This Day in History — September 15Wednesday, September 15, 2021
Today is the 258th day of 2021. There are 107 days left in the year.
1935: The Nuremberg laws are passed, making discrimination against Jews part of Germany's national policy and making the swastika the official symbol of Nazi Germany.
1590: Giovanni Battista signs a treaty with French Huguenots to bring an army of 156,000 German and Swiss mercenaries into France.
1776: British forces occupy New York City during the American Revolution.
1810: Mexico rejects Spanish rule.
1821: Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador declare independence.
1882: British forces occupy Cairo; Arab Pasha surrenders and is banished to Ceylon — now Sri Lanka.
1916: Tanks are used for the first time in war — in a British attack on German lines near the Somme in France.
1917: Russia is proclaimed a republic by Alexander Kerensky, the head of a provisional Government. The first issue of Forbes magazine is published.
1938: British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain visits Germany's Adolf Hitler at Berchtesgaden, where Hitler states his determination to annex the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia.
1940: The Royal Air Force inflicts heavy losses on the Luftwaffe as the tide turns in the Battle of Britain during World War II.
1942: German armies attack Russian city of Stalingrad in World War II. The aircraft carrier USS Wasp is torpedoed by a Japanese submarine; the US Navy ends up sinking the badly damaged vessel.
1946: People's Republic is formed in Bulgaria after referendum rejects monarchy.
1953: The United Nations General Assembly rejects communist demands that China be admitted into the organisation in order to help plan a Korean peace conference.
1963: Four black girls are killed when a bomb goes off during Sunday services at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. (Three Ku Klux Klansmen are eventually convicted for their roles in the blast.)
1971: Laotian forces recapture the strategic Boloven Plateau town of Paksong following a fierce battle with North Vietnamese troops that claims 481 lives.
1972: A federal grand jury in Washington indicted seven men in connection with the Watergate break-in.
1995: Tanks, howitzers and other heavy weaponry roll away from Sarajevo as Bosnian Serbs begin complying with a US-brokered agreement to ease the shattered city's siege.
1997: An Egyptian military court convicts 72 Islamic militants of subversion and sentences four of them to death. Two of the nation's most popular diet drugs — dexfenfluramine and fenfluramine — are pulled off the market because of new evidence they could seriously damage patients' hearts.
2000: The 2000 Summer Olympics opens in Sydney, Australia, with a seemingly endless parade of athletes and coaches and a spectacular display; Aborigine runner Cathy Freeman ignites an Olympic ring of fire.
2003: A fire at Saudi Arabia's largest prison, al-Hair, in Riyadh, kills 67 inmates and wounds 23 others. The blaze is the deadliest prison fire in Saudi history.
2005: North Korea says it will not give up its nuclear weapons without receiving a reactor for generating power, stalling six-nation talks on Pyongyang's atomic programmes.
2007: The leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq offers money for the murder of Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks and his editor who recently produced images deemed insulting to Islam.
2008: Zimbabwe's Opposition Leader Morgan Tsvangirai signs a power-sharing agreement with his nemesis President Robert Mugabe.
2009: Helicopter-borne US commandos attack a convoy in rural southern Somalia, killing top al-Qaeda fugitive Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, wanted for the 2002 car bombing of a beach resort in Kenya and an attempt to shoot down an Israeli airliner.
2010: A mortar attack by Palestinian militants and airstrikes by Israel form the grim backdrop as Mideast leaders end their latest round of peace talks, still divided on major issues.
2011: Denmark elects its first female prime minister, ousting the right-wing Government from power after 10 years of pro-market reforms and ever-stricter controls on immigration.
2012: Al-Qaeda's most active branch in the Middle East calls for more attacks on US embassies, seeking to co-opt anger over an anti-Muslim film even as the wave of protests that swept 20 countries eases. The National Hockey League locks out its players at 11:59 pm EDT; it is the league's fourth shutdown in a decade and one that would cost the league nearly half its season.
2013: A wave of car bombings and other attacks in Iraq kill at least 58 people in mostly Shiite-majority cities, another reminder of the Government's failure to stem the surge of violence that is feeding sectarian tensions.
2014: US Secretary of State John Kerry says he will not shut the door on the possibility of working with Iran against a common enemy in the Islamic State militant group but rules out coordinating on military action.
2016: A report issued by the Republican-led House intelligence committee condemns Edward Snowden, saying the National Security Agency leaker is not a whistle-blower and that the vast majority of the documents he stole were defence secrets that had nothing to do with privacy; Snowden's attorney blasts the report, saying it was an attempt to discredit a “genuine American hero”.
James Fenimore Cooper, US writer (1789-1851); Robert Benchley, US drama critic (1849-1945); Agatha Christie, British mystery writer (1890-1976); Jean Renoir, French film director (1894-1979); Jessye Norman, US soprano (1945-2019); Tommy Lee Jones, US actor (1946- ); Oliver Stone, US film director (1946- ); Britain's Prince Harry (1984- )