On This Day … 15 June


  • 923 – Battle of Soissons: King Robert I of France is killed and King Charles the Simple is arrested by the supporters of Duke Rudolph of Burgundy.
  • 1184 – King Magnus V of Norway is killed at the Battle of Fimreite.
  • 1215 – King John of England puts his seal to Magna Carta.
  • 1219 – Northern Crusades: Danish victory at the Battle of Lindanise (modern-day Tallinn) establishes the Danish Duchy of Estonia.
  • 1300 – The city of Bilbao is founded.
  • 1312 – At the Battle of Rozgony, King Charles I of Hungary wins a decisive victory over the family of Palatine Amade Aba.
  • 1389 – Battle of Kosovo: The Ottoman Empire defeats Serbs and Bosnians.
  • 1410 – In a decisive battle at Onon River, the Mongol forces of Oljei Temur were decimated by the Chinese armies of the Yongle Emperor.
  • 1502 – Christopher Columbus lands on the island of Martinique on his fourth voyage.
  • 1667 – The first human blood transfusion is administered by Dr. Jean-Baptiste Denys.
  • 1670 – The first stone of Fort Ricasoli is laid down in Malta.
  • 1752 – Benjamin Franklin proves that lightning is electricity (traditional date, the exact date is unknown).
  • 1776 – Delaware Separation Day: Delaware votes to suspend government under the British Crown and separate officially from Pennsylvania.
  • 1800 – The Provisional Army of the United States is dissolved.
  • 1808 – Joseph Bonaparte becomes King of Spain.
  • 1846 – The Oregon Treaty extends the border between the United States and British North America, established by the Treaty of 1818, westward to the Pacific Ocean.
  • 1859 – Ambiguity in the Oregon Treaty leads to the “Northwestern Boundary Dispute” between American and British/Canadian settlers.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: The Second Battle of Petersburg begins.
  • 1864 – Arlington National Cemetery is established when 200 acres (0.81 km2) of the Arlington estate (formerly owned by Confederate General Robert E. Lee) are officially set aside as a military cemetery by US Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.
  • 1877 – Henry Ossian Flipper becomes the first African American cadet to graduate from the United States Military Academy.
  • 1888 – Crown Prince Wilhelm becomes Kaiser Wilhelm II; he will be the last Emperor of the German Empire. Due to the death of his predecessors Wilhelm I and Frederick III, 1888 is the Year of the Three Emperors.
  • 1920 – Following the 1920 Schleswig plebiscites, Northern Schleswig is transferred from Germany to Denmark.
  • 1936 – First flight of the Vickers Wellington bomber.
  • 1940 – World War II: Operation Ariel begins: Allied troops start to evacuate France, following Germany’s takeover of Paris and most of the nation.
  • 1944 – World War II: The United States invades Saipan, capital of Japan’s South Seas Mandate.
  • 1977 – After the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975, the first democratic elections took place in Spain on this day.
  • 1992 – The United States Supreme Court rules in United States v. Álvarez-Machaín that it is permissible for the United States to forcibly extradite suspects in foreign countries and bring them to the United States for trial, without approval from those other countries.
  • 1996 – The Troubles: The Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) detonates a powerful truck bomb in the middle of Manchester, England, devastating the city centre and injuring 200 people.

People (Births)

  • 1330 – Edward, the Black Prince of England (d. 1376).
  • 1542 – Richard Grenville, English captain and explorer (d. 1591).
  • 1792 – Thomas Mitchell, Scottish-Australian colonel and explorer (d. 1855).
  • 1881 – Kesago Nakajima, Japanese lieutenant general in the Imperial Japanese Army (d. 1945).
  • 1906 – Léon Degrelle, Belgian SS officer (d. 1994).
  • 1923 – Ninian Stephen, English-Australian lieutenant, judge, and politician, 20th Governor-General of Australia (d. 2017).
  • 1924 – Ezer Weizman, Israeli general and politician, 7th President of Israel (d. 2005).
  • 1931 – Joseph Gilbert, English air marshal.
  • 1945 – Lawrence Wilkerson, American colonel.
  • 1970 – Christian Bauman, American soldier and author.

People (Deaths)

  • 1189 – Minamoto no Yoshitsune, Japanese general (b. 1159).
  • 1381 – Wat Tyler, English rebel leader (b. 1341).
  • 1389 – Miloš Obilić, Serbian knight.
  • 1993 – John Connally, American commander, lawyer, and politician, 61st United States Secretary of the Treasury (b. 1917).
  • 1996 – Sir Fitzroy Maclean, 1st Baronet, Scottish general and politician (b. 1911).
  • 2002 – Choi Hong Hi, South Korean general and martial artist, founded Taekwondo (b. 1918).

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