Historical Events on December 15

  • 530 Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian appoints a commission to codify the works of classical jurists (the Digest published 533)
  • 533 Byzantine General Belisarius defeats the Vandals, under King Gelimer, at the Battle of Ticameron
  • 687 St Sergius I begins his reign as Catholic Pope succeeding Conon
  • 1124 Chancellor Haimeric selects pope (Lamberto becomes Honorius II)
  • 1167 Sicilian chancellor Stephen du Perche moves the royal court to Messina to prevent a rebellion.
  • 1256 Hulagu Khan captures and destroys Hashshashin stronghold at Alamut, in present-day Iran, 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

Event of Interest

1488 Bartolomeu Dias returns to Portugal after becoming 1st known European to sail round the Cape of Good Hope

Event of Interest

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

  • 1582 Leidse university names Rembert Dodoens professor of botany and medicine

Gregory Conquers Julius Caesar

1582 Spanish Netherlands, Denmark and Norway adopt the Gregorian calendar

  • 1586 Laevinus Torrentius, becomes bishop of Antwerp
  • 1593 State of Holland grants patent on windmill with a crankshaft
  • 1612 German Astronomer Simon Marius is 1st to observe Andromeda galaxy through a telescope
  • 1640 Duke of Braganca crowned King Johan IV of Portugal
  • 1660 Philippines: Andres Malongs rebels plunders Bagnotan
  • 1667 Brandenburg declares himself neutral in Devolutie War
  • 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
  • 1680 Tax revolt on Terschelling due to tax on cereal
  • 1745 Battle at Kesseldorf: Prussian force beats Saksen & Austria near Dresden
  • 1791 1st US law school established at University of Pennsylvania

Bill of Rights

1791 US Bill of Rights ratified when Virginia gives its approval, becomes amendments 1-10 of the US constitution

  • 1792 1st life insurance policy issued in US (Philadelphia)
  • 1794 Revolutionary Tribunal abolished in France
  • 1810 1st Irish magazine in US, "Shamrock" published

Music History

1815 Italian composer Gioachino Rossini (24) gets commission from Teatro Argentina to write his opera "Almaviva", later known as "Il barbiere di Siviglia" (The Barber of Seville)

  • 1820 1st General pharmacopoeia in US published, Boston
  • 1836 Patent Office burns in Washington, D.C.

Event of Interest

1840 Napoleon Bonaparte receives a French state funeral in Paris 19 years after his death

  • 1854 1st street-cleaning machine in the US used in Philadelphia
  • 1859 GR Kirchoff describes chemical composition of the Sun
  • 1863 Romania's mountain railway, from Anina to Oravita, opens
  • 1863 Skirmish at Bean's Station, Tennessee (Knoxville Campaign)
  • 1864 Battle of Nashville, Tennessee: Union forces under General George Thomas shatters General John Bell Hood's Confederate Army of Tennessee
  • 1864 Raid on Stoneman: Abingdon & Glade Springs, Virginia
  • 1868 Shogunate rebels found Ezo Republic in Hokkaidō
  • 1874 1st reigning king to visit US is the King of Hawaii, received by President Grant
  • 1874 Henry Bergh, Eldgridge Gerry, and philanthropist John D. Wright found the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the world's 1st anti-child abuse agency, in NYC (later known as The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC)
  • 1893 Preview performance of Antonín Dvořák's Symphony No. 9 - "New World Symphony" draws a crowd to Carnegie Hall, New York [1]
  • 1894 Day 2 of first cricket test between Australia and England, Australia 586 runs (Gregory 201) England 3-130
  • 1899 Battle at Colenso, South Africa: British army defeated by Boer force
  • 1902 German agricultural tariffs are increased
  • 1903 NY Wall Street vendor Italo Marchiony [Marcioni] granted patent for a mound for making ice cream cones
  • 1905 The Pushkin House is established in St. Petersburg to preserve the cultural heritage of Alexander Pushkin
  • 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
  • 1909 Thomas J. Lynch becomes president of baseball's National League
  • 1913 Nicaragua becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty
  • 1914 Battle of Lodz ends; Russians retreat toward Moscow
  • 1914 British fleet forfeits chance to destroy German fleet in North Sea
  • 1914 Serbian troops retake Belgrade in Austria-Hungary

Gallipoli: Guts, Glory and Defeat

1915 WWI: ANZAC forces begin their withdrawal from the Gallipoli Peninsula after Ottoman forces successfully defend access to Constantinople

