On This Day

Historical Events on May 15

  • 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

AppointmentAppointment of Interest

1213 King John of England names Stephen Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury

King of England King John
King of England
King John
  • 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
  • 1525 The battle of Frankenhausen: German peasant army surrounded, 5,000 slaughtered ; ends the peasants' uprising

ExecutionExecution of Anne Boleyn

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

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Anne Boleyn is beheaded after a four day show trial
Anne Boleyn is beheaded after a four day show trial
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  • 1572 Louis van Nassau & huguenots occupy Valenciennes
  • 1602 Cape Cod discovered by English navigator Bartholomew Gosnold

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1610 Parliament of Paris appoints Louis XIII (8) as French King

King of France Louis XIII
King of France
Louis XIII

InventionScientific Discovery

1618 German astronomer Johannes Kepler discovers the third of his three planetary laws his "harmonics law"

Astronomer Johannes Kepler
Johannes Kepler
  • 1625 16 rebellious farmers hanged in Vocklamarkt, Upper-Austria
  • 1648 Treaty of Munster ratified by Spain & Netherlands

  • 1665 Pope Alexander VII appoints committee to investigate Jansenism
  • 1672 1st copyright law enacted by Massachusetts
  • 1701 The War of the Spanish Succession begins

Book releaseHistoric Publication

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

1791 Maximilien Robespierre proposes the self-denying ordinance, making it so that no deputy who sat in the Constituent Assembly could sit in the succeeding Assembly

Revolutionary Maximilien Robespierre
Maximilien Robespierre
  • 1793 Diego Marín Aguilera flies a glider for "about 360 metres", at a height of 5-6 metres, one of the first attempted flights
  • 1796 France & Sardinia sign Peace treaty of Paris

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1796 First Coalition: Napoleon enters Milan in triumph with French troops

French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte
French Emperor
Napoléon Bonaparte

MurderAssassination Attempt

1800 King George III survives a second assassination attempt

King of Great Britain, Ireland and Hanover George III
King of Great Britain, Ireland and Hanover
George III
  • 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 First private mental health hospital opens in the US, 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
Religious Leader
Joseph Smith
  • 1836 Francis Baily observes "Baily's Beads" during annular solar eclipse
  • 1849 Philadelphia Turngemeinde founded
  • 1851 King Mongkut [Rama IV or Phra Chomklao Chaoyuhua] crowned in Siam (Thailand)
  • 1856 2nd San Francisco Vigilance Committee organized
  • 1858 Royal Italian Opera opens in Covent Garden, London
  • 1862 -May 17] Battle of Princeton West Virginia

  • 1862 Battle of Drewry's Bluff (Fort 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
  • 1862 First baseball enclosure opens at Union Grounds, Brooklyn

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1863 Salon des Refusés opens in Paris, exhibition of works rejected by official Salon, features Paul Cézanne, Camille Pissarro, Henri Fantin-Latour, James Whistler, and Édouard Manet

French Painter Paul Cézanne
French Painter
Paul Cézanne
Painter Camille Pissarro
Camille Pissarro
Impressionist painter Edouard Manet
Impressionist painter
Edouard Manet
  • 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
Susan B. Anthony
  • 1876 2nd Kentucky Derby: Bobby Swim aboard Vagrant wins in 2:38.25
  • 1882 May Laws-Tsar Alexander III bans Jews from living in rural Romania
  • 1883 Italy signs military treaty with Austria-Hungary & Germany
  • 1885 Canadian Métis insurgent Louis Reil captured in the aftermath of the Battle of Batoche in Saskatchewan

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1886 British sailor David Beatty is promoted to midshipman

British Admiral of the Fleet David Beatty
British Admiral of the Fleet
David Beatty
  • 1891 British Central African Protectorate (now Malawi) forms
  • 1891 Jules Massenet's opera "Grisélidis" premieres in Paris
  • 1891 Operations begin at Philips & Co in Holland

BeatificationCatholic Encyclical

1891 Pope Leo XIII publishes encyclical Rerum novarum

256th Pope Leo XIII
256th Pope
  • 1894 20th Kentucky Derby: Frank Goodale aboard Chant wins in 2:41
  • 1896 Tornado kills 78 in Texas
  • 1897 The Greek army retreats with heavy losses in the Greco-Turkish War.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1897 The Scientific-Humanitarian Committee is founded in Berlin by Magnus Hirschfeld, the first-ever LGBT rights organization

