This Day in History - January 15

January 15


588 BC – Nebuchadrezzar II of Babylon lays siege on Jerusalem


1535 – Henry VIII declares himself head of the Church of England


1559 – Queen Mary I of England, Elizabeth Tudor, is formally crowned Queen Elizabeth I at Westminster Abbey in London


1622 – French comic dramatist Moliere (Jean Baptiste Poquelin) is born


1624 – Riots break out in Mexico when it is announced that all churches are to be closed


1716 – Singer of the Declaration of Independence, Philip Livingston, is born


1759 – The British Museum opens


1777 – New Connecticut aka Vermont, declares independence from both Britain and New York


1811 – Congress plans to annex Spanish East Florida


1823 – Civil War photographer Mathew Brady is born


1831 – Victor Hugo completes Notre Dame de Paris, better known as The Hunchback of Notre Dame


1865 – Union troops capture Fort Fisher, North Carolina


1870 – The first recorded use of the Democratic Party donkey appears in Harper’s Weekly


1889 – The Coca-Cola Company, which started off as the Pemberton Medicine Company, is incorporated in Atlanta, Georgia


1892 – Canadian James Naismith publishes the rules of Basketball, a game he invented for his gym class at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts


1895 – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s ballet “Swan Lake” premieres in St. Petersburg , Russia


1906 – Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis is born


1908 – US physicist born in Hungary known as the “Father of the H-bomb,” Edward Teller, is born


1913 – The first telephone line between Berlin and New York begins operation


1918 – 2nd President of Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser is born


1919 – Russian economist and philosopher Rosa Luxemburg dies


1919 – Peasants in Central Russia rise up in revolt against the Bolsheviks


1919 – In Berlin, the Spartacists, a group of radicals’ efforts to launch a coup against the Social Democratic Party are suppressed and their leaders, Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg are killed


1919 – Huge tanks of molasses burst at the US Industrial Alcohol Company, flooding the streets of Boston with burning goo and literally sweeping away freight cars and caving in buildings.  21 die and dozens more are injured and more than 100 lawsuits will be filed against the company.  Nearly $1 million was paid out in settlements as restitution for the molasses tanks not being built strong enough to contain the liquid


1920 – Selling liquor and beer becomes illegal as the Dry Law takes effect


1920 – The US approves a $150 million loan to Poland, Austria and Armenia to aid in the war against the Russian Communists


1927 – The Dumbarton Bridge opens in San Francisco allowing the first auto traffic to cross the bay


1929 – The US ratifies the Kellogg-Briand anti-war pact


1929 – Nobel Peace Prize-winning civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. is born


1930 – Amelia Earhart sets an aviation record for women at 171 mph


1933 – The utopian Amana colonists of Iowa begin using US currency for the first time


1936 – In London, Japan quits all naval disarmament talks after being denied equality


1936 – The son of auto pioneer Henry Ford, Edsel Ford, forms the Ford Foundation 


1941 – American singer and songwriter Captain Beefheart is born


1943 – Construction on the world’s largest office building, the Pentagon, is completed


1944 – The US Fifth Army breaks the German Winter Line in Italy when it captures Mount Trocchio


1945 – Princess Michael of Kent is born


1947 – The body of American waitress Elizabeth Short, dubbed “the Black Dahlia,” is found nude, posed, scrubbed clean and drained of blood in a vacant lot near Leimert Park in Los Angeles.  Her body was cut in half and mutilated severely, and her killer never found


1948 – Singer and songwriter Ronnie Van Zant is born


1949 – Chinese Communists occupy Tienstin after a 27-hour battle with Nationalist forces


1950 – American general Henry H. Arnold dies


1951 – Ilse Koch, wife of the commandant of the Buchenwald concentration camp known as the “Witch of Buchenwald,” is sentenced to life in prison for her extreme acts of sadism against the prisoners which involved whipping, forcing them to have sex with her and murdering tattooed prisoners to make book covers, gloves and lampshades out of their skin


1953 – John Foster Dulles testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, prior to taking office as the new Secretary of State, that US foreign policy must strive for the “liberation of captive peoples” living under Communist rule


1962 – At a news conference, President Kennedy was asked if US troops were fighting in Vietnam, to which he answered, “No,” even though US soldiers serving as combat advisers were being wounded and suffering casualties


1965 – Sir Winston Churchill has a severe stroke


1965 – Irish actor James Nesbitt is born


1967 – 462 Yale faculty members call for an end to the bombing in North Vietnam


1967 – The Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the first-ever world championship game of American football, taking place at Los Angeles Coliseum


1970 – The Republic of Biafra surrenders to Nigeria


1970 – Muammar al-Qaddafi becomes premier of Libya


1972 – Struggling folk singer Don McLean’s “American Pie” reached #1 on the Billboard charts


1973 – Four of six remaining Watergate defendants plead guilty


1973 – President Richard Nixon suspends military action in North Vietnam to allow the peace talks between Henry Kissinger and North Vietnamese leader Le Duc Tho a chance to succeed


1975 – The Alvor Agreement is signed, ending the Angolan War of Independence and granting the country independence from Portugal


1976 – Sara Jane Moore is sentenced to life in prison for her botched attempt to assassinate President Gerald Ford


1981 – Hill Street Blues debuts on NBC


1982 – Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia is born


1988 – Nobel Prize-winning Irish politician, Sean MacBride dies


1991 – UN deadline for Iraq to withdraw its forces from occupied Kuwait passes, setting the stage for Operation Desert Storm


1991 – Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II approves Australia instituting its own Victoria Cross honors system, and it’s the first country in the British Commonwealth allowed to do so


1992 – Slovenia and Croatia’s independence from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is recognized by the international community


1993 – Television soap Santa Barbara runs its final episode after eight years and numerous awards


1994 – American singer, songwriter and musician Harry Nilsson dies


2001 – Wikipedia goes online


2009 – Captain Chesley Burnett Sullenberger III safely lands US Airways Flight 1549 in New York City’s Hudson River after both engines are lost due to a striking flock of geese.  All 155 passengers and crew survived and due to the extraordinary amount of skill and composure demonstrated in the “Miracle on the Hudson,” Captain “Sully” received many honors



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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