15th August, on this day

778 The Battle of Roncevaux Pass, in which Roland is killed.
927 The Saracens are conquered and destroyed at Taranto
1040 King Duncan I is killed in battle against his first cousin and rival Macbeth. The latter succeeds him as King of Scotland.
1057 Macbeth, King of Scotland, slain
in battle at Lumphanan
1185 The cave city of Vardzia is consecrated by Queen Tamar of Georgia.
1248 The foundation stone of the Cologne Cathedral, built to house the relics of the Three Wise Men, was laid. Construction eventually completed in 1880.
1261 Michael VIII Palaeologus is crowned Byzantine emperor in Constantinople.
1309 The city of Rhodes surrenders to the forces of the Knights of St. John, completing their conquest of Rhodes. The knights establish their headquarters on the island, and rename themselves as the Knights of Rhodes.
1461 The Empire of Trebizond surrenders to the forces of Sultan Mehmet II. This is the real end of the Byzantine Empire. Emperor David is exiled and later murdered.
1517 Seven Portuguese armed vessels led by Fernão Pires de Andrade meet Chinese officials at the Pearl River estuary.
1519 Panama City founded
1534 Saint Ignatius of Loyola and six classmates took initial vows that would lead to the creation of the Society of Jesus in September of 1540.
1535 Asunción, Paraguay founded
1549 Jesuit priest Saint Francis Xavier comes ashore at Kagoshima (Traditional Japanese date: July 22, 1549).
1599 Nine Years War: Battle of Curlew Pass - Irish forces led by Hugh Roe O'Donnell successfully ambush English forces, led by Sir Conyers Clifford, were sent to relieve Collooney Castle.
1620 Mayflower sets sail from Southampton with 102 Pilgrims
1748 United Lutheran Church of US formed
1760 Seven Years' War: Battle of Liegnitz - Frederick the Great's victory over the Austrians under Ernst von Laudon.
1824 Freed American slaves form Liberia.
1843 The Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu, Hawaii is dedicated. Now the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu, it is the oldest Roman Catholic cathedral in continuous use in the United States.
1843 Tivoli Gardens, one of the oldest still intact amusement parks in the world, opens in Copenhagen, Denmark.
1858 In US, regular mail to the Pacific coast begins
1863 Submarine "HL Hunley" arrives in Charleston on railroad cars
1864 Off New England coast, CSS Tallahassee captures 6 yankee schooners
1867 2nd Reform Bill extends suffrage in England
1870 Transcontinental Railway actually completed
1872 In Britain, the first parliamentary election by secret ballot
1872 Formation of the first regular police detective force in Britain. In 1878 the division of the Metropolitan Police Force in London assumes the name Criminal Investigation Department (CID)
1891 San Sebastian Church in Manila, the first all-steel church in Asia, is officially inaugurated and blessed.
1893 US no longer allowed exclusive rights in Bering Sea
1901 Arch Rock, danger to Bay shipping, blasted with 30 tons of nitro
1906 1st freight delivery tunnel system begins, underneath Chicago
1914 The first ship, Ancon. sails through the newly-built Panama Canal. An estimated 50,000 died during its construction
1914 Julian Carlton, a male servant of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright set fire to the living quarters of the architect's Wisconsin home, Taliesin, murdered seven people, and burned the living quarters to the ground.
1918 1st full length cartoon (The Sinking of the Lusitania)
1918 US and Russia sever diplomatic ties
1920 Battle of Warsaw - Poles continue combat with the Red Army.
1923 Irish republican leader Eamonn De Valera is captured by Irish Free State troops
1931 Ernest Lassy completes longest canoe journey without port (6,102 mi)
1935 Will Rogers and Wiley Post are killed after engine problems during takeoff in Barrow, Alaska.
1939 13 Stukas dive into the ground during a disastrous air-practice at Neuhammer. No survivors.
1939 "Wizard of Oz" premiers at Grauman's Chinese Theater, Hollywood
1942 Operation Pedestal - The SS Ohio reaches the island of Malta barely afloat carrying vital fuel supplies for the island defenses.
1944 Operation Dragoon - Allied forces land in southern France.
1945 Marshall Philippe Petain, head of the Vichy French Government which collaborated with the Germans during World War II, is convicted of treason. His death sentence is later commuted to life imprisonment. He dies in jail in 1951
