Historical Events on August 15

  • 636 Beginning of the five-day decisive Battle at Yarmuk: Muslim forces defeat the Byzantine army to take control of Syria for the first time

Victory in Battle

778 Battle of Roncevaux Pass: Roland, commander of the rearguard of Charlemagne's army is defeated by the Basques

  • 927 The Saracens conquer and destroy Taranto
  • 1185 The cave city of Vardzia is consecrated by Queen Tamar of Georgia
  • 1193 Philip II of France marries Ingeborg, daughter of King Valdemar I of Denmar in Amiens, requests annulment immediately after on grounds of non-consummation (bride deputes)
  • 1246 Güyük (Kuyuk), son and successor of Ogodei, formally elected Great Khan of the Mongols at Sira Ordu, five years after the death of his father
  • 1248 Construction of the new Cologne Cathedral in the Gothic style begins with the laying of the foundation stone by Archbishop Konrad von Hochstaden (completed 1880)
  • 1308 Knights of St John conquer Rhodes
  • 1454 Malatestiana Library, the first humanist civic library in Europe, opens in association with the convent of San Francesco in Cesena, Italy [1]
  • 1457 Earliest dated book, "Mainz Psalter," completed, 1st to be printed in three colours
  • 1461 Empire of Trebizond surrenders to forces of Sultan Mehmet II - last Byzantine Empire remnant to fall. Emperor David exiled and later murdered.

Royal Coronation

1461 Louis XI is crowned King of France at Reims cathedral after the death of his father Charles VII

  • 1517 Seven Portuguese armed vessels led by Fernão Pires de Andrade meet Chinese officials at the Pearl River estuary.
  • 1519 Panama City founded by Spanish conquistador Pedro Arias Dávila
  • 1534 Ignatius of Loyola co-founds the Society of Jesus (Jesuit) religious order at Sanit Densi Church in Montmartre, France
  • 1537 Asunción is founded in Paraguay
  • 1540 Arequipa is founded in Peru
  • 1548 Mary Queen of Scotland arrives in France, aged 6
  • 1549 Jesuit priest Saint Francis Xavier comes ashore at Kagoshima (Traditional Japanese date: July 22, 1549)
  • 1599 Nine Years War: Battle of Curlew Pass - Irish forces led by Hugh Roe O'Donnell successfully ambush English forces, led by Sir Conyers Clifford, sent to relieve Collooney Castle.

The Mayflower

1620 Mayflower sets sail from Southampton, England, with 102 Pilgrims

  • 1635 1st recorded north American hurricane hits the Plymouth Colony
  • 1653 -16] Dutch ship "Sperwer" stranded at Tsjedzjoe Korea
  • 1658 France, Sweden, Bavarian, Brunswick, Munster and Hessen-Kassel form Confederation of the Rhine
  • 1668 Confederation of the Rhine disbands
  • 1684 Spain & Germany sign cease fire with France
  • 1741 French troops attack the Rhine
  • 1748 United Lutheran Church the American colonies organized
  • 1760 Battle at Leignitz: Prussia beats Austria & Russia
  • 1785 French cardinal De Rohan arrested
  • 1795 Austrian composer Joseph Haydn leaves England forever after calling the time spent there "the happiest of his life"
  • 1824 Freed American slaves establish Liberia on the West African coast through the American Colonization Society (ACS)
  • 1832 Gregory XVI encyclical On liberalism & religious indifferentism
  • 1843 National black convention meets (Buffalo NY)
  • 1843 Tivoli Gardens amusement park opens in Copenhagen, world's 2nd oldest
  • 1848 M. Waldo Hanchett patents dental chair
  • 1858 Regular mail to Pacific coast begins

