On This Day

Historical Events on April 15

  • 69 Battle at Bedriacum, North-Italy
  • 1205 Battle at Adrianople: Bulgaria beats Emp Boudouin of Constantinople
  • 1250 Pope Innocent IV refuses Jews of Cordova, Spain their request to build a synagogue
  • 1250 Kublai is acclaimed the Great Khan by a Mongol Great Council

Historic Event

1385 At war with Castile, John I of Portugal instructs his ambassadors to negotiate an alliance with Richard II of England and to raise loans to pay his troops

  • 1450 Battle of Formigny: French defeat the English decisively in the Hundred Years' War, paving the way for the capture of English strongholds in Normandy

Meeting of Interest

1493 -20/4] Columbus meets with the Spanish monarchs Isabella I and Ferdinand II in Barcelona

  • 1528 Pánfilo the Narváez, Spanish conquistador arrives in Florida with 350 men to a hostile reception from native indians

Appointment of Interest

1534 Thomas Cromwell is appointed Chief Secretary to King Henry VIII of England

Historic Event

1581 Cortes van Thomar accepts Philip II as king of Portugal

  • 1594 Fleming Pieter Stevens appointed royal painter of Rudolf II (Prague)
  • 1621 Hugo Grotius arrives in France after escaping prison in a book chest
  • 1632 Battle of Rain; Swedes under Gustavus Adolphus defeat Count Tilly of the Holy Roman Empire during the Thirty Years' War.
  • 1654 England & Netherlands sign peace treaty

Declaration of War

1689 French King Louis XIV declares war on Spain

Historic Event

1697 Charles XII succeeds Charles XI as King of Sweden

  • 1715 Pocotaligo Massacre triggers the start of the Yamasee War in colonial South Carolina.
  • 1716 Great Northern War: Prussian troops occupy Swedish controlled German port of Wismar

Music Premiere

1729 Johann Sebastian Bach's "St Matthew Passion" premieres in Leipzig

Music Premiere

1738 Premiere in London of "Serse", an Italian opera by George Frideric Handel

Historic Publication

1755 Samuel Johnson's "A Dictionary of the English Language" published in London

  • 1776 Duchess of Kingston found guilty of bigamy
  • 1783 American Revolution: the Continental Congress ratified preliminary articles of peace, ending the seven-year-long war with Great Britain.
  • 1788 Britain, Netherlands & Prussia sign peace treaty
  • 1793 Bank of England issues first £5 note

Historic Event

1802 William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy see a "long belt" of daffodils, inspiring the former to pen "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud".

  • 1817 1st American school for the deaf opens (Hartford, Connecticut)
  • 1817 The American Asylum [now American School for the Deaf (ASD)], 1st permanent US school for deaf founded by Rev. Thomas Gallaudet, Dr. Mason Cogswell, and teacher Laurent Clercn (West Hartford, Connecticut,)
  • 1850 City of San Francisco incorporated
  • 1851 Earl G Andressy sentenced to death in Hungary
  • 1853 Protestant church questions king Willem III RC bishops
  • 1858 Battle of Azimghur, Mexicans defeat Spanish loyalists

Historic Event

1861 Federal army (75,000 volunteers) mobilized by US President Abraham Lincoln (US Civil War)

Historic Event

1862 American poet Emily Dickinson first corresponds with author and future literary mentor Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a relationship that lasts the rest of her life

  • 1864 General Steeles' Union troops occupies Camden, Arkansas
  • 1865 Mobile, Alabama is captured by Union forces after a siege led by General Canby

Historic Event

1865 Otto von Bismarck elevated to rank of Count of Bismarck-Schönhausen

Abraham Lincoln's Deathbed

1865 Abraham Lincoln dies nine hours after he is shot by John Wilkes Booth while attending the play "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theatre in Washington

  • 1870 Last day US silver coins allow to circulate in Canada
  • 1874 NY legislature passes compulsory education law
  • 1877 Boston-Somerville installs the world's 1st telephone in Massachusetts
  • 1878 Harley Procter introduces Ivory Soap

Historic Publication

1880 Guy de Maupassant's short story masterpiece "Boule de Suif" (Dumpling) is first published in the collection "Les Soirées de Médan"

Historic Event

1892 General Electric Company formed by merger of Thomas Edison's General Electric Company with Thomson-Houston Electric Company, arranged by J. P. Morgan and incorporated in NY

  • 1895 Josephine Blatt (US) makes hip-and-harness lift of 3564 lb (record)
  • 1896 1st modern Summer Olympic Games close in Athens, Greece; USA wins gold medal count, 11; Greece wins total medal count, 46; IOC has retroactively assigned gold, silver & bronze medals to 3 best placed athletes in each event
  • 1900 Exposition Universelle (World's Fair) in Paris opens (till 12th Nov)
  • 1900 An early 50 mile race is won by an electric car in over 2 hrs
  • 1901 1st British motorized burial
  • 1901 5th Boston Marathon won for second straight year by Canadian Jim Caffrey in race record 2:29:23.6

