This Day in History

Daily historical facts, events, famous birthdays, world history. Discover what happened today in history.

Day History: December-15

Events HistoryFamous BirthdaysHistory of Deaths

Events History


533- Vandalic War -Byzantine Empire|Byzantine general Belisarius defeats the Vandals, commanded by King Gelimer, at the Battle of Tricamarum.

687- Pope Sergius I -is elected.

1161- Jurchen campaigns against the Song Dynasty|Jin–Song wars -Military officers conspire against Emperor Hailingwang of Jin|Emperor Hailing of the Jin Dynasty (1115–1234)|Jin Dynasty after a military defeat at the Battle of Caishi, and assassinate the emperor at his camp.

1167- Kingdom of Sicily|Sicilian -Chancellor Stephen du Perche moves the royal court to Messina to prevent a rebellion.

1256- Hulagu Khan -captures and destroys the Assassins|Hashshashin stronghold at Alamut Castle (in present-day Iran) as part of the Mongols|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.

1778- American Revolutionary War -Kingdom of Great Britain|British and France|French fleets clash in the Battle of St. Lucia.

1791-The United States Bill of Rights -becomes law when ratified by the Virginia General Assembly.

1864- American Civil War -Battle of Nashville

1890- Hunkpapa -Lakota people|Lakota leader Sitting Bull is killed on Standing Rock Indian Reservation, leading to the Wounded Knee Massacre.

1905-The Pushkin House -is established in Saint Petersburg, Russia, to preserve the cultural heritage of Alexander Pushkin

1906-The London Underground -s Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway opens.

1913- Nicaragua -becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires Convention.

1914- World War I -The Serbian Army recaptures Belgrade from the invading Austro-Hungarian Army.

1914- List of accidents and disasters by death toll#Industrial disasters|A gas explosion -at Mitsubishi Hōjō coal mine, in Kyushu, Japan, kills 687.

1917-World War I: An armistice is reached between the new Bolshevik -government and the Central Powers.

1933-The Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution -officially becomes effective, repealing the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution|Eighteenth Amendment that Prohibition in the United States|prohibited the sale, manufacture, and transportation of Alcoholic beverage|alcohol.

1939-'' Gone with the Wind (film)|Gone with the Wind -' receives its premiere at Loew's Grand Theatre in Atlanta|Atlanta, Georgia, United States.

1941- The Holocaust -Nazi Germany|German troops murder over 15,000 Jews at Drobytsky Yar, a ravine southeast of the city of Kharkiv, Ukraine, Soviet Union.

1942- World War II -The Battle of Mount Austen, the Galloping Horse, and the Sea Horse begins during the Guadalcanal Campaign.

1943-World War II: The Battle of Arawe -begins during the New Britain Campaign.

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

1946-U.S.-backed Iranian troops evict the leadership of the breakaway Republic of Mahabad -putting an end to the Iran crisis of 1946.

1946-The first French India Representative Assembly election, 1946|election to the Representative Assembly of French India -was held.

1954-The Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands -is signed.

1960- Richard Paul Pavlick|Richard Pavlick -is arrested for plotting to assassinate President-elect of the United States|U.S. President-Elect John F. Kennedy.

1960-King Mahendra of Nepal -suspends the country's constitution, dissolves parliament, dismisses the cabinet, and imposes direct rule.

1961- Adolf Eichmann -is sentenced to death after being found guilty by an Judicial system of Israel|Israeli court of 15 criminal charges, including charges of crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people, and membership of an outlawed organization.

1965- Project Gemini -''Gemini 6A'', crewed by Wally Schirra and Thomas P. Stafford|Thomas Stafford, is launched from Cape Canaveral|Cape Kennedy, Florida. Four orbits later, it achieves the first space rendezvous, with ''Gemini 7''.

1967-The Silver Bridge -over the Ohio River collapses, killing 46 people.