Historic Event

1861 Abraham Lincoln orders reinforcements be sent to Missouri

  • 1863 Submarine "HL Hunley" arrives in Charleston on railroad cars
  • 1863 The Anglo-Satsuma War begins between the Satsuma Domain of Japan and the United Kingdom (Traditional Japanese date: July 2, 1863).
  • 1864 Off New England coast, CSS Tallahassee captures 6 yankee schooners
  • 1865 Battle of Lone Jack, Missouri: fierce fighting between Union soldiers and Confederate forces prompted by bushwacker attacks destroys town of Lone Jack
  • 1867 The Representation of the People Act (1867) extends suffrage in the UK
  • 1869 The Meiji government in Japan establishes six new ministries, including one for Shinto
  • 1870 Transcontinental Railway actually completed in Colorado
  • 1876 US law removes Indians from Black Hills after gold find
  • 1886 American MLB pitcher Guy Hecker scores 7 runs in 1 game
  • 1891 San Sebastian Church in Manila, the first all-steel church in Asia, is officially inaugurated and blessed

Historic Event

1892 4th & last British government of William Gladstone forms

  • 1893 US no longer allowed exclusive rights in Bering Sea
  • 1899 Louisville's pitcher Henry Dowling struck out 5 times in a game
  • 1900 Russian troops advance further unto Manchuria
  • 1900 The Boxer Rebellion: In China, the Empress, her family and court retainers flee while foreign troops move through Peking in an attempt to quell the rebellion
  • 1901 Arch Rock, a danger to San Francisco Bay shipping, blasted with 30 tons of nitro
  • 1901 Great Britain issues a proclamation calling on the Boers to surrender by 15 September or face banishment and confiscation of their property
  • 1903 New Zealand's All Blacks play their first Rugby Test Match against Australia's Wallabies at the Sydney Cricket Ground; New Zealand win 22-3
  • 1905 Philadelphia A's future Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Rube Waddell no-hits St Louis Browns, 2-0 in 5 innings
  • 1906 1st freight delivery tunnel system begins, underneath Chicago

Historic Event

1906 King Edward VII of Great Britain visits German Emperor Wilhelm II to discuss the escalating rivalry between their nations' naval forces

  • 1911 Procter & Gamble unveils its Crisco shortening
  • 1912 Yankee Guy Zinn sets record by stealing home twice in a game

Historic Event

1914 Dinant, Belgium, destroyed by German bombs. Lt Charles de Gaulle (24), injured

Sports History

1914 International Lawn Tennis Challenge, NYC, New York: Norman Brookes beats American Dick Norris Williams 6-1, 6-2, 8-10, 6-3 to give Australasia unassailable 3-1 lead; win 3-2

  • 1914 Japan joins the side of the allies
  • 1914 Panama Canal opens (under cost) with the SS Ancon making the 1st official steamship through the canal

Murder of Interest

1914 Taliesian Massacre (Spring Green, Wisconsin): Julian Carlton, a disgruntled employee, kills architect Frank Lloyd Wright's mistress Martha Borthwick, her 2 children, and 4 others with a hatchet and burns the architect's home to the ground while Wright is away on business

  • 1914 The first large public gathering of Boers in South Africa who do not want to support Britain in a war against Germany; British authorities will try to repress this movement, but discontent spreads

Historic Event

1914 US Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan, in a letter to J P Morgan, Jr., declares that loans to any of the belligerents go against US neutrality

  • 1915 Journalist Albert Siegfried Bettelheim, convicted of murder in Georgia

Historic Event

1917 Poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon first met at Craiglockhart War Hospital, Edinburgh, go on to have an profound influence on each other's work (actual date 15-19 Aug)

  • 1918 Longest work of animation then produced - "The Sinking of Lusitania" by Winsor McCay

Victory in Battle

1920 Polish troops commanded by Józef Piłsudski defeat the Soviets at the Battle of Warsaw (Miracle upon the Vistula)

Historic Event

1923 Eamon de Valera arrested in Irish Free State

  • 1923 Mexico & US reaches accord over oil concession of 1917
  • 1925 Norway annexes Spitsbergen
  • 1925 White Sox Dickie Kerr, 1st appearance since winning 2 world series games in 1919
  • 1931 Ernest Lassy completes longest canoe journey without port (6,102 mi)
  • 1931 Roy Wilkins joins NAACP as Assistant Secretary
  • 1931 Spakenburg soccer team forms
  • 1934 US ends occupation of Haiti after 19 years; started after the 1915 assassination of Haiti's president
  • 1936 Americans make a clean sweep of the 3m diving medals via Marjorie Gestring, Katherine Rawls and Dorothy Poynton-Hill at the Berlin Olympics
  • 1936 Annibale Frossi scores twice as Italy beats Austria 2-1 in extra time in the soccer final at the Berlin Olympics