Historic Event

1901 Pope Leo XIII issues an allocution deploring hostile actions against the Roman Catholic Church throughout Europe

  • 1902 Pope Leo XIII encyclical "On Church in US"
  • 1902 Rioting and arson continue in Russia with peasants plundering estates to find food.
  • 1902 Russian minister of interior and head of secret police, Sipyengin, is assassinated by the 'Terror Brigade' of the Socialist Revolutionaries
  • 1906 The Armenian organization AGBU is established.
  • 1907 11th Boston Marathon won by Canadian Tom Longboat in race record 2:24:24

Sports History

1910 William Howard Taft is first US President to throw out the 1st ball at a baseball game

  • 1911 Jack Lawrence Theater (Playhouse) opens at 137 W 48th St NYC

Baseball Record

1911 Walter Johnson pitches a record tying 4 strike outs in an inning

Iceberg Sinks 'Unsinkable' Titanic

1912 RMS Titanic sinks at 2:27 AM off Newfoundland as the band plays on, with the loss of between 1,490 and 1,635 people

  • 1912 16th Boston Marathon won by Mike Ryan in race record 2:21:18.2
  • 1915 Manuel de Falla's ballet "El Amor Brujo" premieres in Madrid
  • 1915 NY Giant Rube Marquard no-hits Bkln, 2-0

Historic Publication

1918 Georges Clémenceau publishes secret French/Austrian documents

  • 1918 22nd Boston Marathon won by Camp Devens relay team; race run as relay for 10-man military teams
  • 1920 New Canadian small cent coin is released
  • 1920 Sacco & Vanzetti Trial: paymaster shot and killed along with his guard
  • 1921 Black Friday in Britain: leaders of transport and rail unions announce a decision not to call for strike action in support of the miners; despite widespread feeling decision a breach of solidarity and a betrayal of the miners
  • 1922 The legendary Poodle Dog Restaurant closes in San Francisco
  • 1923 1st sound on film public performance shown at Rialto Theater (NYC)
  • 1923 Insulin becomes generally available for diabetics
  • 1924 Flemish-Walloon riots in Louvain, Belgium, 1 dead
  • 1924 WHO-AM in Des Moines Iowa begins radio transmissions
  • 1924 Rand McNally publishes its first road atlas.
  • 1925 NHL's NY Americans (formerly Hamilton Tigers) 1st game, lose 3-1
  • 1926 Sesquicentennial Stadium opens in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; renamed Philadelphia Municipal Stadium, later renamed JFK Stadium (demolished 1992); played host to Tunney-Demspy fight (1926); 41 Army-Navy football games; professional football; and many concerts, including the US portion of Live-Aid (1985)

Baseball Record

1927 Yankees slugger Babe Ruth hits #1 of MLB record season 60 HRs; tees off on A's Howard Ehmke in 1st inning of New York's 6-3 win over Philadelphia

  • 1927 Switzerland & USSR agree to diplomatic relations
  • 1928 Alioto's on Fisherman's Wharf (San Francisco) forms
  • 1929 33rd Boston Marathon won by Canadian Johnny Miles in 2:33:08.6; his second win in the event
  • 1931 1st backwards walk across American begins
  • 1935 39th Boston Marathon won by John A Kelley in 2:32:07.4
  • 1937 Stanley Cup Final, Olympia Stadium, Detroit, MI: Detroit Red Wings beat New York Rangers, 3-0 for a 3-2 series win; back-to-back titles for Red Wings
  • 1939 Albert Lebrun elected president of France
  • 1940 British troops land at Narvik, Norway
  • 1940 44th Boston Marathon won by Gérard Côté of Canada in 2:28:28.6; first of 4 wins in the event
  • 1941 1st helicopter flight of 1 hr duration, Stratford, Ct

Historic Event

1942 George VI awards George Cross to people of Malta

  • 1943 Metropolitan Life Insurances issues a $225 million check to Chase
  • 1945 British Army liberates Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen

Historic Event

1945 FDR buried in grounds of Hyde Park home

Catholic Encyclical

1945 Pope Pius XII publishes encyclical "Communium Interpretes Dolorum"

  • 1945 US troops occupy concentration camp Colditz
  • 1946 50th Boston Marathon won by Stylianos Kyriakides of Greece in 2:29:27; first and only Cypriot athlete to win the event

