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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September 15, 1812
The French army, commanded by Napoleon, enters Moscow, to find it virtually abandoned. Napoleon’s apparent triumph is actually a prelude to disaster: of the 432,000 men in the French army when it set out on its campaign, only 10,000 will survive to return home.
Related Topics: French History
September 15, 1835  
The Beagle, with Charles Darwin on board, reaches the Galapagos. Darwin goes on shore for the first time the next day, September 16.
Related Topics: Darwin, CharlesGalapagos
September 15 - 16, 1931  
The Invergorden Mutiny. A mutiny breaks out among British sailors on a number of ships docked at Invergorden, Scotland.
Related Topics: Mutinies
September 15, 1935  
Germany’s Nazi government passes the Nuremberg Laws, under which Jews are deprived of legal equality. The population is divided into ‘citizens of the state’ and ‘subjects of the state’, the latter being denied the rights of citizens. ‘Racially mixed’ marriages and relationships are made illegal.
Related Topics: Anti-SlaveryNazi History
September 15, 1963  
During Sunday School, 15 sticks of dynamite planted by the Ku Klux Klan blow apart a black church, the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four children, and injuring 23 others. The bombing followed the court-ordered integration of public schools the previous week. A few days before the bombing, Alabama Governor George Wallace had said that in order to stop integration, Alabama needed a “few first-class funerals.”
Related Topics: BombingDe-segregationJim CrowRacismSegregationTerrorism
September 15, 1971
The first Greenpeace voyage. With a crew of 12, members of the newly formed Greenpeace organization set sail from Vancouver on the Phyllis Cormack (later renamed the Greenpeace) to try to stop a U.S. nuclear test near Amchitka in the Aleutian islands. Five months later, the U.S. announces that it is ending nuclear tests in the Aleutians.
September 15, 1996  
6,000 people rally near the Headwaters Grove in California to protest plans by the Pacific Lumber Company to clearcut one of the last remaining large stands of redwood trees, where some trees are more than 2,000 years old. More than 1,000 are arrested during this day’s protest. Ongoing protests over a fifteen-year period are ultimately successful in saving about half the area, the other half was clearcut before being incorporated into the Headwaters Forest Reserve.

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