On This Day in History for May 15

Events in History

Events 1 - 100 of 178

  • 756 Abd-al-Rahman I becomes emir of Cordova, Spain
  • 884 Marinus I ends his reign as Catholic Pope
  • 1004 Henry II the Saint crowned king of Italy
  • 1213 King John of England names Stephen Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury
  • 1248 Archbishop Konrad von Hochstaden lays cornerstone for Cologne cathedral
  • 1252 Pope Innocent IV issues the papal bull ad exstirpanda, which authorizes, but also limits, the torture of heretics in the Medieval Inquisition.
  • 1492 Cheese & Bread rebellion: German mercenaries kill 232 residents of Alkmaar, Netherlands
  • 1514 Jodocus Badius Ascensius publishes Christiern Pedersen's Latin version of Saxo's Gesta Danorum, the oldest known version of that work.
  • 1525 The battle of Frankenhausen: German peasant army surrounded, 5,000 slaughtered ; ends the peasants' uprising

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1536 Anne Boleyn & brother George, Lord Rochford, accused of adultery and incest

  • 1572 Louis van Nassau & huguenots occupy Valenciennes
  • 1602 Cape Cod discovered by English navigator Bartholomew Gosnold
  • 1610 Parliament of Paris appoints Louis XIII (8) as French king

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1618 Johannes Kepler discovers harmonics law

Astronomer Johannes Kepler
Astronomer
Johannes Kepler
  • 1625 16 rebellious farmers hanged in Vocklamarkt, Upper-Austria
  • 1648 Treaty of Munster ratified by Spain & Netherlands
  • 1665 Pope Alexander VII appoints committe to investigate Jansenism
  • 1672 1st copyright law enacted by Massachusetts
  • 1701 The War of the Spanish Succession begins.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1711 Alexander Pope's "An Essay on Criticism" is published anonymously

  • 1718 James Puckle, a London lawyer, patents world's 1st machine gun

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1730 Robert Walpole becomes effectively Britain's 1st prime minister (was: chief min)

1st British Prime Minister Robert Walpole
1st British Prime Minister
Robert Walpole
  • 1791 Maximilien Robespierre proposes the Self-denying Ordinance.
  • 1793 Diego Marín Aguilera flies a glider for "about 360 metres", at a height of 5-6 metres, during one of the first attempted flights.
  • 1796 France & Sardinia sign Peace treaty of Paris
  • 1796 French troops occupy Milan

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1796 First Coalition: Napoleon enters Milan in triumph.

French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte
French Emperor
Napoléon Bonaparte
  • 1800 King George III survives a second assassination attempt
  • 1800 Pope Pius VII calls on French bishops to return to Gospel principles
  • 1817 Ambonese uprising against Dutch authority (modern Indonesia), under Thomas Matulesia (aka Kapitan Pattimura)
  • 1817 Opening of the first private mental health hospital in the United States, the Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason (now Friends Hospital) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1829 Joseph Smith ordained by John the Baptist according to Joseph Smith

Religious Leader Joseph Smith Jr
Religious Leader
Joseph Smith Jr
  • 1836 Francis Baily observes "Baily's Beads" during annular solar eclipse
  • 1849 Philadelphia Turngemeinde founded
  • 1851 Rama IV, [Phra Chomklao Chaoyuhua], king of Thai (1851-68), crowned
  • 1856 2nd SF Vigilance Committee organized
  • 1862 -May 17] Battle of Princeton WV
  • 1862 Battle of Drewry's Bluff (Ft Darling), Virginia
  • 1862 Confederate ship Alabama launched as the Enrica at Birkenhead, England, where she had been built in secret
  • 1862 US Department of Agriculture created
  • 1862 Major Gen Benjamin F Butler issues order (New Orleans) that confederate women abusing union soldiers be treated as whores
  • 1864 Battle of New Market, Virginia
  • 1864 Skirmish at Marksville (Avoyelles) (Red River Campaign)
  • 1868 Dutch government of Zuylen van Nijevelt falls

