On This Day September 15
1956 – Elvis Presley is king of the pop chart with “Don’t Be Cruel,” which becomes his biggest-selling single and, in 2002, is inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. The B-side of the disc contains “Hound Dog,” which climbs to No. 2 a few weeks later.
1965 – Ford Motor Company is the first automaker to introduce factory-installed 8-track tape players in a car — the 1966 Mustang and Thunderbird — a year before 8-track equipment is available for home use.
1983 – Huey Lewis and the News release “Sports,” which goes on to top the Billboard album chart the following summer and spawns four Top-10 hits, including “The Heart of Rock & Roll” and “I Want a New Drug.”
1916 – The tank makes its debut as a battlefield weapon, attacking German troops as part of a British assault near Bois d’Elville, or Delville Wood, on the Western Front, during the Battle of the Somme in World War I.
1942 – Three Japanese torpedoes slam into the American aircraft carrier USS Wasp off Guadalcanal in the South Pacific during World War II. The attack claims the lives of nearly 200 of the ship’s 2,000 crewmen. The wreckage of the Wasp was discovered at the bottom of the Coral Sea in January 2019.
1954 – The iconic scene of Marilyn Monroe laughing as her skirt is blown up by the blast of air from a Manhattan subway vent is shot during the filming of “The Seven Year Itch,” directed by Billy Wilder.
1959 – Nikita Khrushchev becomes the first Soviet head of state to visit the United States. During the next two weeks, Khrushchev’s visit dominates the headlines and provides some dramatic and humorous moments in the history of the Cold War.
1963 – Four young black girls are killed in a bombing at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, that investigators determine to be a racially motivated terrorist attack. The bombing, which shocks the nation, is Birmingham’s third in 11 days following a federal order to integrate the Alabama schools.
2008 – The venerable Wall Street brokerage firm Lehman Brothers seeks Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, becoming the largest victim of the subprime mortgage crisis that would devastate financial markets and contribute to the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression.
Own a Piece of This Day
While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age during the Civil Rights Movement