|August 15 in recent years
August 15 is the 227th day of the year (228th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 138 days remaining until the end of the year.
- 778 - The Battle of Roncevaux Pass, in which Roland is killed.
- 927 - The Saracens are conquered and destroyed 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 - King Mac Bethad is killed in the Battle of Lumphanan by the forces of Máel Coluim mac Donnchada.
- 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, Panama, is 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.
- 1537 - Asunción, Paraguay, is founded.
- 1540 - Arequipa, Peru, is 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.
- 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 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.
- 1863 - The Anglo-Satsuma War begins between the Satsuma Domain of Japan and the United Kingdom (Traditional Japanese date: July 2, 1863).
- 1869 - Meiji government establishes six ministries below Pardication (ja:民部省) in the bottom of Cabinet, officer-of-Shinto-Worship, and jurisdiction of Cabinet.
- 1889 - Oldest Club of Asia Mohun Bagan AC Established in Kolkata, India.
- 1914 - 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.
- 1915 - The Panama Canal opens to traffic with the transit of the cargo ship Ancon.
- 1920 - Polish-Soviet War: Battle of Warsaw - Poles defeat the Red Army.
- 1939 - 13 Stukas dive into the ground during a disastrous air-practice at Neuhammer. No survivors.
- 1942 - World War II: Operation Pedestal - The SS Ohio reaches the island of Malta barely afloat carrying vital fuel supplies for the island defenses.
- 1944 - World War II: Operation Dragoon - Allied forces land in southern France.
- 1945 - World War II: Victory over Japan Day - Japan surrenders.
- 1945 - World War II: Korean Liberation Day.
- 1947 - India gains independence from the United Kingdom and becomes an independent nation within the Commonwealth , Jawaharlal Nehru addresses the nation with the Indian Declaration of Independence and takes office as the first Prime Minister of India.
- 1947 - Founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah is sworn in as first Governor General of Pakistan at Karachi.
- 1948 - The Republic of Korea is established south of the 38th parallel north.
- 1950 - Srikakulam district is formed in Andhra Pradesh, India.
- 1952 - Devon, United Kingdom A flashflood drenches the town of Lynmouth, killing 34 people.
- 1960 - Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) declares its independence from France.
- 1961 - Conrad Schumann flees from East Germany while on duty guarding the construction of the Berlin Wall.
- 1961 - Keiyo Road is specified to be the first driveway in Japan.
- 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.
- 1965 - The Beatles play to nearly 60,000 fans at Shea Stadium in New York City, marking the birth of stadium rock.
- 1969 - The Woodstock Music and Art Festival opens.
- 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 - Bahrain Independence Day.
- 1973 - Vietnam War: The United States bombing of Cambodia ends.
- 1974 - Seoul Subway Line 1 opened, between Seoul Station and Cheongnyangni Station
- 1974 - Yuk Young-soo, First Lady of South Korea is killed amid an apparent assassination attempt upon President of South Korea, Park Chung-hee, during the anniversarial ceremony of the Liberation day.
- 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.
- 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.
- 1984 - PKK,Kurdish people in Turkey gain arms and start a Guerrilla warfare campaign against the Turkish military
- 1993 - Junko Asari wins the women's marathon in the World Athletics Championships in Stuttgart, Japan's first major women's athletics victory.
- 1995 - In South Carolina, Shannon Faulkner becomes the first female cadet matriculated at The Citadel, but drops out in less than a week.
- 1998 - Omagh bomb in Northern Ireland, becoming the worst terrorist incident of The Troubles
- 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.
