Following are some of the major events to have occurred on August 15
1261: Constantinople falls to Michael VIII of Nicea and his army.
1385: John of Portugal defeats John of Castile at the Battle of Aljubarrota.
1598: Hugh O'Neill, the Earl of Tyrone, leads an Irish force to victory over the British at Battle of Yellow Ford.
1760: Frederick II defeats the Austrians at the Battle of Liegnitz.
1864: The Confederate raider Tallahassee captures six Federal ships off New England.
1872: The first ballot voting in England is conducted.
1914: The Panama Canal opens to traffic.
1935: American comedian and "cowboy philosopher" Will Rogers dies in an airplane accident, along with American aviation pioneer Wiley Post.
1942: The Japanese submarine I-25 departs Japan with a floatplane in its hold which will be assembled upon arriving off the West Coast of the United States, and used to bomb U.S. forests.
1944: American, British and French forces land on the southern coast of France, between Toulon and Cannes, in Operation Dragoon.
1945: Gasoline and fuel oil rationing ends in the United States.
1947: Britain grants independence to India and Pakistan.
1950: Two U.S. divisions are badly mauled by the North Korean Army at the Battle of the Bowling Alley in South Korea, which rages on for five more days.
1969: Over 400,000 young people attend a weekend of rock music at Woodstock, New York.
1971: US President Richard Nixon announces a 90-day freeze on wages and prices in an attempt to halt rapid inflation.
1986: Ignoring objections from President Ronald Reagan's Administration, US Senate approves economic sanctions against South Africa to protest that country's apartheid policies.
1994: Infamous terrorist Carlos the Jackal captured in Khartoum, Sudan.
1994: US Social Security Administration, previously part of the Department of Health and Human Services, becomes an independent government agency.
2001: Astronomers announce the first solar system discovered outside our own; two planets had been found orbiting a star in the Big Dipper.
2007: An earthquake of 8.0 magnitude kills over 500 and injures more than 1,000 in Peru.