Home Today's History Lesson TODAY’S HISTORY LESSON: DEC 15



1791 – In the U.S., the first ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, went into effect following ratification by the state of Virginia.

0530 – Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian appoints a commission to codify the works of classical jurists (the Digest published 533)

0533 – Byzantine general Belisarius defeats the Vandals, commanded by King Gelimer, at the Battle of Ticameron.

1167 – Sicilian chancellor Stephen du Perche moves the royal court to Messina to prevent a rebellion.

1256 – Hulagu Khan captures and destroys the Hashshashin stronghold at Alamut in present-day Iran as part of the Mongol offensive on Islamic southwest Asia.

1467 – Stephen III of Moldavia defeats Matthias Corvinus of Hungary, with the latter being injured thrice, at the Battle of Baia

1569 – Hunted by Queen Elizabeth I for treason in “The Rising of the North”, Charles Neville, Earl of Westmorland, escapes to Scotland.

1593 – State of Holland grants patent on windmill with a crankshaft

1612 – Simon Marius, is first to observe Andromeda galaxy through a telescope

1654 – A meteorological office established in Tuscany began recording daily temperature readings.

1675 – King Philip’s War: After peace talk fail, Narraganset warriors attack the Jireh Bull Blockhouse, in South Kingston, Rhode Island, killing at least 15 colonists

1785 – King George IV of England marries his mistress, Maria Fitzherbert

1791 – In the U.S., the first ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, went into effect following ratification by the state of Virginia.

1840 – Napoleon Bonapart’s remains were interred in Les Invalides in Paris, having been brought from St. Helena, where he died in exile.

1854 – In Philadelphia, the first street cleaning machine was put into use.

1859 – GR Kirchoff describes chemical composition of Sun

1874 – David Kalakaua, king of the Sandwich Islands chain in the South Pacific and first regining king to visit the US, is received at the White House by US president Ulysses S. Grant.

1886 – Turbulence reigned over Wall Street on this day in 1886, as a record 1.2 million shares changed hands in a day of frantic trading.

1890 – American Sioux Indian Chief Sitting Bull and 11 other tribe members were killed in Grand River, SD, during an incident with Indian police working for the U.S. government.

1891 – James Naismith introduces the first version of basketball, with thirteen rules, a peach basket nailed to either end of his school’s gymnasium, and two teams of nine players

1896 – Herman Hollerith, inventor of the tabulating machine used in the 1890 U.S. census, was saved from financial ruin when the Russian government contracted his tabulating machine for their census

1907 – In Persia, the Shah leads a coup de’etat against the liberal Prime Minister Nasir ul-Mulk and imprisons him, but a popular uprising forces the Shah to restore Nasir ul-Mulk soon after

1914 – Gas explosion at Mitsubishi Hojyo coal mine, Kysh, Japan, 687 killed. This accident is the worst coal mine disaster in Japanese history.

1916 – French defeat Germans in WW I Battle of Verdun

1917 – Moldavian Republic declares independence from Russia

1925 – The third Madison Square Gardens opened.

1938 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt presided over the ground-breaking ceremonies for the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC.

1939 – The world premiere of the movie Gone With the Wind is held in Atlanta, GA.

1941 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into practice Bill of Rights Day.

1942 – The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities issued the first plastic license-plate tabs.

1944 – A single-engine plane carrying U.S. Army Major Glenn Miller disappeared in thick fog over the English Channel while en route to Paris.

1945 – Occupation of Japan: General Douglas MacArthur orders that Shinto be abolished as state religion of Japan.

1948 – A New York grand jury indicted former State Department employee Alger Hiss for perjury. The charge stemmed from a congressional investigation of Communist subversion and espionage in the government.

1952 – Christine Jorgenson is the first known American to undergo a sex-change operation

1960 – Richard Paul Pavlick is arrested for attempting to blow up and assassinate the U.S. President-Elect, John F. Kennedy only four days earlier

1961 – Former Nazi official Adolf Eichmann was sentenced to death in Jerusalem by an Israeli court. He had been tried on charges for organizing the deportation of Jews to concentration camps.

1964 – Canada’s House of Commons approved a newly designed flag thereby dropping the Canadian “Red Ensign” flag/ maple leaf flag

1965 – Two U.S. manned spacecraft, Gemini 6 and Gemini 7, maneuvered within 10 feet of each other while in orbit around the Earth.

1966 – Audouin Dollfus discovers 10th satellite of Saturn, Janus

1970 – The Soviet probe Venera 7 became the first spacecraft to land softly on the surface of Venus. The probe only survived the extreme heat and pressure for about 23 minutes and transmitted the first data received on Earth from the surface of another planet.

1973 – J. Paul Getty III was found in southern Italy after being held captive for five months, during which his right ear was cut off and sent to a newspaper in Rome.

1978 – U.S. President Carter announced he would grant diplomatic recognition to Communist China on New Year’s Day and sever official relations with Taiwan.

1979 – In a preliminary ruling, the International Court of Justice ordered Iran to release all hostages that had been taken at the U.S. embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979.

1981 – The U.S. Congress passed $200 billion spending bill. At the time it was the largest in U.S. history.

1982 – Paul “Bear” Bryant announced his retirement as head football coach at the University of Alabama.

1983 – The last 80 U.S. combat soldiers in Grenada withdrew. It was just over seven weeks after the U.S.-led invasion of the Caribbean island.

1988 – James Brown becomes inmate #155413 at the State Park Correctional Institute in South Carolina after several committed crimes

1989 – An uprising in Romania began as demonstrators gathered to prevent the arrest of the Reverend Laszlo Tokes, a dissident clergyman.

1992 – IBM announced it would eliminate 25-thousand employees in the coming year.

1993 – In Geneva, 117 countries completed the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The countries agreed on a reform package.

1995 – The U.N. Security Council authorized NATO to take over the peacekeeping operations in Bosnia.

1999 – Syria reopened peace talks with Israel in Washington, DC, with the mediation of U.S. President Clinton.

2000 – The Chernobyl atomic power plant in Kiev, Ukraine, was shut down.

2001 – It was announced that Siena Heights University would begin offering a class called “Animated Philosophy and Religion.” The two-credit class would cover how religion and philosophy are part of popular culture and is based on the television series “The Simpsons.”

2005 – Introduction of the F-22 Raptor into USAF active service.

2006 – First flight of the F-35 Lightning II.

2010 – The U.N. Security Council gave a vote of confidence to the government of Iraq when they lifted 19-year-old sanctions on weapons and civilian nuclear power.

2011 – Former French President Jacques Chirac is convicted of diverting public funds, receives a two-year suspended prison sentence

2013 – China successfully lands its moon rover on the moon

2015 – Mayor of Flint, Michigan declares state of emergency over contaminated water supplies amid calls for a criminal investigation

2016 – White supremacist Dylann Roof is found guilty of the Charleston Church Massacre which killed 9

2018 – Affordable Care Act (‘Obamacare’) ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge in Fort Worth, Texas; later reversed by US Supreme Court

2019 – Protests against India’s new citizenship bill that excludes Muslims, erupt across major cities, killing at least five

2022 – Tens of thousands of nurses go on strike in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in largest strike in NHS history

REFERENCE: history.net, onthisday.com, thepeopleshistory.com, timeanddate.com, scopesys.com, on-this-day.com




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