October 15

1860

Eleven-year-old Grace Bedell of Westfield, N.Y., wrote a letter to presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln, suggesting he could improve his appearance by growing a beard.

1914

With the support of President Wilson, the Clayton Antitrust Act, which made it illegal for companies to buy competitors' stock, was passed.

1917

Mata Hari, World War I spy, was executed by a firing squad in Vincennes, France.

1951

I Love Lucy, starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, had its television debut.

1964

It was announced that Nikita Khruschev was removed from his positions as premier and secretary of the Communist Party of the USSR.

1966

The U.S. Department of Transportation was created.

1989

Wayne Gretzky topped Gordie Howe's NHL scoring record.

1991

Clarence Thomas got a narrow (52–48) Senate confirmation of his nomination to the Supreme Court.

1993

Nelson Mandela and F. W. de Klerk were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work to end apartheid in South Africa.

2003

China became the third country to launch a staffed space mission.

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