On This Day … 15 November [2022]


  • 655 – Battle of the Winwaed: Penda of Mercia is defeated by Oswiu of Northumbria.
  • 1315 – Growth of the Old Swiss Confederacy: The Schweizer Eidgenossenschaft ambushes the army of Leopold I in the Battle of Morgarten.
  • 1532 – Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire: Commanded by Francisco Pizarro, Spanish conquistadors under Hernando de Soto meet Incan Emperor Atahualpa for the first time outside Cajamarca, arranging for a meeting in the city plaza the following day.
  • 1533 – Francisco Pizarro arrives in Cuzco, the capital of the Inca Empire.
  • 1705 – Rákóczi’s War of Independence: The Hapsburg Empire and Denmark win a military victory over the Kurucs from Hungary in the Battle of Zsibó.
  • 1777 – American Revolutionary War: After 16 months of debate the Continental Congress approves the Articles of Confederation.
  • 1806 – Pike Expedition: Lieutenant Zebulon Pike spots a mountain peak while near the Colorado foothills of the Rocky Mountains. It is later named Pikes Peak in his honour.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: Union General William Tecumseh Sherman begins his March to the Sea.
  • 1889 – Brazil is declared a republic by Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca as Emperor Pedro II is deposed in a military coup.
  • 1917 – Eduskunta declares itself the supreme state power of Finland, prompting its declaration of independence and secession from Russia.
  • 1920 – The first assembly of the League of Nations is held in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • 1920 – The Free City of Danzig is established.
  • 1939 – In Washington, D.C., US President Franklin D. Roosevelt lays the cornerstone of the Jefferson Memorial.
  • 1942 – World War II: The Battle of Guadalcanal ends in a decisive Allied victory.
  • 1943 – World War II: The Holocaust: German SS leader Heinrich Himmler orders that Gypsies are to be put “on the same level as Jews and placed in concentration camps”.
  • 1951 – Greek resistance leader Nikos Beloyannis, along with 11 other resistance members, is sentenced to death by the court-martial.
  • 1967 – The only fatality of the North American X-15 programme occurs during the 191st flight when Air Force test pilot Michael J. Adams loses control of his aircraft which is destroyed mid-air over the Mojave Desert.
  • 1969 – Cold War: The Soviet submarine K-19 collides with the American submarine USS Gato in the Barents Sea.
  • 1969 – Vietnam War: In Washington, D.C., 250,000-500,000 protesters staged a peaceful demonstration against the war, including a symbolic “March Against Death”.
  • 1983 – Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus declares independence; it is only recognised by Turkey.
  • 1985 – The Troubles: The Anglo-Irish Agreement is signed at Hillsborough Castle by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Irish Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald.
  • 1987 – In Brașov, Romania, workers rebel against the communist regime of Nicolae Ceaușescu.
  • 1988 – Israeli–Palestinian conflict: An independent State of Palestine is proclaimed by the Palestinian National Council.
  • 1990 – The Communist People’s Republic of Bulgaria is disestablished and a new republican government is instituted.

People (Births)

  • 1708 – William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, English soldier and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1778).
  • 1874 – Dimitrios Golemis, Greek runner (d. 1941).
  • 1891 – Erwin Rommel, German field marshal (d. 1944).
  • 1899 – Avdy Andresson, Estonian-American soldier and diplomat, Estonian Minister of War (d. 1990).
  • 1906 – Curtis LeMay, American general and politician (d. 1990).
  • 1907 – Claus von Stauffenberg, German colonel (d. 1944).
  • 1912 – Yi Wu, Japanese-Korean colonel (d. 1945).
  • 1965 – Stefan Pfeiffer, German swimmer.
  • 1979 – Brett Lancaster, Australian cyclist.
  • 1982 – Giaan Rooney, Australian swimmer.
  • 1983 – Dominic Carroll, Gibraltarian runner.
  • 1995 – Blake Pieroni, American swimmer.

People (Deaths)

  • 1712 – James Hamilton, 4th Duke of Hamilton, Scottish general and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire (b. 1658).
  • 1949 – Narayan Apte, Indian activist, assassin of Mahatma Gandhi (b. 1911).
  • 1949 – Nathuram Godse, Indian assassin of Mahatma Gandhi (b. 1910).
  • 1967 – Michael J. Adams, American soldier, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1930).
  • 1971 – Rudolf Abel, English-Russian colonel (b. 1903).
  • 2003 – Ray Lewis, Canadian runner (b. 1910).
  • 2012 – K. C. Pant, Indian politician, 18th Indian Minister of Defence (b. 1931).
  • 2014 – Reg Withers, Australian soldier and politician, Australian Minister for the Capital Territory (b. 1924).

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