1945 VJ Day - Victory over Japan. The official date for the ceremony to mark the formal surrender of the Japanese to the Allies less than 24 hours earlier
1945 Korean Liberation Day.
1945 US wartime rationing of gasoline and fuel oil ends
1947 India gains independence from the United Kingdom and becomes an independent nation within the Commonwealth, Islamic part becomes Pakistan
1947 Founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah is sworn in as first Governor General of Pakistan at Karachi.
1948 Republic of Korea (South Korea) proclaimed
1950 8.6 quake kills over 1,000 in Assam, India
1952 9" of rain fall creates a 20' wave in Lynmouth, England killing 34
1957 David Simons reaches 30,942 m in Man High 2 balloon
1958 American singer Buddy Holly marries Maria Elena Santiango
1960 Britain's first motorway restaurant is opened on the M1 at Newport Pagnell
1960 Congo (Brazzaville) gains independence from France
1960 UFO is sighted by 3 California patrolmen
1961 Conrad Schumann flees from East Germany while on duty guarding the construction of the Berlin Wall.
1962 James Joseph Dresnok defected to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, running across the Korean DMZ. Dresnok still resides in the capital, Pyongyang.
1962 Shady Grove Baptist Church burned in Leesburg, Georgia
1964 Race riot in Dixmoor (Chicago suburb) Ill
1965 The Beatles play to nearly 60,000 fans at Shea Stadium in New York City, marking the birth of stadium rock.
1965 In America, the National Guard is used to quell race riots at Watts, Los Angeles which leave 28 dead and more than 600 injured
1966 Radio Free Asia (South Korea) begins radio transmission
1967 Britain introduces the Marine Broadcasting Act - outlawing pop pirate radio stations broadcasting within British territorial waters
1968 Pirate Radio Free London, begins transmitting
1969 At least 400,000 are at the opening of the Woodstock Pop Festival on a dairy farm in New York state
1970 Patricia Palinkas becomes 1st US woman pro football player (Orlando)
1971 Bahrain gains independence from Britain
1971 President Richard Nixon completes the break from the gold standard by ending convertibility of the United States dollar into gold by foreign investors.
1971 President Nixon announces 90-day freeze on wages, prices and rents
1973 Black September kills 3 wounds 55 Athens
1973 The United States bombing of Cambodia ends.
1974 Longest team (6) trampoline bouncing marathon (1,248 hours (52 days))
1974 South Korean President Park Chung-Hee escapes assassination. Yuk Young-soo, First Lady of South Korea is killed
1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus continues, and the 37% of the island is now under Turkish control.
1975 Military coup in Bangladesh. Sheikh Mujibur Rehman killed along with all family members, except Haseena Wajid.
1975 Miki Takeo makes the first official pilgrimage to Yasukuni Shrine by a sitting prime minister on the anniversary of the end of World War II.
1975 Joanne Little acquitted of murder charges
1977 The Big Ear, a radio telescope operated by The Ohio State University as part of the SETI project, receives a radio signal from deep space; the event is named the "Wow! signal" for notation made by a volunteer on the project.
1979 Andrew Young resigns as UN ambassador
1984 PKK, Kurdish people in Turkey gain arms and start a Guerrilla warfare campaign against the Turkish military
1986 President Reagan decides to support a replacement for the Challenger
1987 Corporal punishment in schools is officially banned in Britain, except in independent schools in the private sector
1991 In US, 750,000 attend Paul Simon's free concert in Central Park
1992 Colombo '92 closes in Genoa, Italy
1994 The French authorities announce the capture of the world's most wanted criminal in Sudan - the international terrorist known as Carlos the Jackal - real name Ilich Ramirez Sanchez
1998 A terrorist bomb explodes in the centre of Omagh, County Tyrone killing 28 and injuring more than 200 others. It's the biggest single incident death toll in recent Northern Ireland history. A splinter group of the IRA, calling itself the Real IRA, claims responsibility
1999 Beni Ounif massacre in Algeria; some 29 people killed at a false roadblock near the Moroccan border, leading to temporary tensions with Morocco.
2007 An 8.0-magnitude earthquake off the Pacific coast devastates Ica and various regions of Peru killing 514 and injuring 1,090.

