October 15 is the 288th day of the year (289th in Leap years). There are 77 days remaining.
Events==*533 - Byzantine general Belisarius makes his formal entry into Carthage, having conquered it from the Vandals.
- 1552 - Khanate of Kazan is conquered by troops of Ivan Grozny.
- 1582 - Pope Gregory XIII implements the Gregorian Calendar. In Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain, October 4 of this year is followed directly by October 15.
- 1764 - Edward Gibbon observes a group of friars singing in the ruined Temple of Jupiter in Rome, which inspires him to begin work on ''The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire''
- 1815 - Napoleon I of France begins his exile on St. Helena in the Atlantic Ocean.
- 1863 - American Civil War: The first submarine to sink a ship, and first to sink an enemy warship, CSS ''H. L. Hunley'' sinks during a test, killing its inventor, Horace L. Hunley.
- 1878 - The Edison Electric Company begins operation.
- 1880 - Mexican soldiers kill Victorio, one of the greatest Apache military strategists.
- 1883 - The Supreme Court of the United States declares part of the Civil Rights Act of 1875 to be unconstitutional.
- 1894 - Alfred Dreyfus is arrested for spying - Dreyfus affair begins.
- 1904 - The Russian Baltic Fleet leaves Reval, Estonia for Port Arthur during the Russo-Japanese War.
- 1917 - World War I: At Vincennes outside of Paris, Dutch dancer Mata Hari is executed by firing squad for spying for Germany.
- 1928 - The airship, the Graf Zeppelin completed its first trans-Atlantic flight, landing at Lakehurst, New Jersey, USA.
- 1932 - Tata Airlines (later to become Air India) makes its first flight.
- 1939 - The New York Municipal Airport (later renamed La Guardia Airport) is dedicated.
- 1940 - The Great Dictator, a satiric social commentary film by and starring Charlie Chaplin, is released.
- 1945 - World War II: The former premier of Vichy France Pierre Laval is shot by a firing squad for treason.
- 1946 - Nuremberg Trials: Hermann Göring poisons himself the night before before his execution.
- 1951 - Television sitcom ''I Love Lucy'' premieres.
- 1953 - British nuclear test ''Totem 1'' detonated at Emu Field, South Australia.
- 1965 - Vietnam War: The National Coordinating Committee to End the War in Vietnam stages the first public burning of a draft card in the United States.
- 1966 - US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs a bill creating the United States Department of Transportation.
- 1969 - Vietnam War: Hundreds of thousands of people take part in National Moratorium antiwar demonstrations across the United States.
- 1970 - Thirty-five construction workers are killed when a section of the new West Gate Bridge in Melbourne collapses.
- 1981 - Professional cheerleader Krazy George Henderson leads what is thought to be the first audience wave in Oakland, California.
- 1987 - The Great Storm of 1987 hits France and England.
- 1989 - Wayne Gretzky becomes the all time leading points scorer in the NHL.
- 1990 - Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to lessen Cold War tensions and open up his nation.
- 1991 - Following a bitter confirmation hearing that involved allegations of sexual misconduct, the United States Senate votes to confirm Judge Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court of the United States.
- 1992 - In Russia, Andrei Chikatilo is found guilty of 52 serial murders.
- 1995 - Saddam Hussein gains 99.96% of votes in Iraq's presidential elections.
- 1997 - The first supersonic land speed record is set by Andy Green in ''ThrustSSC'' (United Kingdom).
- 1997 - The Cassini probe launches from Cape Canaveral on its way to Saturn.
- 2001 - NASA's Galileo spacecraft passes within 112 miles of Jupiter's moon Io.
- 2003 - China launches Shenzhou 5, their first manned space mission.
- 2003 - Ilham Aliyev becomes President of Azerbaijan succeeding his father Heydar Aliyev.
