Today in History: August 15 | HistoryNet MENU

Today in History: August 15

What Happened This Day In History.

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.


Today in History
August 15

1261   Constantinople falls to Michael VIII of Nicea and his army.
1598   Hugh O’Neill, the Earl of Tyrone, leads an Irish force to victory over the British at the Battle of Yellow Ford.
1760   Frederick II defeats the Austrians at the Battle of Liegnitz.
1864   The Confederate raider Tallahassee captures six Federal ships off New England.
1914   The Panama Canal opens to traffic.
1935   American comedian and “cowboy philosopher” Will Rogers dies in an airplane accident, along with American aviation pioneer Wiley Post.
1942   The SS Ohio reaches the island of Malta barely afloat, carrying vital fuel supplies for the island’s defenses, as part of Operation Pedestal. [From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]
1942   The Japanese submarine I-25 departs Japan with a floatplane in its hold which will be assembled upon arriving off the West Coast of the United States, and used to bomb U.S. forests.
1944   American, British and French forces land on the southern coast of France, between Toulon and Cannes, in Operation Dragoon.
1945   Gasoline and fuel oil rationing ends in the United States.
1947   Britain grants independence to India and Pakistan.
1950   Two U.S. divisions are badly mauled by the North Korean Army at the Battle of the Bowling Alley in South Korea, which rages on for five more days.
1971   US President Richard Nixon announces a 90-day freeze on wages and prices in an attempt to halt rapid inflation.
1986   Ignoring objections from President Ronald Reagan‘s Administration, the US Senate approves economic sanctions against South Africa to protest that country’s apartheid policies.
1994   The infamous terrorist Carlos the Jackal is captured in Khartoum, Sudan.
Born on August 15
1769   Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France (1804-1815) and military leader.
1771   Sir Walter Scott, Scottish novelist who wrote Ivanhoe and Rob Roy.
1888   T.E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia for his military exploits against the Turks in World War I.
1912   Julia Child, American chef and television personality.
1924   Robert Bolt, English screenwriter and playwright best known for A Man for All Seasons.
1938   Maxine Waters, congresswoman from California, second African-American woman to be elected to congress.
1938   Stephen Breyer, US Supreme Court justice.
1946   Jimmy Webb, songwriter (“MacArthur Park,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”).
1961   Ed Gilllespie, US Republican political strategist and White House counsel to President George W. Bush.
1964   Melinda French Gates, businesswoman, philanthropist; co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with her husband, Bill Gates (co-founder of Microsoft).
1965   Rob Thomas, television writer (Veronica Mars, 90210).