This Day In History : January 15

2001 United States

Wikipedia Goes Online

On January 15, 2001, Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, was launched by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. Initially starting as an English-language project, Wikipedia has grown into one of the largest and most comprehensive reference works on the internet, with articles in multiple languages contributed and edited by volunteers worldwide.

Also on This Day in History January 15

Discover what happened on January 15 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, January 15
  • 1929 Martin Luther King, Jr.

    American civil rights leader, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize

  • 1908 Edward Teller

    Hungarian-American physicist, father of the Hydrogen bomb

  • 1877 Lewis M. Terman

    American psychologist who developed Stanford-Binet IQ test

  • 1918 Gamal Abdel Nasser

    Egyptian army officer, politician, 2nd President of Egypt

  • 1875 Ibn Saud

    Founder and first King of Saudi Arabia (1932-53)

Deaths on This Day, January 15
  • 2007 James Hillier

    Canadian-American inventor who co-created the electron microscope

  • 1948 Henri-Alexandre Deslandres

    French astrophysicist who invented a spectroheliograph

  • 1968 Leopold Infeld

    Polish nuclear physcist (Motion & Relativity)

  • 2010 Marshall Warren Nirenberg

    Jewish-American biochemist and geneticist, Nobel 1968

  • 1876 Eliza Johnson

    U.S. First Lady


Croatia and Slovenia Internationally Recognized as Independent Nations

On January 15, 1992, Croatia and Slovenia were internationally recognized as independent nations following the dissolution of Yugoslavia. This recognition marked a significant milestone in their histories, paving the way for their integration into the global community as sovereign states.

Space Mountain Opens at Disney World, Orlando, Florida

On January 15, 1975, Space Mountain, a popular indoor roller coaster attraction themed around space travel, opened at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. It quickly became a landmark ride, known for its space-themed decor, exhilarating experience, and contribution to Disney's legacy of imaginative theme park attractions.

Soyuz 5 launched by Soviet Union

Soyuz 5 (Russian: Союз 5, Union 5) was a Soyuz mission using the Soyuz 7K-OK spacecraft launched by the Soviet Union on 15 January 1969, which docked with Soyuz 4 in orbit. It was the first docking of two crewed spacecraft of any nation, and the first transfer of crew from one space vehicle to another of any nation, the only time a transfer was accomplished with a space walk – two months before the United States Apollo 9 mission performed the first internal crew transfer.

Basketball rules published in Triangle Magazine, Mass

The game of Basketball was introduced in the Triangle in the January 15, 1892 edition (Vol. 1, No. 10, p. 144-147) in a four-page article written by James Naismith and included the original 13 rules. Contributing authors included notables in the field such as H. Kallenberg, R. Tait McKenzie, and Amos Alonzo Stagg, E. Hitchcock, Amy Morriss Homans, Dudley Sargent, and William Anderson.
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