A Kiss For Adolf Hitler

1936 Carla de Vries, an American tourist at the swimming event of the Berlin Olympics finds Adolf Hitler “so friendly and gracious” she shakes his hand and gives him a kiss

  • 1936 Marshall Wayne and Elbert Root make it an American 1-2 in the 10m platform diving at the Berlin Olympics
  • 1936 The Berlin Olympic fencing competition concludes with Italy winning 4 of the 7 gold medals and Hungary taking the other 3

The Wizard of Oz

1939 "The Wizard of Oz", American musical fantasy film adaptation of L. Frank Baum's book, premieres at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood; directed by Victor Fleming and King Vidor with cast featuring Judy Garland (Dorothy), Ray Bolger (Scarecrow), Jack Haley (Tin Man), Bert Lahr (Cowardly Lion), Frank Morgan (Wizard), Billie Burke (Glinda), and Margaret Hamilton (Wicked Witch); songs by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg

  • 1939 13 Nazi Luftwaffe Stuka dive bombers crash into the ground during a disastrous practice-demonstration at Neuhammer-am-Queis, Silesia, Germany (now Świętoszów, Poland) . No survivors.
  • 1939 First night game at baseball's Comiskey Park in Chicago, White Sox beat Cleveland Browns 5-2
  • 1940 1st edition of Jewish Weekly newspaper in Amsterdam (under Nazis)
  • 1940 Heavy dogfights above England: 75 German aircraft damaged
  • 1941 Kovono Lithuanian Jews are herded into Slobodka ghetto
  • 1942 5 hostages executed by Nazis in St-Michielsgestel
  • 1943 Allies land on Kiska Aleutians
  • 1944 Allied air raid on train in North Netherlands, 32 killed

Historic Event

1944 German field marshal Günther von Kluge vanishes for one day; he killed himself on the 19th in the aftermath of the attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler

  • 1944 Operation Anvil: Allies land on French Mediterranean sea coast
  • 1944 Operation Dragoon: Allied troops land in Provence
  • 1944 US 12 Army corps enters Le Mans through Orleans
  • 1944 US 7th Armour division reaches Chartres
  • 1945 A riot ensues in San Francisco while the city is celebrating the end of WW II
  • 1945 Chandler sells World Series radio rights for $150,000 to Gillette, Ford had been World Series sponsor since 1934, pay $100,000 annually
  • 1945 US wartime rationing of gasoline & fuel oil ends

Victory over Japan

1945 Victory over Japan Day, the Japanese surrender and the end of WWII is announced in Japan (due to time zones 14th Aug in the Americas)

  • 1945 World War II: Korean Liberation Day
  • 1946 Dumont TV Network (WABD NY) is launched in the US
  • 1947 GLEEP (Graphite Low Energy Experimental Pile), the first experimental nuclear reactor in Western Europe begins operation in Oxford, England
  • 1947 India becomes a sovereign and democratic nation, independent from the United Kingdom
  • 1947 India gains independence from Great Britain, remains a dominion until 1950
  • 1948 Republic of Korea (South Korea) proclaimed (National Day)

US Women's Golf Open

1948 US Open Women's Golf, Atlantic City CC: Babe Didrikson-Zaharias wins by 8 strokes from Betty Hicks

  • 1949 WOTV TV channel 8 in Grand Rapids, MI (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • 1950 8.6 Assam-Tibet earthquake kills several thousand

Boxing Title Fight

1950 Ezzard Charles TKOs Freddie Beshore in 14 to retain heavyweight boxing title

  • 1950 Indians make their 1st triple play at Cleveland Stadium
  • 1950 Joseph Pholien becomes Belgian premier
  • 1950 Rotterdam dock strike begins
  • 1950 Srikakulam district is formed in Andhra Pradesh, India.

