On this day in history
1261: Constantinople falls to Michael VIII of Nicea and his army.
1598: Hugh O’Neill, the Earl of Tyrone, leads an Irish force to victory over the British at the Battle of Yellow Ford.
1864: The Confederate raider Tallahassee captures six Federal ships off New England.
1872: The first ballot voting in England is conducted.
1914: The Panama Canal opens to traffic.
1935: American comedian and “cowboy philosopher” Will Rogers dies in an airplane accident.
1944: American, British and French forces land on the southern coast of France in Operation Dragoon.
1945: Gasoline and fuel oil rationing ends in the United States.
1947: Britain grants independence to India and Pakistan.
1950: Two U.S. divisions are badly mauled by the North Korean Army at the Battle of the Bowling Alley in South Korea, which rages on for five more days.
1969: Over 400,000 young people attend a weekend of rock music at Woodstock, New York.
1971: US President Richard Nixon announces a 90-day freeze on wages and prices in an attempt to halt rapid inflation.
1986: Ignoring objections from President Ronald Reagan‘s Administration, the US Senate approves economic sanctions against South Africa to protest that country’s apartheid policies.
1994: The infamous terrorist Carlos the Jackal is captured in Khartoum, Sudan.
2001: Astronomers announce the first solar system discovered outside our own; two planets had been found orbiting a star in the Big Dipper.
Born on August 15
1769: Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France (1804-1815) and military leader.
1888: T.E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia for his military exploits against the Turks in World War I.
1912: Julia Child, American chef and television personality.
1964: Melinda French Gates, businesswoman, philanthropist.