On This Day in History December 15

December 15 – Events:

  • 533 – 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.
  • 1791 – The United States Bill of Rights becomes law when ratified by the Virginia legislature.
  • 1864 – In the Battle of Nashville, Union forces under George H. Thomas almost completely destroy the Army of Tennessee under John B. Hood.
  • 1868 – Shogunate rebels found Ezo Republic in Hokkaido.
  • 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.
  • 1913 – Nicaragua becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty.
  • 1914 – World War I: The Serbian Army recaptures Belgrade from the invading Austro- Hungarian Army.
  • 1914 – Gas explosion at Mitsubishi Hojyo coal mine, Kyushu, Japan, 687 killed. This accident is the worst coal mine disaster in Japanese history.
  • 1915 – World War I: Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig replaces John French, 1st Earl of Ypres as Commander-in-Chief of the British Expeditionary Force.
  • 1917 – World War I: An armistice is reached between the new Bolshevik government and the Central Powers.
  • 1941 – Annihilation of Jews in Kharkiv, Ukraine: at temperatures of -15 degrees C below zero near the Rogan works, 8 km away from Kharkiv in “Drobitsky Ravine” (Drobitsky Yar), over 15 000 Jews are shot.
  • 1941 – The American Federation of Labor adopts a no-strike policy in war industries.
  • 1945 – Occupation of Japan: General Douglas MacArthur orders that Shinto be abolished as state religion of Japan.
  • 1960 – King Baudouin of Belgium marries Fabiola Fernanda María de las Victorias Antonia Adelaida de Mora y Aragón in Brussels.
  • 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 – In Jerusalem, Adolph Eichmann is sentenced to death after being found guilty of 15 criminal charges, including charges of crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people and membership of an outlawed organization.
  • 1965 – Gemini program: Gemini 6A, crewed by Wally Schirra and Thomas Stafford, is launched from Cape Kennedy, Florida. Four orbits later, it achieved the first space rendezvous with Gemini 7.
  • 1967 – The Silver Bridge collapses, killing 46 people.
  • 1970 – Illinois State Constitution is adopted at a special election.
  • 1970 – South Korean ferry Namyong Ho capsized off Korean Strait, 308 killed.
  • 1973 – John Paul Getty III, grandson of J. Paul Getty, American billionaire is found alive near Naples, Italy, after being kidnapped by an Italian gang on July 10, 1973
  • 1976 – Samoa becomes a member of the UN.
  • 1978 – President Jimmy Carter announces that the United States will recognize the People’s Republic of China and cutoff all relations with Taiwan
  • 1993 – History of Northern Ireland: The Downing Street Declaration is issued by British Prime Minister John Major and Irish Taoiseach Albert Reynolds.
  • 1994 – Palau becomes a member of the UN.
  • 1995 – The European Communities Court of Justice hands down the “Bosman ruling,” giving EU footballers the right to a free transfer at the end of their contracts, with the provision that they are transferring from one UEFA Federation to another.
  • 1997 – A chartered Tupolev TU-154 from Tajikistan crashes in the desert near Sharja, United Arab Emirates airport killing 85.
  • 2001 – The Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens after 11 years and $27,000,000 to fortify it, without fixing its famous lean.
  •  2005 – Latvia amends its constitution to eliminate possibility of gays and lesbians being entitled to marry.
  • 2005 – Argentina’s president Néstor Kirchner announces the early repayment of its external debt to the IMF.
  • 2005 – Introduction of the F-22 Raptor into USAF active service.
  • 2005 – The 2005 Atlantic Power Outage began.
  • 2006 – First flight of the F-35 Lightning II.

December 15 – Birthdays:

