Seeds of Fire: A People’s Chronology

Recalling events that happened on this day in history.
Memories of struggle, resistance and persistence.

Compiled by Ulli Diemer

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October 15, 1880
Birth of Marie Stopes (1880-1958), campaigner for birth control and women’s rights.
Related Topics: Birth ControlWomen's Rights
October 15, 1923  
Birth of Italo Calvino (1923-1985), Italian writer, author of The Baron in the Trees, Cosmicomics, The Castle of Crossed Destinies, Invisible Cities, If on a winter's night a traveler, and other works.
October 15, 1954
Hurricane Hazel strikes Ontario. The hurricane causes widespread flooding: 83 people die, mostly in and around Toronto. In the aftermath, governments take steps to protect and conserve watersheds and prevent building in floodplains.
Related Topics: HurricanesToronto, Ontario
October 15, 1966  
The Black Panthers are formed in Oakland. The Panthers are a militant left-wing group which sets out to fight police brutality against blacks. The Black Panther Party goes on to actively involve itself with many issues important to blacks in the United States. They organize free breakfast programs for children, free medical clinics, transportation to prisons for family members of inmates, and classes on politics and economics. Law enforcement agencies see the Panthers as a threat because of their militancy and black nationalism and target the Panthers with a variety of repressive tactics. Some Black Panthers die at the hands of police, others are imprisoned. By the late 1970s the Black Panther Party ceases to function.
October 15, 1969
The Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam: large demonstrations against the U.S. war against Vietnam are held in many cities in the United States and other countries, with millions of people participating.
Related Topics: Anti-War MovementVietnam War
October 15, 1976  
The Toronto Clarion, launched with the goal of establishing a progressive Toronto newspaper with a wide readership, starts publishing.
Related Topics: Alternative Papers
October 15, 1978
Thomas Sankara (1949-1987), President of Burkina Faso, is assassinated. Sankara had attracted the enmity of the major capitalist powers and their local clients because of his policies. Sankara had nationalized foreign companies, redistributed land from feudal landlords to peasants, rejected foreign aid, and called for a united front of African nations to repudiate their foreign debt. He argued that the poor and exploited did not have an obligation to repay money to the rich and exploiting. After he is assassinated, he is replaced by a compliant leader who reverses the nationalizations and overturns nearly all of Sankara’s achievements.
Related Topics: AssassinationsBurkina Faso
October 15, 2011  
Global protests take place in 950 cities in 82 countries against corporate rule.

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For more information about people and events in Seeds of Fire, explore these pages: