Today in History: October 15 | HistoryNet MENU

Today in History: October 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

October 15

1529 Ottoman armies under Suleiman end their siege of Vienna and head back to Belgrade.
1582 The Gregorian (or New World) calendar is adopted in Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal; and the preceding ten days are lost to history.
1783 Francois Pilatre de Rozier makes the first manned flight in a hot air balloon. The first flight was let out to 82 feet, but over the next few days the altitude increased up to 6,500 feet.
1813 During the land defeat of the British on the Thames River in Canada, the Indian chief Tecumseh, now a brigadier general with the British Army (War of 1812), is killed.
1863 For the second time, the Confederate submarine H L Hunley sinks during a practice dive in Charleston Harbor, this time drowning its inventor along with seven crew members.
1878 Thomas A. Edison founds the Edison Electric Light Co.
1880 Victorio, feared leader of the Minbreno Apache, is killed by Mexican troops in northwestern Chihuahua, Mexico.
1892 An attempt to rob two banks in Coffeyville, Kan., ends in disaster for the Dalton gang as four of the five outlaws are killed and Emmet Dalton is seriously wounded.
1894 Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish army officer, is arrested for betraying military secrets to Germany.
1914 Congress passes the Clayton Anti-Trust Act, which labor leader Samuel Gompers calls “labor’s charter of freedom.” The act exempts unions from anti-trust laws; strikes, picketing and boycotting become legal; corporate interlocking directorates become illegal, as does setting prices which would effect a monopoly.
1917 Mata Hari, a Paris dancer, is executed by the French after being convicted of passing military secrets to the Germans.
1924 German ZR-3 flies 5000 miles, the furthest Zeppelin flight to date.
1941 Odessa, a Russian port on the Black Sea which has been surrounded by German troops for several weeks, is evacuated by Russian troops.
1945 Vichy French Premier Pierre Laval is executed by a firing squad for his wartime collaboration with the Germans.
1950 President Harry Truman meets with General Douglas MacArthur at Wake Island to discuss U.N. progress in the Korean War.
1964 Nikita Khrushchev is replaced by Leonid Brezhnev as leader of the Soviet Union.
1966 Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale establish the Black Panther Party, an African-American revolutionary socialist political group, in the US.
1969 Rallies for The Moratorium to End the War  in Vietnam draw over 2 million demonstrators across the US, a quarter million of them in the nation’s capital.
1987 The Great Storm of 1987 strikes the UK and Europe during the night of Oct 15-16, killing over 20 people and causing widespread damage.
1989 Canadian hockey player Wayne Gretzky makes his 1,851st goal, breaking the all-time scoring record in the National Hockey League.
1990 Mikhail Gorbachev, leader of the USSR, receives Nobel Peace Prize for his work in making his country more open and reducing Cold War tensions.
1997 Andy Green of the UK becomes the first person to break the sound barrier in the Earth’s atmosphere, driving the ThrustSSC supersonic car to a record 763 mph (1,228 km/h).
2003 China launches its first manned space mission, Shenzhou I.
2007 New Zealand police arrest 17 people believed to be part of a paramilitary training camp.
2008 Dow Jones Industrial Average plummets 733.08 points, the second-largest percentage drop in the Dow’s history.
2011 Protests break out in countries around the globe, under the slogan “United for Global Democracy.”
Born on October 15
70 BC Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro), Roman poet.
1830 Helen Hunt Jackson, writer and poet.
1844 Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher and writer.
1881 P.G. Wodehouse, novelist and playwright.
1905 C.P. Snow, novelist.
1908 John Kenneth Galbraith, economist, writer and diplomat.
1910 Torbjorn Oskar Caspersson, Swedish cytologist and geneticist.
1917 Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author.
1920 Mario Puzo, novelist and screenwriter best known for The Godfather.
1923 Italo Calvino, Italian novelist.
1924 Lee Iacocca, engineer, businessman; assisted in designing the Ford Mustang and the Pinto; later, as CEO of Chrysler Corp., he is credited with saving Chrysler from extinction.
1926  Evan Hunter, author, screenwriter; born Salvatore Albert Lombino, he legally changed his name to Evan Hunter in 1952 and created the pen name Ed McBain in 1956. As Evan Hunter he wrote The Blackboard Jungle novel and the screenplay for The Birds; as Ed McBain he created the popular 87th Precinct series that became benchmarks of the police procedural mystery genre.
1940 Peter C. Doherty, veterinary surgeon, medical researcher; shared 1995 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine; named Australian of the Year 1997.
1942 Penny Marshall, actress, producer, director; Laverne of Laverne & Shirley TV sitcom (1976-83); directed Big (1988), the first film directed by a woman to gross over $100 million in US box office receipts.
1944 William David Trimble, Baron Trimble; British politician who served as First Minister of Northern Ireland (1998–2002); shared 1998 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in negotiating the Good Friday Agreement.
1954 Princess Friederike of Hanover.
2005 Prince Christian of Denmark, Count of Monpezat.