1529: Ottoman armies under Suleiman end their siege of Vienna and head back to Belgrade.
1582: The Gregorian (or New World) calendar is adopted in Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal; and the preceding 10 days are lost to history.
1783: Francois Pilatre de Rozier makes the first manned flight in a hot air balloon. The first flight was let out to 82 feet, but over the next few days the altitude increased up to 6,500 feet.
1813: During the land defeat of the British on the Thames River in Canada, the Indian chief Tecumseh, now a brigadier general with the British Army (War of 1812), is killed.
1863: For the second time, the Confederate submarine H L Hunley sinks during a practice dive in Charleston Harbor, this time drowning its inventor along with seven crew members.
1878: Thomas A. Edison founds the Edison Electric Light Co.
1880: Victorio, feared leader of the Minbreno Apache, is killed by Mexican troops in northwestern Chihuahua, Mexico.
1892: An attempt to rob two banks in Coffeyville, Kansas, ends in disaster for the Dalton gang as four of the five outlaws are killed and Emmet Dalton is seriously wounded.
1894: Capt. Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish army officer, is arrested for betraying military secrets to Germany.
1914: Congress passes the Clayton Anti-Trust Act, which labor leader Samuel Gompers calls “labor’s charter of freedom.” The act exempts unions from antitrust laws; strikes, picketing and boycotting become legal; corporate interlocking directorates become illegal, as does setting prices which would effect a monopoly.
1917: Mata Hari (Margaretha Geertruida “Margreet” MacLeod), a Paris dancer, is executed by the French after being convicted of passing military secrets to the Germans.
1924: The German ZR-3 flies 5000 miles, the furthest Zeppelin flight to date.
1941: Odessa, a Russian port on the Black Sea which has been surrounded by German troops for several weeks, is evacuated by Russian troops.
1945: Vichy French Premier Pierre Laval is executed by a firing squad for his wartime collaboration with the Germans.
1950: President Harry Truman meets with Gen. Douglas MacArthur at Wake Island to discuss U.N. progress in the Korean War.
1964: Nikita Khrushchev is replaced by Leonid Brezhnev as leader of the Soviet Union.
1966: Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale establish the Black Panther Party, an African American revolutionary socialist political group, in the U.S.
1969: Rallies for The Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam draw over 2 million demonstrators across the U.S., a quarter million of them in the nation’s capital.
1987: The Great Storm of 1987 strikes the U.K. and Europe during the night of Oct. 15-16, killing over 20 people and causing widespread damage.
1989: Canadian hockey player Wayne Gretzky scores his 1,851st goal, breaking the all-time scoring record in the National Hockey League.
1990: Mikhail Gorbachev, leader of the USSR, receives Nobel Peace Prize for his work in making his country more open and reducing Cold War tensions.
1997: Andy Green of the U.K. becomes the first person to break the sound barrier in the Earth’s atmosphere, driving the ThrustSSC supersonic car to a record 763 mph (1,228 km/h).
2003: China launches its first manned space mission, Shenzhou I.
2007: New Zealand police arrest 17 people believed to be part of a paramilitary training camp.
2011: Protests break out in countries around the globe under the slogan “United for Global Democracy.”
Born on October 15
70: Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro), Roman poet.
1830: Helen Hunt Jackson, writer and poet.
1844: Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher and writer.
1881: P.G. Wodehouse, novelist and playwright.
1905: C.P. Snow, novelist.
1908: John Kenneth Galbraith, economist, writer and diplomat.
1910: Torbjorn Oskar Caspersson, Swedish cytologist and geneticist.
1917: Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author.
1920: Mario Puzo, novelist and screenwriter best known for “The Godfather.”
1923: Italo Calvino, Italian novelist.
1924: Lee Iacocca, engineer, businessman; assisted in designing Ford Mustang and Pinto; later, as CEO of Chrysler Corp., he is credited with saving Chrysler from extinction.
1926: Evan Hunter, author, screenwriter; born Salvatore Albert Lombino, he legally changed his name to Evan Hunter in 1952 and created the pen name Ed McBain in 1956. As Evan Hunter he wrote “The Blackboard Jungle” novel and the screenplay for “The Birds”; as Ed McBain he created the popular 87th Precinct series that became benchmarks of the police procedural mystery genre.
1940: Peter C. Doherty, veterinary surgeon, medical researcher; shared 1995 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine; named Australian of the Year 1997.
1942: Penny Marshall, actress, producer, director; Laverne of “Laverne & Shirley” TV sitcom (1976-83); directed “Big” (1988), the first film directed by a woman to gross over $100 million in U.S. box office receipts.
1944: William David Trimble, Baron Trimble; British politician who served as first minister of Northern Ireland (1998–2002); shared 1998 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in negotiating the Good Friday Agreement.
1954: Princess Friederike of Hanover.
2005: Prince Christian of Denmark, Count of Monpezat.