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This Day in History: July 15


1806 – Pike expedition: United States Army Lieutenant Zebulon Pike begins an expedition from Fort Bellefontaine near St. Louis, Missouri, to explore the west.

1838 – Ralph Waldo Emerson delivers the Divinity School Address at Harvard Divinity School, discounting Biblical miracles and declaring Jesus a great man, but not God. The Protestant community reacts with outrage.

1870 – Reconstruction Era of the United States: Georgia becomes the last of the former Confederate states to be readmitted to the Union.

1910 – In his book Clinical Psychiatry, Emil Kraepelin gives a name to Alzheimer's disease, naming it after his colleague Alois Alzheimer.

1916 – In Seattle, Washington, William Boeing and George Conrad Westervelt incorporate Pacific Aero Products (later renamed Boeing).

1918 – World War I: The Second Battle of the Marne begins near the River Marne with a German attack.

1954 – First flight of the Boeing 367-80, prototype for both the Boeing 707 and C-135 series.

1959 – The steel strike of 1959 begins, leading to significant importation of foreign steel for the first time in United States history.

1966 – Vietnam War: The United States and South Vietnam begin Operation Hastings to push the North Vietnamese out of the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone.

1975 – Space Race: Apollo–Soyuz Test Project features the dual launch of an Apollo spacecraft and a Soyuz spacecraft on the first joint Soviet-United States human-crewed flight. It was both the last launch of an Apollo spacecraft, and the Saturn family of rockets.

1979 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter gives his so-called malaise speech, where he characterizes the greatest threat to the country as "this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our nation" but in which he never uses the word malaise.

1980 – A massive storm tears through western Wisconsin, causing $160 million in damage.

2002 – "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh pleads guilty to supplying aid to the enemy and to possession of explosives during the commission of a felony.

2003 – AOL Time Warner disbands Netscape. The Mozilla Foundation is established on the same day.

2006 – Twitter is launched, becoming one of the largest social media platforms in the world.


1779 – Clement Clarke Moore, American author, poet, and educator (d. 1863)

1796 – Thomas Bulfinch, American banker and author (d. 1867)

1850 – Francesca S. Cabrini, Italian-American nun and saint (d. 1917)

1938 – Barry Goldwater, Jr., American lawyer and politician

1946 – Linda Ronstadt, American singer-songwriter, producer

1951 – Jesse Ventura, American wrestler, actor, and politician, 38th Governor of Minnesota


1871 – Tad Lincoln, American son of Abraham Lincoln (b. 1853)

1933 – Irving Babbitt, American scholar, critic, and academic (b. 1865)

1948 – John J. Pershing, American general (b. 1860)

2003 – Tex Schramm, American businessman (b. 1920)

2013 – John T. Riedl, American computer scientist and academic (b. 1962)

2014 – James MacGregor Burns, American historian, political scientist, and author (b. 1918)