  • 1916 Battle of Verdun: French launch major offensive against German lines after a six-day artillery bombardment
  • 1917 Moldavian Republic declares independence from Russia
  • 1917 World War I: An armistice is reached between the new Russian Bolshevik government and the Central Powers
  • 1918 American Jewish Congress holds its 1st meeting
  • 1919 Edna St Vincent Millay's play "Aria da Capo" premieres in NYC
  • 1919 Fiume (Rijeka, modern Croatia) declares its Independence
  • 1922 IVVV (association) peace congress on war forms in Hague
  • 1925 1st hockey game at Madison Square Garden, NYC: Montreal Canadiens 3, NY Americans 1
  • 1925 1st road with a depressed trough (Texas) opens to traffic
  • 1926 Fascist national symbol elevated in Italy
  • 1927 William Edward Hickman kidnaps 12 year-old Marion Parker in Los Angeles, whom he later kills
  • 1929 National Football League Championship: Green Bay Packers (12-0-1) win first past the post title

Event of Interest

1929 Swiss pilot Walter Mittelholzer is the first to fly over Mt. Kilimanjaro

Cricket History

1930 Occasional leg-spin bowler Don Bradman takes his 1st of only 2 Test cricket wickets when he traps West Indian batsman Ivan Barrow lbw for 27 in the 1st Test in Adelaide

  • 1933 Baseball owners agree to ban Sunday doubleheaders until after June 15

Event of Interest

1934 Dutch airplane the 'Snip' (Fokker F.XVIII) departs the Netherlands for the 1st flight to Paramaribo and Curacao, takes 55 hours 58 minutes

  • 1935 In major upset, Dutch grand master Max Euwe becomes World Chess Champion beating Russian Alexander Alekhine (9 wins, 13 draws, 8 losses) in Zandvoort, Netherlands

NFL Championship

1935 National Football League Championship, University of Detroit Stadium: Detroit Lions beat New York Giants, 26-7; Lions first title

  • 1936 KVL-AM in Seattle Washington changes call letters to KEEN (now KING)
  • 1938 Groundbreaking begins for Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Gone With The Wind

1939 "Gone With The Wind", drama film directed by Victor Fleming and starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, premieres in Atlanta (Best Picture 1940, inflation not adjusted highest-grossing film of all time)

  • 1939 1st commercial manufacture of nylon yarn in Seaford, Delaware
  • 1941 Gas/electrical use restricted in Holland
  • 1941 German submarine U-127 sinks

Event of Interest

1941 Nazis transfers 100 Czech citizens, Heinrich Himmler falls faint

  • 1941 North Africa: allied assault up Italians Gazala-posing
  • 1941 The American Federation of Labor adopts a no-strike policy in war industries.
  • 1941 USS Swordfish becomes 1st US sub to sink a Japanese ship
  • 1942 Massachusetts issues 1st US vehicular license plate tabs

Music History

1944 American bandleader Major Glenn Miller, lost over the English Channel

  • 1944 Hizbu'allah (Arm forces for Allah) forms

Event of Interest

1944 US Congress gives General Eisenhower his 5th star

  • 1944 US troops land on Mindoro (Philippines)
  • 1945 John J "Cardinal" O'Connor, ordained as a priest
  • 1946 Giants Filchock & Hapes suspended by NFL, didn't report bribe attempt
  • 1946 National Football League Championship, Polo Grounds, NYC: Chicago Bears beat New York Giants, 24-14; record attendance 58,346 at final NFL title game played at Polo Grounds
  • 1948 Former state department official Alger Hiss indicted in NYC for perjury

Theater Premiere

1949 Albert Camus' play "The Just Assassins (Les Justes)" premieres in Paris

  • 1950 NYC's Port Authority opens
  • 1952 Christine Jorgenson is the first known American to undergo a sex-change operation
  • 1952 KHON TV channel 2 in Honolulu, HI (NBC) begins broadcasting

Catholic Encyclical

1952 Pope Pius XII publishes encyclical Orientales Ecclesias

Music Premiere

1952 Vernon Duke, Ogden Nash and Sammy Cahn's musical revue "Two's Company", starring Bette Davis, and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, opens at Alvin Theater, NYC; runs for 90 performances

  • 1953 WJHG TV channel 7 in Panama City, FL (NBC/ABC) begins broadcasting
  • 1954 Fordham University scraps football team for financial reasons
  • 1954 Netherlands Antilles becomes co-equal part of Kingdom of Netherlands

Folsom Prison Blues

1955 "Folsom Prison Blues" single released by Johnny Cash (Billboard Song of the Year 1968)

  • 1956 Emergency crisis in North Ireland proclaimed after IRA strikes
  • 1956 KGW TV channel 8 in Portland, OR (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • 1956 WRAL TV channel 5 in Raleigh-Durham, NC (CBS) begins broadcasting

