Today In History, 15 January: What Happened On This Day

What happened today in history (15 January): The birth of K.D. Jadhav, Martin Luther King Jr and Saifuddin Kitchlew, the death of Dolores O’Riordan, the miracle on the Hudson, British Museum opened, Wikipedia founded, Indian Army Day, and more.
This day in history (15 Jan): The birthday of K.D. Jadhav and Martin Luther King Jr.
This day in history (15 Jan): The birthday of K.D. Jadhav and Martin Luther King Jr.

Today in History, 15 January: 2023 barely just started and half the month has gone by already. With time passing by so quickly, it’s paramount to keep learning constantly. Let’s begin with the historical significance of January, the first month of the year.

Today is 15 January, a seemingly ordinary day on the surface. However, 15th January holds an important place in world history.

Keep reading to find out what happened on this day (Jan. 15) in sports, politics and art, along with famous birthdays and deaths in world history.

Historical Events On This Day

  • In 1559, Elizabeth I was crowned Queen of England and Ireland.
  • In 1753, the world-famous British Museum, harbouring various archaeological holdings and antiquities, was opened to the public.
  • In 1870, the donkey was first used as the symbol of the Democratic Party of America.
  • In 1919, Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, two prominent Marxist revolutionaries in Germany, were tortured and murdered by the Freikorps at the end of the Spartacus uprising.
  • In 1943, the Pentagon, the headquarters building of the United States Department of Defense, was completed and dedicated.
  • In 1970, Muammar Gaddafi was proclaimed the premier of Libya.
  • In 2001, the free online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, was founded by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger.
  • In 2005, ESA’s SMART-1 lunar orbiter discovered elements like calcium, aluminium, silicon, iron, and more on the surface of the Moon.
  • In 2009, the "Miracle on the Hudson" took place. Pilots Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger and Jeffrey Skiles successfully landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River, following a bird strike that damaged the plane’s engine. All 155 occupants were safely rescued with only minor injuries.

Sports Events Today

  • In 1892, James Naismith’s rules of basketball were first published in the Triangle Magazine.
  • In 1967, the first Super Bowl, aka AFL-NFL World Championship game, was played. The National Football League (NFL) champion Green Bay Packers defeated the American Football League (AFL) champion Kansas City Chiefs by the score of 35–10.

Art and Culture Events Today

  • In 1846, celebrated Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s first novel, "Poor Folk," was published.
  • In 1974, the iconic American sitcom, Happy Days, starring Henry Winkler, Marion Ross and Anson Williams, premiered on ABC.

Important Days

Army Day is celebrated in India every year on 15 January to commemorate the passing over of the command of Indian army to Lieutenant General Kodandera M. Cariappa by General Francis Roy Bucher, the last British Commander-in-chief of India, on this day in 1949.

Notable Deaths On This Day

Sr No

Death Year




Rosa Luxemburg, Polish-German Marxist leader and founder of the Spartacus League



Meyer Lansky, one of the most influential and feared gangsters in America



Harry Nilsson, American singer known for his low-key profile and the songs “Without You” and “Everybody’s Talkin’”



Dolores O’Riordan, Irish musician and singer who was a lead vocalist and lyricist for the famous alternative rock band, The Cranberries



Rocky Johnson, Canadian pro wrestler and father of popular Hollywood celebrity Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

Famous Birthdays On This Day

Sr No

Birth Year




Ibn Saud, the first King and founder of Saudi Arabia



Saifuddin Kitchlew, Indian lawyer, politician and Independence activist whose arrest for protesting against the Rowlatt Act sparked the Jallianwala Bagh rally in Amritsar



Edward Teller, Hungarian-American nuclear physicist who assisted in the creation of the Atomic Bomb and later developed the hydrogen bomb



Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav, Indian wrestler who won the bronze medal at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, India’s first individual medal in the Olympics after independence



Martin Luther King Jr., American baptist minister and a prominent activist in the Civil Rights Movement. He was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings of non violence and strived towards achieving racial equality.



Mayawati Kumari, Indian politician belonging to the dalit caste and leader of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)



Bernard Hopkins, American boxer and former middleweight champion, known for his speed and technical boxing



Regina King, American actress and Oscar-winner, known for starring in Watchmen and If Beale Street Could Talk



Pitbull, American rapper known for his 2000s hits “Culo,” “Give Me Everything” and “We Are One”



Ben Shapiro, American lawyer and businessman known for his conservative views and fiery debates

Related | Today in History (14 January)

Related | Today in History (12 January)

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