On This Day in History for December 15

Events in History

Events 1 - 100 of 152

  • 533 Byzantine general Belisarius defeats the Vandals, under King Gelimer, at the Battle of Ticameron
  • 687 St Sergius I begins his reign as Catholic Pope succeeding Conon
  • 1124 Chancellor Haimeric selects pope (Lamberto becomes Honorius II)
  • 1167 Sicilian chancellor Stephen du Perche moves the royal court to Messina to prevent a rebellion.
  • 1256 Hulagu Khan captures and destroys Hashshashin stronghold at Alamut, in present-day Iran, part of the Mongol offensive on Islamic southwest Asia
  • 1467 Stephen III of Moldavia defeats Matthias Corvinus of Hungary, with the latter being injured thrice, at the Battle of Baia.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1488 Bartolomeu Dias returns to Portugal after becoming 1st known European to sail round the Cape of Good Hope

Portuguese Explorer Bartolomeu Dias
Portuguese Explorer
Bartolomeu Dias
  • 1569 Westmoreland flees to Scotland
  • 1582 Leidse university names Rembert Dodoens prof of botany/medicine
  • 1582 Spanish Netherlands/Denmark/Norway adopt Gregorian calendar
  • 1586 Laevinus Torrentius, becomes bishop of Antwerp
  • 1593 State of Holland grants patent on windmill with a crankshaft
  • 1612 German Astronomer Simon Marius is 1st to observe Andromeda galaxy through a telescope
  • 1640 Duke of Braganca crowned King Johan IV of Portugal
  • 1660 Philippines: Andres Malongs rebels plunders Bagnotan
  • 1664 English colonizing Connecticut
  • 1667 Brandenburg declares himself neutral in Devolutie War
  • 1680 Tax revolt on Terschelling due to tax on cereal
  • 1688 Lord Delamere sides with King James II [NS 12/25]
  • 1745 Battle at Kesseldorf: Prussia beats Saksen & Austria
  • 1791 1st US law school established at University of Pennsylvania
  • 1791 US Bill of Rights ratified when Virginia gives its approval, becomes amendments 1-10 of the US constitution
  • 1792 1st life insurance policy issued in US (Philadelphia)
  • 1794 Revolutionary Tribunal abolished in France
  • 1810 1st Irish magazine in US, Shamrock, is published
  • 1815 Rossini gets assignment for Il barbiere di Siviglia
  • 1820 1st General pharmacopoeia in US published, Boston
  • 1836 Patent Office burns in Wash, DC

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1840 Napoleon Bonaparte receives a French state funeral in Paris 19 years after his death

French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte
French Emperor
Napoléon Bonaparte
  • 1854 1st street-cleaning machine in US 1st used in Philadelphia
  • 1859 GR Kirchoff describes chemical composition of Sun
  • 1863 Skirmish at Bean's Station, Tennessee (Knoxville Campaign)
  • 1863 Romania is using for the first time a mountain railway (from Anina to Oravita).
  • 1864 Battle of Nashville, TN
  • 1864 Raid on Stoneman: Abingdon & Glade Springs, VA
  • 1868 Shogunate rebels found Ezo Republic in Hokkaidō.
  • 1874 1st reigning king to visit US (of Hawaii) received by President Grant

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1877 Thomas Edison patents the phonograph