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1869 National Woman Suffrage Association forms in New York, founded by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Women's Rights Activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Women's Rights Activist
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Suffragette Susan B. Anthony
Suffragette
Susan B. Anthony
  • 1882 May Laws-Tsar Alexander III bans Jews from living in rural Romania
  • 1883 Italy signs military treaty with Austria-Hungary & Germany
  • 1885 Canadian Meti insurgent Louis Reil captured, Saskatchewan
  • 1891 British Central African Protectorate (now Malawi) forms
  • 1891 Operations begin at Philips & Co in Holland
  • 1891 Pope Leo XIII publishes encyclical Rerum novarum
  • 1896 Tornado kills 78 in Texas
  • 1897 The Greek army retreats with heavy losses in the Greco-Turkish War.
  • 1902 Lyman Gilmore is 1st person to fly a powered craft
  • 1902 Portugal bankrupt by revolt in Angola
  • 1905 Las Vegas Nevada founded
  • 1905 Pierre de Brazza reaches Leopoldville
  • 1910 The last time a major earthquake happened on the Elsinore Fault Zone.
  • 1911 British House of Commons accept Parliament Bill
  • 1911 Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Indiana University, incorporates
  • 1911 Supreme Court dissolves Standard Oil (Sherman Antitrust Act)
  • 1911 The Georgios Averof cruiser is bought by Greece.
  • 1914 Bolivia becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty.
  • 1914 US Colonel Edward House sails for Europe to persuade major powers to reduce armies and navies; from Germany, House reports: 'Everybody's nerves are tense; it only needs a spark to set the whole thing off'
  • 1916 Asiago, Italy, falls when Austrian troops attack the Italian front
  • 1916 Claiming that the USA must act to quell dangerous disorder, the government orders US Marines to land in Santo Domingo; the American occupation will continue until 1924
  • 1917 The first officer's training camp is opened in the US, as the country prepares for war
  • 1918 1st airmail postal service (NY, Philadelphia & Washington, D.C.)
  • 1918 1st regular airmail service (between NY & Wash) inaugurated
  • 1918 Greeks troops land at Smyrna
  • 1918 The Finnish Civil War ends.
  • 1921 British Legion formed to care for ex-servicemen
  • 1922 Germany turns over the Upper Silesia region to Poland under Allied pressure and despite a plebiscite in favor of merging with Germany
  • 1923 Cooperation of Dutch Molen forms
  • 1929 Fire in X-ray film stock kills 125 at Crile Clinic (Cleveland, Ohio)
  • 1930 Ellen Church becomes 1st female airline stewardess aboard a United flight from San Francisco to Cheyenne
  • 1931 Pope Pius XI publishes encyclical Quadragesimo anno
  • 1932 The 15th May Incident: in an attempted coup d'état, the Prime Minister of Japan Inukai Tsuyoshi is killed.
  • 1933 1st voice amplification system to be used in US Senate
  • 1934 US Department of Justice offers $25,000 reward for Dillinger, dead or alive
  • 1934 Karlis Ulmanis names himself fascist dictator of Latvia
  • 1935 The Moscow Metro is opened to public.
  • 1936 Amy Johnson arrives in Croydon, England from South Africa in a record 4 days and 16 hours
  • 1938 Paul-Henri Spak forms red coalition of Belgium
  • 1940 German armoured division moves into Northern France
  • 1940 German troops occupy Amsterdam, Gen Winkelman surrenders
  • 1940 Nazis capture General Dutch Persbureau (ANP)
  • 1940 USS Sailfish (SS-192) recomisioned, origionaly the Squalus.
  • 1940 McDonald's opens its first restaurant in San Bernardino, California.
  • 1941 1st British turbojet flies
  • 1941 British attack Halfaya-pass & Fort Capuzzo in Egypt & Libya
  • 1941 Nazi occupiers in Netherlands forbid Jewish music
  • 1942 Gasoline 1st rationed in US (17 Eastern States)
  • 1942 Nazi occupiers in Netherlands arrest 2,000 Dutch officers
  • 1943 Halifax bombers sinks U-463
  • 1943 Warsaw ghetto uprising ends in its destruction

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1943 Joseph Stalin dissolves the Comintern (or Third International).

