#TodayInHistory – July 15
July 15 – Some important events on this day.
971 👉🏼 According to the legend, English saint Swithun is reburied inside Winchester Cathedral (against his wishes), whereby a terrible storm proceeds to rain for 40 days and nights.
1099 👉🏼 City of Jerusalem is captured and plundered by Christian forces during the First Crusade
1381 👉🏼 John Ball, a leader in the Peasants’ Revolt, is hung, drawn and quartered in the presence of Richard II of England
1410 👉🏼 Battle of Grunwald (First Battle of Tannenburg, Battle of Žalgiris), one of Medieval Europe’s largest battles during Poland-Lithuanian Teutonic War. Polish King Władysław Jagiełło and Lithuanian Grand Duke Vytautas defeat Teutonic Ulrich von Jungingen.
The fight between Poland-Lithuania and the Teutonic Order in 1410 was a decisive moment for Europe and one of the most significant in Polish and Lithuanian history. Although the Teutonic leadership was destroyed in the battle, they withstood a castle siege and did not lose significant territories at the resulting peace deal.
Nevertheless their defeat caused an irreversible decline as they struggled to pay debts and recover their power, while the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth became the dominant nation in Central and Eastern Europe.
1783 👉🏼 1st steamboat, Pyroscaphe, 1st run in France
1799 👉🏼 The Rosetta Stone is found in the Egyptian village of Rosetta by French Captain Pierre-François Bouchard during Napoleon’s Egyptian Campaign
1869 👉🏼 Margarine is patented by Hippolye Méga-Mouriès for use by French Navy
1888 👉🏼 Japanese Bandai volcano erupts for 1st time in 1,000 years
1898 👉🏼 Camillo Golgi discovers the Golgi Apparatus (a delicate network inside cells essential for the transmission and reception of information between cells)
1929 👉🏼 1st airport hotel opens at Oakland, California
1948 👉🏼 Alcoholic Anonymous founded in Britain
1955 👉🏼 18 Nobel laureates sign the Mainau Declaration against nuclear weapons, later co-signed by 34 more laureates
1960 👉🏼 Chubby Checker releases his version of “The Twist” in the US (date approximate).
When American rock artist Chubby Checker released his catchy pop song The Twist in 1960, few could have imagined that it would be responsible for a dance craze that would sweep the Western world in the early 1960s.
The dance itself had existed in its modern form since at least the late 1950s. Checker released his single in 1960 and it eventually claimed the top spot on September 19, 1960. Over the next two years, the craze took hold, and the song emerged as a number #1 again on January 13, 1962.
The Twist was a watershed moment for rock’n’roll as the sight of celebrities doing the dance helped popularize it with adults – making them more accepting of the genre that their kids were going crazy for.
1994 👉🏼 Hundreds of thousands of Hutus flee to Zaire in the Congo near the end of the Rwandan Genocide.
Over a period of 100 days in 1994, in the small but densely populated East African country of Rwanda, one of the worst and most brutal genocides in modern history occurred. More than 800,000 Tutsi people, Twa and moderate Hutu were murdered but Hutu extremists. The genocide came at the climax of the Rwandan Civil War, which had been raging since 1990, but followed a long history of tension between the groups.
Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana had signed peace accords with the rebels in 1993, since neither side was able to gain an advantage in the conflict. His assassination on April 6, 1994, created an immediate power vacuum in the country and ended the accords. The Rwandan crisis committee that took power following his death, led by Théoneste Bagosora, immediately began issuing orders to kill Tutsi. The killings were large-scale and highly organized, perpetrated primarily through the Interahamwe, originally a far-right Hutu paramilitary group. Many believe the genocide had been planned for over a year.
Road blocks were set up throughout Rwanda and any person showing Tutsi identification was killed immediately. Hutu extremists went from house to house slaughtering Tutsi, regardless of age. Churches were burned with people in them, such as at Ntarama were killed by guns, grenades, fire or machete.
The international community has long been criticized for its failure to intervene. The genocide caused worldwide revulsion and shock, but the killings only stopped when the Rwandan Patriotic Front led by Paul Kagame (still the President of Rwanda as of 2020) enacted a swift military victory over the Rwandan government and ended the civil war.
Many responsible for the genocide were never punished given the vast number of participants, though some of the main organizers were imprisoned by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
2006 👉🏼 The San Francisco-based podcasting company Odeo officially releases Twttr—later changed to Twitter—its short messaging service (SMS) for groups, to the public.