Inventor Thomas Edison
Inventor
Thomas Edison
  • 1893 Dvoráks "From the New World" premieres at Carnegie Hall NYC
  • 1899 Battle at Colenso, South Africa (Boers-British army)
  • 1905 The Pushkin House is established in St. Petersburg to preserve the cultural heritage of Alexander Pushkin
  • 1907 In Persia, the Shah leads a coup de'etat against the liberal Prime Minister Nasir ul-Mulk and imprisons him, but a popular uprising forces the Shah to restore Nasir ul-Mulk soon after
  • 1913 Nicaragua becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty.
  • 1914 Battle of Lodz ends; Russians retreat toward Moscow
  • 1914 British fleet forfeits chance to destroy German fleet in North Sea
  • 1914 Serbian troops retake Belgrade in Austria-Hungary
  • 1916 French defeat Germans in WW I Battle of Verdun
  • 1917 Moldavian Republic declares independence from Russia
  • 1917 World War I: An armistice is reached between the new Russian Bolshevik government and the Central Powers.
  • 1918 American Jewish Congress holds its 1st meeting
  • 1919 Edna St Vincent Millay's "Aria da Capo" premieres in NYC
  • 1919 Fiume (Rijeka) declares it's Independence
  • 1922 IVVV (association) peace congress on war forms in Hague
  • 1925 1st road with a depressed trough (Texas) opens to traffic
  • 1926 Facist national symbol elevated in Italy
  • 1927 Ed Hickman kidnaps child he later beheads
  • 1929 Walter Mittelholzer flies as 1st about the Kilimanjaro
  • 1934 Fokker F18 Snip flies to Neth West Indies
  • 1935 Max Euwe becomes world champ chess beating Alexander Alekhine
  • 1936 KVL-AM in Seattle Wash changes call letters to KEEN (now KING)
  • 1938 Groundbreaking begins for Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.
  • 1939 "Gone With the Wind" premieres in Atlanta
  • 1939 1st commercial manufacture of nylon yarn, Seaford, Delaware
  • 1939 Snip departs for 1st flight to Paramaribo/Curacao
  • 1941 Gas/electrical use restricted in Holland
  • 1941 German submarine U-127 sinks
  • 1941 Nazi's transfers 100 Czech citizens/Heinrich Himmler falls faint
  • 1941 North Africa: allied assault up Italians Gazala-posing
  • 1941 USS Swordfish becomes 1st US sub to sink a Japanese ship
  • 1941 The American Federation of Labor adopts a no-strike policy in war industries.
  • 1942 Massachusetts issues 1st US vehicular license plate tabs
  • 1944 Hizbu'allah (Arm forces for Allah) forms

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1944 US Congress gives General Eisenhower his 5th star

34th US President & WWII General Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th US President & WWII General
Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • 1944 US troops land on Mindoro
  • 1945 John J "Cardinal" O'Connor, ordained as a priest
  • 1948 Former state dept official Alger Hiss indicted in NYC for perjury

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1949 Albert Camus' "Les Justes" premieres in Paris

Author Albert Camus
Author
Albert Camus
  • 1950 NYC's Port Authority opens
  • 1952 Christine Jorgenson is 1st person to undergo a sex-change operation
  • 1952 Pope Pius XII publishes encyclical Orientales Ecclesias
  • 1954 Fordham University scraps football team for financial reasons
  • 1954 Netherlands Antilles becomes co-equal part of Kingdom of Netherlands
  • 1956 Emergency crisis in North Ireland proclaimed after IRA strikes
  • 1959 Everly Brothers record "Let It Be Me"
  • 1961 Adolf Eichmann convicted of crimes against humanity in Israel
  • 1961 Equal access rule, political parties get TV broadcasting time
  • 1961 JFK visits Puerto Rico
  • 1961 L J Suenens appointed archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels
  • 1962 Vaughn Meader's "1st Family" album goes #1 & stays #1 for 12 wks
  • 1964 1st time 4 people in space
  • 1964 Canada's House of Commons votes 163 to 78 to approve the red Maple Leaf Flag
  • 1965 3rd cyclone of year kills 15,000 at the mouths of the Ganges River in Bangladesh
  • 1965 Gemini 6 launched; makes 1st rendezvous in space (with Gemini 7)
  • 1965 Queen Juliana opens Zeeland Bridge to Oosterschelde
  • 1966 Audouin Dollfus discovers 10th satellite of Saturn, Janus
  • 1966 John W Mecom Jr becomes 1st owner of New Orlean Saints
  • 1967 Joe Garagiola joins "Today" show panel
  • 1967 The Silver Bridge collapses over the Ohio River in the US, killing 46 people
  • 1969 Plastic Ono Band, play their only concert at London's Lyceum Ballroom
  • 1969 SF Fire Dept replaces leather helmets with plastic ones