15th August 2006

Iran and Syria applaud 'victory'

Heavy rain mars Ethiopia rescue

German births decline to new low

15th August 2007

Frantic hunt in Iraq bomb rubble

Iran Guards 'join US terror list'

Six Italians shot dead in Germany

15th August 2008

US demands Russian pull-out

Mexican gunmen kill drug patients

Chad ex-leader sentenced to death

15th August 2009

Karzai condemns Kabul Nato blast

Dozens die in Kuwait wedding fire

Burma to free Suu Kyi US 'guest'

15th August 2010

Bomb hoax hits Lourdes pilgrims

Russia ban on grain export begins

Pakistan floods 'heart-wrenching' - UN chief

Birthdates which occurred on 15th August :

1432 Luigi Pulci Italy, poet (Morgante)
1688 Frederick-William I king of Prussia (1713-1740)
1769 Napoleon Bonaparte resident of Elba (emperor 1804-13, 1814-15)
1771 Sir Walter Scott Scotland, novelist/poet (Lady of Lake)
1785 Thomas De Quincey Eng, writer (Confessions of English Opium Eater)
1803 Sir James Douglas father of British Columbia
1845 Walter Crane England, painter/illustrator (Beauty & Beast)
1856 J Keir Hardie 1st Labour representative in British Parliament
1860 Florence Kling DeWolfe Harding 1st lady
1875 Samuel Coleridge-Taylor London, composer (Hiawatha's Wedding Feast)
1879 Ethel Barrymore Phila, actress (Constant Wife, Corn is Green)
1887 Ferber Edna, Mich, writer (Showboat, Cimarron, Giant)
1888 T.E. Lawrence Tremadoc Wales, soldier/writer (aka Lawrence of Arabia)
1890 Jacques Ibert Paris France, composer (Escales)
1892 Louis-Victor due de Broglie France, physicist (Nobel 1929)
1893 Harlow H Curtice pres of General Motors (1953-8)
1898 Lillian Carter Pres Carter's mom
19-- Jim Lange St Paul Mn, TV host (Dating Game, Name the Tune)
19-- Jonathan Daniel rocker (Electric Angels-I Believe, Whiplash)
19-- Matt Kramer rocker (Saigon Kick-New World)
19-- Tom Williams Chicago Ill, actor (Nobody's Perfect)
1901 Arias Arnulfo 3 time president of Panama (1940-41, 49-51, 68)
1904 Bill Baird Grand Is Nebr, puppeteer (Kukla Fran & Ollie, Muppet Show)
1912 Julia Child Pasadena Calif, chef (French Chef)
1912 Wendy Hiller actress (Major Barbara, David Copperfield)
1915 Signe Hasso actress (Double Life)
1920 Huntz Hall actor (Cyclone, Gas Pump Girls, The Rating Game)
1922 Lukas Foss (Fuchs) Berlin Germany, composer (Prairie)
1923 Rose Marie NYC, actress (Sally Rogers-Dick Van Dyke Show)
1924 Phyllis Schlafly St Louis, right-winger/Eagle Forum president
1924 Robert Bolt playwright (Man for All Seasons, Dr Zhivago)
1925 Mike Connors Fresno Calif, actor (Joe Mannix-Mannix, Night Kill)
1926 Georgiann Johnson Decorah Iowa, actress (Marge-Mr Peepers)
1931 Janice Rule Norwood Ohio, actress (Alvarez Kelly, Doctor's Wife)
1933 Lori Nelson Santa Fe NM, actress (Greta-How to Marry a Millionaire)
1935 Abby Dalton Las Vegas NV, actress (Joey Bishop Show)
1935 Jim Dale Broadway entertainer (Barnum, My One & Only)
1935 Vernon Eulion Jordan Jr civil rights activist
1941 Don Rich Olympia Wash, guitarist/country singer (Hee Haw)
1943 Barbara Bouchet Reichenberg Czech, actress (Casino Royale)
1944 Linda Ellerbee Bryan Texas, newscaster (NBC News Overnight)
1945 Gene Upshaw NFL guard (Oakland), NFLPA leader
1946 Jimmy Webb Elk City Okla, songwriter (MacArthur Park, Up Up & Away)
1946 Kathryn Jean Whitmire Houston Texas, (4 time Mayor-Houston)
1947 Gerald Velez congas (Spyro Gyra-Morning Dance)
1947 Manley Lanier "Sonny" Carter Jr Macon Ga, USN/astro (STS 33)
1949 Ann Ryerson Wisc, actress (Pvt Carol Winter-Pvt Benjamin)
1950 Princess Anne England (daughter of Queen Elizabeth II)
1950 Tess Harper actress (Amityville 3D, Tender Mercies)
1955 Larry Mathews Burbank Calif, actor (Ritchie-Dick Van Dyke Show)
1957 Zeljko Ivanek Yugoslavia, actor (Mass Appeal)
1960 Maureen "Peanut" Louie Harper SF, tennis player (Denver-1985)
1960 Tommy Aldridge heavy metal rocker (Ozzy-Diary of a Mad Man)
1961 Matt Johnson rocker (The The-Infected Soul Mining)
1964 MCA (Adam Yauch) rocker (The Beastie Boys-You Gotta Fight)
1967 F DeLorme Roche Jr. Roanoke, Virginia. Bartender extrodinaire (Guru of life, love & Libation)


Deaths which occurred on August 15th:
1935 Wiley Post & Will Rogers killed in plane crash in Alaska
1975 Sheikh Mujibur Rahiman of Bangladesh killed in a military coup
1983 Anthony Costello actor, dies at 42
1991 Marietta Tree (UN Comm of Human Rights), dies at 74