- 1581 Commissioned by Catherine De Medici, the 1st ballet "Ballet Comique de la Reine", is staged in Paris
- 1815 Napoleon Bonaparte arrives on island of St Helena to begin his exile
- 1951 Mexican chemist Luis E. Miramontes synthesized the first oral contraceptive
- 1969 Vietnam Moratorium Day; millions nationwide protest the war
- 1993 Nelson Mandela & South Africa president F W de Klerk awarded Nobel Peace Prize
World War I: At Vincennes outside of Paris, Dutch dancer Mata Hari is executed by firing squad for spying for Germany.
On October 15, 1917