Physician and Gay Rights Advocate Magnus Hirschfeld
Physician and Gay Rights Advocate
Magnus Hirschfeld
  • 1902 Lyman Gilmore is 1st person to fly a powered craft
  • 1902 "Bailundo Revolt" begins after Ovimbundu kingdom & allies revolt against Portuguese Empire in Benguela Highlands, central Portuguese Angola
  • 1905 Las Vegas founded in Nevada
  • 1905 Pierre de Brazza reaches Leopoldville
  • 1906 NY Giants' Hooks Wiltse strikes out 4 batters in 1 inning
  • 1908 Reich Association Law comes into force
  • 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
  • 1912 37th Preakness: Clarnence Turner on Colonel Holloway wins in 1:56.6

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1912 Ty Cobb rushes a heckler at a NY Highlander game & is suspended

MLB Legend Ty Cobb
MLB Legend
Ty Cobb
  • 1914 Henri Rabaud's opera "Marouf, savetier de Caire" premieres in Paris
  • 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 regular US airmail postal service between NY, Philadelphia & Washington, D.C.
  • 1918 43rd Preakness: Johnny Loftus aboard War Cloud wins in 1:53.6
  • 1918 Greeks troops land at Smyrna

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1918 Washington Senator Walter Johnson pitches 1-0, 18 inning game

MLB Pitcher Walter Johnson
MLB Pitcher
Walter Johnson
  • 1918 The Finnish Civil War ends
  • 1919 Brooklyn Dodgers score 10 runs in 13th to beat Reds 10-0
  • 1920 Soccer team ADO '20 forms in Heemskerk
  • 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
  • 1926 52nd Kentucky Derby: Albert Johnson on Bubbling Over wins in 2:03.8
  • 1928 Mickey Mouse makes his 1st ever appearance in silent film "Plane Crazy"
  • 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

BeatificationCatholic Encyclical

1931 Pope Pius XI publishes encyclical Quadragesimo anno

259th Pope Pius XI
259th Pope
Pius XI
  • 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 Pirates beat Phillies 20-5
  • 1935 The Moscow Metro is opened to public

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1936 Amy Johnson arrives in Croydon, England having flown from South Africa in a record 4 days and 16 hours

Aviator Amy Johnson
Amy Johnson
  • 1937 62nd Preakness: Charley Kurtsinger aboard War Admiral wins in 1:58.4
  • 1938 Paul-Henri Spak forms red coalition of Belgium
  • 1940 German armoured division moves into Northern France
  • 1940 German troops occupy Amsterdam, General Winkelman surrenders
  • 1940 Nazis capture General Dutch Persbureau (ANP)
  • 1940 USS Sailfish (SS-192) recommissioned, originally the Squalus
  • 1940 Richard and Maurice McDonald open the 1st McDonald's restaurant in San Bernardino, California
  • 1941 1st British turbojet flies
  • 1941 British attack Halfaya-pass & Fort Capuzzo in Egypt and Libya

Sports record brokenBaseball Record

1941 Joe DiMaggio starts 56-game hitting streak; Yanks lose 13-1

Baseball Player Joe DiMaggio
Baseball Player
Joe DiMaggio
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1943 Joseph Stalin dissolves the Comintern (or Third International) to avoid upsetting his Western allies with claims he was trying to foment revolution globally

Soviet General Secretary Joseph Stalin
Soviet General Secretary
Joseph Stalin
  • 1944 14,000 Jews of Munkacs, Hungary, deported to Auschwitz
  • 1944 Cincinnati Red Clyde Shoun no-hits Boston Braves, 1-0

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1944 Eisenhower, Montgomery, Churchill and King George VI discuss the plan for D-Day

34th US President & WWII General Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th US President & WWII General
Dwight D. Eisenhower
King of the United Kingdom George VI
King of the United Kingdom
George VI
  • 1944 Sergei Aleksi becomes guardian of Patriarch Throne
  • 1945 World War II: The final skirmish in Europe is fought near Prevalje, Slovenia
  • 1948 28 year old British Mandate over Palestine ends

