September 15, 2023 at 12:35 a.m.
Today In History

Today In History – September 15

September 15 is the 258th day of the year


September 15 is the 258th day of the year (259th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar; 107 days remain until the end of the year.

EVENTS

1440 – Gilles de Rais, one of the earliest known serial killers, is taken into custody upon an accusation brought against him by Jean de Malestroit, Bishop of Nantes.

1530 – Appearance of the miraculous portrait of Saint Dominic in Soriano in Soriano Calabro, Calabria, Italy; commemorated as a feast day by the Roman Catholic Church 1644–1912.

1789 – The United States "Department of Foreign Affairs", established by law in July, is renamed the Department of State and given a variety of domestic duties.

1835 – HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin aboard, reaches the Galápagos Islands. The ship lands at Chatham or San Cristobal, the easternmost of the archipelago.

1862 – American Civil War: Confederate forces capture Harpers Ferry, Virginia (present-day Harpers Ferry, West Virginia).

1916 – World War I: Tanks are used for the first time in battle, at the Battle of the Somme.

1942 – World War II: U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Wasp is sunk by Japanese torpedoes at Guadalcanal.

1944 – Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill meet in Quebec as part of the Octagon Conference to discuss strategy.

1945 – A hurricane strikes southern Florida and the Bahamas, destroying 366 airplanes and 25 blimps at Naval Air Station Richmond.

1954 – Marilyn Monroe's iconic skirt scene is shot during filming for The Seven Year Itch.

1966 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, responding to a sniper attack at the University of Texas at Austin, writes a letter to Congress urging the enactment of gun control legislation.

1978 – Muhammad Ali outpoints Leon Spinks in a rematch to become the first boxer to win the world heavyweight title three times at the Superdome in New Orleans.

1981 – The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approves Sandra Day O'Connor to become the first female justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

1981 – The John Bull becomes the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world when the Smithsonian Institution operates it under its own power outside Washington, D.C.

2008 – Lehman Brothers files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history.

BIRTHS

1254 – Marco Polo, Italian merchant and explorer (d. 1324)

1533 – Catherine of Austria, Queen of Poland (d. 1572)

1736 – Jean Sylvain Bailly, French astronomer, mathematician, and politician, 1st Mayor of Paris (d. 1793)

1789 – James Fenimore Cooper, American novelist, short story writer, and historian (d. 1851)

1889 – Robert Benchley, American humorist, newspaper columnist, and actor (d. 1945)

1890 – Agatha Christie, English crime novelist, short story writer, and playwright (d. 1976)

1894 – Jean Renoir, French actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 1979)

1903 – Roy Acuff, American singer-songwriter and fiddler (d. 1992)

1913 – Henry Brant, Canadian-American composer and conductor (d. 2008)

1913 – Bruno Hoffmann, German glass harp player (d. 1991)

1913 – John N. Mitchell, American lawyer, and politician, 67th United States Attorney General (d. 1988)

1913 – Johannes Steinhoff, German general and pilot (d. 1994)

1914 – Creighton Abrams, American general (d. 1974)

1914 – Adolfo Bioy Casares, Argentinian journalist and author (d. 1999)

1914 – Orhan Kemal, Turkish author (d. 1970)

1914 – Robert McCloskey, American author and illustrator (d. 2003)

1921 – Gene Roland, American pianist and composer (d. 1982)

1922 – Bob Anderson, English fencer and choreographer (d. 2012)

1922 – Jackie Cooper, American actor (d. 2011)

1924 – Bobby Short, American singer and pianist (d. 2005)

1928 – Cannonball Adderley, American saxophonist and bandleader (d. 1975)

1929 – Eva Burrows, Australian 13th General of The Salvation Army (d. 2015)

1940 – Merlin Olsen, American football player, sportscaster, and actor (d. 2010)

1946 – Oliver Stone, American director, screenwriter, and producer

1946 – Howard Waldrop, American author and critic

1951 – Fred Seibert, American television producer, co-founder of MTV

1958 – Wendie Jo Sperber, American actress (d. 2005)

1960 – Lisa Vanderpump, British restaurateur, television personality, and author

1961 – Dan Marino, American football player and sportscaster

1975 – Tom Dolan, American swimmer

1984 – Cyhi the Prynce, American rapper and producer

1984 – Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex

DEATHS

Pre-1600

921 – Ludmila of Bohemia, Czech martyr and saint (b. 860)

1140 – Adelaide of Hungary, Duchess of Bohemia

1596 – Leonhard Rauwolf, German physician and botanist (b. 1535)

1601–1900

1613 – Thomas Overbury, English poet and author (b. 1581)

1643 – Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork, English-Irish politician, Lord High Treasurer of Ireland (b. 1566)

1930 – Milton Sills, American actor and screenwriter (b. 1882)

1938 – Thomas Wolfe, American novelist (b. 1900)

1940 – William B. Bankhead, American lawyer and politician, 47th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (b. 1874)

1980 – Bill Evans, American pianist and composer (b. 1929)

1981 – Rafael Méndez, Mexican trumpet player and composer (b. 1906)

1983 – Prince Far I, Jamaican DJ and producer (b. 1944)

1985 – Cootie Williams, American trumpet player (b. 1910)

1997 – Bulldog Brower, American wrestler (b. 1933)

2003 – Garner Ted Armstrong, American evangelist and author (b. 1930)

2004 – Johnny Ramone, American guitarist and songwriter (b. 1948)

2007 – Colin McRae, Scottish race car driver (b. 1968)

2013 – Jerry G. Bishop, American radio and television host (b. 1936)

2017 – Harry Dean Stanton, American actor (b. 1926)

2018 – Helen Clare, British singer (b. 1916)

2019 – Ric Ocasek, American musician (b. 1944)

2021 – Lou Angotti, Canadian ice hockey player and coach (b. 1938)


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