Famous Events on this Day in History, August 15:

778 - Battle at Roncevalles: Basques beat Charles the Great
778 - The Battle of Roncevaux Pass, at which Roland is killed.
927 - The Saracens conquer and destroy Taranto.
1040 - King Duncan I is killed in battle against his first cousin and rival Macbeth. The latter succeeds him as King of Scotland.
1057 - King Macbeth is killed at the Battle of Lumphanan by the forces of Máel Coluim mac Donnchada.
1185 - The cave city of Vardzia is consecrated by Queen Tamar of Georgia.
1308 - Johannieter knights conquer Rhodos on the Greece
1457 - Earliest dated book, "Mainz Psalter," completed
1461 - The Empire of Trebizond surrenders to the forces of Sultan Mehmet II. This is regarded by some historians as the real end of the Byzantine Empire. Emperor David is exiled and later murdered.
1517 - Seven Portuguese armed vessels led by Fernão Pires de Andrade meet Chinese officials at the Pearl River estuary.
1519 - Panama City founded
1534 - Ignatius of Loyola forms society of Jesus/Jesuits
1535 - Asunción, Paraguay founded
1537 - Asunción, Paraguay, is founded.
1540 - Arequipa, Peru, is founded.
1548 - Mary queen of Scotland (6) arrives in France
1549 - Portuguese missionaries Franciscus Xaverius lands in Kagoshima Japan
1549 - Jesuit priest Saint 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.
1620 - Mayflower sets sail from Southampton with 102 Pilgrims
1635 - 1st recorded US hurricane hit the Plymouth Colony
1653 - -16] Dutch ship "Sperwer" stranded at Tsjedzjoe Korea
1658 - France/Sweden/Bavarian/Brunswick/Munster/Hessen-Kassel form Rijnbond
1668 - Rijnbond disbands
1684 - Spain & Germany sign cease fire with France
1741 - French troops attack the Rhine
1748 - United Lutheran Church of US organized
1760 - Battle at Leignitz: Prussia beats Austria & Russia
1785 - French cardinal De Rohan arrested
1795 - Joseph Haydn leaves England forever
1824 - Freed American slaves forms country of Liberia
1832 - Gregory XVI encyclical On liberalism & religious indifferentism
1843 - National black convention meets (Buffalo NY)
1843 - Tivoli Park in Copenhagen opens
1848 - M Waldo Hanchett patents dental chair
1858 - Regular mail to Pacific coast begins
1861 - Lincoln directs reinforcements to be sent to MI
1863 - Submarine "HL Hunley" arrives in Charleston on railroad cars
1863 - The Anglo-Satsuma War begins between the Satsuma Domain of Japan and the United Kingdom (Traditional Japanese date: July 2, 1863).
1864 - Off New England coast, CSS Tallahassee captures 6 yankee schooners
1867 - 2nd Reform Bill extends suffrage in England
1869 - The Meiji government in Japan establishes six new ministries, including one for Shinto.
1870 - Transcontinental Railway actually completed in Colorado
1876 - US law removes Indians from Black Hills after gold find
1886 - Guy Hecker scores 7 runs in 1 game
1891 - San Sebastian Church in Manila, the first all-steel church in Asia, is officially inaugurated and blessed.
1892 - 4th & last British government of Gladstone forms
1893 - US no longer allowed exclusive rights in Bering Sea
1899 - Louisville's Henry Dowling struck out 5 times in a game
1901 - Arch Rock, danger to Bay shipping, blasted with 30 tons of nitro
1905 - Phila A's Rube Waddell no-hits St Louis Browns, 2-0 in 5 innings
1906 - 1st freight delivery tunnel system begins, underneath Chicago
1911 - Procter & Gamble unveils its Crisco shortening
1912 - Yankee Guy Zinn sets record by stealing home twice in a game
1914 - 13th Davis Cup: Australasia beats USA in New York (3-2)
1914 - Dinant Belgium destroyed by German bombs
1914 - German assault at Dinant: Lt Charles de Gaulle (24), injured
1914 - Japan joins side of allies
1914 - Panama Canal opens (under cost)
1914 - A male servant of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright sets fire to the living quarters of the architect's Wisconsin home, Taliesin, murders seven people and burns the living quarters to the ground.
1915 - Journalist Albert Siegfried Bettelheim, convicted of murder in Georgia
1918 - 1st full length cartoon (Sinking of Lusitania)
1918 - Russia severs diplomatic ties with US
1923 - Eamon de Valera arrested in Irish Free State
1923 - Mexico & US reaches accord over oil concession of 1917
1925 - Norway annexes Spitsbergen
1925 - White Sox Dickie Kerr, 1st appearance since winning 2 world series games in 1919
1931 - Ernest Lassy completes longest canoe journey without port (6,102 mi)
1931 - Roy Wilkins joined NAACP as asst secretary
1931 - Spakenburg soccer team forms
1939 - "Wizard of Oz" premieres at Grauman's Chinese Theater, Hollywood
1939 - In 1st night game at Comiskey Park, Sox beat Browns 5-2
1939 - 13 Stukas dive into the ground during a disastrous air-practice at Neuhammer. No survivors.
