Today in History: September 15

Today in History

September 15
1588   The Spanish Armada, which attempted to invade England, is destroyed by a British fleet.
1776   The British occupy Manhattan.
1788   An alliance between Britain, Prussia and the Netherlands is ratified at the Hague.
1858   The Butterfield Overland Mail Company begins delivering mail from St. Louis to San Francisco. The company’s motto is: “Remember, boys, nothing on God’s earth must stop the United States mail!”
1862   Confederates capture Harpers Ferry, securing the rear of Robert E. Lee‘s forces in Maryland.
1891   The Dalton gang holds up a train and takes $2,500 at Wagoner, Oklahoma.
1914   President Woodrow Wilson orders the Punitive Expedition out of Mexico. The Expedition, headed by General John Pershing, had been searching for Pancho Villa, a Mexican revolutionary.
1916   Armored tanks are introduced by the British during the Battle of the Somme.
1928   Scottish bacteriologist Alexander Fleming discovers, by accident, that the mold penicillin has an antibiotic effect.
1935   In Berlin, the Reich under Adolf Hitler adopts the swastika as the national flag.
1937   Prime Minister of England Neville Chamberlain flies to Germany to discuss the future of Czechoslovakia with Adolf Hitler.
1939   The Polish submarine Orzel arrives in Tallinn, Estonia, after escaping the German invasion of Poland.
1940   The desperate Battle of Britain reaches its climax after the Luftwaffe is decisively repulsed by the RAF, suffering severe losses. While German bombing raids on British cities continues well into May the following year, Britain remains firmly in control of its skies and Adolf Hitler postpones Operation Sea Lion, the proposed invasion of the United Kingdom, indefinitely. [From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]
1950   U.N. Forces, lead by the U.S. Marine Corps, invade occupied Korea at the port of Inchon. Considered the greatest amphibious attack in history, it is the zenith of General Douglas MacArthur‘s career.
1959   Nikita Khrushchev becomes the first Soviet leader to visit the US.
1961   Hurricane Carla comes ashore in Texas, the second-most powerful storm ever to make landfall in that state.
1963   Four young African-American girls are killed by the bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama.
1966   US President Lyndon Johnson urges Congress to adopt gun control legislation in the wake of Charles Whitman’s sniper attack from the University of Texas’s Texas Tower; in all, Whitman shot and killed 15 people before being shot dead himself by an Austin police officer.
1968   The USSR launches Zond 5, which becomes the first spaceship to orbit the moon and reenter Earth’s atmosphere.
1971   The environmental group Greenpeace is founded.
1981   Sandra Day O’Connor is unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee to become the first female justice on the US Supreme Court.
1983   Menachem Begin resigns as premier of Israel.
1990   France announces it will send 4,000 troops to join those of other nations assembling in the Persian Gulf to protect Saudi Arabia and force Iraq’s dictator Saddam Hussein to withdraw troops from occupied Kuwait.
1998   MCI WorldCom begins operations after a landmark merger between World Com and MCI Communications.
2004   National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman announces a lockout of the players’ union.
2008   The largest Chapter 11 bankruptcy in US history is filed by Lehman Brothers financial services firm.
Born on September 15
1789   James Fenimore Cooper, novelist whose works include The Pioneers and The Last of the Mohicans.
1857   William Howard Taft, 26th president of the United States (1909-1913).
1889   Robert Benchley, humorist.
1890   Agatha Christie, English writer of mystery novels.
1890   Claude McKay, poet and novelist, part of the Harlem Renaissance.
1894   Jean Renoir, French film director (Grand Illusion, The Rules of the Game).
1901   Sir Howard Bailey, British engineer who gave his name to a prefabricated bridge used extensively during World War II.
1926   Bobby Short, singer and pianist.
1945   Jesse Norman, soprano.
1946   Oliver Stone, film director and screenwriter (Platoon, JFK).
1958   Wendie Jo Sperber, actress (I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Back to the Future).
1961   Dan Marino, American pro football quarterback who led the Miami Dolphins to 10 playoffs in his 17-year career and set many NFL passing records.
1977   Tom Hardy, actor; won a BAFTA Rising Star Award for Inception.
1984   Prince Harry of Wales, Prince of Wales; currently fourth in the line of succession to the British throne.

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