Historic Event

1950 Sukarno proclaims the unitary Republic of Indonesia and becomes its 1st President

  • 1952 19th NFL Chicago All-Star Game: Los Angeles 10, All-Stars 7 (88,316)
  • 1952 9 inches of rain fall creates a 20 ft wave in Lynmouth, England, killing 34

Historic Event

1953 General Omar Bradley leaves office as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff after four years and retires from active military service

Appointment of Interest

1954 Dictator Alfredo Stroessner names himself the 42nd President of Paraguay

  • 1954 WCHS TV channel 8 in Charleston-Huntington, WV (ABC) begins
  • 1955 Hurricane Connie dissipates after killing 77 in the US eastern seaboard and mid-atlantic states
  • 1955 WXEX TV channel 8 in Richmond-Petersburg, VA (ABC) begins
  • 1957 David Simons reaches 30,942 m in Man High 2 balloon
  • 1957 USAF Capt Joe B Jordan reaches 31,513 m in F-104 jet fighter
  • 1958 25th NFL Chicago All-Star Game: All-Stars 35, Detroit 19 (70,000)
  • 1958 Soviet Marshal Bulganin resigns as director of State Bank
  • 1960 CFL's Calgary Stampeders move into McMahon Stadium
  • 1960 Chicago Bears beat NY Giants 16-7 in Toronto (NFL expo)
  • 1960 Congo (formerly Congo/Brazzaville) declares Independence from France
  • 1960 UFO is sighted by 3 California patrolmen
  • 1961 Keiyo Road is specified as the first driveway in Japan
  • 1962 Netherlands & Indonesia sign accord over New Guinea
  • 1962 Shady Grove Baptist Church burned in Leesburg, Georgia
  • 1963 Fulbert Youlou resigns as President of Congo-Brazzaville
  • 1964 Fred Trueman takes 300th Test Cricket wicket (Neil Hawke)
  • 1964 MLB Philadelphia Phillies turn triple-play in 8-1 over Mets at Shea Stadium, NYC
  • 1964 Race riot in Dixmoor, Illinois - a suburb of Chicago
  • 1964 Ralph Boston of US, sets then long jump record at 27' 3½"

Music History

1965 Beatles play to their largest crowd of over 55,000 at Shea Stadium, New York City; among those in attending were future wives Barbara Bach and Linda Eastman [1] [2]

Sports History

1965 Japanese community of San Francisco holds Masanori Murakami Day at Candlestick Park to honor 1st Japanese player to play in major leagues

PGA Championship

1965 PGA Championship Men's Golf, Laurel Valley GC: Dave Marr wins his only major title, beating Billy Casper and Jack Nicklaus by 2 strokes

  • 1966 Puerto Rican champion José Torres beats American Eddie Cotton on points in Las Vegas to retain the WBC/WBA light-heavyweight boxing title
  • 1966 Radio Free Asia (South Korea) begins radio transmission

Historic Publication

1967 Pope Paul VI publishes constitution Regimini Ecclesiae Universae

  • 1967 UK's Marine Offences Bill making pirate radio stations a crime goes into effect, pirate station Radio 355 closes down
  • 1968 Pirate Radio Free London begins transmitting

Historic Event

1968 Romanian president Nicolae Ceausescu visits Prague

  • 1968 USSR performs nuclear test at Sary Shagan USSR

Woodstock Music and Art Fair

1969 Woodstock Festival opens in Bethel, New York on Max Yasgur's Dairy Farm; performers include Richie Havens, Tim Hardin, Ravi Shankar, Melanie, Arlo Guthrie, and Joan Baez

  • 1970 Patricia Palinkas becomes 1st woman pro football player (Orlando)
  • 1971 Bahrain gains independence from Britain
  • 1971 Charles Lismont wins Helsinki marathon (2:13:09.0)

Sports History

1971 Despite crashing out on lap 36, Scotsman Jackie Stewart clinches his second Formula 1 World Drivers Championship at the Austrian Grand Prix at Österreichring; Swiss driver Jo Siffert of the BRM team wins the race

  • 1971 KVRL (now KRIV) TV ch 26 in Houston, Texas (Fox) begins
  • 1971 The Social Democratic and Labour Party announce a campaign of civil disobedience in response to the introduction of Internment in Northern Ireland