- 1171 - King Alfonso IX of Leon (d. 1230)
- 1195 - Anthony of Padua, Portuguese saint (d. 1231)
- 1432 - Luigi Pulci, Italian poet (d. 1484)
- 1575 - Bartol Kašić, Croatian writer and linguist (d. 1650)
- 1613 - Gilles Ménage, French scholar (d. 1692)
- 1717 - Blind Jack, English roadbuilder (d. 1810)
- 1740 - Matthias Claudius, German poet (d. 1815)
- 1769 - Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of the French (d. 1821)
- 1771 - Sir Walter Scott, Scottish novelist and poet (d. 1832)
- 1785 - Thomas De Quincey, English author (d. 1859)
- 1813 - Jules Grévy, 2nd President of the French Third Republic (d. 1891)
- 1844 - Thomas-Alfred Bernier, Canadian journalist and politician (d. 1908)
- 1856 - Ivan Franko, Ukrainian writer (d. 1916)
- 1857 - Albert Ballin, German shipping tycoon (d. 1918)
- 1858 - E. Nesbit, English author (d. 1924)
- 1859 - Charles Comiskey, American baseball owner (d. 1931)
- 1860 - Henrietta Vinton Davis, American elocutionist (d. 1941)
- 1860 - Florence Harding, American First Lady (d. 1924)
- 1863 - Alexei Krylov, Russian engineer and mathematician (d. 1945)
- 1865 - Usui Mikao, founder of Reiki (d. 1926)
- 1872 - Sri Aurobindo, Indian writer and philosopher (d. 1950)
- 1875 - Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, English composer (d. 1912)
- 1878 - Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel, Russian counter-revolutionary (d. 1928)
- 1879 - Ethel Barrymore, American actress (d. 1959)
- 1881 - Alfred Wagenknecht, German-born American activist (d. 1956)
- 1883 - Ivan Meštrović, Croatian sculptor (d. 1962)
- 1885 - Edna Ferber, American novelist (d. 1968)
- 1890 - Elizabeth Bolden, American Supercentenarian (d. 2006)
- 1890 - Jacques Ibert, French composer (d. 1962)
- 1892 - Louis, French physicist, Nobel Prize Laureate (d. 1987)
- 1893 - Leslie Comrie, New Zealand astronomer and computing pioneer (d. 1950)
- 1896 - Gerty Cori, Austrian-born biochemist, Nobel Prize Laureate (d. 1957)
- 1896 - Catherine Doherty, Russian-born Canadian activist (d. 1985)
- 1896 - Paul Outerbridge, American photographer (d. 1958)
- 1896 - Leon Theremin, Russian inventor (d. 1993)
- 1898 - Jan Brzechwa, Polish poet (d. 1966)
- 1901 - Pyotr Sergeyevich Novikov, Russian mathematician (d. 1975)
- 1909 - Hugo Winterhalter, American composer and bandleader (d. 1973)
- 1910 - Signe Hasso, Swedish actress (d. 2002)
- 1912 - Julia Child, American cook (d. 2004)
- 1912 - Dame Wendy Hiller, English actress (d. 2003)
- 1914 - Paul Rand, American graphic designer (d. 1996)
- 1916 - Aleks Çaçi, Albanian writer
- 1917 - Jack Lynch, fourth Taoiseach (d. 1999)
- 1917 - Oscar Romero, El Salvador Roman catholic priest (d. 1980)
- 1919 - Huntz Hall, American actor (d. 1999)
- 1919 - Benedict Kiely, Irish author
- 1922 - Lukas Foss, German-born composer
- 1923 - Rose Marie, American actress
- 1924 - Robert Bolt, English playwright and Oscar-winning screenwriter (d. 1995)
- 1925 - Mike Connors, American actor
- 1925 - Oscar Peterson, Canadian jazz pianist
- 1926 - Costis Stephanopoulos, Greek politician
- 1928 - Nicolas Roeg, English film director
- 1930 - Ageeda Paavel, Estonian freedom fighter
- 1933 - Jim Lange, American game show host
- 1933 - Bobby Helms, American pop singer (d. 1997)
- 1934 - Nino Ferrer, French-Italian singer (d. 1998)
- 1934 - Bobby Byrd, American soul/funk singer (d. 2007)
