What Happened on October 15?

  • The US Vietnam Moratorium march took place. (1969) In one of the largest protest demonstrations in US history, millions of Americans gathered at the White House and in cities across the nation to protest continued US involvement in the Vietnam War. The war wouldn't end for six more years.

  • China became the third country in the world capable of manned spaceflight. (2003) Shenzhou 5, China's first manned mission lasted just over 21 hours.

  • Soviet leader Nikita S. Khrushchev was ousted from power. (1964) Khrushchev's seat was replaced by two people: Alexei N. Kosygin as prime minister and Leonid Brezhnev as the leader of the Soviet Communist Party. Some surmise Khrushchev was removed due to his age and possible health issues; others suggest his fall from power was linked to the conflict between the Soviet Union and China.

  • The first recorded human ascent took place. (1783) French chemistry and physics teacher Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier made the first human ascent in a tethered hot air balloon designed by the Montgolfier brothers. He would also pilot the first untethered hot air balloon flight later that same year.

  • Pierre Laval, leader of the Vichy regime in France, was executed for treason. (1945) Laval led the French Nazi party after negotiating an armistice with Nazi Germany. He was forced to flee when the Allies liberated France but was caught hiding in Austria after the end of World War II. Laval was extradited to France, where his execution took place.

  • Progestin was first synthesized. (1951) Luis E. Miramontes, a Mexican chemist, synthesized the hormone that would be used to make the first oral contraceptives.

  • In a protest of the Vietnam War, the first draft card was burned in the US. (1965) David Miller, a catholic priest in New York and member of the National Coordinating Committee to End the War in Vietnam, violated a new US law and set his draft card on fire. He was arrested and spent two years in prison.

  • The world's first supersonic land speed record was set. (1997) Andy Green, an air force pilot in the British military, set the record in the jet-propelled car ThrustSSC. His sound-barrier-breaking record clocked in at 1,223.657 miles per hour (about 760.343 kilometers per hour).

  • The first modern computer language was publicly introduced for the first time. (1956) IBM developed the language, Fortran, and shared it with coding communities for the first time.

  • Mikhail Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. (1990) The Soviet leader won the prize for his work to bring an end to the Cold War and establish peaceful relations with the US and other countries.

  • Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk won the Nobel Peace Prize. (1993) The prize was awarded for work done to bring an end to South African apartheid.

Discussion Comments


The third bullet point is a good example of how far technology has come, especially since the late 1700's. Considering how this was the first human ascent, many people would probably look at this nowadays, and not give it much thought, but it's still revolutionary, especially considering the time period it took place.

In my opinion, the most important part of this all is how it really shows that many of our modern days inventions were revolutionized from the smallest of things.

Inventions like these were certainly a step in the right direction, and would only seek to further influence what we see in this day and age. However, there is one question I have regarding all of this. Does anyone know what the next step was after this human ascent?


In reference to the third to last bullet point, regarding computer language, I've always wondered how much said "language" has changed over time, for better or worse. A few years a go in college, I was taking a non-mandatory coding class.

However, soon enough, I dropped the class because I found it too convoluted and confusing. How does this relate to the article being discussed?

Perhaps the coding and "language" that I was being taught was vastly different and more complex from what was learned when computers were first introduced, and even what was taught a few years prior to my experience.

While it shouldn't come as much of a surprise, it's definitely something to take into consideration when learning about technology. What might have worked in the past, won't always work in today's standards.


War is one of those things that no one wants to go to, myself included. However, just like what we see in the seventh bullet point, if one is drafted into war, that means that they have no choice to go, unless they want to be thrown in prison.

To be honest, I have always found this to be a bit unfair, as you have to do something against your own will. On another note, one thing I've always wondered is what determines if someone is drafted into war?

I know that age is one of the factors, but on the other hand, if one is occupied with a job, or studying at college, if they receive a letter in the mail that states they've been drafted into war, do they still have to go?

If so, that makes it worse. Not only are innocent men (and women) forced away from their families into death and destruction, but even more so, they could end up not seeing their loved ones again. However, as unfortunate as it is, it's a reality that many people have to face.

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