This Day in History on 15 January

The historical events hold a lot of value for aspirants who are sitting for UPSC competitive exams including the IAS Exam.

On this page, we will list all historical events that occurred on 15 January. The students can refer to them while preparing for all competitive exams and banking exams.

Important Days

Indian Army Day

Important Events

1559: Queen Elizabeth I was crowned Queen of England at Westminster Abbey.

1656: Chhatrapati Shivaji conquered Javali state.

1761: Third Battle of Panipat ended.

1784: Sir William Jones, Judge and linguist, and Sir Warren Hastings established the Asiatic Society of Bengal at Calcutta. This was the first scholastic institution.

1861: Elisha G. Otis, the inventor, received the world’s first patent for a safe lift.

1889: The Pemberton Medicine Company started in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. This company is currently known as The Coca-Cola Company.

1934: A massive earthquake in Bihar killed about 20 thousand people.

1948: Gandhiji hails Indian Cabinet’s decision to release Pakistan dues of Rs. 550 million. Fast continues for establishment of communal peace.

1949: K. M. Cariappa became the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army. Since then, 15 January celebrates as Army Day. He was the first Indian to reach to this post in Indian Army. In 1956, he was designated as Chief of the Army Staff – General, later Field Marshal. This event is commemoratively observed as Army Day.

1958: Tamil becomes the official language of Madras.

1965: Establishment of Food Corporation of India in Madras.

1966: The Indian Air Force achieved equal status with the Army and possessed in excess of 70,000 personnel and was nearing its 45-squadron goal. Its composition in the autumn of 1968 included 23 fighter category squadrons, three tactical bomber squadrons, a maritime patrol squadron (with ex-Air India L. 1049G Super Constellations), 11 transport squadrons, four AOP squadrons, a number of helicopter units and a few SAM squadrons.

1970: Muammar Gaddafi was proclaimed the premier of Libya.

1973: General Gopal Gurunath Bevur became the 9th Chief of Army Staff of India. He is the first Maharashtrian to become Army Chief.

1988: Former India bowler Narendra Hirwani took 16 wickets in his first Test match against West Indies.

1988: Kiran More stumps five West Indian batsman at Chidambaram Stadium in Madras thus creating a world Test record.

1993: PM asks for judicial probe into Bombay riots, sanctions Rs. 1 crore aid for victims.

1996: The Boribunder (Victoria Terminus) station was renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST).

1996: Restoration of the original name of the city as “Mumbai” for Bombay Vide Maharashtra Act No, XXV of 1996.

2000: Baba Amte, a social artist, receives Gandhi Peace Prize 1999, from President K. R. Narayanan.

2001: Wikipedia, a free encyclopedia, became available on the Internet for the first time.

Birth/Birth Anniversary

1592: Shahjahan, great mughal emperor of India, was born at Lahore.

1887: Shri Tripuraneni Ramaswamy Chowdary, freedom fighter and a great native poet, was born in village Angaluru, Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh.

Babasaheb Bhosale, Indian lawyer and politician
Babasaheb Bhosale, Indian lawyer and politician

1888: Saifuddin Kitchen, an Indian freedom fighter, barrister, politician, and later a leader of the peace movement.

1898: Nanasaheb Ramji Tawde, educationist and scientist, was born at Taluq Malvan, Maharashtra.

1899: Musaffir, Giani Gurmukh Singh, writer and politician, was born at Udhwal (Pakistan).

1917: K. A. Thangavelu, Indian film actor and comedian (d. 1994)

1918: K.C.D. Brahaspati, great poet, playwright and orientalist, was born at Rampur, UP.

1919: Ahmed Mohammad Mamsa, cricket Test Umpire for 6 tests from 1963-73, was born at Mumbai.

1921: Babasaheb Bhosale, Indian lawyer and politician, 8th Chief Minister of Maharashtra (d. 2007)

Chuni Goswami, Indian footballer and cricketer
Chuni Goswami, Indian footballer and cricketer

1926: Khashaba Jadhav, an Indian wrestler.

1929: Martin Luther King Jr., an American Christian minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement

1934: V. S. Ramadevi, an Indian civil servant who was the 13th Governor of Karnataka and 9th Chief Election Commissioner of India.

Mayawati, Indian educator and politician
Mayawati, Indian educator and politician

1934: V. S. Ramadevi, Indian civil servant and politician, 13th Governor of Karnataka (d. 2013)

1938: Chuni Goswami, Indian footballer and cricketer

1947: Pritish Nandi, famous journalist, was born. Abul Kalam Azad became Minister of Education in the Government of India.

1956: Mayawati, Indian educator and politician, 23rd Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh

Suparno Satpathy, Indian socio-political leader
Suparno Satpathy, Indian socio-political leader

1967: Bhanupriya, an Indian film actress, Kuchipudi dancer, and voice artist.

1973: Suparno Satpathy, a socio-political leader from the state of Odisha in India.

1981: Pitbull, an American rapper.

1984: Benjamin Shapiro, an American conservative political commentator, media host, and attorney.  

Death/ Death Anniversary

1916: Dinanath Dalal, an Indian painter, and illustrator.

1919: Rosa Luxemburg, a Polish Marxist, philosopher, economist, anti-war activist, and revolutionary socialist.

1956: Erach Jahangir Sorabji Taraporewala, famous Indian language expert, passed away.

1971: Dinanath Damodar Dalal, great artist, passed away.

1977: Rashid Ahmed Siddiqui, modern Urdu writer, passed away.

1994: Harilal Upadhyay, a Gujarati novelist, and poet.

1996: Mohsin Naqvi, a Pakistani poet.

Gulzarilal Nanda, Indian economist and politician
Gulzarilal Nanda, Indian economist and politician

1994: Harilal Upadhyay, Indian author, poet, and astrologist (b. 1916)

1998: Gulzarilal Nanda, an Indian politician, economist, and the second Prime Minister of India.

1998: Binda Prasad Kashyap, 73, CPI leader, passed away in Nagpur.

1999: Mi. Pa. Somasundaram (79), writer, poet, litterateur and associate of Rajaji, died in Chennai.

2007: James Hillier, a Canadian-American scientist and inventor, and co-designer of the first successful high-resolution electron microscope.

2012: Homai Vyarawalla, India’s first woman photojournalist.

2014: Namdeo Dhasal, a Marathi poet, writer, and Dalit activist from Maharashtra, India. 

Further Reading

Month-wise This Day in History