1970-Soviet spacecraft '' Venera 7 -' successfully land on Venus. It is the first successful soft List of landings on extraterrestrial bodies|landing on another planet

1970-The South Korea -ferry ''Namyong Ho'' capsizes in the Korea Strait, killing over 300 people.

1973- John Paul Getty III -grandson of American billionaire J. Paul Getty, is found alive near Naples, Italy, after being kidnapped by an Italian gang on July 10.

1973-The American Psychiatric Association -votes 13–0 to remove homosexuality from its official list of Mental disorder|psychiatric disorders, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders|DSM-II.

1976- Samoa|Western Samoa -becomes a member of the United Nations.

1976-The oil tanker {{MV|Argo Merchant}} runs aground near Nantucket -Massachusetts, causing one of the worst marine oil spills in history.

1978-U.S. President Jimmy Carter -announces that the United States will Chinese-U.S. relations|recognize the People's Republic of China and Taiwan–United States relations|sever diplomatic relations with Taiwan

1981-A 1981 Iraqi embassy bombing|suicide car bombing targeting the Iraqi embassy -in Beirut, Lebanon, levels the embassy and kills 61 people, including Iraq's ambassador to Lebanon. The attack is considered the first modern Suicide attack|suicide bombing.

1993- The Troubles -The Downing Street Declaration is issued by British Prime Minister of the United Kingdom|Prime Minister John Major and Irish Taoiseach Albert Reynolds.

1994- Palau -becomes a member of the United Nations.

1997- Tupolev Tu-154#Incidents and accidents|Tajikistan Airlines Flight 3183 -crashes in the desert near Sharjah (emirate)|Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, killing 85.

2000-The third reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant -is shut down.

2001-The Leaning Tower of Pisa -reopens after 11 years and $27,000,000 spent to fortify it, without fixing its famous lean.

2005-Introduction of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor -into United States Air Force|USAF active service.

2006-First flight of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II -

2009- Boeing -s new Boeing 787 Dreamliner|787 Dreamliner makes its maiden flight from Seattle|Seattle, Washington.

2010-A boat carrying 90 Refugee#Asylum seekers|asylum seeker -2010 Christmas Island boat disaster|crashes into rocks off the coast of Christmas Island, Australia, killing 48 people.

Famous Birthdays


37- Nero -Roman emperor (d. 68)

130- Lucius Verus -Roman emperor (d. 169)

1567- Christoph Demantius -German composer, poet, and theorist (d. 1643)

1657- Michel Richard Delalande -French organist and composer (d. 1726)

1686- Jean-Joseph Fiocco -Flemish composer (d. 1746)

1789- Carlos Soublette -Venezuelan general and politician, 11th President of Venezuela (d. 1870)

1832- Gustave Eiffel -French engineer and architect, co-designed the Eiffel Tower (d. 1923)

1852- Henri Becquerel -French physicist and chemist, Nobel Prize in Physics|Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1908)

1859- L. L. Zamenhof -Polish linguist and ophthalmologist, created Esperanto (d. 1917)

1860- Niels Ryberg Finsen -Faroese-Danish physician, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine|Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1904)

1860- Abner Powell -American baseball player (d. 1953)

1861- Charles Duryea -American engineer and businessman, co-founded the Duryea Motor Wagon Company (d. 1938)

1861- Pehr Evind Svinhufvud -Finnish lawyer, judge, and politician, 3rd President of Finland (d. 1944)

1863- Arthur Dehon Little -American chemist and engineer (d. 1935)

1869- Leon Marchlewski -Polish chemist (d. 1946)

1875- Emilio Jacinto -Filipino journalist and activist (d. 1899)

1878- Hans Carossa -German author and poet (d. 1956)

1885- Leonid Pitamic -Slovenia lawyer, philosopher and academic (d. 1971)

1888- Maxwell Anderson -American journalist and playwright (d. 1959)

1892- J. Paul Getty -American-English businessman and art collector, founded Getty Oil (d. 1976)

1896- Betty Smith -American author and playwright (d. 1972)

1899- Harold Abrahams -English sprinter, lawyer, and journalist (d. 1978)

