1915 History Events: What Happened in 1915

The news of the Great War, sometimes known as World War 1, dominated the headlines in 1915. The “War to End All Wars” was in its second year and was scheduled to last until 1918. The withdrawal of Italy from the Triple Alliance (after known as the Central Powers) with Germany and Austria-Hungary was one of the major events surrounding the war. Instead of joining the Triple Entente of Russia, France, and the United Kingdom when the fighting began, Italy joined the Triple Entente of Russia, France, and the United Kingdom (later called the Allies). Under the Treaty of London, Italy became a full member of the Allied Powers.

Another significant change during the First World War was the beginning of the end of American neutrality. The RMS Lusitania, a British passenger ship, was sunk by a German U-boat in May 1915 as she sailed from New York City to Liverpool, England. Despite the fact that the ship was carrying munitions bound for Britain and that passengers had been warned about the dangers of U-boats before departure, over 1,000 people died in the attack. Over 100 Americans were included in this number. This elicited a significant reaction in the United States, and the public and the Wilson government began to shift against neutrality and toward Germany. Despite this, the US did not join the war against the Central Powers until 1917.

There were additional noteworthy events in 1915, in addition to these big transformations in the global political landscape. Pluto, the dwarf planet, was photographed for the first time in the realm of science. It was still not classed as a planet at the time, and had not to be “demoted” to dwarf planet status a few years later.

Even in the midst of a conflict, life went on (at least in the United States, still a neutral power in 1915). George Herman Ruth, Jr. (commonly known as “Babe Ruth”), the great American baseball player, hit his first career home run for the Boston Red Sox in this year, kicking off a 22-year slugging career. Orson Welles, the actor and filmmaker, and Frank Sinatra, the singer, were both born in this year.

Continue reading to learn more about what happened in 1915.


(February 08, 1915)
While praised for its technical and dramatic innovations, D.W. Griffith's landmark film The Birth of a Nation premiered at Clune's Auditorium in Los Angeles; the epic was panned for its overt racism and positive portrayal of the Ku Klux Klan.


(April 22, 1915)
During the Second Battle of Ypres in World War I, German forces pioneered the systematic use of chemical warfare by releasing chlorine gas along a 4-mile (6-kilometer) front.

(April 25, 1915)
During World War I's Dardanelles Campaign, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) landed at Gallipoli in western Turkey.

(May 07, 1915)
The RMS Lusitania is sunk by the German submarine U-20, killing 1,198 passengers, including 128 Americans. Many erstwhile pro-Germans in the United States turn against the German Empire as a result of the sinking.

(May 23, 1915)
Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary, siding with the Allies in World War I.


(July 24, 1915)
The passenger ship SS Eastland sinks in the Chicago River while docked. The Great Lakes tragedy that claimed the lives of 844 passengers and crew members was the single shipwreck with the highest number of fatalities.

(July 28, 1915)
The United States begins its occupation of Haiti, which will last 19 years.

(December 12, 1915)
China's Empire is declared by Yuan Shikai, who appoints himself Emperor. photo source:

Written by James

James has always been intrigued by dinosaurs, the universe, technology, and animals. With a Bachelor of Computer Science and years of writing expertise, he joined World Amazing Facts in 2021 as a staff writer.

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1914 History Events: What Happened in 1914

1916 History Events: What Happened in 1916