Historical Events on May 15

  • 1718: The first machine gun in the world is patented by a lawyer in London named James Puckle on this day.
  • 1776: The Continental Congress receives instructions from the 5th Virginia Convention to propose a resolution of independence from Great Britain. This would set the stage for the drafting of the U.S. Declaration of Independence.
  • 1817: The Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason opens up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This hospital – which was the first private mental health institution in the U.S – is now known as Friends Hospital.
  • 1850: The U.S Calvary kills a large number of Pomo Indian on an island the Indians called Badon-napo-ti in Lake Country, California. This massacre is called the Bloody Island Massacre.
  • 1851: Three months after gold had been discovered in Australia, an Australian gold rush is proclaimed.
  • 1862: S President Abraham Lincoln signs a bill that creates the U.S Bureau of Agriculture.
  • 1864: At the Battle of New Market during the American Civil War, Virginia Military Institute students and Confederate Army soldiers team up to drive Union General Franz Sigel out of the Shenadoah Valley in Virginia.
  • 1869: The National Woman Suffrage Association is created by Elizabeth Cady and Susan B. Anthony in New York.
  • 1928: Mickey Mouse appears for the first time in a cartoon directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks called “Plane Crazy.”
  • 1929: Over 120 people are killed when a fire erupts in Cleveland Clinic located in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • 1940: Dutch forces surrender to German forces during World War II. This would be the start of a 5-year Nazi occupation of the country.
  • 1942: The Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps is created during World War 2.

Famous Birthdays on May 15

  • French physicist and Nobel Prize laureate, Pierre Curie is born in 1859.
  • American novelist, short story writer and essayist, Katherine Anne Porter is born in 1890.
  • American actor David Krumholtz is born in 1978.