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What Happened on September 15?

  • Germany adopted the swastika as the official Nazi symbol as the Nuremberg Laws took effect. (1935) The Nuremberg Laws stripped Jews of their citizenship and made marriage between a Jew and a German illegal.

  • Tanks were used in warfare for the first time. (1916) The British military made use of about 40 tanks against Germany in the Battle of the Somme. The early machines were not very effective, as they were slow and kept breaking down.

  • Europe introduced its first free, non-aristocratic public school. (1616) Saint Joseph Calasanz started the school, in Frascati, Italy, which was open to all children.

  • One of the deadliest acts during the US civil rights era took place. (1963) In Birmingham, Alabama, Robert Chambliss and several accomplices planted 15 dynamite sticks in the basement of the 16th Street Baptist Church, below the womens restroom. When the dynamite exploded, four little girls in the bathroom and were killed; more than 20 other parishioners also were injured. Chambliss was later tried and convicted of murder; he was sentenced to life in prison in 1977. Two of his accomplices also were later sentenced to life in prison.

  • The famous "skirt scene" featuring Marilyn Monroe in her white dress was filmed. (1954) While shooting the movie, The Seven Year Itch, Monroe was filmed standing over a subway vent when her skirt flew up, causing her to laugh. The moment became one of the most famous photos in history. Her husband, Joe DiMaggio, wasn't amused; the two divorced soon after the incident.

  • The Zond 5 became the first space craft to circle the moon and successfully return through the Earth's atmosphere. (1968) The Soviets launched Zond 5 on this day and it safely returned to Earth on September 21st. The craft carried the first animals into space — all survived the journey, though the turtles reportedly lost a bit of weight.

  • The first cross-continent mail service began in the US from St. Louis to San Francisco. (1858) The Overland Mail Company delivery between the cities took less than 25 days and was sent two times per week.

  • A new world record for airspeed was set. (1948) The F-86 Sabre fighter jet set the new record, flying at 671 miles per hour (about 1,080 kilometers per hour).

  • The owners of the National Hockey League (NHL) locked out the players. (2004) Gary Bettman, the NHL Commissioner, shut down operations and locked out the players during union negotiations. The 2004-05 season also was canceled. It was the first time in US history that a professional sports season was canceled over labor issues; it also was the first time since 1919 that the Stanley Cup wasn't awarded.

  • A Soviet leader visited the US for the first time. (1959) Nikita Khrushchev wanted to improve agricultural production in the Soviet Union and visited US agricultural schools, including Iowa State University.

Discussion Comments

By anon291021 — On Sep 12, 2012

Having been born on this day, was interested in what went before I arrived and after. Plus,

"the spare" -- Prince Harry-- was born on this day.

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