Today in History

Published 12:01 am Friday, December 15, 2017

Today is Friday, Dec. 15, the 349th day of 2017. There are 16 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 15, 1939, the Civil War motion picture epic “Gone with the Wind,” starring Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable, had its world premiere in Atlanta.

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On this date:

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

In 1864, the two-day Battle of Nashville began during the Civil War as Union forces commanded by Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas attacked Confederate troops led by Gen. John Bell Hood; the result was a resounding Northern victory.

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 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 1971, the Secret Service appointed its first five female special agents.

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 2001, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy, was reopened to the public after a $27 million realignment that had dragged on for over a decade.

Ten years ago: Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf (pur-VEHZ’ moo-SHAH’-ruhv) lifted a six-week-old state of emergency. International climate talks in Bali, Indonesia, culminated in a last-minute U.S. compromise and an agreement to adopt a blueprint for fighting global warming by 2009. Celine Dion concluded a five-year engagement at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Five years ago: A day after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, investigators worked to understand what led the 20-year-old gunman to slaughter 26 children and adults after also killing his mother and before taking his own life. In his Saturday radio address, President Barack Obama declared that “every parent in America has a heart heavy with hurt” and said it was time to “take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this.”

One year ago: A federal jury in Charleston, South Carolina, convicted Dylann Roof of slaughtering nine black church members who had welcomed him to their Bible study. In an unexpected reversal, President Barack Obama declined to sign a renewal of sanctions against Iran but let it become law anyway, in an apparent bid to alleviate Tehran’s concerns that Washington was backsliding on the nuclear deal. Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre was selected The Associated Press college football Coach of the Year after leading the Buffaloes to a 10-3 record and their first bowl game since 2007.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor-comedian Tim Conway is 84. Singer Cindy Birdsong (The Supremes) is 78. Rock musician Dave Clark (The Dave Clark Five) is 75. Rock musician Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge) is 71. Actor Don Johnson is 68. Actress Melanie Chartoff is 67. Movie director Julie Taymor is 65. Movie director Alex Cox is 63. Actor Justin Ross is 63. Rock musician Paul Simonon (The Clash) is 62. Movie director John Lee Hancock is 61. Democratic Party activist Donna Brazile is 58. Country singer Doug Phelps (Brother Phelps; Kentucky Headhunters) is 57. Movie producer-director Reginald Hudlin is 56. Actress Helen Slater is 54. Actor Paul Kaye (TV: “Game of Thrones”) is 53. Actress Molly Price is 52. Actor Garrett Wang (wahng) is 49. Actor Michael Shanks is 47. Actor Stuart Townsend is 45. Figure skater Surya Bonaly is 44. Actor Geoff Stults is 41. “Crowd-hyper” Kito Trawick (Ghostown DJs) is 40. Actor Adam Brody is 38. Actress Michelle Dockery is 36. Actor George O. Gore II is 35. Actress Camilla Luddington is 34. Rock musician Alana Haim (HYM) is 26. Actress Maude Apatow (AP’-ih-tow) is 20. Actress Stefania Owen is 20.