#TodayInHistory – August 15
August 15 – Some important events on this day.
778 👉🏼 Battle of Roncevaux Pass: Roland, commander of the rearguard of Charlemagne’s army is defeated by the Basques
1248 👉🏼 Construction of Cologne Cathedral begun
1461 👉🏼 Empire of Trebizond surrenders to forces of Sultan Mehmet II – last Byzantine Empire remnant to fall. Emperor David exiled and later murdered.
1519 👉🏼 Panama City founded by Spanish conquistador Pedro Arias Dávila
1534 👉🏼 Ignatius of Loyola forms society of Jesus/Jesuits
1537 👉🏼 Asunción, Paraguay, is founded.
1540 👉🏼 Arequipa, Peru, is founded.
1620 👉🏼 Mayflower sets sail from Southampton, England, with 102 Pilgrims
1635 👉🏼 1st recorded north American hurricane hits the Plymouth Colony
1900 👉🏼 The Boxer Rebellion: In China, the Empress, her family and court retainers flee while foreign troops move through Peking in an attempt to quell the rebellion
1936 👉🏼 Carla de Vries, an American tourist at the swimming event of the Berlin Olympics finds Adolf Hitler “so friendly and gracious” she shakes his hand and gives him a kiss.
On this day, August 15 1936, an American woman spectator at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, finding Adolf Hitler “so friendly and gracious”, leaned over…and kissed him.
It happened during the 1500 metres freestyle swimming event, which was being watched also by 40-year-old Carla de Vries, an American tourist who went to the Games with her husband. She was intrigued to see Hitler sitting at the front of his box and tried several times to get near so that she could take a photograph. Apparently it was impossible because each time she was blocked by Black Guards.
She managed, though, to break through the cordon during the excitement of the finish of the race, shook Hitler’s hand and then kissed him, while the crowd rocked with laughter.
Hitler, seemingly in high spirits, joined in the fun, clapping his hands as the woman returned triumphantly to her seat.
Mrs de Vries said later: “I simply embraced him because he appeared so friendly and gracious. I don’t know why I did it. Certainly, I hadn’t planned such a thing. It’s just that I’m a woman of impulses, I guess.
It happened when I went down to take Hitler’s picture with my small movie camera. He was leaning forward, smiling, and he seemed so friendly that I just stepped up and asked for his autograph, which he wrote on my swimming ticket.
He kept on smiling and so I kissed him. People sitting near his box began to cheer and applaud so loudly that I ran back to my husband and told him we had better leave.”
On protection duty that day were members of the Schutzstaffel, the Black Guards who were to form the much-feared SS. But on this occasion they could not even stop the advances of a middle-aged woman.
An unsmiling and ungracious Hitler later saw to it personally that several of them were demoted and others even dismissed…
1939 👉🏼 “The Wizard of Oz”, American musical fantasy film directed by Victor Fleming and King Vidor, premieres at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, starring Judy Garland (Dorothy), Ray Bolger (Scarecrow), Jack Haley (Tin Man), Bert Lahr (Cowardly Lion), Frank Morgan (Wizard), Billie Burke (Glinda), and Margaret Hamilton (Wicked Witch).
1939 The Wizard of Oz is absolutely one of cinema’s most famous films. Legendary for its famous scenes, memorable characters, oft-repeated quotes and for its use of Technicolor (which, among other things, brought to life the famous red slippers worn by Judy Garland in the film) the movie was actually a commercial bomb when it first came out – making less than a million dollars over its budget.
Nevertheless watching The Wizard of Oz became an American tradition after it was first broadcast on television in 1956. The year 1939 was a good one, for the movie’s director Victor Fleming (although the movie had suffered a succession of different directors before Fleming came on board) who won the Academy Award for Best Picture for Gone With the Wind, another iconic movie released the same year.
The film itself is an adaptation of the children’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, released in 1900.
1947 👉🏼 India gains independence from Great Britain, remains a dominion until 1950
1969 👉🏼 Woodstock Music & Art Fair opens in New York State on Max Yasgur’s Dairy Farm.
The Woodstock Music and Art Fair ran from the 15-18th August 1969 and was attended by 400,000 people. It is regarded as an iconic moment in music history and the event that best encapsulates the counterculture generation of the 1960s.
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1995 👉🏼 “Macarena” single is released by Los del Rio
1998 👉🏼 Omagh Bombing in Northern Ireland, the worst terrorist incident of The Troubles, kills 29 people and injures about 220.
In 1998, the Troubles in Northern Ireland were cooling down. There had been a number of ceasefires by paramilitary groups and negotiations had been taking place, leading to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in April.
Ironically, the deadliest attack of the entire conflict took place against this apparently peaceful backdrop. A car bomb by a republican splinter group, the Real IRA, killed 29 people in Omagh, County Tyrone. Despite the IRA telephoning warnings 40 minutes before the bombing, these were inaccurate and police inadvertently moved people toward the car bomb.
The dead included many different ages, nationalities, religious backgrounds and unborn twins. The bombing caused considerable international and domestic outrage and was an extreme blow to the dissident republican movement, led the IRA to declare a ceasefire and spurred further work on the peace process.
2015 👉🏼 North Korea creates its own time zone -moving its clocks back half an hour to GMT+8.5
2019 👉🏼 Disney Studios is the first studio to have five films earn over $1 billion each in one year with “Toy Story 4”, “Avengers: Engame”, “Captain Marvel”, “Aladdin” and “The Lion King”