On This Day … 15 January

Events

  • 69 – Otho seizes power in Rome, proclaiming himself Emperor of Rome, beginning a reign of only three months.
  • 1541 – King Francis I of France gives Jean-François Roberval a commission to settle the province of New France (Canada) and provide for the spread of the “Holy Catholic faith”.
  • 1559 – Elizabeth I is crowned Queen of England in Westminster Abbey, London.
  • 1582 – Truce of Yam-Zapolsky: Russia cedes Livonia to the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.
  • 1777 – American Revolutionary War: New Connecticut (present-day Vermont) declares its independence.
  • 1815 – War of 1812: American frigate USS President, commanded by Commodore Stephen Decatur, is captured by a squadron of four British frigates.
  • 1822 – Greek War of Independence: Demetrios Ypsilantis is elected president of the legislative assembly.
  • 1865 – American Civil War: Fort Fisher in North Carolina falls to the Union, thus cutting off the last major seaport of the Confederacy.
  • 1919 – Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, two of the most prominent socialists in Germany, are tortured and murdered by the Freikorps at the end of the Spartacist uprising.
  • 1937 – Spanish Civil War: Nationalists and Republican both withdraw after suffering heavy losses, ending the Second Battle of the Corunna Road.
  • 1943 – World War II: The Soviet counter-offensive at Voronezh begins.
  • 1949 – Chinese Civil War: The Communist forces take over Tianjin from the Nationalist Government.
  • 1966 – The First Nigerian Republic, led by Abubakar Tafawa Balewa is overthrown in a military coup d’état.
  • 1970 – Nigerian Civil War: Biafran rebels surrender following an unsuccessful 32-month fight for independence from Nigeria.
  • 1970 – Muammar Gaddafi is proclaimed premier of Libya.
  • 1973 – Vietnam War: Citing progress in peace negotiations, President Richard Nixon announces the suspension of offensive action in North Vietnam.
  • 1975 – The Alvor Agreement is signed, ending the Angolan War of Independence and giving Angola independence from Portugal.
  • 1991 – The United Nations deadline for the withdrawal of Iraqi forces from occupied Kuwait expires, preparing the way for the start of Operation Desert Storm.
  • 1991 – Elizabeth II, in her capacity as Queen of Australia, signs letters patent allowing Australia to become the first Commonwealth realm to institute its own Victoria Cross in its honours system.
  • 2007 – Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, former Iraqi intelligence chief and half-brother of Saddam Hussein, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, former chief judge of the Revolutionary Court, are executed by hanging in Iraq.
  • 2013 – A train carrying Egyptian Army recruits derails near Giza, Greater Cairo, killing 19 and injuring 120 others.
  • 2016 – The Kenyan Army suffers it worst defeat ever in a battle with Al-Shabaab Islamic insurgents in El-Adde, Somalia. An estimated 150 soldiers die.
  • 2019 – Somali militants attacked the DusitD2 hotel in Nairobi,Kenya killing at least 21 people and injuring 19.
  • Armed Forces Day (Nigeria).
  • Army Day (India).

People (Births)

  • 1481 – Ashikaga Yoshizumi, Japanese shōgun (d. 1511).
  • 841 – Frederick Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby, English captain and politician, 6th Governor General of Canada (d. 1908).
  • 1850 – Leonard Darwin (son of Charles Darwin), English soldier, eugenicist, and politician (d. 1943).
  • 1855 – Jacques Damala, Greek-French soldier and actor (d. 1889).
  • 1890 – Michiaki Kamada, Japanese admiral (d. 1947).
  • 1903 – Paul A. Dever, American lieutenant and politician, 58th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1958).
  • 1907 – Janusz Kusociński, Polish runner and soldier (d. 1940).
  • 1913 – Alexander Marinesko, Ukrainian-Russian lieutenant (d. 1963).
  • 1914 – Stefan Bałuk, Polish general (d. 2014).
  • 1918 – João Figueiredo, Brazilian general and politician, 30th President of Brazil (d. 1999).
  • 1918 – Gamal Abdel Nasser, Egyptian colonel and politician, 2nd President of Egypt (d. 1970).
  • 1922 – Eric Willis, Australian sergeant and politician, 34th Premier of New South Wales (d. 1999).
  • 1945 – William R. Higgins, American colonel (d. 1990).
  • 1955 – Khalid Islambouli, Egyptian lieutenant (d. 1982).

People (Deaths)

  • AD 69 – Galba, Roman emperor (b. 3 BC).
  • 1950 – Henry H. Arnold, American general (b. 1886).
  • 2007 – Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, Iraqi intelligence officer (b. 1951).
  • 2007 – Bo Yibo, Chinese commander and politician, Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China (b. 1908).
  • 2011 – Pierre Louis-Dreyfus, French soldier, race car driver, and businessman (b. 1908).
  • 2012 – Ed Derwinski, American soldier and politician, 1st United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs (b. 1926).
  • 2012 – Samuel Jaskilka, American general (b. 1919).
  • 2012 – Hulett C. Smith, American lieutenant and politician, 27th Governor of West Virginia (b. 1918).
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