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Today in History

  • Today in History 

Today is Wednesday, Dec. 15, the 349th day of 2021. There are 16 days left in the year. 

  • Today's Highlight in History: 

On Dec. 15, 1978, President Jimmy Carter announced he would grant diplomatic recognition to Communist China on New Year's Day and sever official relations with Taiwan. 

  • On this date: 

In 1791, the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, went into effect following ratification by Virginia. 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 1939, the Civil War motion picture epic "Gone with the Wind," starring Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable, had its world premiere in Atlanta.
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 1974, the horror spoof "Young Frankenstein," starring Gene Wilder and directed by Mel Brooks, was released by 20th Century Fox.
In 1989, a popular uprising began in Romania that resulted in the downfall of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu (chow-SHEHS'-koo). 
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. 
In 2010, the U.N. Security Council gave a unanimous vote of confidence to the government of Iraq by lifting 19-year-old sanctions on weapons and civilian nuclear power. 
In 2012, a day after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, 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." 
In 2013, Nelson Mandela was laid to rest in his childhood hometown, ending a 10-day mourning period for South Africa's first Black president.

  • Ten years ago: The flag used by U.S. forces in Iraq was lowered in a low-key Baghdad airport ceremony marking the end of a war that had left 4,500 Americans and 110,000 Iraqis dead and cost more than $800 billion. 
  • Five years 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. 
  • One year ago: Hundreds more hospitals around the country began dispensing COVID-19 shots to their workers in a rapid expansion of the U.S. vaccination drive. The Food and Drug Administration cleared the first kit that consumers could buy without a prescription to test themselves for COVID-19 entirely at home. After weeks of holding out, Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Joe Biden on winning the presidential election. Biden nominated his former rival Pete Buttigieg (BOO'-tuh-juhj) as secretary of transportation. Two-time reigning NBA MVP Gannis Antetokounmpo (YAH'-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON'-poh) said he'd signed an extension keeping him with the Milwaukee Bucks for at least five more seasons.
  • Today's Birthdays: Singer Cindy Birdsong (The Supremes) is 82. Rock musician Dave Clark (The Dave Clark Five) is 79. Rock musician Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge) is 75. Actor Don Johnson is 72. Actor Melanie Chartoff is 71. Movie director Julie Taymor is 69. Movie director Alex Cox is 67. Rock musician Paul Simonon (The Clash) is 66. Movie director John Lee Hancock is 65. Democratic Party activist Donna Brazile is 62. Country singer Doug Phelps (Brother Phelps; Kentucky Headhunters) is 61. Movie producer-director Reginald Hudlin is 60. Actor Helen Slater is 58. Actor Paul Kaye (TV: "Game of Thrones") is 57. Actor Molly Price is 56. Actor Garrett Wang (wahng) is 53. Actor Michael Shanks is 51. Actor Stuart Townsend is 49. Figure skater Surya Bonaly is 48. Actor Geoff Stults is 45. Actor Adam Brody is 42. Actor Michelle Dockery is 40. Actor George O. Gore II is 39. Actor Camilla Luddington is 38. Rock musician and actor Alana Haim (HYM) is 30. Actor Maude Apatow (AP'-ih-tow) is 24. Actor Stefania Owen is 24.