- 2003 - The Staten Island Ferry boat ''Andrew J. Barberi'' collides with a pier at the St. George Ferry Terminal in Staten Island, killing 11 people and injuring 43 others (see 2003 Staten Island Ferry crash)
- 2005 - Iraqi constitution ratification vote
- 2005 - Riot in Toledo, Ohio breaks out during a National Socialist/Neo-Nazi protest; over 100 are arrested
- 70 BC - Virgil, Roman poet (d. 19 BC)
- AD 1471 - Konrad Mutian, German humanist (d. 1526)
- 1608 - Evangelista Torricelli, Italian physicist and mathematician (d. 1647)
- 1686 - Allan Ramsay, Scottish poet (d. 1758)
- 1701 - Marie-Marguerite d'Youville, Canadian saint (d. 1771)
- 1814 - Mikhail Lermontov, Russian author (d. 1841)
- 1829 - Asaph Hall, American astronomer (d. 1907)
- 1836 - James Tissot, French artist (d. 1902)
- 1844 - Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher (d. 1900)
- 1858 - John L. Sullivan, American boxer (d. 1918))
- 1881 - P. G. Wodehouse, British novelist (d. 1975)
- 1893 - King Carol II of Romania (d. 1953)
- 1894 - Moshe Sharett, second Prime Minister of Israel (d. 1965)
- 1898 - Boughera El Ouafi, Algerian athlete (d. 1951)
- 1900 - Mervyn LeRoy, American film director (d. 1987)
- 1905 - C. P. Snow, British writer (d. 1980)
- 1906 - Hiram Leong Fong, American politician (d. 2004)
- 1907 - Varian Fry, American journalist and rescuer (d. 1987)
- 1908 - John Kenneth Galbraith, Canadian economist
- 1909 - Robert Trout, American reporter (d. 2000)
- 1917 - Jan Miner, American actress (d. 2004)
- 1917 - Arthur Schlesinger Jr., American political commentator and author
- 1920 - Mario Puzo, American novelist (d. 1999)
- 1923 - Italo Calvino. Italian writer (d. 1985)
- 1924 - Lee Iacocca, American industrialist
- 1924 - Mark Lenard, American actor (d. 1996)
- 1926 - Michel Foucault, French philosopher (d. 1984)
- 1926 - Evan Hunter, American author (d. 2005)
- 1926 - Jean Peters, American actress (d. 2000)
- 1926 - Karl Richter, German conductor (d. 1981)
- 1930 - FM-2030, philosopher (d. 2000)
- 1931 - Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, President of India
- 1935 - Bobby Joe Morrow, American athlete
- 1937 - Barry McGuire, American singer
- 1940 - Peter Doherty, Australian immunologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
- 1942 - Penny Marshall, American actress, comedienne, and director
- 1944 - Sali Berisha, President of Albania
- 1944 - David Trimble, Irish politician, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
- 1945 - Jim Palmer, baseball player
- 1946 - Richard Carpenter, American singer, pianist, composer (Carpenters)
- 1953 - Tito Jackson, American musician
- 1954 - Peter Bakowski, Australian poet
- 1955 - Kulbir Bhaura, British field hockey player
- 1957 - Mira Nair, Indian director
- 1959 - Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York
- 1959 - Emeril Lagasse, American chef
- 1959 - Todd Solondz, American film director
- 1964 - Roberto Vittori, Italian astronaut
- 1969 - Vanessa Marcil, American actress
- 1970 - Eric Benét, American singer
- 1971 - Andy Cole, English footballer
- 1972 - Sandra Kim, Belgian singer
- 1975 - Ginuwine, American singer
- 1977 - Erin McKeown, American musician
- 1979 - Maris Verpakovskis, Latvian soccer player
- 1981 - Elena Dementieva, Russian tennis player
- 1981 - Guo Jingjing, Chinese diver
- 2005 - HRH Prince Christian, Danish prince>
- 1002 - Otto-Henry, Duke of Burgundy (b. 946)
- 1326 - Walter de Stapledon, English bishop (b. 1261)
- 1389 - Pope Urban VI
- 1564 - Vesalius, Flemish anatomist (b. 1514)
- 1715 - Humphry Ditton, English mathematician (b. 1675)
- 1730 - Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, French explorer (b. 1658)
- 1811 - Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland, English painter (b. 1735)
- 1820 - Karl Philipp Fürst zu Schwarzenberg, Austrian field marshal (b. 1771)
- 1880 - Victorio, Apache leader
- 1891 - Gilbert Arthur a Beckett, English writer )b. 1837)
- 1900 - Zdeněk Fibich, Czech composer (b. 1850)
- 1917 - Mata Hari, Dutch dancer and spy (b. 1876)
- 1934 - Raymond Poincaré, French statesman (b. 1860)
- 1945 - Pierre Laval, Prime Minister of Vichy France (executed) (b. 1883)
- 1946 - Hermann Göring, German air force commander (b. 1893)
- 1960 - Clara Kimball Young, American actress (b. 1890)
- 1964 - Cole Porter, American composer (b. 1891)
- 1988 - Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji, English composer and pianist (b. 1892)
- 2000 - Konrad Emil Bloch, German-born biochemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1912)
- 2001 - Zhang Xueliang, Chinese warlord (b. 1901)
- 2003 - Bertram N. Brockhouse, Canadian physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1918)
- 2003 - Ben Metcalfe, Canadian environmental activist (b. 1919)
- 2005 - Jason Collier, American basketball player (b. 1977)
- 2005 - Matti Wuori, Finnish politician (b. 1945)
Holidays and observances
- Roman festivals - the Equirria or ''October equus'': sacrifice of a horse to Mars
- R.C. Saints - Saint Teresa of Avila
- United States - White Cane Safety Day, National Grouch Day, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day
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