- 1935 - Vernon Jordan Jr., American presidential advisor
- 1935 - Lionel Taylor, American football player
- 1938 - Maxine Waters, American politician
- 1938 - Janusz A. Zajdel, Polish writer
- 1940 - Gudrun Ensslin, German terrorist
- 1940 - Rita Shane, American soprano
- 1942 - Larry Hartsell, American martial arts instructor (d. 2007)
- 1943 - María Rojo, Mexican actress and politician
- 1944 - Linda Ellerbee, American journalist
- 1944 - Tom Murphy, American politician
- 1944 - Sylvie Vartan, Bulgarian pop singer
- 1945 - Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda, Indian guru
- 1945 - Begum Khaleda Zia, Bangladeshi politician
- 1945 - Gene Upshaw, American NFL executive
- 1946 - Tony Robinson, English actor and television presenter
- 1946 - Jimmy Webb, American musician and composer
- 1947 - Raakhee Gulzar, Indian actress
- 1947 - Jenny Hanley, British TV presenter
- 1948 - Uschi Digard, American pornographic actress and model
- 1948 - Patsy Gallant, Canadian pop singer
- 1948 - George Ryton, British engineer
- 1949 - Richard Deacon, Welsh sculptor
- 1950 - Tommy Aldridge, American musician
- 1950 - The Princess Anne, Princess Royal of the United Kingdom
- 1950 - Tom Kelly, American baseball manager
- 1951 - Daba Diawara, Malian politician
- 1951 - Bobby Caldwell, American singer and musician
- 1954 - Mary Jo Salter, American poet
- 1956 - Lorraine Desmarais, French-Canadian jazz pianist and composer
- 1957 - Željko Ivanek, Slovenian-American actor
- 1958 - Victor Shenderovich, Russian satirist
- 1958 - Craig MacTavish, Canadian ice hockey player/coach
- 1958 - Rondell Sheridan, American actor and comedian
- 1962 - Tom Colicchio, American chef
- 1962 - Paraskevas Karasoulos, Greek lyricist
- 1963 - Alejandro González Iñárritu, Mexican film director
- 1964 - Melinda French Gates, American wife of Bill Gates
- 1964 - Debi Mazar, American actress
- 1965 - Rob Thomas, American writer
- 1966 - Scott Brosius, American baseball player
- 1966 - Shirley Kwan, Hong Kong singer
- 1967 - Peter Hermann American actor
- 1968 - Debra Messing, American actress
- 1969 - Kevin Cheng, Hong Kong actor and singer
- 1970 - Anthony Anderson, American comedian and actor
- 1970 - Maddie Corman, American actress
- 1970 - Ben Silverman, American TV executive
- 1972 - Ben Affleck, American actor
- 1972 - Chris Morrissey, American film director/actor
- 1974 - Natasha Henstridge, Canadian actress
- 1975 - Kara Wolters, American basketball player
- 1976 - Boudewijn Zenden, Dutch football player
- 1977 - Nicole Paggi, American actress
- 1977 - Igor Cassina, Italian gymnast
- 1977 - Martin Biron, professional ice hockey goaltender
- 1978 - Tim Foreman, American bassist (Switchfoot)
- 1978 - Lilia Podkopayeva, Ukrainian gymnast
- 1978 - Stavros Tziortziopoulos, Greek footballer
- 1979 - Carl Edwards, American NASCAR driver
- 1980 - Nathalie Press, English actress
- 1981 - Brendan Hansen, American swimmer
- 1981 - Oliver Perez, American baseball player
- 1981 - Sung Ji Hyo, South Korean actress
- 1989 - Belinda, Mexican singer
- 423 - Flavius Honorius, Western Roman Emperor (b. 384)
- 778 - Roland, Frankish commander
- 1038 - King Stephen I of Hungary
- 1040 - King Duncan I of Scotland
- 1057 - King Macbeth of Scotland
- 1118 - Alexius I Comnenus, Byzantine Emperor (b. 1048)
- 1196 - Conrad II (b. 1173)
- 1274 - Robert de Sorbon, French theologian and founder of the Sorbonne (b. 1201)
