Today in History – July 15

1741 – Aleksei Chirikov sighted land in Southeast Alaska. He sent men ashore in a longboat, making them the first Europeans to visit Alaska.

1799 – The Rosetta Stone was 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 began an expedition from Fort Bellefontaine near St. Louis, Missouri, to explore the west.

1815 – Napoleonic Wars: Napoleon Bonaparte surrendered aboard HMS Bellerophon.

1838 – Ralph Waldo Emerson delivered the Divinity School Address at Harvard Divinity School in which he discounted Biblical miracles and declared Jesus a great man, but not God. The Protestant community reacted with outrage.

1862 – American Civil War: The CSS Arkansas, the most effective ironclad on the Mississippi River, battled with Union Navy 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 became the last of the former Confederate states to be readmitted to the Union.

1910 – In his book Clinical Psychiatry, Emil Kraepelin gave a name to Alzheimer’s disease, naming it after his colleague Alois Alzheimer.

1916 – In Seattle, Washington, William Boeing and George Conrad Westervelt incorporated Pacific Aero Products (later renamed Boeing).

1918 – World War I: The Second Battle of the Marne began near the River Marne with a German attack.

1941 – The Holocaust: Nazi Germany began the deportation of 100,000 Jews from the occupied Netherlands to extermination camps.

1942 – Glenn Miller and his band recorded “Jukebox Saturday Night.”

1952 – Patti Page made her TV debut in a summer replacement series for Perry Como.

1954 – First flight of the Boeing 367-80, prototype for both the Boeing 707 and C-135 series.

1955 – Eighteen Nobel laureates signed the Mainau Declaration against nuclear weapons, later co-signed by thirty-four others.

1959 – The steel strike of 1959 began, which led to significant importation of foreign steel for the first time in United States history.

1966 – Vietnam War: The United States and South Vietnam began Operation Hastings to push the North Vietnamese out of the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone.

1973 – Ray Davies announced that he was leaving The Kinks. He returned to the group within the week.

1975 – Space Race: Apollo–Soyuz Test Project featured the dual launch of an Apollo spacecraft and a Soyuz spacecraft on the first joint Soviet-United States human-crewed flight. It was both the last launch of an Apollo spacecraft and the Saturn family of rockets.

1978 – Bob Dylan performed before the largest open-air concert audience (for a single artist). About 200,000 fans turned out at Blackbushe Airport in England.

1986 – Columbia Records dropped Johnny Cash after 28 years. Johnny signed with Polygram the next year.

1992 – Aretha Franklin sang the U.S. national anthem at the Democratic National Convention in New York City.

1995 – Sinead O’Connor dropped out of Lollapalooza because she was pregnant. She was replaced with Elastica.

1999 – The original Drifters performed on Today on NBC-TV.

2002 – “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh pled guilty to supplying aid to the enemy and possession of explosives during the commission of a felony.

2002 – Anti-Terrorism Court of Pakistan handed down the death sentence to British born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and life terms to three others suspected of murdering The Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

2002 – A boat captained by Bob Seger won its division in the 78th annual Port Huron-to-Mackinac Island Sailboat Race.

2003 – AOL Time Warner disbanded Netscape. The Mozilla Foundation was established on the same day.

2006 – Twitter, later one of the largest social media platforms in the world, was launched.

2012 – South Korean rapper Psy released his hit single Gangnam Style.


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