Soviet General Secretary Joseph Stalin
Soviet General Secretary
Joseph Stalin
  • 1944 14,000 Jews of Munkacs, Hungary, deported to Auschwitz

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1944 Eisenhower, Montgomery, Churchill & George VI discuss D-Day plan

34th US President & WWII General Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th US President & WWII General
Dwight D. Eisenhower
King of Great Britain George VI
King of Great Britain
George VI
  • 1944 Sergei Aleksi becomes guardian of Patriarch Throne

Birthdays in History

  • 1565 Henrick de Keyser, architect/master builder of Amsterdam
  • 1608 René Goupil, French Catholic missionary (Canadian Martyrs) (d. 1642)
  • 1689 Mary Wortley Montagu, English essayist, feminist, eccentric (baptism 26 May)
  • 1720 Maximilian Hell, Slovakian astronomer (d. 1792)
  • 1749 Levi Lincoln, Sr., American revolutionary, statesman, politician, and acting Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1820)
  • 1773 Clemens L Metternich, Austrian prince
  • 1786 General Dimitris Plapoutas, a Revolutionary in the Greek War of Independence (d. 1864)
  • 1791 Baron Floris A van Hall, Dutch minister of Justice/Finance
  • 1802 Isaac Ridgeway Trimble, Major General (Confederate Army), (d. 1888)
  • 1810 Jacob Thompson, (Confederacy), (d. 1885)
  • 1817 Debendranath Tagore, Indian religious reformer (d. 1905)
  • 1819 Thomas Leonidas Crittenden, Major General (Union volunteers)
  • 1830 Laurence Simmons Baker, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1907)
  • 1830 Martinus W van der Aa, author/Dutch head-editor (The Time)
  • 1845 Ilya Mechnikov, Russian zoologist and bacteriologist known as the "father of natural immunity" (Nobel 1908), born in Ivanovka, Kharkov Governorate, Russian Empire
  • 1848 Viktor Vasnetsov, Russian painter (d. 1926)
  • 1855 Eduard von Keyserling, Baltic German writer (Dritte Stiege)
  • 1856 Lyman Frank Baum, NY, children's book author (Wizard of Oz)
  • 1857 Williamina Fleming, Scottish-born astronomer (d. 1911)
  • 1859 Pierre Curie, France, physicist (Nobel 1903)
  • 1860 Ellen Louise Axson Wilson, 1st wife of US President Woodrow Wilson
  • 1862 Arthur Schnitzler, Austria, playwright/novelist (La Ronde)
  • 1865 Albert Verwey, Dutch poet/literature historian (Motion)
  • 1880 Otto Dibelius, German theologist/bishop (Confessional Church)
  • 1888 Jean Wahl, French philosopher
  • 1889 Bessie Hillman, founder (Almalgamated Clothing Workers of America)
  • 1890 Katherine Anne Porter, US, novelist (Ship of Fools)
  • 1891 David Vogel, Ukraine, author (Huwelijksleven)
  • 1891 Fritz Feigl, Austria, chemist (spot tests)
  • 1891 Mikhail Bulgakov, Russia, playwright/novelist (Black Snow)
  • 1893 Stanley Lupino, English comic (Cheer Up, Over She Goes), born in London (d. 1942)
  • 1895 Charles Lamont, director (Abbott & Costello Go to Mars), born in San Francisco, California
  • 1895 William D. Byron, U.S. Congressman (d. 1941)
  • 1899 Jean-Etienne Valluy, French general (d. 1970)
  • 1901 Xavier Herbert, Australian author (d. 1984)
  • 1902 Richard J Daley, (Mayor-D-Chic)
  • 1903 Maria Reiche, German-born mathematician and archaeologist (d. 1998)
  • 1907 Phillip Piratin, communist
  • 1907 Sukhdev Thapar, Indian freedom fighter (d. 1931)
  • 1911 Max Frisch, Swiss architect/writer (Stiller, Biedermann)
  • 1911 Herta Oberheuser, Nazi doctor (d. 1978)
  • 1912 Alexis Kagame, Rwanda, priest/writer
  • 1914 Jack Pepys, immunologist
  • 1915 Paul A Samuelson, economist (1970 Nobel, 1947 John Bates Clark Medal)
  • 1915 Gus Viseur, French button accordionist (d. 1974)
  • 1920 Hugh Henry Home Popham, aviator/writer/poet
  • 1922 Enrico Berlinguer, Italian communist/sec-gen (CPI) [or May 25]
  • 1922 Jakucho Setouchi, Japanese writer and Buddhist nun
  • 1923 Richard Avedon, US, photographer (1957 ASMP award)
  • 1924 Jaime Garcia Terre, poet/essayist
  • 1924 Maria Koepcke, German ornithologist (d. 1971)
  • 1925 Jos Jacobs, Flemish director (Madonna of Nedermunster)
  • 1925 Mary Lyon, English geneticist (X-chromosome inactivation), born in Norwich, Norfolk (d. 2014)
  • 1926 Anthony Shaffer, Engish playwright (Sleuth), twin brother to Peter, born in Liverpool (d. 2001)
  • 1926 Peter Shaffer, English playwright (Equus, Amadeus), twin brother to Anthony, born in Liverpool (d. 2016)
  • 1930 Jasper Johns, painter/sculptor (Green Target), born in Augusta, Georgia
  • 1931 F Korthals Altes, Dutch minister of Justice (VVD)
  • 1934 David Robin Francis Guy Greville, 8th Duke of Warwick
  • 1936 Donald [Anthony] Moffitt, US, sci-fi author (Jupiter Theft)
  • 1936 Paul Zindel, playwright (Effects of Gamma Rays on Marigolds)
  • 1936 Wavy Gravy, American clown and activist
  • 1936 Ralph Steadman, British cartoonist
  • 1937 Madeleine Albright, American politician and diplomat and 1st female U.S. Secretary of State (1997-2001), born in Prague, Czechoslovakia
  • 1938 Lenny Welch, Asbury Park NJ, (Breaking up is Hard to Do)
  • 1939 Brian Hartley, mathematician
  • 1940 Roger Ailes, American TV executive and CEO of Fox News, born in Warren, Ohio (d. 2017)
  • 1942 Anthony Wayne England, PhD/astronaut (STS 51-F), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1942 Doug Lowe, 35th Premier of Tasmania
  • 1944 Bill Alter, Missouri State Senator
  • 1945 Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza, heir to the Portuguese crown
  • 1949 Frank L Culbertson Jr, Cmdr USN/astro (STS-38), born in Charleston, South Carolina
  • 1951 Frank Wilczek, American Physicist (2004 Nobel Prize), born in Mineola, New York
  • 1954 Robert P. Harrison, American thinker
  • 1957 Juan José Ibarretxe, Basque Lehendakari (Prime Minister)
  • 1963 George Heidweiler, Suriname, Dutch painter
  • 1968 Cecilia Malmström, Swedish politician

