Today in History

October 15

1529   Ottoman armies under Suleiman end their siege of Vienna and head back to Belgrade.
1582   The Gregorian (or New World) calendar is adopted in Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal; and the preceding ten days are lost to history.
1783   Francois Pilatre de Rozier makes the first manned flight in a hot air balloon. The first flight was let out to 82 feet, but over the next few days the altitude increased up to 6,500 feet.
1813   During the land defeat of the British on the Thames River in Canada, the Indian chief Tecumseh, now a brigadier general with the British Army (War of 1812), is killed.
1863   For the second time, the Confederate submarine H L Hunley sinks during a practice dive in Charleston Harbor, this time drowning its inventor along with seven crew members.
1878   Thomas A. Edison founds the Edison Electric Light Co.
1880   Victorio, feared leader of the Minbreno Apache, is killed by Mexican troops in northwestern Chihuahua, Mexico.
1892   An attempt to rob two banks in Coffeyville, Kan., ends in disaster for the Dalton gang as four of the five outlaws are killed and Emmet Dalton is seriously wounded.
1894   Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish army officer, is arrested for betraying military secrets to Germany.
1914   Congress passes the Clayton Anti-Trust Act, which labor leader Samuel Gompers calls “labor’s charter of freedom.” The act exempts unions from anti-trust laws; strikes, picketing and boycotting become legal; corporate interlocking directorates become illegal, as does setting prices which would effect a monopoly.
1917   Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan Mata Hari is executed by firing squad at Vincennes, outside Paris, on charges of spying for the German Empire during World War I. [From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]
1924   A German ZR-3 flies 5000 miles, the furthest Zeppelin flight to date.
1941   Odessa, a Russian port on the Black Sea which has been surrounded by German troops for several weeks, is evacuated by Russian troops.
1945   Vichy French Premier Pierre Laval is executed by a firing squad for his wartime collaboration with the Germans.
1950   President Harry Truman meets with General Douglas MacArthur at Wake Island to discuss U.N. progress in the Korean War.
1964   Nikita Khrushchev is replaced by Leonid Brezhnev as leader of the Soviet Union.
1966   Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale establish the Black Panther Party, an African-American revolutionary socialist political group, in the US.
1969   Rallies for The Moratorium to End the War  in Vietnam draw over 2 million demonstrators across the US, a quarter million of them in the nation’s capital.
1987   The Great Storm of 1987 strikes the UK and Europe during the night of Oct 15-16, killing over 20 people and causing widespread damage.
1989   Canadian hockey player Wayne Gretzky makes his 1,851st goal, breaking the all-time scoring record in the National Hockey League.
1990   Mikhail Gorbachev, leader of the USSR, receives the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in making his country more open and reducing Cold War tensions.
1997   Andy Green of the UK becomes the first person to break the sound barrier in the Earth’s atmosphere, driving the ThrustSSC supersonic car to a record 763 mph (1,228 km/h).
2003   China launches its first manned space mission, Shenzhou I.
2007   New Zealand police arrest 17 people believed to be part of a paramilitary training camp.
2008   The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummets 733.08 points, the second-largest percentage drop in the Dow’s history.
2011   Protests break out in countries around the globe, under the slogan “United for Global Democracy.”
Born on October 15
70 BC   Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro), Roman poet.
1830   Helen Hunt Jackson, writer and poet.
1844   Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher and writer.
1881   P.G. Wodehouse, novelist and playwright.
1905   C.P. Snow, novelist.
1908   John Kenneth Galbraith, economist, writer and diplomat.
1910   Torbjorn Oskar Caspersson, Swedish cytologist and geneticist.
1917   Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author.
1920   Mario Puzo, novelist and screenwriter best known for The Godfather.
1923   Italo Calvino, Italian novelist.
1924   Lee Iacocca, engineer, businessman; assisted in designing the Ford Mustang and the Pinto; later, as CEO of Chrysler Corp., he is credited with saving Chrysler from extinction.
1926    Evan Hunter, author, screenwriter; born Salvatore Albert Lombino, he legally changed his name to Evan Hunter in 1952 and created the pen name Ed McBain in 1956. As Evan Hunter he wrote The Blackboard Jungle novel and the screenplay for The Birds; as Ed McBain he created the popular 87th Precinct series that became benchmarks of the police procedural mystery genre.
1940   Peter C. Doherty, veterinary surgeon, medical researcher; shared the 1995 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine; named Australian of the Year 1997.
1942   Penny Marshall, actress, producer, director; Laverne of the Laverne & Shirley TV sitcom (1976-83); directed Big (1988), the first film directed by a woman to gross over $100 million in US box office receipts.
1944   William David Trimble, Baron Trimble; British politician who served as First Minister of Northern Ireland (1998–2002); shared 1998 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in negotiating the Good Friday Agreement.
1954   Princess Friederike of Hanover.
2005   Prince Christian of Denmark, Count of Monpezat.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *