Today in history

Today in history

15 August 2019 (MIA)

636 – Arab–Byzantine wars: The Battle of Yarmouk between the Byzantine Empire and the Rashidun Caliphate begins.

717 – Arab–Byzantine wars: Maslama ibn Abd al-Malik begins the Second Arab Siege of Constantinople, which will last for nearly a year.

718 – Arab–Byzantine wars: Raising of the Second Arab Siege of Constantinople.

747 – Carloman, mayor of the palace of Austrasia, renounces his position as majordomo and retires to a monastery near Rome. His brother Pepin the Short becomes the sole ruler (de facto) of the Frankish Kingdom.

778 – The Battle of Roncevaux Pass, at which Roland is killed.

927 – The Saracens conquer and destroy Taranto.

982 – Holy Roman Emperor Otto II is defeated by the Saracens in the Battle of Capo Colonna, in Calabria

1018 – Byzantine general Eustathios Daphnomeles blinds and captures Ibatzes of Bulgaria by a ruse, thereby ending Bulgarian resistance against Emperor Basil II’s conquest of Bulgaria.

1038 – King Stephen I, the first king of Hungary, dies; his nephew, Peter Orseolo, succeeds him.

1057 – King Macbeth is killed at the Battle of Lumphanan by the forces of Máel Coluim mac Donnchada.

1070 – The Pavian-born Benedictine Lanfranc is appointed as the new Archbishop of Canterbury in England.

1185 – The cave city of Vardzia is consecrated by Queen Tamar of Georgia.

1237 – The Battle of the Puig takes place in the context of the Spanish Reconquista pitting the forces of the Taifa of Valencia against the Kingdom of Aragon. The battle resulted in an Aragonese victory.

1248 – The foundation stone of Cologne Cathedral, built to house the relics of the Three Wise Men, is laid. (Construction is eventually completed in 1880.)

1261 – Michael VIII Palaiologos is crowned Byzantine emperor in Constantinople.

1281 – Mongol invasion of Japan: The Mongolian fleet of Kublai Khan is destroyed by a “divine wind” for the second time in the Battle of Kōan.

1309 – The city of Rhodes surrenders to the forces of the Knights of St. John, completing their conquest of Rhodes. The knights establish their headquarters on the island and rename themselves the Knights of Rhodes.

1430 – Francesco Sforza, lord of Milan, conquers Lucca.

1461 – The Empire of Trebizond surrenders to the forces of Sultan Mehmed II. This is regarded by some historians as the real end of the Byzantine Empire. Emperor David is exiled and later murdered.

1483 – Pope Sixtus IV consecrates the Sistine Chapel.

1511 – Afonso de Albuquerque of Portugal conquers Malacca, the capital of the Malacca Sultanate.

1517 – Seven Portuguese armed vessels led by Fernão Pires de Andrade meet Chinese officials at the Pearl River estuary.

1519 – Panama City, Panama, is founded.

1534 – Ignatius of Loyola and six classmates take initial vows, leading to the creation of the Society of Jesus in September 1540.

1537 – Asunción, Paraguay, is founded.

1540 – Arequipa, Peru, is founded.

1549 – Jesuit priest Francis Xavier comes ashore at Kagoshima (Traditional Japanese date: July 22, 1549).

1599 – Nine Years’ War: Battle of Curlew Pass – Irish forces led by Hugh Roe O’Donnell successfully ambush English forces, led by Sir Conyers Clifford, sent to relieve Collooney Castle.

1695 – French forces end the bombardment of Brussels, leaving a third of the buildings in the city in ruins.

1760 – Seven Years’ War: Battle of Liegnitz – Frederick the Great’s victory over the Austrians under Ernst Gideon von Laudon.

1812 – War of 1812: The Battle of Fort Dearborn is fought between United States troops and Potawatomi at what is now Chicago.

1824 – The Marquis de Lafayette, the last surviving French general of the American Revolutionary War, arrives in New York and begins a tour of 24 states.

1843 – The Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu, Hawaii is dedicated. Now the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu, it is the oldest Roman Catholic cathedral in continuous use in the United States.

1843 – Tivoli Gardens, one of the oldest still intact amusement parks in the world, opens in Copenhagen, Denmark.

1863 – The Anglo-Satsuma War begins between the Satsuma Domain of Japan and the United Kingdom (Traditional Japanese date: July 2, 1863).

1869 – The Meiji government in Japan establishes six new ministries, including one for Shinto.

1893 – Ibadan area becomes a British Protectorate after a treaty signed by Fijabi, the Baale of Ibadan with the British acting Governor of Lagos, George C. Denton.

1897 – Stojan Hristov, American writer of Macedonian origin, was born in the village of Konomladi, now in Aegean Macedonia – Northern Greece. Moved to the United States at a young age, Hristov worked as a journalist, and a Vermont state senator for 12 years.

1907 – Ordination in Constantinople of Fr. Raphael Morgan, the first African-American Orthodox priest, “Priest-Apostolic” to America and the West Indies.

1914 – A servant of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright murders seven people and sets fire to the living quarters of Wright’s Wisconsin home, Taliesin.

