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Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today in History

Today is Friday, Dec. 15, the 349th day of 2023. There are 16 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Dec. 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, went into effect following ratification by Virginia.

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

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 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-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 2011, 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.

In 2012, 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.”

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.

In 2016, 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 2020, 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.

In 2021, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin pleaded guilty to a federal charge of violating George Floyd’s civil rights, admitting for the first time that he held his knee across Floyd’s neck and kept it there even after Floyd became unresponsive, resulting in the Black man’s death.

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Cindy Birdsong (The Supremes) is 84. Rock musician Dave Clark (The Dave Clark Five) is 81. Rock musician Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge) is 77. Actor Don Johnson is 74. Actor Melanie Chartoff is 73. Movie director Julie Taymor is 71. Movie director Alex Cox is 69. Rock musician Paul Simonon (The Clash) is 68. Movie director John Lee Hancock is 67. Democratic Party activist Donna Brazile is 64. Country singer Doug Phelps (Brother Phelps; Kentucky Headhunters) is 63. Movie producer-director Reginald Hudlin is 62. Actor Helen Slater is 60. Actor Paul Kaye (TV: “Game of Thrones”) is 59. Actor Molly Price is 58. Actor Garrett Wang (wahng) is 55. Actor Michael Shanks is 53. Actor Stuart Townsend is 51. Figure skater Surya Bonaly is 50. Actor Geoff Stults is 47. Actor Adam Brody is 44. Actor Michelle Dockery is 42. Actor George O. Gore II is 41. Actor Camilla Luddington is 40. Rock musician and actor Alana Haim (HYM) is 32. Actor Maude Apatow (AP’-ih-tow) is 26. Actor Stefania Owen is 26.

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