1940 - 1st edition of Jewish Weekly newspaper in Amsterdam (under Nazi)
1940 - Heavy dogfights above England: 75 German aircrafts damaged
1941 - Kovono Lithuanian Jews are herded into Slobodka ghetto
1942 - 5 hostages executed by Nazis in St-Michielsgestel
1943 - Allies land on Kiska Aleutians
1944 - Allied air raid on train in North Netherlands, 32 killed
1944 - German field marshal von Kluge vanishes for one day
1944 - Operation Anvil: Allies land on French Mediterranean sea coast
1944 - Operation Dragoon: Allied troops land in Provence
1944 - US 12 Army corp enters Le Mans through Orleans
1944 - US 7th Armour division reaches Chartres
1945 - A riot ensued in SF while the city was celebrating the end of WW II
1945 - South Korea liberated from Japanese rule
1945 - US wartime rationing of gasoline & fuel oil ends
1945 - Chandler sells World Series radio rights for $150,000 to Gillette, Ford had been World Series sponsor since 1934, pay $100,000 annually
1945 - World War II: Korean Liberation Day.
1947 - India declares independence from UK, Islamic part becomes Pakistan
1947 - Pakistan (formerly West Pakistan) declares independence from UK
1948 - 3rd US Women's Open Golf Championship won by Babe Didrikson-Zaharias
1948 - Republic of Korea (South Korea) proclaimed (National Day)
1949 - WOTV TV channel 8 in Grand Rapids, MI (NBC) begins broadcasting
1950 - 8.6 earthquake in India kills 20,000 to 30,000
1950 - Ezzard Charles TKOs Freddie Beshore in 14 for heavyweight boxing title
1950 - Indians make their 1st triple play at Cleveland Stadium
1950 - Indies Constitution goes into effect
1950 - Joseph Pholien becomes Belgian premier
1950 - Pres Sukarno proclaims unity of Indonesia
1950 - Rotterdam harbor strike begins
1950 - Srikakulam district is formed in Andhra Pradesh, India.
1952 - 19th NFL Chicago All-Star Game: Los Angeles 10, All-Stars 7 (88,316)
1952 - 9" of rain fall creates a 20' wave in Lynmouth, England killing 34
1954 - Alfredo Stroessner names himself president of Paraguay
1954 - WCHS TV channel 8 in Charleston-Huntington, WV (ABC) begins
1955 - WXEX TV channel 8 in Richmond-Petersburg, VA (ABC) begins
1957 - David Simons reaches 30,942 m in Man High 2 balloon
1957 - USAF Capt Joe B Jordan reaches 31,513 m in F-104 jet fighter
1958 - 25th NFL Chicago All-Star Game: All-Stars 35, Detroit 19 (70,000)
1958 - Buddy Holly weds Maria Santiago
1958 - Marshal Boelganin resigns as director of Staatsbank
1958 - Soviet Marshal Bulganin resigns as director of State Bank
1960 - CFL's Calgary Stampeders move into McMahon Stadium
1960 - Chic Bears beat NY Giants 16-7 in Toronto (NFL expo)
1960 - Congo (formerly Congo/Brazzaville) declares Independence from France
1960 - Mil Brave Lew Burdette no-hits Phila Phillies, 1-0
1960 - UFO is sighted by 3 California patrolmen
1961 - Keiyo Road is specified as the first driveway in Japan.
1962 - Netherlands & Indonesia signs accord about New Guinea
1962 - Shady Grove Baptist Church burned in Leesburg Georgia
1963 - Fulbert Youlou, resigns as Pres of Congo-Brazzaville
1964 - Fred Trueman takes 300th Test Cricket wicket (Neil Hawke)
1964 - Mayor Daley declares "Ernie Banks Day" in Chicago
1964 - Phillies triple-play NY Mets
1964 - Race riot in Dixmoor (Chicago suburb) Ill
1964 - Ralph Boston of US, sets then long jump record at 27' 3½"
1965 - 47th PGA Championship: Dave Marr shoots a 280 at Laurel Valley GC PA
1965 - Beatles play to 55,000 at Shea Stadium
1965 - Mary Mills wins LPGA St Louis Golf Open
1965 - Japanese community of SF holds Masanori Murakami Day at Candlestick Park to honor 1st Japanese player to play in major leagues
1966 - Radio Free Asia (South Korea) begins radio transmission
1967 - Pope Paul VI publishes constitution Regimini Ecclesiae Universae
1967 - England's Marine Offense Bill makies pirate radio stations a crime goes into effect, pirate station Radio 355 closes down
1968 - Pirate Radio Free London, begins transmitting
1968 - Romanian president Ceausescu visits Prague
1968 - USSR performs nuclear test at Sary Shagan USSR
1969 - Woodstock Music & Art Fair opens in NY State (Max Yasgur's Dairy Farm)
1970 - Patricia Palinkas becomes 1st woman pro football player (Orlando)
1971 - Bahrain gains independence from Britain
1971 - Charles Lismont wins Helsinki marathon (2:13:09.0)
1971 - KVRL (now KRIV) TV ch 26 in Shreveport-Texarkana, LA (NBC) begins
1971 - Pres Nixon announces 90-day freeze on wages, prices & rents
1971 - Sandra Haynie wins LPGA Len Immke Buick Golf Open
1973 - Black September kills 3 wounds 55 Athens
1973 - David Storey's "Cromwell," premieres in London
1973 - USSR performs nuclear test
1974 - France performs nuclear test at Muruora Island
1974 - Hurricane/floods ravage Bangladesh, 4,000 killed
1974 - Longest team (6) trampoline bouncing marathon (1,248 hours (52 days))
1974 - South Korean President Park Chung-Hee escapes assassination
1975 - Bangladesh military coup under Khondakar Moustaque Ahmed
1975 - Joanne Little acquitted of murder charges
1975 - Miki Takeo makes the first official pilgrimage to Yasukuni Shrine by an incumbent prime minister on the anniversary of the end of World War II.