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1948 73rd Preakness: Eddie Arcaro wins aboard Citation, 2nd leg of successful Triple Crown

Racing Hall of Fame Jockey Eddie Arcaro
Racing Hall of Fame Jockey
Eddie Arcaro
  • 1948 Australia scores 721 runs in one day v Essex, world record

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1948 Bradman scores 187 Aust v Essex, 124 minutes, 33 fours 1 five

Cricket Legend Donald Bradman
Cricket Legend
Donald Bradman
  • 1948 Troops from Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia attack Israel
  • 1951 AT&T becomes the 1st US corporation to have a million stockholders after young car salesman Brady Denton purchases 7 shares worth $1,078
  • 1951 Polish cultural attache in Paris, Czesław Miłosz, asks the French government for political asylum
  • 1952 Detroit Tiger Virgil Trucks no-hits Washington Senators, 1-0
  • 1952 Johnny Longden becomes 2nd jockey to ride 4,000 winners

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

1953 In his first world heavyweight title defence, Rocky Marciano KOs former champion Jersey Joe Walcott in the 1st round at Chicago Stadium

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Rocky Marciano
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Rocky Marciano
World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Jersey Joe
World Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Jersey Joe
  • 1953 Osip Zadkine's monument to "The destroyed city" unveiled in Rotterdam
  • 1954 KGLO (now KIMT) TV channel 3 in Mason City, IA (CBS) 1st broadcast
  • 1955 Building of space travel center at Baikonur Kazakhstan begins
  • 1955 KPUA (now KGMD) TV channel 9 in Hilo, HI (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1955 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1955 Vienna Treaty: Britain, France, US & USSR restore Austria's independence
  • 1955 The first ascent of Makalu, the world's fifth highest mountain

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1957 Evangelist Billy Graham launches his "crusade" in front of 18,000 people at Madison Square Garden in NYC

Evangelist Billy Graham
Billy Graham

UKUK Tests a Hydrogen Bomb

1957 Operation Grapple: Britain tests its first hydrogen bomb near Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean

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The first British hydrogen bomb test, Operation Grapple
The first British hydrogen bomb test, Operation Grapple
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  • 1958 USSR launches Sputnik III

Film release premierFilm Premier

1958 "Gigi" based on the story by Colette, directed by Vincent Minnelli and starring Leslie Caron and Maurice Chevalier premieres in New York (Best Picture 1959)

Novelist and Performer Colette
Novelist and Performer
  • 1959 100th anniversary of 1st college baseball game, between Amherst & Williams Teams reenact the original contest
  • 1959 12th Cannes Film Festival: "Black Orpheus" directed by Marcel Camus wins the Palme d'Or
  • 1960 Chic Cub Don Cardwell no-hits St Louis Cards, 4-0

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1960 Dmitri Shostakovich's 7th String quartet premieres in Leningrad

  • 1960 KHVO TV channel 13 in Hilo, HI (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • 1960 Sputnik 4 launched into Earth orbit; later recovery failed
  • 1960 Taxes took 25% of earnings in US
  • 1960 "L'Avventura", Italian film directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, starring Gabriele Ferzetti, Monica Vitti. premieres at Cannes
  • 1961 "Bonanza" by Al Caiola Orchestra hits #19
  • 1961 36 Unification church couples wed in Korea

BeatificationCatholic Encyclical

1961 Pope John XXIII publishes encyclical Mater et Magistra

  • 1962 US marines arrive in Laos
  • 1963 Last Project Mercury flight, L Gordon Cooper in Faith 7, launched
  • 1963 Peter, Paul & Mary win their 1st Grammy (If I Had a Hammer)
  • 1963 Tottenham Hotspur of England win 3rd European Cup winner's Cup against Atlético Madrid of Spain 5-1 at Rotterdam

