On This Day … 15 July


  • AD 70 – Titus and his armies breach the walls of Jerusalem. (17th of Tammuz in the Hebrew calendar).
  • 756 – An Lushan Rebellion: Emperor Xuanzong of Tang is ordered by his Imperial Guards to execute chancellor Yang Guozhong by forcing him to commit suicide or face a mutiny.
    • General An Lushan has other members of the emperor’s family killed.
  • 1099 – First Crusade: Christian soldiers take the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem after the final assault of a difficult siege.
  • 1240 – Swedish–Novgorodian Wars: A Novgorodian army led by Alexander Nevsky defeats the Swedes in the Battle of the Neva.
  • 1381 – John Ball, a leader in the Peasants’ Revolt, is hanged, drawn and quartered in the presence of King Richard II of England.
  • 1410 – Polish-Lithuanian-Teutonic War: Battle of Grunwald: The allied forces of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania defeat the army of the Teutonic Order.
  • 1741 – Aleksei Chirikov sights land in Southeast Alaska. He sends men ashore in a longboat, making them the first Europeans to visit Alaska.
  • 1789 – Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, is named by acclamation Colonel General of the new National Guard of Paris.
  • 1799 – The Rosetta Stone is found in the Egyptian village of Rosetta by French Captain Pierre-François Bouchard during Napoleon’s Egyptian Campaign.
  • 1806 – Pike Expedition: United States Army Lieutenant Zebulon Pike begins an expedition from Fort Bellefontaine near St. Louis, Missouri, to explore the west.
  • 1815 – Napoleonic Wars: Napoleon Bonaparte surrenders aboard HMS Bellerophon.
  • 1834 – The Spanish Inquisition is officially disbanded after nearly 356 years.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: The CSS Arkansas, the most effective ironclad on the Mississippi River, battles with Union ships commanded by Admiral David Farragut, severely damaging three ships and sustaining heavy damage herself. The encounter changed the complexion of warfare on the Mississippi and helped reverse Rebel’s fortunes on the river in the summer of 1862.
  • 1870 – Reconstruction Era of the United States: Georgia becomes the last of the former Confederate states to be readmitted to the Union.
  • 1870 – Rupert’s Land and the North-Western Territory are transferred to Canada from the Hudson’s Bay Company, and the province of Manitoba and the Northwest Territories are established from these vast territories.
  • 1918 – World War I: The Second Battle of the Marne begins near the River Marne with a German attack.
  • 1946 – State of North Borneo, today in Sabah, Malaysia, annexed by the United Kingdom.
  • 1954 – First flight of the Boeing 367-80, prototype for both the Boeing 707 and C-135 series.
  • 1955 – Eighteen Nobel laureates sign the Mainau Declaration against nuclear weapons, later co-signed by thirty-four others.
  • 1966 – Vietnam War: The United States and South Vietnam begin Operation Hastings to push the North Vietnamese out of the Vietnamese Demilitarised Zone.
  • 1971 – The United Red Army is founded in Japan.
  • 1974 – In Nicosia, Cyprus, Greek junta-sponsored nationalists launch a coup d’état, deposing President Makarios and installing Nikos Sampson as Cypriot president.
  • 1983 – An attack at Orly Airport in Paris is launched by Armenian militant organisation ASALA, leaving eight people dead and 55 injured.
  • 1996 – A Belgian Air Force C-130 Hercules carrying the Royal Netherlands Army marching band crashes on landing at Eindhoven Airport.
  • 1998 – Sri Lankan Civil War: Sri Lankan Tamil MP S. Shanmuganathan is killed by a claymore mine.
  • 2002 – “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh pleads guilty to supplying aid to the enemy and possession of explosives during the commission of a felony.
  • 2006 – Twitter, later one of the largest social media platforms in the world, is launched.
  • 2016 – Factions of the Turkish Armed Forces attempt a coup.

People (Births)

  • 1899 – Seán Lemass, Irish soldier and politician, 4th Taoiseach of Ireland (d. 1971).
  • 1915 – Kashmir Singh Katoch, Indian army officer (d. 2007).
  • 1919 – Fritz Langanke, German lieutenant (d. 2012).
  • 1924 – Jeremiah Denton, American admiral and politician (d. 2014).
  • 1926 – Leopoldo Galtieri, Argentinian general and politician, 44th President of Argentina (d. 2003).
  • 1940 – Ronald Gene Simmons, American sergeant and convicted murderer (d. 1990).
  • 1945 – Jürgen Möllemann, German soldier and politician, Vice-Chancellor of Germany (d. 2003).
  • 1961 – Scott Ritter, American soldier and international weapons inspector.
  • 1962 – Michelle Ford, Australian swimmer.
  • 1982 – Alan Pérez, Spanish cyclist.
  • 1992 – Wayde van Niekerk, South African sprinter.

People (Deaths)

  • 1410 – Ulrich von Jungingen, German Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights (b. 1360).
  • 1571 – Shimazu Takahisa, Japanese daimyō (b. 1514).
  • 1614 – Pierre de Bourdeille, seigneur de Brantôme, French soldier, historian, and author (b. 1540).
  • 1685 – James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, Dutch-English general and politician, Governor of Kingston-upon-Hull (b. 1649).
  • 1851 – Juan Felipe Ibarra, Argentinian general and politician (b. 1787).
  • 1947 – Walter Donaldson, American soldier and songwriter (b. 1893).
  • 1948 – John J. Pershing, American general (b. 1860).
  • 2012 – David Fraser, English general (b. 1920).
  • 2013 – Meskerem Legesse, Ethiopian runner (b. 1986).
  • 2014 – Robert A. Roe, American soldier and politician (b. 1924).

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.