Today's History Trivia for October 15
1946 Nazi Leader Göring Commits Suicide Hermann Wilhelm Göring was the German Field Marshal under Hitler. He was sentenced to death for war crimes. He asked to be shot as a soldier instead of hanged as a common criminal, but the court refused. He then committed suicide with a potassium cyanide capsule while in prison.
1917 Mata Hari Executed The world's most famous spy, Mata Hari, is executed. She had been convicted of spying for Germany during World War I and executed by firing squad in France. She refused a blind fold and blew a kiss to the firing squad before her execution.
1860 Abraham Lincoln Grows a Beard An 11-year-old girl writes the future U.S. President, suggesting he should grow a beard. He wrote back saying it would be silly to start growing a beard; but he did so anyway.
1994 Longest time between the birth of surviving twins Timothy Keys is born more than 3-months premature. His twin sister, Celeste, wasn't born until 95 days later.
1992 President Bush - "I hope a lot of them lose" U.S. President George H. W. Bush mutters "I hope a lot of them lose," after a comment about female candidates running for the Senate.
1972 Water Pollution Control Act Congress passes the act over Pres. Nixon's veto.
1966 U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) The transportation agency is established by Congress.
1956 Civil Rights A Louisiana statute goes into effect making it illegal for black and white players to compete or practice together in both amateur and professional sports.
1954 The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin debuts on ABC.
1951 I Love Lucy The TV show debuts on CBS.
1933 20th Amendment It goes into effect. Called the "Lame Duck Amendment," it specified that the President's and Vice-President's terms were to begin on January 20.
1924 Statue of Liberty The 151-foot-high gift from the French people is proclaimed a national monument.
1914 Clayton Antitrust Act The law is passed by Congress. It further restricted monopolies and provided labor unions more bargaining power.
1900 Boston's Symphony Hall opens.
1892 1.8 million acres of Crow Indian reservation in Montana is opened up for settlement by proclamation of Pres. Harrison. The Indians received 50¢ an acre for their land.
1881 First U.S. Fishing Journal The American Angler is published.
1783 First Manned Balloon Flight Jean Pilatre de Rozier makes his historic flight. His balloon was tethered to the ground.
1582 Start of the Gregorian Calendar As decreed by Pope Gregory XIII. The previous day had been Thursday, October 4. England and its colonies, including America, didn't convert until 1752.
1522 Emperor Charles V makes Cortez Governor and Captain General of New Spain.
Today's Birthdays for October 15
1844 Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche d. 1900 German philosopher, author of Thus Spake Zarathustra (1883), in which he developed the idea of "Übermensch" (Superman) who would control society. Quote: "Two great European narcotics are alcohol and Christianity" and "What doesn't kill you makes you strong." Source: Fifth 637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said
1959 Sarah "Fergie" Ferguson Britain's Duchess of York.
1955 Tanya Roberts (Victoria Leigh Blum), American actress. Film Tourist Trap (1979), The Beastmaster (1982, Kiri), and A View to a Kill (1985, geological Bond Girl). TV: Charlie's Angels (Julie) and That '70s Show (Donna's mom Midge).
1953 Tito Jackson (Toriano Adryll Jackson), American singer, one of the Jackson Five.
1946 Richard Carpenter American singer with the Carpenters. Music: We've Only Just Begun (1970, #2) and Rainy Days and Mondays (1971, #2).
1943 Penny Marshall American actress. TV: Laverne & Shirley (Laverne).
1937 Linda Lavin American actress. TV: Alice (title role).
1924 Lee Iacocca American auto maker, ex-president of Ford Motor Company and chairman of Chrysler Corporation.
1920 Mario Puzo d. 1999 American author, screenwriter. Writings: The Godfather (1969, he won an Oscar for the 1972 screenplay and for the 1974 Godfather Part II screenplay), and Superman (1978)
1904 Marty Mann d. 1980 American social activist, founder of the National Committee for Education on Alcoholism (1944).
1767 Father Gabriel Richard d. 1832 first Catholic priest to serve in Congress (1823-25).
1608 Evangelista Torricelli d. 1647 Italian physicist, inventor of the barometer (1643).
70 B.C. Virgil d. 19 B.C. Roman epic poet, teacher. He is considered the greatest poet of Rome's Golden Age. Writings: Aeneid.
Deaths for October 15
1946 Hermann Wilhelm Göring b. 1893 German Field Marshal under Hitler. He was sentenced to death for war crimes. He asked to be shot as a soldier instead of hanged as a common criminal, but the court refused. He then committed suicide with a potassium cyanide capsule while in prison.
1917 Mata Hari b. 1876 (Margaretha Geertruida Zelle MacLeod), Dutch exotic dancer, world's most famous spy. She was convicted of spying for Germany during World War I and executed by firing squad in France. She refused a blind fold and blew a kiss to the firing squad before her execution.
1852 Friedrich Ludwig Jahn b. 1778 German patriot, father of gymnastics. His teaching of gymnastics (1809) to young Berlin boys quickly spread to other cities. He introduced the balance beam, horizontal bar, the parallel bars, and the vaulting horse to gymnastics.
2010 Johnny Sheffield b. 1931 American actor. Film: He played Boy in the Tarzan movies of the 1940s and later starred in the Bomba the Jungle Boy (1949-55) movies.
2008 Edie Adams b. 1927 (Elizabeth Edith Enke), American actress, singer. TV: The '60s Muriel cigar commercials - Why don't you pick one up and smoke it sometime?
1983 Pat O'Brien b. 1899 American actor. Film: Angels With Dirty Faces (1938, Father Connolly) and Knute Rockne - All American (1940, title role).
1964 Cole Porter b. 1891 American composer, one of the greatest songwriters of the century. Music: I'm In Love Again (1924), Kiss Me Kate, I Love Paris, and Night and Day.
1963 Horton Smith b. 1908 American golfer. He won the first Masters tournament (1934), and again in 1936.
1957 Neal Ball b. 1881 (Cornelius Ball), American baseball shortstop. He made the first major-league unassisted triple play (1909).
1930 Herbert Henry Dow b. 1866 American chemist, pioneer in the U.S. chemical industry.
1927 Louis Rueckheim b. 1849 German-born American candy maker. He and his brother created Cracker Jack candy (1893). Louis developed a way to prevent the candy-coated pieced from sticking together.
1389 Urban VI b. circa 1318 Italian religious leader, 202nd Pope (1378-89). He executed five cardinals whom he suspected of disloyalty.