October 15 in History Events, Birthdays, & News

To know what happened today in history, famous events occurred, famous birthdays, death days, legend quotes, and historical news on October 15.

October 15

Events on October 15

1522 Spanish emperor Charles V promotes Hermán Cortés to the status of governor general in the new Mexican colony founded by the expedition leader in 1521.

1821 The Central American Federation wins independence from Spain.

1880 Victorio, military genius and leader of the Warm Springs Apache, is finally trapped by Mexican troops and fights until his ammunition gives out, then kills himself.

1928 The airship Graf Zeppelin lands in New Jersey after making its first transatlantic crossing from Germany.

1932 Tata Airlines (later called Air India) makes its first flight.

1945 French politician Pierre Laval, who led the Vichy government which collaborated with the Germans in World War Two, is executed.

1964 Harold Wilson wins the British elections for the Labour Party with a majority of just four to become the youngest British prime minister of the 20th century.

1997 Thrust sets the first supersonic land speed record, breaking the sound barrier at 766 mph (1,226 kph).

Famous Birthdays on October 15

Virgil 70 BCE, Roman epic, didactic and pastoral poet.

Akbar the Great 1542, the third and greatest ruler of the Mughal Dynasty in India.

Evangelista Torricelli 1608, Italian mathematician who invented the barometer in 1643.

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche 1844, German philosopher who developed the idea of the Ubermensch, or superman, in his book Thus Spake Zarathustra.

P.G. Woodhouse 1881, English author of more than 90 books who created the famous butler Jeeves.

C.P. Snow 1905, British author and parliamentary secretary to the Ministry of Science and Technology who wrote the Strangers and Brothers series of novels, which include The Corridors of Power.

Quotes from Legendary

I'm not interested in the bloody system! Why has he no food? Why is he starving to death?

- Bob Geldof, Irish rock musician, in Ethiopia during the famine, 1985.

Historical News on October 15

Judge Just Scrapes In

1991 The US senate today elected Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court by 52 votes to 48, the highest number of “no” votes ever cast against a nominee.

Ten days ago it seemed likely that the Democrat-dominated Senate would back Thomas by a handsome margin.

Then it was revealed that a 35-year-old law professor, Anita Hill, had accused Thomas of sexual harassment while he was chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the early 1980s.

The Administration had been aware of her allegations but dismissed them out of hand.

The Senate hearings to determine Thomas’ suitability for the Supreme Court were broadcast live, but became a trial of character rather than his stance on legal matters.

The Melodies Linger On

The melodies linger on October 15
The melodies linger on

1964 The American composer and lyricist Cole Porter died today in Santa Monica, California, at the age of 71.

The grandson of a millionaire speculator, Porter inhabited the glittering society world that so often provided the backdrop to his musicals and songs.

The richest creative period of his life was between 1928 and 1948, culminating with his greatest musical, Kiss Me Kate.

In 1958, 21 years after a horse riding accident left him crippled, Porter underwent the amputation of one leg.

1993 ANC leader Nelson Mandela and President F.W. de Klerk of South Africa has today been awarded the Nobel Peace prize, an acknowledgement of their commitment to build a peaceful multi-racial South Africa.

The prize comes after years of negotiations between the two.

India's Booker Win

2008 With The White Tiger’s 2008 Man Booker win, Aravind Adiga becomes the third debut novelist to win the prize, along with DBC Pierre and Arundhati Roy’s God of Small Things (1997).

Adiga is also the third Indian to win it after Roy and Kiran Desai who won it for The Inheritance of Loss.

The White Tiger was penned during the author’s freelance period and chronicles the life of individuals looking in at the booming economy of India from a standpoint of crushing poverty and mounting injustices

Millions March To End Vietnam War

Millions march to end Vietnam war on October 15
Millions march to end Vietnam war on

1969 The biggest anti-war demonstration in America’s history was staged today.

Millions of Americans took part in organized rallies and marches to register disapproval of their country’s continuing involvement in the Vietnam War.

The protesters want a moratorium, an end to the war that has, after eight years of US involvement, cost the lives of 40,000 US servicemen.

He Put the Gym in Germany

1852 Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, the founder of the Turnverein (gymnastic club) movement in Germany, died at Freyburg an der Unstrut aged 74.

Jahn, a nationalist, sought to improve the moral and physical powers of his fellow Germans through gymnastics.

At Jahn’s first gymnasium in Berlin his pupils dressed in a kind of medieval costume.

Jahn suffered in the reaction of 1819 along with other German democrats and individualists.

His gymnasium was closed down and he was imprisoned for six years.

In 1840 he was awarded the Iron Cross, and eight years later was elected to the German parliament.

1582 Pope Gregory XIII has decreed that 10 days be dropped from the calendar.

The Julian calendar calculated a year as 365 1/4 days, overestimating it by 11 minutes 14 seconds.

The equinox this year fell on March 11, 14 days earlier than in Caesar’s time.

By losing 10 days this month and counting years ending in hundreds as leap years only if they are divisible by 400, the new calendar should now work.

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