Sports History

1947 Jackie Robinson becomes 1st African-American to play in US major league baseball (Dodgers)

  • 1947 Operations begin at Radio Netherlands World radio
  • 1948 1st Jewish-Arab military battle, arabs defeated
  • 1948 Indian territory of Himachal Pradesh created
  • 1948 KCPX (now KTVX) TV channel 4 in Salt Lake City, UT (ABC) 1st broadcast
  • 1949 Pope Pius XII publishes encyclical Redemptoris nostri
  • 1951 Michael Gorsira is 1st person in charge of Curacao
  • 1952 Franklin National Bank issues 1st bank credit card
  • 1952 Stanley Cup Final, Olympia Stadium, Detroit, MI: Detroit Red Wings beat Montreal Canadiens, 3-0 for a 4-0 series sweep
  • 1952 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1952 The maiden flight of the B-52 Stratofortress prototype
  • 1953 Malans National Party wins South African elections
  • 1953 WHP TV channel 21 in Harrisburg, PA (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1954 KARK TV channel 4 in Little Rock, AR (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • 1954 Orioles 1st game in Baltimore beat White Sox 3-1
  • 1954 WHO TV channel 13 in Des Moines, IA (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • 1954 Yankees dedicate a plaque to Edward Barrow

Historic Event

1955 Ray Kroc opens first McDonald's Inc. fast food restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois

  • 1955 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1957 KTVI TV channel 2 in Saint Louis, MO (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • 1957 Saturday mail delivery restored in the US after Congress gives the Post Office $41 million
  • 1957 61st Boston Marathon won by John J Kelley in 2:20:05; course length changed

Emmy Awards

1958 10th Emmy Awards: Gunsmoke, Robert Young & Jane Wyatt win

  • 1958 1st baseball game in California, SF Giants beat LA Dodgers, 8-0

Historic Event

1959 Fidel Castro begins US goodwill tour

Historic Event

1959 US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles resigns

  • 1960 Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), organizes at Shaw U
  • 1960 Guy Carawan sings "We Shall Overcome" to a Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Raleigh - popularising the song as a protest anthem
  • 1961 Meredith Willson's musical "The Music Man", starring Robert Preston and Barbara Cook, closes at Majestic Theater, NYC. after 1375 performances, 5 Tony Awards, and a Grammy
  • 1961 France wins it’s 2nd outright Five Nations Rugby Championship with an 15-3 victory over Ireland at Lansdowne Road, Dublin
  • 1962 US national debt above $300,000,000,000

Music Premiere

1963 Steve Allen's musical "Sophie", based on the life of American singer, and comic actress Sophie Tucker, opens at Winter Garden Theater, NYC; runs for 8 performances

  • 1963 67th Boston Marathon won by Aurèle Vandendriessche of Belgium in race record 2:18:58
  • 1964 Chesapeake Bay Bridge opens (world's longest)

Theater Premiere

1965 James Baldwin's play "The Amen Corner" premieres in NYC

  • 1965 NFL changes penalty flag from white to bright gold
  • 1966 KHET TV channel 11 in Honolulu, HI (PBS) begins broadcasting

Album Release

1966 The Rolling Stones release "Aftermath", their fourth studio album in UK (6th in US)

  • 1967 "Wait A Minim!" closes at John Golden Theater NYC after 457 performances
  • 1967 France wins its 4th outright Five Nations Rugby Championship with an 11-6 win over Ireland at Lansdowne Road, Dublin

Sports History

1968 Houston Astros beat NY Mets, 1-0, in 24 innings at the Astrodome; starting pitchers Tom Seaver and Don Wilson pitch 10 and 9 innings respectively in game that lasts over 6 hours

  • 1968 72nd Boston Marathon: Amby Burfoot wins in 2:22:17; Bobbi Gibb 1st woman for 3rd straight year in 3:30:00 (unsanctioned)
  • 1969 North Korea shoots at US airplane above Japanese sea
  • 1970 "Cry for Us All" closes at Broadhurst Theater NYC after 8 performances
  • 1970 Libyan leader Gadaffi launches "Green Revolution"
  • 1970 WMGZ TV channel 16 in Mayaguez, PR ([M]) begins broadcasting
  • 1970 WPSJ TV channel 14 in Ponce, PR ([P]) begins broadcasting
  • 1971 "70, Girls, 70" opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 35 performances

Academy Awards

1971 43rd Academy Awards: "Patton", George C Scott & Glenda Jackson win

  • 1972 A member of the Official Irish Republican Army is shot dead by British soldiers at Joy Street in the Markets area of Belfast close to his home
  • 1972 A member of the British Army is shot dead by the Official IRA in the Divis area of Belfast.
  • 1974 78th Boston Marathon: Neil Cusack of Ireland takes men's race in 2:13:39; American Miki Gorman women's winner in 2:47:11
  • 1974 Military coup in Niger, president Diori Hamani deposed
  • 1975 1st appearance of San Diego Chicken
  • 1975 Gabon amends constitution
  • 1976 Yankee stadium reopens, Yanks beat Twins after trailing 4-0
  • 1977 1st baseball game at Montreal's Olympic Stadium
  • 1978 43 die as 2 express trains collide head-on south of Bologna, Italy
  • 1978 Great Britain performs nuclear test