1902- Robert F. Bradford -American lawyer and politician, 57th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1983)

1903- Tamanishiki San'emon -Japanese sumo wrestler, the 32nd Makuuchi#Yokozuna|Yokozuna (d. 1938)

1907- Oscar Niemeyer -Brazilian architect, designed the United Nations Headquarters and the Cathedral of Brasília (d. 2012)

1908- Swami Ranganathananda -Indian monk (d. 2005)

1909- Sattar Bahlulzade -Azerbaijani painter (d. 1974)

1910- John Hammond (producer)|John Hammond -American record producer, critic, and activist (d. 1987)

1911- Nicholas P. Dallis -American psychiatrist and illustrator (d. 1991)

1911- Stan Kenton -American pianist and composer (d. 1979)

1912- Ray Eames -American designer (d. 1988)

1913- Roger Gaudry -Canadian chemist and businessman (d. 2001)

1913- Muriel Rukeyser -American poet, academic, and activist (d. 1980)

1916- Miguel Arraes -Brazilian politician, former governor of Pernambuco (d. 2005)

1916- Buddy Cole (musician)|Buddy Cole -American pianist and conductor (d. 1964)

1916- Maurice Wilkins -New Zealand-English physicist and biologist, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine|Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2004)

1917- Shan-ul-Haq Haqqee -Indian-Pakistani linguist and lexicographer (d. 2005)

1918- Jeff Chandler (actor)|Jeff Chandler -American actor and singer (d. 1961)

1919- Max Yasgur -American farmer, owner of the Woodstock festival site (d. 1973)

1920- Gamal al-Banna -Egyptian author and scholar (d. 2013)

1920- Kurt Schaffenberger -German-American illustrator (d. 2002)

1921- Alan Freed -American radio host (d. 1965)

1921- Bob Todd -English actor (d. 1992)

1923- Freeman Dyson -English-American physicist and mathematician

1923- Uziel Gal -German-Israeli firearm designer, designed the Uzi|Uzi gun (d. 2002)

1923- Valentin Varennikov -Russian general and politician (d. 2009)

1924- Frank W. J. Olver -English-American mathematician and educator (d. 2013)

1925- Kasey Rogers -American actress (d. 2006)

1926- Ben Overton -American judge (d. 2012)

1928- Ernest Ashworth -American singer (d. 2009)

1928- Ida Haendel -Polish-English violinist

1928- Friedensreich Hundertwasser -Austrian-New Zealand painter and architect, designed the Kuchlbauer Tower and Waldspirale (d. 2000)

1928- Jerry Wallace -American singer (d. 2008)

1929- Barry Harris -American pianist and educator

1930- Edna O'Brien -Irish author, poet, and playwright

1932- Jesse Belvin -American singer-songwriter and pianist (d. 1960)

1932- John Meurig Thomas -Welsh chemist and academic

1933- Bapu (film director)|Bapu -Indian director and screenwriter (d. 2014)

1933- Tim Conway -American actor, producer, and screenwriter

1933- Donald Woods -South African journalist and activist (d. 2001)

1934- Clive Brittain -English horse trainer

1936- Joe D'Amato -Italian director and producer (d. 1999)

1938- Michael Bogdanov -Welsh director and screenwriter

1938- Billy Shaw -American football player

1939- Alan Armstrong -American author

1939- Cindy Birdsong -American singer-songwriter (The Supremes and Labelle)

1940- Nick Buoniconti -American football player and sportscaster

1942- Kathleen Blanco -American educator and politician, 54th Governor of Louisiana

1942- Dave Clark (musician)|Dave Clark -English drummer, songwriter, and producer (The Dave Clark Five)

1942- Geoffrey Davies -English actor

1943- Lucien den Arend -Dutch sculptor

1944- Jim Leyland -American baseball player and manager

1944- Chico Mendes -Brazilian union leader and activist (d. 1988)