Birthdays in History


Person of interestPerson of Interest

37 Nero, 5th Emperor of Rome (54-68), born in Antium, Italy (d. 68)

Roman Emperor Nero
Roman Emperor
Nero
  • 1610 David Teniers II, Flemish courtpainter (Theatrum Pictorium)
  • 1648 Gregory King, English statistician (Natural & Political Observations)
  • 1735 Cesare Beccaria-Bonesana, Italian lawyer
  • 1778 Godert AGP baron van der Capellen, Dutch gov-gen (Dutch-Indies)
  • 1787 Charles Cowden Clarke, English editor/Shakespearean critic
  • 1793 Henry Charles Carey, economist (Principles of Poli Economy), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1802 Janos Bolyai, Romania, mathematician (non-Euclidean geometry)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1832 Gustave Eiffel, French engineer and architect who designed and built the Eiffel tower, born in Dijon, France (d. 1923)

Engineer and Achitect Gustave Eiffel
Engineer and Achitect
Gustave Eiffel
  • 1836 Edmond Picard, French/Belgian lawyer/writer (La forge Roussel)
  • 1848 Edwin Howland Blashfield, decorated the dome of Library of Congress

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1852 Henri Becquerel, French physicist who discovered radioactivity (Nobel 1903), born in Paris, France (d. 1908)

Physicist and Nobel Laureate Henri Becquerel
Physicist and Nobel Laureate
Henri Becquerel
  • 1852 Tewfik Pasja, khedive (viceroy) of Egypt
  • 1853 Jean B A Kessler, director of oil on Dutch Indies
  • 1859 Ludwik L Zamenhof, Russian Poland, physician/linguist (Esperanto)
  • 1860 Niels Ryberg Finsen, Denmark, physician/phototherapist (Nobel 1903)
  • 1861 Charles Edgar Duryea, inventor (1st auto built & operated in US)
  • 1863 Arthur D Little, US, chemist (patented rayon)
  • 1863 Paul [Prudent] Painlevé, French mathematician/minister/premier [NS]
  • 1870 Josef Hoffmann, Austrian architect
  • 1875 Emilio Jacinto, Filipino poet and revolutionary (d. 1899)
  • 1876 Ferdinand Hardekopf, writer
  • 1878 Hans Carossa, German writer, born in Tölz, Bavaria (d. 1956)
  • 1879 Hugo W C Bordewijk, Dutch lawyer
  • 1887 Pieter C A Geyl, historian (History of the Dutch Tribe)
  • 1888 Artturi A Leinonen, Finnish journalist/writer (Kati)/politician
  • 1888 Maxwell Anderson, US, dramatist (Winter Set, High Tor)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1892 J. Paul Getty, oil magnate (Getty Oil), born in Minneapolis, Minnesota (d. 1976)

