This Day in History

November 15


655      Penda, King of Anglo-Saxon Mercia, dies in the Battle the Winwaed after a reign of 29 years, age about 49   1363
1594      English explorer Marin Frobisher dies in Plymouth, England, age around 57   424
1630      German astronomer Johannes Kepler dies in Austria, age 58   388
1691      Dutch landscape painter Aelbert Jacobsz Cuyp dies, age 71   327
1738      German-born British astronomer Frederick William Herschel born in Hanover in the Holy Roman Empire   280
1777      Second Continental Congress appproves the Articles of Confederation for ratification   241
1787      German composer of Italian and French opera Christoph Willibald (Ritter von) Gluck dies in Vienna, age 72   231
1806      Zebulon Pike first sees distant mountain—to be named Pikes Peak   212
1808      Mahmud II, age 19, succeeds Mustafa IV as sultan of the Ottoman Empire—reigns for 31 years   210
1839      Scottish engineer and inventor including gas lighting William Murdoch dies, age 85   179
1859      first modern revival of the athletic Olympic Games takes place in Athens—sponsored by the Greek businessman Evangelis Zappas   159
1864      William Tecumseh Sherman and army march out of Atlanta toward Savannah   154
1887      American artist Georgia Totto O'Keeffe born in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin   131
1904      K.C Gillette patents the safety razor   114
1917      French sociologist Émile Durkheim dies in Paris, age 59   101
1919      Swiss chemist and Nobel laureate (1913) Alfred Werner dies in Zurich, age 52   99
1920      first assembly of the League of Nations—Geneva   98
1926      NBC radio network begins broadcasting   92
1942      Battle of Guadalcanal ends with the Japanese unable to retake or even resupply their forces on the island   76
1945      American ornithologist Frank Michler Chapman dies, age 81   73
1955      Saint Petersburg Metro opens   63
1958      American film, stage and radio actor Tyrone Edmund Power III dies in Madrid, Spain, age 44   60
1959      Scottish physicist, inventor of the cloud chamber, and Nobel laureate (1927) Charles Thomson Rees Wilson dies, age 90   59
1966      Gemini 12 splashes down safely in the Atlantic Ocean concluding the last Gemini mission   52
1967      X-15 pilot Michael James Adams is killed (age 37) in the only fatal accident of the program—U.S. first space fatality   51
1969      Dave Thomas founds Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers chain in Columbus, Ohio—names it for his daughter   49
1971      Intel releases first single-chip commercial microprocessor—4004   47
1978      American cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead dies in New York City, age 76   40
1988      300-ft National Radio Astronomy Observatory's radio telescope at Green Bank, West Virginia collapses due to a failed structural piece   30
1988      only flight of the Soviet shuttle Buran—two-orbit unmanned mission   30
1995      Docking Module for the Mir station launches on Atlantis—only Mir module launched by a shuttle   23
2003      American actress and singer Dorothy Loudon dies in New York City, age 78   15
2003      two truck bombs target synagogues in Istanbu—kill 23 and injure 300 others   15
2006      Al Jazeera English launches as the world's first English-language television news channel headquartered in the Middle East   12
2007      American left-handed pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds and long-time radio broadcaster for the Reds Joseph Henry Nuxhall dies, age 79   11
2007      category 5 Cyclone Sidr hits Bangladesh killing an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 people   11
2008      American Abstract Expressionist painter Grace Hartigan dies in Baltimore, age 86   10
2009      Sidu River Bridge in China opens—world's highest bridge with 1627 ft (496 m) clearance   9
2011      Duke beats Michigan State to give coach Mike Krzyzewski a men's college basketball record of 903 wins   7
2015      American economist Herbert Eli Scarf dies in Sag Harbor, New York, age 85   3
2015      quarterback Peyton Manning passes Brett Favre's 2010 NFL career record of 71,838 passing yards   3
2017      Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi" sold at Christie's auction for a record $450.3 million with fees   1
2017      Argentine submarine ARA San Juan is lost with 44 crew including Argentina's first female submarine officer, Eliana María Krawczyk   1

Dates are always somewhat ambiguous, the exact date depends on whether local time is used (and local time where) or Universal Time—for events on the surface of the Earth, local time is probably best but for an event that spans across the planet, it is not clear which local time to use!. For events in space it is more ambiguous. Further for dates after the original adoption of the Gregorian calendar but before it became accepted in different countries, the date given may be a Julian date or a Gregorian date depending upon where the event occurred. And, even the year may be different since the first of the year has not always been January 1 in all countries! The attempt is to use a date that is the one that is typically given.

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