1976 - Jane Blalock wins LPGA Wheeling Golf Classic
1977 - England regain cricket Ashes by taking a 3-0 series lead over Aust
1977 - SS chief Kappler escapes from prison hospital in Rome
1978 - House of Reps approves (233-169), 39-month extension for ERA
1979 - Andrew Young resigns as UN ambassador
1981 - Botham scores a century in 86 balls v Australia at Old Trafford
1981 - Robin Leamy of US swims record 7.98 kph for 50 m
1982 - Beth Daniel wins LPGA WUI Golf Classic
1982 - Equatorial Guinea adopts constitution
1983 - Ramones guitarist Joey Ramone, beaten in fight-undergoes brain surgery
1984 - The PKK in Turkey starts a campaign of armed attacks upon the Turkish military
1985 - Anti-apartheid lawyer Bulelani Ngcuka marries in South Africa
1985 - Iraqi air raid on Iran oil-island Kharg
1986 - Pres Reagan decides to support a replacement for Challenger
1987 - US beats Cuba in Pan-Am baseball
1987 - At Pan Am games in Indianapolis, USA & Cuba are tied with 2 outs in 9th, Ty Griffin HR, Cuba 1st loss in 20 years of Pan Am competition
1988 - "Ain't Misbehavin'" opens at Ambassador Theater NYC for 176 perfs
1988 - At 4PM LILCO consumers used a record 3,813 megawatts
1988 - NYC begins $70 million program to rebuild 900 Bronx apartments
1989 - Cancer sufferer/SF Giant pitcher Dave Dravecky breaks arm on mound
1989 - Frederik de Klerk becomes president of South Africa
1989 - Giorgio Lamberti swims world record 200m free style (1:46.69)
1989 - US Venus probe Magellan launched from Space shuttle
1989 - In 2nd start since after cancer treatment, Giants Dave Dravecky breaks his pitching arm while throwing to Tim Raines
1990 - 51st PGA Seniors Golf Championship: Gary Player
1990 - Mark McGwire is 1st to hit 30 HRs in each of his 1st 4 seasons
1990 - Phils Terry Mulholland no-hits Giants 6-0 (8th no hitter of 1990)
1991 - 750,000 attend Paul Simon's free concert in Central Park
1991 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
1992 - Actress Susan Anton marries actor Jeff Lester
1992 - Colombo '92 closes in Genoa Italy
1993 - "Goodbye Girl" closes at Marquis Theater NYC after 188 performances
1993 - 75th PGA Championship: Paul Azinger shoots a 272 at Inverness Club Oh
1993 - Cindy Schreyer wins LPGA Sun-Time Challenge Golf Tournament
1993 - NYC radio (WFAN) personality Don Imus' lung collapes for 2nd time
1993 - Nolan Ryan, 324th & final victory, Rangers 4, Indians 1
1993 - Televangelist Robert Tilton announces he is divorcing Marte
1994 - S African Pres Nelson Mandela receives Anne Frank Penning
1994 - Terrorist Carlos the Jackal, captured in Khartoum Sudan
1995 - Keylee Sue Sanders, 18, of Kansas, crowned 13th Miss Teen USA
1997 - Dan Wilson hits Seattle Mariners 3,000th HR
1997 - Dow Jones drops 247.37 pts
1997 - LA Dodgers retire Tommy Lasorda's #2
1998 - Omagh bomb 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.
2004 - Bay of Plenty win Rugby Union's Ranfurly shield for the first time in the shield's 102 year history and after 28 unsuccessful challenges. They defeated Auckland. 33-26
2007 - An 8.0-magnitude earthquake off the Pacific coast devastates Ica and various regions of Peru killing 514 and injuring 1,090.
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