Industrialist J. Paul Getty
Industrialist
J. Paul Getty
  • 1896 Carl Ferdinand Cori, US bio-chemist
  • 1896 George B Cressey, US geographer (Asia's Lands & Peoples)
  • 1896 Paul R Citroen, Dutch sculptor
  • 1896 Betty Smith, American author (d. 1972)
  • 1900 Francesco Messina, sculptor
  • 1902 Robert F. Bradford, 57th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1983)
  • 1904 William Hitzig, Austria, Maxwell physician
  • 1906 Betty Smith, novelist (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
  • 1907 Oscar Niemeyer, Brazilian architect (Brasilia), (d. 2012)
  • 1911 Nicholas P. Dallis, American psychiatrist and comic strip writer (d. 1991)
  • 1912 Ray Eames, American designer (d. 1988)
  • 1913 Muriel Rukeyser, US, poet (1977 Shelley Memorial Award)
  • 1913 Rik Jacobs, Flemish stage manager
  • 1915 Jose Toribio Merino Castro, admiral
  • 1916 Maurice Wilkins, England, physicist, worked with DNA (Nobel 1962)
  • 1917 Shan-ul-Haq Haqqee, linguist and writer of Pakistan (d. 2005)
  • 1920 Kurt Schaffenberger, American comics artist (d. 2002)
  • 1922 Alan Freed, Penn, DJ, accepted payola/introduced term "rock-n-roll"
  • 1923 Freeman Dyson, English-born American physicist
  • 1923 Uziel Gal, Israeli firearm designer (d. 2002)
  • 1923 Valentin Varennikov, Russian general and statesman
  • 1928 Jimmy Nelson, ventriloguist (Nestles, Farfel), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1928 Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Austrian artist (d. 2000)
  • 1930 Edna O'Brien, Irish novelist and short story writer (Girl with Green Eyes, Casualties of Peace)
  • 1931 Evald Schorm, director (Courage for Every Day), born in Prague, Czechoslovakia
  • 1933 Tim Conway, Willoughby Oh, comic (McHale's Navy, Carol Burnett Show)
  • 1937 John [Thomas] Sladek, US, sci-fi author (Tik-Tok, Bugs)
  • 1938 Dennis RB Madide, South African Internal minister of Transkei
  • 1943 Kathleen Blanco, American politician
  • 1943 Lucien den Arend, Dutch artist

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1944 Chico Mendes, Brazilian environmental activist and rubber tapper, born in Xapuri, Brazil (d. 1988)

Environmentalist Chico Mendes
Environmentalist
Chico Mendes

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1945 Michael King, New Zealand historian and author (Penguin History of New Zealand), born in Wellington, New Zealand

Historian and Author Michael King
Historian and Author
Michael King
  • 1947 Rodney Bingenheimer, Pioneering American radio personality
  • 1949 Ton [Teunis] Sijbrands, Dutch world checkers champion
  • 1952 Julie Taymor, American director
  • 1953 J. M. DeMatteis, American comic book writer
  • 1954 Alex Cox, director (Repo Man)
  • 1954 Mike Ratledge, author (2DAY & NEWDAY)/ratledgm@spawar.navy.mil
  • 1957 Mike McAlary, American journalist (d. 1998)
  • 1961 Reginald Hudlin, director (House Party)
  • 1961 Karin Resetarits, Austrian journalist
  • 1963 Andrew Luster, Max Factor heir
  • 1968 Osama Ali Maher, Swedish politician
  • 1981 Creighton Lovelace, American Baptist minister
  • 1985 Sheeba Reiter, Fla, illegitimate daughter of Jackie Mason

Weddings in History


HeartWedding of Interest

1875 Sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi (41) weds Jeanne-Emilie Baheux Puysieux in Newport, Rhode Island

  • 1960 King Boudouin of Belgium marries dona Fabiola de Mora y Aragon

HeartWedding of Interest

1983 Author Roald Dahl (67) weds Liccy Crosland (45) at Brixton Town Hall in South London

Author Roald Dahl
Author
Roald Dahl
  • 2007 "Marchesa" designer Georgina Chapman (31) weds Miramax mogul Harvey Weinstein (55) in Connecticut, USA

Deaths in History

  • 1025 Basilius II, the Bulgarendoder, Byzantine emperor (976-1025), dies
  • 1072 Alp Arslan, Turkish sultan in Persia (b. 1029)
  • 1230 Ottokar I, king of Bohemia (1197-1230), dies
  • 1263 King Haakon IV of Norway (b. 1204)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1515 Afonso de Albuquerque, Portuguese admiral, Duke of Goa and Viceroy of Portuguese India, dies at sea in sight of Goa at around 62

Admiral and Duke of Goa Afonso de Albuquerque
Admiral and Duke of Goa
Afonso de Albuquerque
  • 1576 Joachim Hopperus, [Hoppers], Frisian lawyer/politician, dies at 53
  • 1598 Philip van Marnix, Flemish ruler of St Aldegonde/poet, dies at 58
  • 1621 Charles d'albert duke of Luynes/PM of France, dies at 43
  • 1626 Adriaen de Vries, Dutch sculptor/painter, dies at about 70
  • 1673 Margaret Cavendish, English writer (b. 1623)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1675 Jan Vermeer, Dutch painter (Love Letter), dies at 43

