Events which occurred on this day and helped shaped history.
Today in history: May 15
1804 Napoleon Bonaparte is proclaimed emperor of France.
1830 Edwin Budding of England signs an agreement for the manufacture of his invention, the lawn mower.
1860 Abraham Lincoln nominated for U.S. president.
1896 The US Supreme Court endorses the concept of "separate but equal" racial segregation with its Plessy vs. Ferguson decision, a ruling that is overturned 58 years later in Brown vs. Board of Education.
1899 International peace conference is convened at The Hague in the Netherlands. It adopts conventions on warfare and creates the Permanent Court of Arbitration, now the U.N. International Court of Justice.
1910 Haley's comet is seen from Earth as it moves across the sun.
1944 Monte Cassino monastery, a German stronghold that held up the Allied advance in Italy, is taken by Polish troops after bitter fighting.
1951 The United Nations, previously without a permanent home, begins to move into headquarters in New York City.
1954 European Convention of Human Rights goes into effect.
1967 United Nations agrees to Egyptian demand to withdraw U.N. forces from Gaza Strip.
1970 Khmer Rouge forces advance to within 40 kilometers (25 miles) of Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh. They are repulsed, but take the capital five years later.
1972 Four bomb-disposal experts parachute into Atlantic from Royal Air Force plane and board liner Queen Elizabeth II after bomb threat.
1974 India explodes a nuclear bomb for the first time, in the deserts of Rajasthan.
1980 The Mount St. Helens volcano in Washington state explodes, leaving 57 people dead or missing.
1993 Violent riots break out in Copenhagen, Denmark, after a majority of Danes in a referendum approve the Maastricht treaty calling for a closer European Union.
1994 Military observers returning to the Rwandan countryside report ethnic killings of at least 200,000; Israel's three decades of occupation in the Gaza Strip ends as Israeli troops complete their withdrawal from Gaza City and other urban areas and Palestinian authorities take over.
1997 Rebels led by Laurent Kabila take control of Kinshasa, capital of Zaire - now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, after overrunning the country in seven months.
1999 Sierra Leone's government and the country's rebels agree to a cease-fire to end seven years of savage fighting.
2000 The U.N. Security Council unanimously approves an arms embargo against Ethiopia and Eritrea following the latest flare-up in their two-year border war.
2001 Independent National Security Archive reveals that former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower kept secret from U.S. allies his orders to authorize military commanders to launch retaliatory nuclear attacks.
2002 Police arrest Kim Hong Gul, the youngest son of South Korean President Kim Dae Jung, on suspicion of influence-peddling. He is accused of taking bribes worth $2 million.
2003 Philippine military begins bombing positions of Moro Islamic Liberation Front holdouts on the southern island of Mindanao. The government held the Muslim separatist group responsible for recent violence on the island.
2004 Stunning her supporters, Sonia Gandhi announces she would "humbly decline" to be the next prime minister of India, sidestepping Hindu nationalist outrage over the prospect of a foreign-born woman leading the nation. Gandhi, an Italian who became an Indian citizen 21 years earlier when she married former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, later nominates Manmohan Singh for the post.
2005 Police arrest nine North Africans during raids in northern Italy in a crackdown on alleged extremist cells accused of planning terror attacks in Italy and abroad.
2006 Islamic militants battle Afghan, U.S. and Canadian forces and explode two suicide car bombs on the second day of deadly violence that has not been seen in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban five years earlier. More than 100 people are killed in the string of attacks.
2007 The Vatican confirms that Pope Benedict XVI will loosen restrictions on celebrating the old Latin Mass, reviving a rite that was essentially swept away by the revolutionary reforms of the 1962-65 Second Vatican Council.
2008 Mobs rampage through poor suburbs of Johannesburg in a frenzy of anti-foreigner hatred, killing at least seven people, injuring dozens and forcing hundreds to seek refuge at police stations.
2009 The top American military officer warns that the deaths of Afghan civilians caught up in U.S. combat operations could cripple President Barack Obama's revamped strategy for the seven-year-old war.
2010 President Dmitry Medvedev says Russia will not scrap prospective pipeline routes bypassing Ukraine, but it is ready to discuss other energy projects with the new Ukrainian leadership.