Ballon d'Or

1959 Ballon d'Or: Real Madrid forward Alfredo Di Stéfano wins his second award for best football player in Europe ahead of teammate Raymond Kopa and Juventus' Welsh utility John Charles

Let It Be Me

1959 Everly Brothers record "Let It Be Me", an English translation of by Gilbert Bécaud's French song "Je t'appartiens"; reaches No. 7 on the charts

  • 1961 Equal access rule, political parties get TV broadcasting time

Event of Interest

1961 JFK visits Puerto Rico

  • 1961 L. J. Suenens appointed archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels

#1 in the Charts

1962 Comedian-impressionist Vaughn Meader's "1st Family" album goes #1 & stays #1 for 12 weeks

  • 1964 Canada's House of Commons votes 163 to 78 to approve the red Maple Leaf Flag
  • 1965 3rd cyclone of year kills 15,000 at the mouths of the Ganges River in Bangladesh
  • 1965 David Heneker and John Taylor's musical "Charlie Girl" opens at the Adelphi Theatre, London; runs for 2,202 performances
  • 1965 Dutch Queen Juliana opens Zeeland Bridge to Oosterschelde
  • 1965 Gemini 6 launched; makes 1st rendezvous in space (with Gemini 7)
  • 1965 William Eckert replaces Ford Frick as 4th Commissioner of Baseball
  • 1966 Audouin Dollfus discovers 10th satellite of Saturn, Janus
  • 1966 John W. Mecom Jr becomes 1st owner of New Orlean Saints
  • 1966 Oscar Brand and Paul Nassau's musical "A Joyful Noise", starring John Raitt, opens at Mark Hellinger Theater, NYC; runs for 12 performances
  • 1967 Retired baseball player Joe Garagiola joins "Today" show panel
  • 1967 The Beatles release fan-club single "Christmas Time is Here Again"
  • 1967 The Silver Bridge collapses over the Ohio River in the US, killing 46 people

Music Concert

1969 John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Plastic Ono Band, play their only European gig - appearing in UNICEF charity concert at London's Lyceum Ballroom, band is augmented by Bonnie & Delaney and guitarist George Harrison

  • 1969 San Francisco Fire Department replaces leather helmets with plastic ones
  • 1970 Illinois State Constitution is adopted at a special election
  • 1970 South Korean ferry Namyong-Ho sinks in Strait of Korea, 308 killed
  • 1970 Soviet Venera 7 is 1st spacecraft to land on another planet (Venus)

Sports History

1970 Stan Smith and Rod Laver finish with 4-1 records atop inaugural season ending ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis standings in Tokyo, Japan; Smith wins event after beating Laver 4–6, 6–3, 6–4 in the rounds

  • 1970 Striking shipyard workers in Gdańsk, Poland set ablaze the ruling Provincial Committee's building; responding soldiers kill 8
  • 1971 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1973 American kidnap victim John Paul Getty III freed after ransom paid by oil tycoon grandfather John Paul Getty
  • 1973 American Psychiatric Association declares homosexuality is not a mental illness
  • 1973 Pirates of Caribbean ride opens at Disneyland
  • 1973 Sandy Hawley becomes 1st jockey to win 500 races in 1 year
  • 1973 Tennessee beats Temple 11-6 in low scoring NCAA basketball game

Sports History

1974 Guillermo Vilas of Argentina beats defending champion lie Năstase 7–6, 6–2, 3–6, 3–6, 6–4 to win his first and only season-ending ATP Masters Grand Prix tennis final in Melbourne, Australia

  • 1976 Jamaica premier Manley wins elections
  • 1976 Oil tanker Argo Merchant runs aground on the Nantucket Shoals, spilling 7.6 m million gallons of fuel oil - one of the largest oil spills at sea
  • 1976 Samoa becomes a member of the UN

Rosanne Cash

1978 German label Ariola Records releases eponymous debut album "Rosanne Cash", produced by future husband Rodney Crowell

  • 1978 Saint Maarten Patriotic Movement (SPM) forms under W. James
  • 1978 Test Cricket debut of Malcolm Marshall, v India at Bangalore

Music History

1979 British rocker David Bowie performs three songs on American television program Saturday Night Live - "The Man Who Sold the World", "TVC-15" and "Boys Keep Swinging"

