On This Day in History: May 15

On this day in 1937 – Trini Lopez (Trinidad Lopez III) in Dallas, Texas) is an American musician, singer and guitarist. Raised in the barrio of Dallas, dropped out of high school in his senior year because hi father needed financial support. He learned to play guitar from his father and it was this talent that he used to help support his family. He rode to local fame playing in night clubs eventually moving his family out of the barrio.

His first record album included the song “If I Had a Hammer” which rode to the top of the charts around the world. The hits, “I’m Coming Home Cindy,” “Michael,” “Lemon Tree,” Kansas City,” “America,” and, of course, “La Bamba”, followed in quick succession.

During the 60’s and 70’s, he appeared in movies (“Marriage on the Rocks”, “The Dirty Dozen”)  and on TV (“Adam-12). He does charitable work and took part in the world wide concert to raise funds for the victims of the 2004 Indonesia Tsunami/Earthquake.

Happy Birthday, Trini

756  – Abd-al-Rahman I becomes emir of Cordova Spain

1252 – Pope Innocent IV issues the papal bull ad exstirpanda, which authorizes, but also limits, the torture of heretics in the Medieval Inquisition.

1514 – Jodocus Badius Ascensius publishes Christiern Pedersen’s Latin version of Saxo’s Gesta Danorum, the oldest known version of that work.

1536 – Anne Boleyn, Queen of England, stands trial in London on charges of treason, adultery and incest. She is condemned to death by a specially-selected jury.

1567 – Mary, Queen of Scots, marries James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, her third husband.

1618 – Johannes Kepler confirms his previously rejected discovery of the third law of planetary motion (he first discovered it on March 8 but soon rejected the idea after some initial calculations were made).

1701 – The War of the Spanish Succession begins.

1718 – James Puckle, a London lawyer, patents the world’s first machine gun.

1755 – Laredo, Texas is established by the Spaniards.

1756 – The Seven Years’ War begins when Great Britain declares war on France.

1776 – American Revolution: the Virginia Convention instructs its Continental Congress delegation to propose a resolution of independence from Great Britain, paving the way for the United States Declaration of Independence.

1791 – Maximilien Robespierre proposes the Self-denying Ordinance.

1792 – War of the First Coalition: France declares war on Kingdom of Sardinia.

1793 – Diego Marin Aguilera flies a glider for “about 360 meters”, at a height of 5-6 meters, during one of the first attempted flights.

1796 – First Coalition: Napoleon enters Milan in triumph.

1800President John Adams orders federal government to Washington, D.C.

1800 – George III survives two assassination attempts in one day.

1811 – Paraguay declares independence from Spain.

1817 – Opening of the first private mental health hospital in the United States, the Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason (now Friends Hospital) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1836 – Francis Baily observes “Baily’s beads” during an annular eclipse.

1850 – The Bloody Island Massacre takes place in Lake County, CA, in which a large number of Pomo Indians in Lake County were slaughtered by a regiment of the United States Cavalry, led by Nathaniel Lyon.

1856The Seven Years War, a global conflict known in America as the French and Indian War, officially begins when England declares war on France. However, fighting and skirmishes between England and France had been going on in North America for years.

1858 – Opening of the present Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London.

1862 – President Abraham Lincoln signs a bill into law creating the United States Bureau of Agriculture. It is later renamed the United States Department of Agriculture.

1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Resaca, Georgia ends.

1864American Civil War: Battle of New Market, Virginia – students from the Virginia Military Institute fight alongside the Confederate Army to force Union General Franz Sigel out of the Shenandoah Valley.

1869 – Woman’s suffrage: in New York, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton form the National Woman’s Suffrage Association.

1891 – Rerum Novarum, the first document of the Catholic Social Teaching tradition, is published by Pope Leo XIII.

1897 – The Greek army retreats with heavy losses in the Greco-Turkish War.

1905 – The Russian minelayer Amur laid a minefield about 15 miles off Port Arthur and sank Japan’s battleship Hatsuse, 15,000 tons, with 496 crew.

1905 – Las Vegas, Nevada, is founded when 110 acres (0.4 km), in what later would become downtown, are auctioned off.

1910 – The last time a major earthquake happened on the Elsinore Fault Zone.

1911 – The United States Supreme Court declares Standard Oil to be an “unreasonable” monopoly under the Sherman Antitrust Act and orders the company to be broken up.

1914 – Bolivia becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty.

1916Austrians launch massive offensive on Trentino Front

1919 – The Winnipeg General Strike begins. By 11:00 a.m., almost the whole working population of Winnipeg, Manitoba had walked off the job.

1919 – Greek invasion of Izmir. During the invasion, the Greek army kills or wounds 350 Turks. The responsible are punished by the Greek Commander Aristides Stergiades.

