Today in History

Published 12:20 am Saturday, December 15, 2018

Today is Saturday, Dec. 15, the 349th day of 2018. There are 16 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, went into effect following ratification by Virginia.

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On this date:

In 1890, Sioux Indian Chief Sitting Bull and 11 other tribe members were killed in Grand River, South Dakota, during a confrontation with Indian police.

In 1938, groundbreaking for the Jefferson Memorial took place in Washington, D.C. with President Franklin D. Roosevelt taking part in the ceremony.

In 1944, a single-engine plane carrying bandleader Glenn Miller, a major in the U.S. Army Air Forces, disappeared over the English Channel while en route to Paris.

In 1960, Teflon-coated skillets first went on sale, at Macy’s flagship store in New York City.

In 1961, former Nazi official Adolf Eichmann was sentenced to death by an Israeli court for crimes against humanity. (Eichmann was hanged 5 1/2 months later.)

In 1965, two U.S. manned spacecraft, Gemini 6A and Gemini 7, maneuvered toward each other while in orbit, at one point coming as close as one foot.

In 1967, the Silver Bridge between Gallipolis (gal-ih-puh-LEES’), Ohio, and Point Pleasant, West Virginia, collapsed into the Ohio River, killing 46 people.

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

In 1989, a popular uprising began in Romania that resulted in the downfall of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu (chow-SHES’-koo).

In 1995, European Union leaders meeting in Madrid, Spain, chose “euro” as the name of the new single European currency.

In 2000, the long-troubled Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine was closed for good.

In 2001, with a crash and a large dust cloud, a 50-foot tall section of steel — the last standing piece of the World Trade Center’s facade — was brought down in New York.

Ten years ago: President-elect Barack Obama said a review by his own lawyer showed he’d had no direct contact with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (blah-GOY’-uh-vich) about the appointment of a Senate replacement, and that transition aides “did nothing inappropriate.” Illinois lawmakers took the first steps toward removing Blagojevich, a Democrat, from office.

Five years ago: Nelson Mandela was laid to rest in his childhood hometown, ending a 10-day mourning period for South Africa’s first black president. Michelle Bachelet easily won Chile’s presidential runoff. Academy Award-winning actress Joan Fontaine, 96, died in Carmel, California. Harold Camping, 92, a California preacher who’d used his radio ministry and thousands of billboards to broadcast the end of the world and then gave up when his date-specific doomsdays did not come to pass, died in Oakland, California.

One year ago: Republicans revealed the details of their huge national tax rewrite; the 35 percent tax rate on corporations would fall to 21 percent, and the measure would repeal the requirement under President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act that all Americans have health insurance or face a penalty. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the middle class would “get skewered” under the GOP tax measure, while the wealthy and corporations would “make out like bandits.” A huge wildfire in coastal mountains northwest of Los Angeles continued to surge west, endangering thousands of homes; the fire was the fourth-largest in the state’s history.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor-comedian Tim Conway is 85. Singer Cindy Birdsong (The Supremes) is 79. Rock musician Dave Clark (The Dave Clark Five) is 76. Rock musician Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge) is 72. Actor Don Johnson is 69. Actress Melanie Chartoff is 68. Movie director Julie Taymor is 66. Movie director Alex Cox is 64. Actor Justin Ross is 64. Rock musician Paul Simonon (The Clash) is 63. Movie director John Lee Hancock is 62. Democratic Party activist Donna Brazile is 59. Country singer Doug Phelps (Brother Phelps; Kentucky Headhunters) is 58. Movie producer-director Reginald Hudlin is 57. Actress Helen Slater is 55. Actor Paul Kaye (TV: “Game of Thrones”) is 54. Actress Molly Price is 53. Actor Garrett Wang (wahng) is 50. Actor Michael Shanks is 48. Actor Stuart Townsend is 46. Figure skater Surya Bonaly is 45. Actor Geoff Stults is 42. “Crowd-hyper” Kito Trawick (Ghostown DJs) is 41. Actor Adam Brody is 39. Actress Michelle Dockery is 37. Actor George O. Gore II is 36. Actress Camilla Luddington is 35. Rock musician Alana Haim (HYM) is 27. Actress Maude Apatow (AP’-ih-tow) is 21. Actress Stefania Owen is 21.