  • 37 – Nero, Roman Emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty (d. 68)
  • 1832 – Gustave Eiffel, French engineer and architect (Eiffel tower) (d. 1923)
  • 1852 – Henri Becquerel, French physicist, Nobel laureate (d. 1908)
  • 1859 – L. L. Zamenhof, Polish initiator of Esperanto (d. 1917)
  • 1860 – Niels Ryberg Finsen, Danish physician, Nobel laureate (d. 1904)
  • 1860 – Abner Powell, American baseball player (d. 1953)
  • 1861 – Charles Duryea, American automobile pioneer (d. 1938)
  • 1878 – Hans Carossa, German writer (d. 1956)
  • 1888 – Maxwell Anderson, American writer (d. 1959)
  • 1892 – J. Paul Getty, American oil tycoon (d. 1976)
  • 1896 – Betty Smith, American author (d. 1972)
  • 1899 – Harold Abrahams, English sprinter (d. 1978)
  • 1902 – Robert F. Bradford, 57 Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1983)
  • 1907 – Oscar Niemeyer, Brazilian architect
  • 1910 – John H. Hammond, American musician (d. 1987)
  • 1911 – Stan Kenton, American musician (d. 1979)
  • 1912 – Ray Eames, American designer (d. 1988)
  • 1913 – Roger Gaudry, French Canadian chemist, businessman and corporate director (d. 2001)
  • 1913 – Muriel Rukeyser, American poet (d. 1980)
  • 1916 – Buddy Cole, American pianist (d. 1964)
  • 1916 – Maurice Wilkins, New Zealand-born physicist, Nobel laureate (d. 2004)
  • 1917 – Shan-ul-Haq Haqqee, linguist and writer of Pakistan (d. 2005)
  • 1918 – Jeff Chandler, American actor (d. 1961)
  • 1919 – Max Yasgur, owner of the Woodstock Festival site (d. 1973)
  • 1920 – Kurt Schaffenberger, American comics artist (d. 2002)
  • 1921 – Alan Freed, American disc jockey (d. 1965)
  • 1923 – Freeman Dyson, English-born American physicist
  • 1923 – Uziel Gal, Israeli firearm designer (d. 2002)
  • 1923 – Valentin Varennikov, Russian general and statesman
  • 1925 – Sam Pollock, Canadian ice hockey general manager
  • 1925 – Kasey Rogers, American actress (d. 2006)
  • 1928 – Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Austrian artist (d. 2000)
  • 1928 – Jerry Wallace, American singer
  • 1929 – Barry Harris, American bebop jazz pianist
  • 1930 – Edna O’Brien, Irish novelist and short story writer
  • 1932 – Jesse Belvin, American musician (d. 1960)
  • 1933 – Bapu, Indian cartoonist, designer and film director
  • 1933 – Tim Conway, American actor and comedian
  • 1933 – Donald Woods, South African journalist and anti-apartheid activist (d. 2001)
  • 1938 – Billy Shaw, American football player
  • 1939 – Cindy Birdsong, American singer (The Supremes)
  • 1940 – Nick Buoniconti, American football player
  • 1942 – Dave Clark, English musician (The Dave Clark Five)
  • 1943 – Kathleen Blanco, American politician
  • 1943 – Lucien den Arend, Dutch artist
  • 1944 – Jim Leyland, American baseball manager
  • 1944 – Chico Mendes, Brazilian campaigner (d. 1988)
  • 1945 – Thaao Penghlis, Australian actor
  • 1946 – Art Howe, American baseball player and manager
  • 1948 – Melanie Chartoff, American actress
  • 1948 – Cassandra Harris, Australian actress (d. 1991)
  • 1949 – Don Johnson, American actor
  • 1952 – Allan Simonsen, Danish footballer
  • 1952 – Julie Taymor, American director
  • 1953 – J. M. DeMatteis, American comic book writer
  • 1955 – Paul Simonon, English bassist (The Clash)
  • 1957 – Mario Marois, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1957 – Mike McAlary, American journalist (d. 1998)
  • 1957 – Yuuichi Nagashima, Japanese voice actor
  • 1957 – Laura Molina, American artist, musician and actress
  • 1960 – Walter Werzowa, Austrian composer
  • 1961 – Karin Resetarits, Austrian journalist
  • 1963 – Andrew Luster, Max Factor heir
  • 1963 – Helen Slater, American actress
  • 1966 – Manos Papayiannis, Greek fashion model and actor
  • 1967 – David Howells, English footballer
  • 1967 – Mo Vaughn, American baseball player
  • 1968 – Javid Hussain, Indian film producer
  • 1968 – Osama Ali Maher, Swedish politician
  • 1968 – Garrett Wang, American actor
  • 1969 – Chantal Petitclerc, Canadian wheelchair athlete
  • 1970 – Frankie Dettori, Italian jockey
  • 1970 – Michael Shanks, Canadian actor
  • 1972 – Rodney Harrison, American football player
  • 1972 – Stuart Townsend, Irish actor
  • 1973 – Surya Bonaly, French-born American figure skater1973 – Ryu Seung-wan, South Korean actor and director
  • 1976 – Baichung Bhutia, Indian footballer
  • 1976 – Aaron Miles, American baseball player
  • 1976 – Elix Skipper, American professional wrestler
  • 1978 – Mark Jansen, Dutch guitarist (Epica) 1978 – Jerome McDougle, American football player
  • 1979 – Adam Brody, American actor
  • 1979 – Eric Young, Canadian professional wrestler
  • 1980 – Sergio Pizzorno, English guitarist (Kasabian)
  • 1981 – Najoua Belyzel, French singer
  • 1981 – Brendan Fletcher, Canadian actor
  • 1981 – Andy González, Puerto Rican baseball player
  • 1981 – Thomas Herrion, American football player (d. 2005)
  • 1981 – Creighton Lovelace, American Baptist minister
  • 1982 – Charlie Cox, English actor
  • 1982 – Borja García, Spanish racing driver
  • 1982 – George O. Gore II, American actor
  • 1983 – René Goguen (René Duprée), Canadian professional wrestler
  • 1983 – Ronnie Radke, American singer (Escape the Fate)
  • 1983 – Wang Hao, Chinese table tennis player
  • 1984 – Joshua Third, British Guitarist in The Horrors.
  • 1986 – Snejana Onopka, Ukrainian supermodel
  • 1991 – Eunice Cho, American actress