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1981 Zara Phillips, English daughter of Princess Anne, born in London

Daughter of Princess Anne Zara Phillips
Daughter of Princess Anne
Zara Phillips

Weddings in History

  • 1567 Mary, Queen of Scots marries James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell

HeartWedding of Interest

1825 Author Wilhelm Grimm (39) weds Henriette Dorothea

  • 1996 Auto racing champ-turned-TV commentator Danny Sullivan (46) weds former Manhattan financial planner Brenda Bosveld (33) in Monte Carlo, Monaco
  • 2009 Former Bachelorette star Jen Schefft (32) weds Chicago's public relations executive Joe Waterman (35) at the Private Dining Rooms of Spiaggia in Chicago, Illinois

Deaths in History

  • 392 Valentinianus II, emperor of Rome (375-392), murdered at 21
  • 884 Marinus I, [Martinus II], Pope (882-84), dies
  • 913 Hatto I, Archbishop of Mainz
  • 1036 Emperor Go-Ichijō of Japan (b. 1008)
  • 1157 Yury Dolgoruky, Russian prince
  • 1174 Nur ad-Din, King of Syria (1146-1174), dies at 56
  • 1381 Eppelein von Gailingen, German robber baron
  • 1482 Paolo Toscanelli, Italian physician & mapmaker, dies
  • 1585 Niwa Nagahide, Japanese warlord (b. 1535)
  • 1591 Dmitry Ivanovitch, youngest son of Russian Tsar Ivan IV, murdered at 8
  • 1621 Henrick de Keyser, Amsterdam's master builder, dies at 56
  • 1622 Peter Plancius, Flemish vicar/cartographer, dies at about 69
  • 1634 Hendrick Avercamp, Dutch painter (b. 1585)
  • 1685 Henri Otto, Spanish marquis of Caretto/Savona/Grana, dies
  • 1699 Edward Petre, English Jesuit and privy councilor (b. 1631)
  • 1714 Roger Elliott, British general and Governor of Gibraltar
  • 1740 Ephraim Chambers, English encyclopaedist (b. 1680)
  • 1760 Alaungpaya, King of Burma (b. 1711)
  • 1761 Jacob Mossel, governor-general (Dutch East Indies), dies at 56
  • 1773 Alban Butler, English Catholic priest and writer (b. 1710)
  • 1782 Marquis of Pombal, Prime Minister of Portugal (b. 1699)
  • 1801 Louis C count Barbiano de Belgioioso, Austrian diplomat, dies at 73
  • 1842 Emanuel A D M J count de las Cases, French historian (Napoleon), dies at 76
  • 1845 Samuel I Wiselius, Dutch lawyer/businessman/writer, dies at 76
  • 1852 Louisa Adams, US First Lady (1825-29), dies at 77
  • 1855 Jan Mazereeuw, Frisian farmer/sect leader, dies at 75
  • 1873 Alexander J Cuza, monarch of Moldavia/Romania, dies at 53
  • 1879 Gottfried Semper, German architect (b. 1803)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1886 Emily Dickinson, US poet, dies at 55