US Masters Golf

1979 43rd US Masters Tournament, Augusta National GC: Fuzzy Zoeller wins his only Masters with a birdie on the 2nd hole of a playoff with Ed Sneed and Tom Watson

  • 1979 A disastrous earthquake (of M 7.1) on Montenegro coast.
  • 1981 Janet Cooke says her Pulitzer award-winning story about an 8-year-old heroin addict is a lie, Washington Post relinquishes Pulitzer Prize on fabricated story
  • 1982 Apollo Computer announces DN400, DN420, & landscape display
  • 1983 Tokyo Disneyland opens
  • 1984 "Human Comedy" closes at Royale Theater NYC after 13 performances
  • 1984 48th US Masters Tournament, Augusta National GC: Ben Crenshaw wins the first of his 2 green jackets, 2 strokes ahead of 1977 & 1981 champion Tom Watson
  • 1984 Extremist Sikhs plunder 40 stations in Punjab India
  • 1984 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1985 89th Boston Marathon: Englishman Geoff Smith repeats as men's champion in 2:14:05; American Lisa Larsen Weidenbach takes women's title in 2:34:06
  • 1985 Challenger moves to launch pad for 51-B missing
  • 1986 US air raids Libya, responding to La Belle disco, Berlin bombing

Sports History

1986 Viv Richards century off 56 balls v England in Antigua Test Cricket

  • 1986 The United States launches Operation El Dorado Canyon against Libya.
  • 1987 "Barbara Cook: A Concert" opens at Ambassador NYC for 13 performances
  • 1987 Alfred Uhry's "Driving Miss Daisy" premieres in NYC
  • 1988 Meteorite explode above Indonesia
  • 1988 Wendy Wasserstein's play "Heidi Chronicles" premieres in NYC
  • 1989 96 crushed to death and 766 injured at Hillsborough Football Stadium, Sheffield, England, during FA semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest
  • 1989 Students in Beijing pro-democracy protests
  • 1989 Sue Marchiano wins 3rd World Cup female marathon (2:30:48)
  • 1989 Then largest lottery in North America ($69M) drawn in Illinois
  • 1990 "In Living Color" premieres on FOX-TV
  • 1990 Greenidge & Haynes make 298 opening stand (v England), combination best

Sports History

1990 PGA Seniors' Championship Men's Golf, PGA National GC: South African Gary Player wins his third event title by 2 strokes from Chi-Chi Rodríguez

  • 1991 95th Boston Marathon: Ibrahim Hussein of Kenya wins his 2nd men's title in 2:11:06; Wanda Panfil of Poland woman's champion in 2:24:18
  • 1991 East-Europe Bank forms in London
  • 1991 Europe foreign ministers lift most remaining sanctions against South Africa
  • 1991 Former child actor Adam Rich (Eight Is Enough) charged with burglary

NBA Record

1991 Magic Johnson sets NBA record for career assists with 9,898

  • 1991 New York State raises maximum unemployment benefits to $280 per week
  • 1991 Sacramento Kings set NBA record, losing 35th consecutive game on road
  • 1991 Dutch checker Ton Sijbrands improves world record blind checker games (15 wins)
  • 1992 Billionaire Leona Helmsley is sent to jail for tax evasion

TV Show Appearance

1992 Jay Leno's final appearance as permanent guest host of The Tonight Show

  • 1992 Lincoln Hospital in Bronx. New York loses its accreditation

Sports History

1992 NY Islander, Al Arbour, coaches most NHL games (1,438)

Hall of Fame

1992 William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and DeForest Kelley inducted into National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame

  • 1992 The National Assembly of Vietnam adopts the 1992 Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
  • 1994 Indians loses 1st game at Jacobs Field, KC wins 2-1
  • 1994 WMMS-FM's Jeff & Flash, & entire station staff, are fired

Music History

1994 Jazz singer Tony Bennett records a session for "MTV's Unplugged" series at Sony Studios, NYC, featuring the Ralph Sharon trio, and guest appearances by Elvis Costello, and k.d.lang; album release wins 2 Grammy Awards

  • 1996 100th Boston Marathon: Moses Tanui of Kenya takes centenary men's title in 2:09:15.9; 3-peat for Uta Pippig of Germany in women's race in 2:27:12
  • 1997 America On Line begins service in Japan
  • 1997 Baseball honors Jackie Robinson by retiring #42 for all teams