st Baron Amwell, English politician (b. 1876)
1968 – Virginia Lee Burton, American children’s author and illustrator (b. 1909)
1976 – Carlo Gambino, Italian-American mobster (b. 1902)
1980 – Mikhail Lavrentyev, Russian physicist and mathematician (b. 1900)
1980 – Apostolos Nikolaidis, Greek footballer and volleyball player (b. 1896)
1981 – Philip Fotheringham-Parker, English race car driver (b. 1907)
1987 – Thomas Sankara, Burkinan military officer and politician, 5th President of Burkina Faso (b. 1949)
1988 – Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji, English composer, music critic, pianist, and writer (b. 1892)
1990 – Delphine Seyrig, French actress (b. 1932)
1994 – Sarah Kofman, French philosopher (b. 1934)
1995 – Bengt Åkerblom, Swedish ice hockey player (b. 1967)
1995 – Marco Campos, Brazilian race car driver (b. 1976)
1998 – Colette Darfeuil, French actress (b. 1906)
1999 – Josef Locke, Irish tenor (b. 1917)
2000 – Konrad Emil Bloch, Prussian-American biochemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1912)
2000 – Vincent Canby, American critic (b. 1924)
2001 – Zhang Xueliang, Chinese warlord (b. 1901)
2003 – Ben Metcalfe, Canadian journalist and activist (b. 1919)
2005 – Jason Collier, American basketball player (b. 1977)
2005 – Matti Wuori, Finnish politician (b. 1945)
2007 – Piet Boukema, Dutch jurist and politician (b. 1933)
2008 – Edie Adams, American actress and singer (b. 1927)
2008 – Fazıl Hüsnü Dağlarca, Turkish poet (b. 1914)
2008 – Jack Narz, American game show host (b. 1922)
2009 – Heinz Versteeg, Dutch footballer (b. 1939)
2010 – Richard C. Miller, American photographer (b. 1912)
2010 – Mildred Fay Jefferson, American physician and activist (b. 1926)
2010 – Johnny Sheffield, American actor (b. 1931)
2011 – Betty Driver, English actress, singer, and author (b. 1920)
2012 – Claude Cheysson, French politician (b. 1920)
2012 – Patrick R. Cooney, American bishop (b. 1934)
2012 – Erol Günaydın, Turkish actor (b. 1933)
2012 – Norodom Sihanouk, Cambodian king and politician, Prime Minister of Cambodia (b. 1922)
2012 – Pat Ward, American politician (b. 1957)

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