Event of Interest

1979 Chris Haney and Scott Abbott develop the board game Trivial Pursuit

Event of Interest

1979 Deposed Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi leaves US for Panama

  • 1979 World Court in Hague rules Iran should release all US hostages

Sports History

1980 NY Yankee Dave Winfield becomes highest-paid player, 10 years $15M

  • 1980 Premier Queddei troops conquers Chad capital N'djamena
  • 1980 ZBZ Sangha registered after 5 yrs of administrative hassles in Warsaw
  • 1981 NASA launches Intelsat V satellite, no. 503

Sports History

1982 Bill Parcells becomes 12th head coach of NY Giants

  • 1982 Sao Tome & Principe constitution approved
  • 1982 Spain reopens border with Gibraltar
  • 1982 Teamsters president Roy Williams and 4 others convicted of bribery
  • 1983 Last 80 US combat soldiers in Grenada withdrawn
  • 1983 MLB suspends 3 Kansas City Royals players - Willie Wilson, Willie Aikens, and Jerry Martin - due to cocaine usage
  • 1983 Space shuttle Columbia flies to Kennedy Space Center via El Paso, Kelly AFB
  • 1983 Wendy Wasserstein's play "Isn't It Romantic" premieres in NYC
  • 1984 USSR launches Vega 1 for rendezvous with Halley's Comet
  • 1986 150 killed during race riot in Karachi
  • 1986 Carnegie Hall reopens after a $50 million facelift

Event of Interest

1986 CIA director William J. Casey suffers a cerebral seizure

  • 1987 First National US Tour of "Les Miserables" opens at Shubert Theatre, Boston

Sports History

1988 Lori Davis of Long Island sues Mike Tyson for grabbing her buttocks

Musical Finale

1991 Charles Strouse and Richard Maltby, Jr's musical "Nick & Nora" closes at Marquis Theater, NYC, after 9 performances

Sports History

1992 Arthur Ashe is named Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year

  • 1992 WNew AM (1130) NYC resigns air, replaced by WBBR

Event of Interest

1993 British Prime Minister John Major and Irish premier Reynolds signs Downing Street Declaration concerning Northern Ireland self determination

  • 1993 C-130 flies into a Philippines hill & explodes, 16 killed
  • 1993 Haitian premier Robert Malval resigns
  • 1993 John Williams makes his final appearance as conductor of Boston Pops
  • 1993 Lee Aspen resigns as secretary of defense
  • 1993 Y-12 crashes at Phonesavanh, Laos: 18 killed
  • 1994 Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard stage drama "A Tuna Christmas" opens at Booth Theate,r NYC; runs for 20 performances
  • 1994 John Bruton becomes Ireland's premier
  • 1994 Liberia militia kills 48 inhabitants of Monrovia
  • 1994 Palau becomes a member of the UN
  • 1995 Playboy goes back on sale after 36 year ban in Ireland
  • 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.

Spice World

1997 "Spice World" movie directed by Bob Spiers and starring girl pop group the Spice Girls premieres in the UK

Sports History

1997 SF 49ers retire Joe Montana's #16

  • 2001 The Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens after 11 years and $27,000,000 to fortify it, without fixing its famous lean
  • 2002 68th Heisman Trophy Award: Carson Palmer, USC (QB)

Million Dollar Baby

2004 "Million Dollar Baby", directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman is released (Best Picture 2005)

  • 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 Latvia amends its constitution to eliminate possibility of same-sex couples being entitled to marry.
  • 2005 The 2005 Atlantic Power Outage began.

Presidential Medal of Freedom

2006 American blues legend B.B. King is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush

  • 2006 First flight of the F-35 Lightning II.
  • 2008 74th Heisman Trophy Award: Sam Bradford, Oklahoma (QB)
  • 2009 Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner makes its maiden flight from Seattle, Washington.

Sports History

2011 Barry Bonds is sentenced to 30 days of house arrest, two years of probation and 250 hours of community service, for an obstruction of justice conviction stemming from a grand jury appearance in 2003

  • 2011 ESPN and the NCAA extend their TV rights deal through 2023-24, giving the network worldwide multi-media rights to 24 NCAA championships for various sports; deal worth $500m

Event of Interest

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

  • 2012 18 Asylum seekers drown in the Aegean Sea on the way to Greece from Turkey
  • 2013 China successfully lands its moon rover on the moon

Election of Interest

2013 Michelle Bachelet is re-elected President of Chile

  • 2015 1,000 schools closed in Los Angeles after a email threat, supposedly from jihadists
  • 2015 Fifth Republican presidential candidates debate in Las Vegas, Nevada
  • 2015 Mayor of Flint, Michigan declares state of emergency over contaminated water supplies amid calls for a criminal investigation
  • 2016 Ceasefire declared in Aleppo to allow hundreds to be evacutated from last rebel held area