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This Day in History - September 15

September 15

1254 – Italian explorer, Marco Polo, is born

1588 – The Spanish Armada is destroyed by a British fleet after it failed in invading England during the Anglo-Spanish War

1776 – Manhattan is occupied by the British during the Revolutionary War

1779 – During the Revolutionary War, French Commander Charles Count d’Estaing captures two British frigates and two British supply ships in the Savannah River

1788 – An alliance between Prussia, Britain, and the Netherlands is ratified at the Hague

1789 – Novelist, James Fenimore Cooper, is born

1789 – The U.S. Department of Foreign Affairs becomes known as the Department of State

1794 – Future President, James Madison, marries Dolley Payne Todd

1821 – Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador gain independence

1835 – Charles Darwin and the HMS Beagle reach the Galapagos Islands

1842 – Guatemalan lawyer and politician, Francisco Morazan, dies

1857 – 26th President of the U.S., William Howard Taft, is born

1858 – The Butterfield Overland Mail Company begins delivering mail from St. Louis to San Francisco during times of the Old West. It was the first transcontinental mail service to San Francisco

1859 – English engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, dies

1862 – Confederates capture Harpers Ferry during the Civil War

1889 – Humorist, Robert Benchley, is born

1890 – English mystery novelist, Agatha Christie, is born

1890 – Poet and novelist, Claude McKay, is born

1891 – The Dalton gang heists a train at Wagoner, Oklahoma, stealing $2,500

1894 – French film director, Jean Renoir, is born

1901 – British engineer and namesake of the prefabricated bridge used extensively during World War II, Sir Howard Bailey is born

1914 – President Woodrow Wilson orders the Punitive Expedition, group searching for Pancho Villa, out of Mexico

1914 – The first trenches are dug by Allied and German forces on the Western Front during World War I

1916 – The British introduce armored tanks during the Battle of the Somme during World War I

1917 – Alexander Kerensky proclaims Russian to be a republic

1926 – Singer and pianist, Bobby Short, is born

1928 – Scottish bacteriologist Alexander Fleming accidentally discovers penicillin

1931 – The Philadelphia Athletics beat the Cleveland Indians to win their third consecutive American League pennant

1935 – The Reich under Adolf Hitler adopts the swastika as the national flag

1935 – The Nuremberg Laws go into effect and German Jews are stripped of their citizenship and now considered to be “subjects” of the state during World War II

1937 – Prime Minister of England, Neville Chamberlain, and Adolf Hitler discuss the future of Czechoslovakia

1938 – American author, Thomas Wolfe, dies

1939 – After escaping the German invasion of Poland, the Polish submarine Orzel arrives in Tallinn, Estonia during World War II

1940 – The Battle of Britain turns when the Royal Air Force shoots down 56 invading German aircraft during World War II

1945 – Soprano, Jesse Norman, is born

1946 – Conspiracy theorist, film director, and screenwriter, Oliver Stone, is born

1950 – What is considered to be the greatest amphibious attack in history, U.N. Forces led by the U.S. Marine Corps invade occupied Korea at the port of Inchon during the Korean War

1954 – The famous Marilyn Monroe “skirt” scene is filmed. Monroe’s husband, Joe DiMaggio, felt the scene was exhibitionist, and the couple would divorce shortly afterward

1954 – Turkish and Armenian journalist, Hrant Dink, is born

1955 – Italian fashion designer, Renzo Rosso, is born

1958 – Actress, Wendie Jo Sperber, is born

1958 – A commuter train plunges off of a bridge in Newark Bay in New Jersey, killing 47 people

1959 – Nikita Khrushchev becomes the first Soviet leader to visit the U.S.

1961 – The second most powerful storm to ever make landfall in Texas, Hurricane Carla, comes ashore

1961 – Miami Dolphins quarterback, Dan Marino, is born

1962 – The Four Seasons’ “Sherry” hits the top of the charts

1963 – Four young black girls are killed by the bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama

1964 – The National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam calls for a general military offensive during the Vietnam War

1968 – The USSR launches Zond 5, which will become the first spaceship to orbit the moon and then reenter Earth’s atmosphere

1971 – Greenpeace is founded

1972 – ARVN (South Vietnamese) forces recapture Quang Tri City during the Vietnam War

1977 – Actor, Tom Hardy, is born

1978 – Boxer Muhammad Ali defeats Leon Spinks at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, winning the world heavyweight boxing title for the third time

1980 – American composer and pianist, Bill Evans, dies

1981 – Sandra Day O’Connor is unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee to become the first female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court

1983 – Menachem Begin resigns as premier of Israel

1984 – Prince Harry of Wales is born

1989 – Pulitzer Prize-winning author and the first poet laureate of the U.S., Robert Penn Warren, dies

1990 – To force Iraq’s dictator Saddam Hussein to withdraw troops from occupied Kuwait and to protect Saudi Arabia, France announces it will send 4,000 troops to join those of other nations assembling in the Persian Gulf during the Gulf War

1990 – Henry Meinholz, a Bible school instructor in Kingston, Massachusetts, abducts 13-yr old Melissa Benoit. The FBI found her body under a pile of dirt and coal in his basement. He was issued a life sentence for her rape and murder, and the judge that sentenced him famously said, “It is said that my predecessors in colonial times had a gallows erected on the green in front of this courthouse and summarily sent defendants convicted, as you have been, to be hanged. I truly regret that option is not open to me in this case.”

1998 – MCI WorldCom begins operations after a landmark merger between World Com and MCI Communications

2004 – Gary Bettman, National Hockey League commissioner, announces a lockout of the players union which ultimately leads to the 2004-2005 season being cancelled

2007 – Scottish race car driver, Colin McRae, dies

2008 – The Lehman Brothers financial services firm files the largest Chapter 11 bankruptcy in U.S. history


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.


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