1945- Ivor Crewe -English political scientist and academic

1945- Thaao Penghlis -Australian actor

1946- Carmine Appice -American drummer and songwriter (Vanilla Fudge, Beck, Bogert & Appice, and Cactus (band)|Cactus)

1946- Art Howe -American baseball player and manager

1946- Henrietta Knight (racehorse trainer)|Henrietta Knight -English horse trainer

1947- Rodney Bingenheimer -American radio host

1948- Melanie Chartoff -American actress

1948- Cassandra Harris -Australian-American actress (d. 1991)

1949- Don Johnson -American actor, singer, and producer

1949- Brian Roper (academic)|Brian Roper -English economist and academic

1951- Joe Jordan (footballer)|Joe Jordan -Scottish footballer and manager

1952- Marta DuBois -Panamanian-American actress

1952- Rudi Protrudi -American singer-songwriter and producer (The Fuzztones)

1952- Allan Simonsen -Danish footballer and manager

1952- Julie Taymor -American director, producer, and screenwriter

1953- John R. Allen -American general

1953- J. M. DeMatteis -American author

1953- Robert Charles Wilson -American-Canadian author

1954- Oliver Heald -English lawyer and politician, Solicitor General for England and Wales

1954- Mark Warner -American businessman and politician, 69th Governor of Virginia

1955- Hector Sants -English banker

1955- Paul Simonon -English singer-songwriter and bass player (The Clash and Havana 3am)

1956- Tony Leon -South African politician

1956- William Orbit -English keyboard player and producer (Torch Song and Bassomatic)

1957- Chō -Japanese voice actor

1957- Mario Marois -Canadian ice hockey player and sportscaster

1957- Mike McAlary -American journalist (d. 1998)

1957- Laura Molina (artist)|Laura Molina -American singer, guitarist, actress, and painter

1957- Tim Reynolds -German-American singer-songwriter and guitarist (Dave Matthews Band, TR3, and Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds)

1958- Eddy Annys -Belgian high jumper

1958- Carlo J. Caparas -Filipino director and producer

1960- Walter Werzowa -Austrian composer and producer

1961- Karin Resetarits -Austrian journalist and politician

1962- Tim Gaines -Austrian bass player (Stryper and SinDizzy)

1962- Simon Hodgkinson -English rugby player

1963- Ellie Cornell -American actress

1963- Norman J. Grossfeld -American screenwriter and producer

1963- Andrew Luster -American rapist

1963- Helen Slater -American actress and singer

1963- David Wingate (basketball)|David Wingate -American basketball player

1964- Michael Le Vell -English actor

1964- Paul Kaye -English comedian, actor, and screenwriter

1966- Carl Hooper -Guyanese cricketer and coach

1966- Manos Papayiannis -Greek model and actor

1966- Molly Price -American actress

1967- David Howells -English footballer

1967- Ami Kawai -Japanese actress

1967- Elix Skipper -American wrestler

1967- Mo Vaughn -American baseball player

1968- Osama Ali Maher -Egyptian-Swedish politician

1968- Garrett Wang -American actor

1969- Chantal Petitclerc -Canadian wheelchair racer

1970- Frankie Dettori -Italian jockey

1970- Lawrence Funderburke -American basketball player

1970- Michael Shanks -Canadian actor and screenwriter

1971- Clint Lowery -American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (Sevendust, Dark New Day, and Call Me No One)

1971- Arne Quinze -Belgian painter and sculptor

1972- Rodney Harrison -American football player and sportscaster

1972- Stuart Townsend -Irish actor and director

1973- Surya Bonaly -French-American figure skater

1973- Ryoo Seung-wan -South Korean actor, director, and screenwriter

1975- Laurel Nakadate -American visual artist

1976- Baichung Bhutia -Indian footballer and manager

1976- Maria Kekkonen -Finnish porn actress

1976- Aaron Miles -American baseball player

1976- Todd Tichenor -American baseball player and umpire

1977- Geoff Stults -American actor and producer

1978- Ned Brower -American drummer and actor (Rooney (band)|Rooney)