1928 – Mickey Mouse premiered in his first cartoon, Plane Crazy

1932 – The May 15 Incident: in an attempted Coup d’etat, the Prime Minister of Japan Inukai Tsuyoshi is killed.

1935 – The Moscow Metro is opened to public.

1940 – USS Sailfish (SS-192) recommissioned, originally the USS Squalus.

1940 – World War II: After fierce fighting, the poorly trained and equipped Dutch troops surrender to Germany, marking the beginning of five years of occupation.

1940 – McDonald’s opens its first restaurant in San Bernardino, California.

1941First Allied jet flies: The jet-propelled Gloster-Whittle E 28/39 aircraft flies successfully over Cranwell, England, in the first test of an Allied aircraft using jet propulsion.

1941 – Nazi occupiers in Netherlands forbid Jewish music

1942World War II: in the United States, a bill creating the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) is signed into law.

1943 – Joseph Stalin dissolves the Comintern (or Third International).

1943 – Warsaw ghetto uprising ends, in it’s destruction

1945 – World War II: The final skirmish in Europe is fought near Prevalje, Slovenia


1948 – Following the demise of the British Mandate of Palestine, Egypt, Transjordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia invade the territory partitioned for the Arab state by the British Mandate of Palestine thus starting the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

1955 – The Austrian Independence Treaty is signed.

1955 – The first ascent of Makalu, the world’s fifth highest mountain.

1957 – At Malden Island in the Pacific, Britain tests its first hydrogen bomb in Operation Grapple. The device fails to detonate properly.

1958 – The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 3.

1960 – The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 4.

1963Project Mercury: The launch of the final Mercury mission,

Mercury-Atlas 9 with astronaut L. Gordon Cooper on board. He becomes the first American to spend more than a day in space.

1966 – After a policy dispute, Prime Minister Nguyen Cao Ky of South Vietnam’s ruling junta launches a military attack on the forces of General Ton That Dinh, forcing him to abandon his command.

1967Viet Nam War: U.S. forces just south of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) come under heavy fire as Marine positions between Dong Ha and Con Thien are pounded by North Vietnamese artillery.

1969 – People’s Park: California Governor Ronald Reagan has an impromptu student park owned by University of California at Berkeley fenced off from student anti-war protestors, sparking a riot called Bloody Thursday.

1970 – President Richard Nixon appoints Anna Mae Hays and Elizabeth P. Hoisington the first female United States Army Generals.

1970 – Philip Lafayette Gibbs and James Earl Green are killed at Jackson State University by police during student protests.

1972 – The island of Okinawa, under U.S. military governance since its conquest in 1945, reverts to Japanese control.

1972In Laurel, Maryland, Arthur Bremer shoots and paralyzes Alabama Governor George Wallace while he is campaigning to be become President.

1974 – Ma’alot massacre: In an Arab terrorist attack and hostage taking at an Israeli school, a total of 31 people are killed, including 22 schoolchildren.

1987 – The Soviet Union launches the Polyus prototype orbital weapons platform. It fails to reach orbit.

1988Soviet war in Afghanistan: After more than eight years of fighting, the Red Army begins its withdrawal from Afghanistan.

When will we ever learn?

1991 – Edith Cresson becomes France’s first female prime minister.

1997 – The United States government acknowledges the existence of the “Secret War” in Laos and dedicates the Laos Memorial in honor of Hmong and other “Secret War” veterans.

2008 – California becomes the second U.S. state after Massachusetts in 2004 to legalize same-sex marriage after the state’s own Supreme Court rules a previous ban unconstitutional.


1922 – Jakucho Setouchi, Japanese writer and Buddhist nun, 88

1926 – Peter Shaffer, British playwright, 84

1930 – Jasper Johns, American painter, 80

1931 – Ken Venturi, American golfer. 79

1936 – Anna Maria Alberghetti, Italian-born actress, 74

1937 – Madeleine Albright, U.S. Secretary of State, 73

1937 РTrini López, American musician, 73

1940 – Roger Ailes, American businessman,70

1940 – Don Nelson, American basketball coach, currently of the Golden State Warriors, 70

1948 – Brian Eno, British musician and record producer, 62

1948 – Kathleen Sebelius, American politician, United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, 62

1948 – Yutaka Enatsu, Japanese professional baseball pitcher, 62

1950 – Nicholas Hammond, American actor, 60

1951 – Frank Wilczek, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate, 59

1952 – Chazz Palminteri, American actor, writer and director, 58

1953 – George Brett, American baseball player, 57

1955 – Lee Horsley, American actor, 55

1956 – Dan Patrick, American sportscaster, 54

1973 – Vic”Tori”a Davey Spelling, 37

1974 – Ahmet Zappa, American musician, 36

1981 – Jamie-Lynn Sigler, American actress, 29

1982 – Alex Breckenridge, American actress, 28


  1. TMC

  2. taoskier

    This duo performed on The Lawrence Welk Show on May 15. 1972.

Leave a Reply