#December15: Today In History

714 – Pepin of Herstal, mayor of the Merovingian palace, dies at Jupille (modern Belgium). He is succeeded by his infant grandson Theudoald while his wife Plectrude holds actual power in the Frankish Kingdom. 755 – An Lushan revolts against Chancellor Yang Guozhong at Yanjing, initiating the An Lushan Rebellion during the Tang dynasty of China. 1431 – Hundred Years' War: Henry VI of England is crowned King of France at Notre Dame in Paris. 1497 – Vasco da Gama passes the Great Fish River, where Bartolomeu Dias had previously turned back to Portugal. 1575 – An earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 8.5 strikes Valdivia, Chile. 1598 – Seven-Year War: Battle of Noryang: The final battle of the Seven-Year War is fought between the China and the Korean allied forces and Japanese navies, resulting in a decisive allied forces victory. 1653 – English Interregnum: The Protectorate: Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland. 1689 – Convention Parliament: The Declaration of Right is embodied in the Bill of Rights. 1707 – Last recorded eruption of Mount Fuji in Japan. 1761 – Seven Years' War: After a four-month siege, the Russians under Pyotr Rumyantsev take the Prussian fortress of Kołobrzeg. 1773 – American Revolution: Boston Tea Party: Members of the Sons of Liberty disguised as Mohawk Indians dump hundreds of crates of tea into Boston harbor as a protest against the Tea Act. 1811 – The first two in a series of four severe earthquakes occur in the vicinity of New Madrid, Missouri. 1826 – Benjamin W. Edwards rides into Mexican-controlled Nacogdoches, Texas, and declares himself ruler of the Republic of Fredonia. 1838 – Great Trek: Battle of Blood River: Voortrekkers led by Andries Pretorius and Sarel Cilliers defeat Zulu impis, led by Dambuza (Nzobo) and Ndlela kaSompisi in what is today KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. 1850 – The Charlotte Jane and the Randolph bring the first of the Canterbury Pilgrims to Lyttelton, New Zealand. 1863 – American Civil War: Joseph E. Johnston replaces Braxton Bragg as commander of the Confederate Army of Tennessee. 1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Nashville: Major General George Thomas's Union forces defeat Lieutenant General John Bell Hood's Confederate Army of Tennessee. 1880 – Outbreak of the First Boer War betweens the Boer South African Republic and the British Empire. 1903 – Taj Mahal Palace & Tower hotel in Bombay first opens its doors to the guests. 1907 – The American Great White Fleet begins its circumnavigation of the world. 1912 – First Balkan War: The Royal Hellenic Navy defeats the Ottoman Navy at the Battle of Elli. 1914 – World War I: German battleships under Franz von Hipper bombard the English ports of Hartlepool and Scarborough. 1918 – Vincas Mickevičius-Kapsukas declares the formation of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic. 1920 – The Haiyuan earthquake, magnitude 8.5, rocks the Gansu province in China, killing an estimated 200,000. 1922 – President of Poland Gabriel Narutowicz is assassinated by Eligiusz Niewiadomski at the Zachęta Gallery in Warsaw. 1927 – Donald Bradman makes his debut in first-class cricket for New South Wales against South Australia. Batting at No. 7, he scores a century. 1930 – Bank robber Herman Lamm and members of his crew are killed by a 200-strong posse, following a botched bank robbery in Clinton, Indiana. 1937 – Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe attempt to escape from the American federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay; neither is ever seen again. 1938 – Adolf Hitler institutes the Cross of Honour of the German Mother. 1941 – World War II: Japanese forces occupy Miri, Sarawak. 1942 – The Holocaust: Schutzstaffel chief Heinrich Himmler orders that Roma candidates for extermination be deported to Auschwitz. 1944 – World War II: The Battle of the Bulge begins with the surprise offensive of three German armies through the Ardennes forest. 1946 – Thailand joins the United Nations. 1947 – William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain build the first practical point-contact transistor. 1950 – Korean War: U.S. President Harry S. Truman declares a state of emergency, after Chinese troops enter the fight in support of communist North Korea. 1957 – Sir Feroz Khan Noon replaces Ibrahim Ismail Chundrigar as Prime Minister of Pakistan. 1960 – A United Airlines Douglas DC-8 and a TWA Lockheed Super Constellation collide over Staten Island, New York and crash, killing all 128 people aboard both aircraft and 6 more on the ground. 1965 – Vietnam War: General William Westmoreland sends U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara a request for 243,000 more men by the end of 1966. 1968 – Second Vatican Council: Official revocation of the Edict of Expulsion of Jews from Spain. 1971 – Bangladesh Liberation War and Indo-Pakistani War of 1971: The surrender of the Pakistan Army brings an end to both conflicts. This is commemorated annually as Victory Day in Bangladesh, and as Vijay Diwas in India. 1971 – The United Kingdom recognizes Bahrain's independence. This is commemorated annually as Bahrain's National Day. 1978 – Cleveland, Ohio, becomes the first major American city to default on its financial obligations since the Great Depression. 1979 – Libya joins four other OPEC nations in raising crude oil prices, which has an immediate, dramatic effect on the United States. 1985 – Paul Castellano and Thomas Bilotti are shot dead on the orders of John Gotti, who assumes leadership of New York's Gambino crime family 1986 – Gennady Kolbin replaces Dinmukhamed Konayev as First Secretary of the Kazakh Communist Party, prompting the Jeltoqsan protests which began the next day. 1989 – Romanian Revolution: Protests break out in Timișoara, Romania, in response to an attempt by the government to evict dissident Hungarian pastor László Tőkés. 1989 – U.S. Appeals Court Judge Robert Smith Vance is assassinated by a mail bomb sent by Walter Leroy Moody, Jr. 1991 – Kazakhstan declares independence from the Soviet Union. 1995 – Official adoption of the name of "Euro". 2013 – A bus falls from an elevated highway in the Philippines capital Manila killing at least 18 people with 20 injured. 2014 – Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan militants attacked an Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan, killing 145 people.


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