1978- Mark Jansen -Dutch guitarist and songwriter (Epica (band)|Epica, After Forever, and Mayan (band)|Mayan)

1978- Jerome McDougle -American football player

1979- Adam Brody -American actor

1979- Alex Solowitz -American actor, singer, and dancer (2gether (band)|2Ge+Her)

1979- Eric Young (wrestler)|Eric Young -Canadian wrestler

1980- Sergio Pizzorno -English singer-songwriter and guitarist (Kasabian and Loose Tapestries)

1980- Manuel Wilhelm -German rugby player

1981- Najoua Belyzel -French singer

1981- Michelle Dockery -English actress and singer

1981- Brendan Fletcher -Canadian actor

1981- Andy González (baseball)|Andy González -Puerto Rican baseball player

1981- Thomas Herrion -American football player (d. 2005)

1981- Creighton Lovelace -American minister

1981- Roman Pavlyuchenko -Russian footballer

1981- Firman Utina -Indonesian footballer

1982- Charlie Cox -English actor

1982- Borja García -Spanish race car driver

1982- George O. Gore II -American actor

1982- Tatiana Perebiynis -Ukrainian tennis player

1983- Delon Armitage -Trinidadian-English rugby player

1983- René Duprée -Canadian wrestler

1983- Wang Hao (table tennis)|Wang Hao -Chinese table tennis player

1983- Ronnie Radke -American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (Falling in Reverse and Escape the Fate)

1984- Kirsty Lee Allan -Australian actress

1984- Martin Škrtel -Slovak footballer

1985- Diogo Fernandes -Brazilian footballer

1986- Junsu -South Korean singer-songwriter, dancer, and actor (TVXQ and JYJ)

1986- Iveta Mazáčová -Czech sprinter

1986- Snejana Onopka -Ukrainian model

1988- Emily Head -English actress

1994- Emma Lockhart -American actress

1997- Magdalena Fręch -Polish tennis player

1998- Chandler Canterbury -American actor

History of Deaths


1025- Basil II -Byzantine emperor (b. 958)

1072- Alp Arslan -Turkish sultan (b. 1029)

1230- Ottokar I of Bohemia -(b. 1155)

1598- Philips of Marnix, Lord of Saint-Aldegonde -(b. 1540)

1621- Charles d'Albert, duc de Luynes -French courtier, Constable of France (b. 1578)

1673- Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne -(b. 1623)

1675- Johannes Vermeer -Dutch painter (b. 1632)

1683- Izaak Walton -English author (b. 1593)

1688- Gaspar Fagel -Dutch politician (b. 1634)

1715- George Hickes -English minister and scholar (b. 1642)

1753- Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington -English architect, designed Chiswick House (b. 1694)

1792- Joseph Martin Kraus -Swedish pianist, violinist, and composer (b. 1756)

1855- Jacques Charles François Sturm -French mathematician (b. 1803)

1878- Alfred Bird -English chemist and businessman, invented baking powder (b. 1811)

1890- Sitting Bull -American tribal chief (b. 1831)

1943- Fats Waller -American singer-songwriter and pianist (b. 1904)

1944- Glenn Miller -American bandleader and composer (b. 1904)

1947- Arthur Machen -Welsh journalist and author (b. 1863)

1950- Vallabhbhai Patel -Indian politician, 1st Deputy Prime Minister of India (b. 1875)

1953- Robert Stangland -American jumper (b. 1881)

1958- Wolfgang Pauli -Austrian-Swiss physicist and academic, Nobel Prize in Physics|Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1900)

1962- Charles Laughton -English-American actor, director, and producer (b. 1899)

1965- M. Balasundaram -Ceylonese journalist, lawyer, and politician (b. 1903)

1966- Walt Disney -American animator, director, producer, and screenwriter, co-founded The Walt Disney Company (b. 1901)

1968- Antonio Barrette -Canadian politician, 18th List of premiers of Quebec|Premier of Quebec (b. 1899)