Painter Jan Vermeer
Painter
Jan Vermeer
  • 1683 Izaak Walton, English writer (b. 1593)
  • 1688 Gaspar Fagel, lawyer/Neth grand pensionary (1672-88), dies at 54
  • 1699 Henrik A van Reede tot Drakenstein, Dutch botanist, dies at about 63
  • 1712 Sidney 1st earl of Godolphine, English minister of Finance, dies at 67
  • 1715 George Hickes, English linguist (Old German Philology), dies at 73
  • 1753 Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington, English architect (b. 1694)
  • 1817 Maria Walewska [Leszczinska], lover of emperor Napoleon I, dies
  • 1826 William Browser, revolting slave, executed in NYC
  • 1831 Paul R Cantzlaar, gov of Saba/Curacao/Dutch-West Indies, dies at 60
  • 1839 Matthijs I van Bree, Flemish court-painter, dies at 66
  • 1855 Jacques Charles François Sturm, French mathematician (b. 1803)
  • 1880 Carlo Boncompagni di Mombello, Italian minister of Justice, dies at 76
  • 1889 Ferdinand II A F A, King of Portugal, dies at 73

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1890 Sitting Bull, Hunkpapa-Sioux chief (Little Big Horn), killed by US Police aged 58 or 59

Lakota Sioux Chief Sitting Bull
Lakota Sioux Chief
Sitting Bull
  • 1896 John GR Acquoy, Dutch theologist/church historian, dies at 67
  • 1934 Maggie L. Walker, African American teacher and businesswoman (1st female Bank President),dies at 69
  • 1946 Conrad Haebler, historian (Hundert Kalenderinkunabeln), dies at 89
  • 1947 Arthur Machen, Welsh author (b. 1863)
  • 1950 Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Indian political leader, Iron Man of India (b. 1875)
  • 1951 Eric Drummond, British 1st Secretary-General of the League of Nations (1919-33), dies at 75
  • 1958 Wolfgang Ernst Pauli, Austrian-born American physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1900)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1966 Walt [Walter] Disney, animator, producer and co-founder of Walt Disney Co, dies at 65

Animator Walt Disney
Animator
Walt Disney
  • 1968 Antonio Barrette, Canadian politician, premier of Quebec (b. 1899)
  • 1971 Paul Pierre Lévy, French mathematician (b. 1886)
  • 1977 Wilfred Kitching, the 7th General of The Salvation Army (b. 1893)
  • 1984 Frank Spedding, Canadian Chemist whose uranium extraction process helped make possible the first atomic bomb, dies at 82
  • 1993 Kakuei Tanaka, PM of Japan (1972-74), dies
  • 1994 Henry Phelps Brown, British historian and economist, dies at 88
  • 1995 Manuel Gutierrez Mellado, PM of Defense of Spain (1977-81), dies at 83
  • 1996 Gerald Moverley, priest, dies at 74
  • 1996 Guiseppe Dossetti, politician/priest, dies at 83
  • 1996 Laurens Jan van der Post, South African writer, explorer and conservationist, dies at 90
  • 1997 Pananayiotis Taki Vatikiotis, middle east scholar, dies at 69
  • 2003 George Fisher, American political cartoonist (b. 1923)
  • 2004 Pauline Gore, mother of Al Gore (b. 1912)
  • 2005 Heinrich Gross, Austrian physician (b. 1914)
  • 2005 William Proxmire, U.S. Senator from Wisconsin (b. 1915)
  • 2007 Julia Carson, U.S. Congresswoman from Indiana (b. 1938)
  • 2008 León Febres Cordero, Ecuador's former President (b. 1931)
  • 2009 Oral Roberts, American television evangelist and author (b. 1918)
  • 2010 Eugene Victor Wolfenstein, American political scientist (b. 1940)
  • 2011 Christopher Hitchens, author and journalist (Vanity Fair, New Statesman) dies of oesophageal cancer aged 62.