1914 – The Panama Canal opens to traffic with the transit of the cargo ship SS Ancon.

1914 – World War I: The First Russian Army, led by Paul von Rennenkampf, enters East Prussia.

1914 – World War I: Beginning of the Battle of Cer, the first Allied victory of World War I.

1915 – A story in New York World newspaper reveals that the Imperial German government had purchased excess phenol from Thomas Edison that could be used to make explosives for the war effort and diverted it to Bayer for aspirin production.

1920 – Polish-Soviet War: Battle of Warsaw, so-called Miracle at the Vistula.

1935 – Will Rogers and Wiley Post are killed after their aircraft develops engine problems during takeoff in Barrow, Alaska.

1939 – Thirteen Stukas dive into the ground during a disastrous air-practice at Neuhammer. There are no survivors.

1939 – The Wizard of Oz premieres at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, California.

1940 – An Italian submarine torpedoes and sinks the Greek cruiser Elli at Tinos harbor during peacetime, marking the most serious Italian provocation prior to the outbreak of the Greco-Italian War in October.

1941 – Corporal Josef Jakobs is executed by firing squad at the Tower of London at 07:12, making him the last person to be executed at the Tower for espionage.

1942 – World War II: Operation Pedestal: The SS Ohio reaches the island of Malta barely afloat carrying vital fuel supplies for the island’s defenses.

1944 – World War II: Operation Dragoon: Allied forces land in southern France.

1945 – Effective surrender of Japan in World War II, Korea gains Independence from Japan.

1947 – India gains Independence from British rule after near 190 years of Crown rule and joins the Commonwealth of Nations.

1947 – Founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah is sworn in as first Governor-General of Pakistan in Karachi.

1948 – The Republic of Korea is established south of the 38th parallel north.

1952 – A flash flood drenches the town of Lynmouth, England, killing 34 people.

1954 – Alfredo Stroessner begins his dictatorship in Paraguay.

1960 – Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) becomes independent from France.

1961 – Border guard Conrad Schumann flees from East Germany while on duty guarding the construction of the Berlin Wall.

1962 – James Joseph Dresnok defects to North Korea after running across the Korean Demilitarized Zone. Dresnok still resides in the capital, Pyongyang.

1963 – Execution of Henry John Burnett, the last man to be hanged in Scotland.

1963 – President Fulbert Youlou is overthrown in the Republic of the Congo, after a three-day uprising in the capital.

1965 – The Beatles play to nearly 60,000 fans at Shea Stadium in New York City, an event later regarded as the birth of stadium rock.

1969 – The Woodstock Music & Art Fair opens in upstate New York, featuring some of the top rock musicians of the era.

1970 – Patricia Palinkas becomes the first woman to play professionally in an American football game.

1971 – President Richard Nixon completes the break from the gold standard by ending convertibility of the United States dollar into gold by foreign investors.

1971 – Bahrain gains independence from the United Kingdom.

1973 – Vietnam War: The United States bombing of Cambodia ends.

1974 – Yuk Young-soo, First Lady of South Korea, is killed during an apparent assassination attempt upon President, Park Chung-hee.

1975 – Bangladeshi leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is killed along with most members of his family during a military coup.

1975 – Takeo Miki makes the first official pilgrimage to Yasukuni Shrine by an incumbent prime minister on the anniversary of the end of World War II.

1977 – The Big Ear, a radio telescope operated by Ohio State University as part of the SETI project, receives a radio signal from deep space; the event is named the “Wow! signal” from the notation made by a volunteer on the project.

1984 – The Kurdistan Workers’ Party in Turkey starts a campaign of armed attacks upon the Turkish military with an attack on police and gendarmerie bases in Şemdinli and Eruh

1995 – In South Carolina, Shannon Faulkner becomes the first female cadet matriculated at The Citadel (she drops out less than a week later).

1998 – Omagh bombing in Northern Ireland, the worst terrorist incident of The Troubles.

1999 – Beni Ounif massacre in Algeria: Some 29 people are killed at a false roadblock near the Moroccan border, leading to temporary tensions with Morocco.

2005 – Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan to evict all Israelis from the Gaza Strip and from four settlements in the northern West Bank begins.

2005 – The Helsinki Agreement between the Free Aceh Movement and the Government of Indonesia was signed, ending almost three decades of fighting.

2007 – An 8.0-magnitude earthquake off the Pacific coast devastates Ica and various regions of Peru killing 514 and injuring 1,090.

2012 – Arben Xhaferi passed away at the age of 64 in Skopje. A senior political leader of ethnic Albanians in Macedonia, he was active in the PDP party, and afterwards president of the DPA party for 12 years.

2013 – At least 27 people are killed and 226 injured in an explosion in southern Beirut near a complex used by Lebanon’s militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon. A previously unknown Syrian Sunni group claims responsibility in an online video.

2013 – The Smithsonian announces the discovery of the olinguito, the first new carnivoran species found in the Americas in 35 years.

2015 – North Korea moves its clock back half an hour to introduce Pyongyang Time, 8½ hours ahead of UTC.

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