Historic Event

1971 US President Richard Nixon announces 90-day freeze on wages, prices & rents

  • 1973 Black September kills 3 and wounds 55 in Athens
  • 1973 David Storey's play "Cromwell" premieres in London
  • 1973 USSR performs nuclear test
  • 1974 France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll
  • 1974 Hurricane and floods ravage Bangladesh, 4,000 killed
  • 1974 Longest team (6) trampoline bouncing marathon (1,248 hours or 52 days)
  • 1974 South Korean President Park Chung-Hee escapes assassination attempt
  • 1975 Bangladesh military coup under Khondakar Moustaque Ahmed

Film Release

1975 Indian action-adventure film "Sholay" directed by Ramesh Sippy, starring Dharmendra and Amitabh Bachchan is released, highest-grossing Indian film ever

  • 1975 Joanne Little acquitted of murdering her prison guard in North Carolina - 1st woman to successfully use defense of deadly force to resist rape
  • 1975 Miki Takeo makes the first official pilgrimage to Yasukuni Shrine by an incumbent prime minister on the anniversary of the end of World War II
  • 1977 "Wow" possible alien radio signal from deep space received at "The Big Ear", Ohio State's radio telescope in Delaware
  • 1977 England regain cricket Ashes by taking a 3-0 series lead over Australia
  • 1977 Herbert Kappler, head of Nazi police and security services (SS) in Rome during WWII, escapes from prison hospital in Rome
  • 1978 US House of Representatives approves (233-169), 39-month extension for ERA

Film Release

1979 "Apocalypse Now", directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, and Martin Sheen, is released (Palme d'Or 1979)

  • 1979 Andrew Young resigns as US ambassador to the United Nations

Sports History

1981 Ian Botham scores a century in 86 balls v Australia at Old Trafford

  • 1981 Robin Leamy of US swims record 7.98 kph for 50 m
  • 1982 Equatorial Guinea adopts constitution
  • 1983 Ramones guitarist Joey Ramone beaten in fight, and undergoes brain surgery
  • 1984 The PKK in Turkey starts a campaign of armed attacks upon the Turkish military
  • 1985 First Iraqi air raid on Iran's main oil export terminal, Kharg Island

Historic Event

1985 P. W. Botha gives the "Rubicon" Speech in Durban, South Africa, disappointing many by refusing to consider immediate and major reforms in the country's apartheid system

Historic Event

1986 US President Ronald Reagan decides to support a replacement for Challenger

  • 1987 At Pan Am games in Indianapolis, USA & Cuba are tied with 2 outs in 9th, Ty Griffin HR, Cuba 1st loss in 20 years of Pan Am competition
  • 1988 At 4PM LILCO consumers used a record 3,813 megawatts
  • 1988 NYC begins $70 million program to rebuild 900 Bronx apartments

Music Premiere

1988 Revival of musical revue "Ain't Misbehavin'", highlighting songs of Fats Waller, opens at Ambassador Theater, NYC; runs for 176 performances

Historic Event

1989 F. W. de Klerk becomes President of South Africa

  • 1989 Giorgio Lamberti swims world record 200m free style (1:46.69)

Sports History

1989 In 2nd start since after cancer treatment, Giants Dave Dravecky breaks his pitching arm while throwing to Tim Raines

  • 1990 At least 150 people die in clashes between the African National Congress and Inkatha Freedom Party, South Africa

Baseball Record

1990 Mark McGwire is 1st to hit 30 HRs in each of his 1st 4 seasons

  • 1990 Phils Terry Mulholland no-hits Giants 6-0 (8th no hitter of 1990)

Music Concert

1991 750,000 attend Paul Simon's free concert in Central Park, NYC

  • 1991 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1992 Colombo '92 closes in Genoa Italy
  • 1992 Striker Brian Deane scores both goals for Sheffield United in a season-opening 2-1 home win over Manchester United at Bramall Lane; first of Deane's goals is the first in EPL's inaugural season
  • 1993 75th PGA Championship Men's Golf, Inverness GC: Paul Azinger wins his first major title in a playoff with Greg Norman of Australia