Music awardsGrammy Awards

1963 5th Grammy Awards: I Left My Heart In San Francisco, Robert Goulet wins

Singer and Actor Robert Goulet
Singer and Actor
Robert Goulet
  • 1964 Sporting Portugal win 4th European Cup Winner's Cup against MTK Budapest of Hungry 1-0 at Antwerp (replay)
  • 1964 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1965 90th Preakness: Ron Turcotte aboard Tom Rolfe wins in 1:56.2
  • 1965 Canadian Football Players Association organizes
  • 1965 Igor Vodic beats Mad Dog Vachon in Omaha, to become NWA champ
  • 1966 1st day of Sunday play in County Cricket, Essex v Somerset
  • 1966 South Vietnamese army battle Buddhists, about 80 die

Conference meetingMeeting of Interest

1967 Paul McCartney meets his future wife Linda Eastman

Musician and Beatle Paul McCartney
Musician and Beatle
Paul McCartney
  • 1967 "In re Gault", US Supreme Court rules juveniles accused of crimes should be given same legal rights as adults

Film release premierFilm Premier

1968 "Wonderwall" with George Harrison premieres at Cannes Film Festival

Singer-Songwriter George Harrison
George Harrison
  • 1968 1st AL game played in Milwaukee, is a 4-2 California win against Chicago
  • 1968 A tornado strikes Jonesboro Arkansas at 10 PM, killing 36
  • 1968 Paul McCartney & John Lennon appear on Johnny Carson Show to promote Apple records, Joe Garagiola is substitute host
  • 1969 Associate Justice Abe Fortas resigns from Supreme Court
  • 1970 Elizabeth Hoisington and Anna Mae Mays named 1st female US generals
  • 1970 France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll
  • 1970 Mississippi Highway Patrol kills 2 at Jackson State College
  • 1970 International Olympic Committee votes to expel South Africa
  • 1971 "70, Girls, 70" closes at Broadhurst Theater NYC after 35 performances
  • 1971 96th Preakness: Gustavo Avila aboard Canonero II wins in 1:54
  • 1971 Radio Nordsee International's ship bombed
  • 1971 Irish Republican Army member William 'Billy' Reid is shot dead by British soldiers in Belfast

MurderAssassination Attempt

1972 Assassination attempt on US Governor George Wallace of Alabama by Arthur Bremer in Laurel, Maryland

Governor of Alabama and Segregationist George Wallace
Governor of Alabama and Segregationist
George Wallace
  • 1972 "Hard Job Being God" opens at Edison Theater NYC for 6 performances

  • 1972 Bus plunges into Nile River killing 50 pilgrims in Minia, Egypt
  • 1972 Ryukyu Is & Daito Is returned to Japan after 27 yrs of US control
  • 1972 The island of Okinawa, under U.S. military governance since its conquest in 1945, reverts to Japanese control.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1973 California Angel Nolan Ryan's 1st no-hitter beats KC Royals, 3-0

MLB Pitching Legend Nolan Ryan
MLB Pitching Legend
Nolan Ryan
  • 1974 Walter Scheel succeeds Gustav Heinemann as West German President
  • 1974 Ma'alot massacre: Palestinian terrorist take school hostage, 25 mostly children killed and 68 injured
  • 1974 Beginning of the Ulster Workers' Council strike called by Ulster loyalists and unionists who were against the Sunningdale Agreement, which proposed the sharing of political power with Irish nationalists
  • 1975 11th Mayor's Trophy Game, Yanks beat Mets 9-4
  • 1976 101st Preakness: John Lively aboard Elocutionist wins in 1:55
  • 1976 Fonz Song by Heyettes hits #91
  • 1976 Kentucky Moonrunner by Cledus Maggard hits #85
  • 1976 The Ulster Volunteer Force launch gun and bomb attacks on 2 pubs in County Armagh, killing 4 Catholic civilians and wounding many more; a British Army soldier is later convicted for taking part in the attacks
  • 1976 The Provisional Irish Republican Army kill 3 Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers in County Fermanagh and 1 in County Down
  • 1980 Flyers score 8 goals against Islanders in playoffs
  • 1980 Shawn Weatherly of South Carolina crowned 29th Miss USA, goes on to win Miss Universe
  • 1981 "Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island" airs
  • 1981 George Harrison releases "All Those Years Ago" in UK
  • 1981 Len Barker of Cleveland pitches perfect game vs Toronto
  • 1981 SCTV Network 90, sequel to Second City Television, debuts on NBC