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May 15 Historical Events

The following events took place on May 15. The list is arranged in chronological order.

Found 75 events. Showing 1 - 30.

  • 495 BC
    A newly constructed temple in honour of the god Mercury was dedicated in ancient Rome on the Circus Maximus, between the Aventine and Palatine hills. To spite the senate and the consuls, the people awarded the dedication to a senior military officer, Marcus Laetorius.
  • 392
    Emperor Valentinian II is assassinated while advancing into Gaul against the Frankish usurper Arbogast. He is found hanging in his residence at Vienne.
  • 589
    King Authari marries Theodelinda, daughter of the Bavarian duke Garibald I. A Catholic, she has great influence among the Lombard nobility.
  • 1252
    Pope Innocent IV issues the papal bull ad extirpanda, which authorizes, but also limits, the torture of heretics in the Medieval Inquisition.
  • 1525
    Insurgent peasants led by Anabaptist pastor Thomas Müntzer were defeated at the Battle of Frankenhausen, ending the German Peasants’ War in the Holy Roman Empire.
  • 1536
    Anne Boleyn, Queen of England, stands trial in London on charges of treason, adultery and incest. She is condemned to death by a specially-selected jury.
  • 1567
    Mary, Queen of Scots marries James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, her third husband.
  • 1602
    Bartholomew Gosnold becomes the first recorded European to see Cape Cod.
  • 1618
    Johannes Kepler confirms his previously rejected discovery of the third law of planetary motion (he first discovered it on March 8 but soon rejected the idea after some initial calculations were made).
  • 1648
    The Treaty of Westphalia is signed.
  • 1701
    The War of the Spanish Succession begins.
  • 1718
    James Puckle, a London lawyer, patents the world’s first machine gun.
  • 1730
    Hugh Walpole effectively became the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
  • 1755
    Laredo, Texas is established by the Spaniards.
  • 1776
    American Revolution: The Virginia Convention instructs its Continental Congress delegation to propose a resolution of independence from Great Britain, paving the way for the United States Declaration of Independence.
  • 1791
    French Revolution: Maximilien Robespierre proposes the Self-denying Ordinance.
  • 1792
    War of the First Coalition: France declares war on Kingdom of Sardinia.
  • 1793
    Diego Marín Aguilera flies a glider for “about 360 meters”, at a height of 5–6 meters, during one of the first attempted manned flights.
  • 1796
    War of the First Coalition: Napoleon enters Milan in triumph.
  • 1800
    King George III of the United Kingdom survives an assassination attempt by James Hadfield, who is later acquitted by reason of insanity.
  • 1811
    Paraguay declares independence from Spain.
  • 1817
    Opening of the first private mental health hospital in the United States, the Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason (now Friends Hospital) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • 1836
    Francis Baily observes “Baily’s beads” during an annular eclipse.
  • 1849
    Troops of the Two Sicilies take Palermo and crush the republican government of Sicily.
  • 1850
    The Bloody Island Massacre takes place in Lake County, California, in which a large number of Pomo Indians in Lake County are slaughtered by a regiment of the United States Cavalry, led by Nathaniel Lyon.
  • 1851
    The first Australian gold rush is proclaimed, although the discovery had been made three months earlier.
  • 1858
    Opening of the present Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London.
  • 1862
    President Abraham Lincoln signs a bill into law creating the United States Bureau of Agriculture. It is later renamed the United States Department of Agriculture.
  • 1864
    American Civil War: Battle of Resaca, Georgia ends.
  • 1864
    American Civil War: Battle of New Market, Virginia: Students from the Virginia Military Institute fight alongside the Confederate Army to force Union General Franz Sigel out of the Shenandoah Valley.

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