December 15 – Deaths:

  • 1025 – Basil II, Byzantine Emperor (b. 958)
  • 1072 – Alp Arslan, Turkish sultan in Persia (b. 1029)
  • 1230 – King Otakar I of Bohemia
  • 1263 – King Haakon IV of Norway (b. 1204)
  • 1598 – Philips van Marnix, lord of Sint-Aldegonde, Dutch writer and statesman (b. 1538)
  • 1621 – Charles de Luynes, Constable of France (b. 1578)
  • 1673 – Margaret Cavendish, English writer (b. 1623)
  • 1675 – Johannes Vermeer, Dutch painter (b. 1632)
  • 1683 – Izaak Walton, English writer (b. 1593)
  • 1688 – Gaspar Fagel, Dutch statesman (b. 1634)
  • 1715 – George Hickes, English minister and scholar (b. 1642)
  • 1753 – Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington, English architect (b. 1694)
  • 1792 – Joseph Martin Kraus, Swedish composer (b. 1756)
  • 1855 – Jacques Charles François Sturm, French mathematician (b. 1803)
  • 1890 – Sitting Bull, Sioux nation leader (b. circa 1831)
  • 1943 – Fats Waller, American musician (b. 1904)
  • 1944 – Glenn Miller, American musician (later declared dead on this date, exact date of death unknown) (b. 1904)
  • 1947 – Arthur Machen, Welsh author (b. 1863)
  • 1950 – Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Indian political leader, Iron Man of India (b. 1875)
  • 1958 – Wolfgang Ernst Pauli, Austrian-born American physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1900)
  • 1962 – Charles Laughton, English actor (b. 1899)
  • 1966 – Walt Disney, American animator (b. 1901)
  • 1968 – Antonio Barrette, Canadian politician, premier of Quebec (b. 1899)
  • 1968 – Jess Willard, American boxer (b. 1881)
  • 1971 – Paul Pierre Lévy, French mathematician (b. 1886)
  • 1974 – Anatole Litvak, Ukrainian-born screenwriter and film producer (b. 1902)
  • 1977 – Wilfred Kitching, the 7th General of The Salvation Army (b. 1893)
  • 1978 – Chill Wills, American actor (b. 1903)
  • 1984 – Lennard Pearce, English actor (b. 1915)
  • 1984 – Jan Peerce, American tenor (b. 1904)
  • 1989 – Arnold Moss, American actor (b. 1910)
  • 1989 – Edward Underdown, English actor (b. 1908)
  • 1991 – Vasily Grigoryevich Zaitsev, Soviet sniper (b. 1915)
  • 2001 – Russ Haas, American professional wrestler (b. 1974)
  • 2001 – Rufus Thomas, American musician (b. 1917)
  • 2003 – George Fisher, American political cartoonist (b. 1923)
  • 2003 – Keith Magnuson, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1947)
  • 2004 – Pauline Gore, mother of Al Gore (b. 1912)
  • 2005 – Heinrich Gross, Austrian physician (b. 1914)
  • 2005 – Stan Leonard, Canadian golfer (b. 1915)
  • 2005 – William Proxmire, U.S. Senator from Wisconsin (b. 1915)
  • 2005 – Darrell Russell, American football player (b. 1976)
  • 2006 – Clay Regazzoni, Swiss Formula One driver (b. 1939)
  • 2007 – John Berg (actor), American actor (b. 1949)
  • 2007 – Julia Carson, U.S. Congresswoman from Indiana (b. 1938)

December 15 – Holidays :

  • Roman festivals – Consualia in honor of Consus is held.
  • Bill of Rights Day, as stated by Franklin Roosevelt.
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