- 1369 - Philippa of Hainault, Queen consort of Edward III of England
- 1528 - Odet de Foix, French military leader (b. 1485)
- 1552 - Hermann of Wied, German Catholic archbishop (b. 1477)
- 1621 - John Barclay, Scottish writer (b. 1582)
- 1666 - Johann Adam Schall von Bell, German Jesuit missionary (b. 1591)
- 1714 - Constantin Brâncoveanu, Prince of Wallachia (b. 1654)
- 1728 - Marin Marais, French composer and viol player (b. 1656)
- 1758 - Pierre Bouguer, French mathematician (b. 1698)
- 1799 - Giuseppe Parini, Italian poet (b. 1729)
- 1852 - Johan Gadolin, Finnish scientist (b. 1760)
- 1907 - Joseph Joachim, Austrian violinist (b. 1831)
- 1909 - Euclides da Cunha, Brazilian writer and sociologist (b. 1866)
- 1917 - Thomas J. Higgins, decorated Union Army soldier (b. 1831)
- 1925 - Konrad Mägi, Estonian artist (b. 1878)
- 1935 - Wiley Post, American pilot (airplane crash) (b. 1898)
- 1935 - Will Rogers, American humorist and actor (airplane crash) (b. 1879)
- 1936 - Grazia Deledda, Italian writer, Nobel Prize Laureate (b. 1871)
- 1945 - Korechika Anami, Japanese War Minister (b. 1887)
- 1951 - Artur Schnabel, Polish pianist (b. 1882)
- 1953 - Ludwig Prandtl, German physicist (b. 1875)
- 1959 - Blind Willie McTell, American singer (b. 1901)
- 1962 - Lei Feng, Chinese revolutionary (b. 1940)
- 1967 - René Magritte, Belgian painter (b. 1898)
- 1971 - Paul Lukas, Hungarian-born actor (b. 1887)
- 1975 - Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, President of Bangladesh (b. 1920)
- 1975 - Clay Shaw, alleged John F. Kennedy assassination conspiracist & businessman (b. 1913)
- 1982 - Hugo Theorell, Swedish scientist, Nobel Prize Laureate (b. 1903)
- 1990 - Viktor Tsoi, Russian musician (b. 1962)
- 1995 - John Cameron Swayze, American journalist (b. 1906)
- 1999 - Sir Hugh Casson, British architect and artist (b. 1910)
- 2001 - Richard Chelimo, Kenyan athlete (b. 1972)
- 2003 - Gösta Sundqvist, Finnish songwriter and singer (heart attack) (b. 1957)
- 2004 - Semiha Berksoy, first Turkish opera singer (b. 1910)
- 2004 - Sune Bergström, Swedish biochemist, Nobel Prize Laureate (b. 1916)
- 2004 - Amarsinh Chaudhary, Indian politician (b. 1941)
- 2006 - Te Atairangi Kaahu, Māori queen (b. 1931)
- 2007 - John Gofman, American Manhattan Project scientist and advocate (b. 1918)
- 2007 - Geoffrey Orbell, New Zealand bush walker (b. 1908)
Holidays and observances
- VJ Day / VP Day
- India – Independence Day (from the United Kingdom, 1947).
- Egypt – Flooding of the Nile Day.
- Italy, Ferragosto, remembrance of an ancient Roman holiday in honor of Augustus (Feriae Augusti).
- Korea – Gwangbokjeol (Liberation Day).
- Tuva – Naadym.
- Costa Rica– Mother's Day.
- Eastern Orthodoxy – Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos, the commemoration of the death of Mary.
- Feast day of the Assumption of Mary, the mother of Jesus, Holy Day of Obligation. Public Holiday in: Austria, Belgium, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Chile, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, East Timor, France, Greece, Guatemala, India, Italy, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mauritius, Poland, Portugal, Seychelles, Slovenia and Spain.
- RC Saints
143 Familypedia people were born on August 15
126 Familypedia people died on August 15
82 Familypedia people were first married on August 15