1968- Jess Willard -American boxer (b. 1881)

1969- Karl Theodor Bleek -German politician, 12th List of mayors of Marburg|Mayor of Marburg (b. 1898)

1971- Paul Lévy (mathematician)|Paul Lévy -French mathematician and theorist (b. 1886)

1974- Anatole Litvak -Russian-American director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1902)

1977- Wilfred Kitching -English evangelist, 7th General of The Salvation Army (b. 1893)

1978- Chill Wills -American actor and singer (b. 1903)

1984- Lennard Pearce -English actor (b. 1915)

1984- Jan Peerce -American tenor and actor (b. 1904)

1985- Seewoosagur Ramgoolam -Mauritian politician, 1st List of Prime Ministers of Mauritius|Prime Minister of Mauritius (b. 1900)

1989- Arnold Moss -American actor (b. 1910)

1989- Edward Underdown -English actor (b. 1908)

1991- Vasily Zaytsev -Russian captain (b. 1915)

1993- William Dale Phillips -American chemist and engineer (b. 1925)

2000- Haris Brkić -Bosnian-Serbian basketball player (b. 1974)

2001- Russ Haas -American wrestler (b. 1974)

2001- Rufus Thomas -American singer and comedian (b. 1917)

2003- George Fisher (cartoonist)|George Fisher -American cartoonist (b. 1923)

2003- Keith Magnuson -Canadian ice hockey player and coach (b. 1947)

2004- Vassal Gadoengin -Nauruan politician, List of Speakers of the Parliament of Nauru|Speaker of the Nuru Parliament (b. 1943)

2004- Pauline LaFon Gore -American lawyer (b. 1912)

2005- Heinrich Gross -Austrian physician and psychiatrist (b. 1914)

2005- Stan Leonard -Canadian golfer (b. 1915)

2005- Dhabihu'llah Mahrami -Iranian Bahá'í Faith|Bahá'í (b. 1946)

2005- William Proxmire -American soldier, journalist, and politician (b. 1915)

2005- Darrell Russell (American football)|Darrell Russell -American football player (b. 1976)

2006- Clay Regazzoni -Swiss race car driver (b. 1939)

2006- Mary Stolz -American author (b. 1920)

2007- John Berg (actor)|John Berg -American actor (b. 1949)

2007- Julia Carson -American politician (b. 1938)

2008- León Febres Cordero -Ecuadorian politician, 46th List of heads of state of Ecuador|President of Ecuador (b. 1931)

2009- Oral Roberts -American evangelist, founded the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association (b. 1918)

2010- Blake Edwards -American director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1922)

2010- Bob Feller -American baseball player and sportscaster (b. 1918)

2010- Eugene Victor Wolfenstein -American psychoanalyst and theorist (b. 1940)

2011- Bob Brookmeyer -American trombone player and composer (The Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra) (b. 1929)

2011- Christopher Hitchens -English-American journalist and author (b. 1949)

2011- Frank X. McDermott -American lawyer and politician (b. 1924)

2011- Jason Richards -New Zealand race car driver (b. 1976)

2012- Owoye Andrew Azazi -Nigerian general (b. 1952)

2012- Dick Hafer -American saxophonist (b. 1927)

2012- Páidí Ó Sé -Irish footballer and manager (b. 1955)

2012- Ralph Pampena -American police officer (b. 1934)

2012- John Anderson Strong -Scottish physician and academic (b. 1915)

2012- Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa -Nigerian politician, 18th List of Governors of Kaduna State|Governor of Kaduna State (b. 1948)

2012- Olga Zubarry -Argentinian actress (b. 1929)

2013- Sandeep Acharya -Indian singer (b. 1984)

2013- Harold Camping -American evangelist, author, radio host (b. 1921)

2013- Joan Fontaine -British-American actress and singer (b. 1917)

2013- Helmar Frank -German mathematician and pedagogist (b. 1933)

2013- Gennaro Langella -American mob boss (b. 1938)

2013- Dyron Nix -American basketball player (b. 1967)