Today in History

September 15

1588 The Spanish Armada, which attempted to invade England, is destroyed by a British fleet.

1776 The British occupy Manhattan.

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

1858 The Butterfield Overland Mail Company begins delivering mail from St. Louis to San Francisco. The company’s motto is: "Remember, boys, nothing on God’s earth must stop the United States mail!"

1862 Confederates capture Harpers Ferry, securing the rear of Robert E. Lee’s forces in Maryland.

1891 The Dalton gang holds up a train and takes $2,500 at Wagoner, Oklahoma.

1914 President Woodrow Wilson orders the Punitive Expedition out of Mexico. The Expedition, headed by General John Pershing, had been searching for Pancho Villa, a Mexican revolutionary.

1916 Armored tanks are introduced by the British during the Battle of the Somme.

1928 Scottish bacteriologist Alexander Fleming discovers, by accident, that the mold penicillin has an antibiotic effect.

1935 In Berlin, the Reich under Adolf Hitler adopts the swastika as the national flag.

1937 Prime Minister of England Neville Chamberlain flies to Germany to discuss the future of Czechoslovakia with Adolf Hitler.

1939 The Polish submarine Orzel arrives in Tallinn, Estonia, after escaping the German invasion of Poland.

1950 U.N. Forces, lead by the U.S. Marine Corps, invade occupied Korea at the port of Inchon. Considered the greatest amphibious attack in history, it is the zenith of General Douglas MacArthur’s career.

1959 Nikita Khrushchev becomes first Soviet leader to visit the US.

1961 Hurricane Carla comes ashore in Texas, the second-most powerful ever to make landfall in that state.

1963 Four young African-American girls are killed by the bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama.

1966 US President Lyndon Johnson urges Congress to adopt gun control legislation in the wake of Charles Whitman’s sniper attack from the University of Texas’s Texas Tower; in all, Whitman shot and killed 15 people before being shot dead himself by an Austin police officer.

1968 The USSR launches Zond 5, which becomes the first spaceshipt to orbit the moon and reenter Earth’s atmosphere.

1971 The environmental group Greenpeace is founded.

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

1983 Menachem Begin resigns as premier of Israel.

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

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

2004 National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman announces a lockout of the players union.

2008 The largest Chapter 11 bankruptcy in US history is filed by Lehman Brothers financial services firm.

Born on September 15

1789 James Fenimore Cooper, novelist whose works include The Pioneers and Last of the Mohicans.

1857 William Howard Taft, 26th president of the United States (1909-1913).

1889 Robert Benchley, humorist.

1890 Agatha Christie, English writer of mystery novels.

1890 Claude McKay, poet and novelist, part of the Harlem Renaissance.

1894 Jean Renoir, French film director (Grand Illusion, The Rules of the Game).

1901 Sir Howard Bailey, British engineer who gave his name to a prefabricated bridge used extensively during World War II.

1926 Bobby Short, singer and pianist.

1945 Jesse Norman, soprano.

1946 Oliver Stone, film director and screenwriter (Platoon, JFK).

1958 Wendie Jo Sperber, actress (I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Back to the Future).

1961 Dan Marino, American football pro quarterback who led Miami Dolphins to 10 playoffs in his 17-year career and set many NFL passing records.

1977 Tom Hardy, actor; won a BAFTA Rising Star Award for Inception.

1984 Prince Harry of Wales, Prince of Wales; currently fourth in line of succession to the British throne.


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