  • 1889 Alfred Potocki, premier Austrian/governor/viceroy of Galicia, dies
  • 1892 Arthur Hodister, British ivory seller (Heart of Darkness), murdered
  • 1895 Joseph Whitaker, British publisher (Whitaker' Almanack), dies at 75
  • 1899 Francisque Sarcey, French writer (Le Temps), dies at 70
  • 1924 Paul d'Estornelles de Constant, French diplomat/pacifist, dies at 71
  • 1926 Mohammed VI Vahideddin, last sultan of Turkey (1918-22), dies
  • 1932 Ki Inukai, premier Japan (1931-32), murdered
  • 1935 Kazimir Malevich, Polish/Ukrainian artist (b. 1878)
  • 1937 Phillip Snowden, British politician first Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer, dies at 72
  • 1940 Joseph Limburg, liberal 2nd-Member of parliament (1905-19), dies at 75
  • 1940 Willem A Bonger, Dutch criminologist (Race & Crime), suicide at 63
  • 1945 Major Courtney, US medal of honor marine, dies in battle of Sugar Loaf
  • 1945 Charles Williams, UK writer (b. 1886)
  • 1948 Edward Flanagan, American priest and founder of Boys Town (b. 1886)
  • 1954 William March, American writer (b. 1893)
  • 1956 Austin Osman Spare, English magician (b. 1886)
  • 1958 Michael G the Boer, historian (Harbor of Amsterdam), dies at 91
  • 1964 Cornelis H Edelman, Dutch geologist, dies at 61
  • 1964 Vladko Maček, Kingdom of Yugoslavia deputy prime minister (b. 1879)
  • 1965 Adrian Schoevers, Dutch director (Schoevers Institution), dies
  • 1967 Edward Hopper, US painter (House by Railroad), dies at 84
  • 1971 Tyrone Guthrie, English director, producer, and writer (b. 1900)
  • 1973 Willem H Rassers, Dutch cult anthropologist (Pandji-Novel), dies at 95
  • 1976 Samuel Eliot Morison, US historian (Admiral of Ocean Sea), dies at 88

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1978 Robert Menzies, 12th Prime Minister of Australia (1939-41, 1949-66) and its longest-serving, dies of a heart attack at 83

12th Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies
12th Australian Prime Minister
Robert Menzies
  • 1984 Lionel Charles Robbins, British economist, dies at 85
  • 1984 Francis Schaeffer, American theologian, philosopher, and pastor (b. 1912)
  • 1986 Theodore H White, US journalist (Making of Pres, Pulitzer), dies at 71
  • 1987 John Baur, museum director, dies at 78
  • 1991 Andreas Floer, German mathematician (b. 1956)
  • 1992 Robert Morris Page, US physicist (radar), dies at 88
  • 1993 Salah Ahmed Ibrahim, Sudanese writer, poet, and diplomat (b. 1933)
  • 1994 [Henry] John Baker, resistance fighter/journalist (Slogan), dies at 79
  • 1996 Charles B. Fulton, American jurist (b. 1910)
  • 1996 Claus Bremer, German dramatist, dies at 71
  • 2003 George Francis, British gangster (b. 1940)
  • 2005 Alan B. Gold, Quebec Chief Justice (b. 1917)
  • 2007 Jerry Falwell, American evangelist (b. 1933)
  • 2012 Carlos Fuentes, Mexican author, dies from a haemorrhage at 83
  • 2014 Jean-Luc Dehaene, Belgian politician, dies from a fall at 73
  • 2017 Ian Brady [Ian Duncan Stewart], British serial killer (Moors Murders), dies in prison at 79