#December15 : Today in History

533 – Vandalic War: Byzantine general Belisarius defeats the Vandals, commanded by King Gelimer, at the Battle of Tricamarum. 687 – Pope Sergius I is elected. 1161 – Jin–Song wars: Military officers conspire against Emperor Hailing of the Jin dynasty after a military defeat at the Battle of Caishi, and assassinate the emperor at his camp. 1167 – Sicilian Chancellor Stephen du Perche moves the royal court to Messina to prevent a rebellion. 1256 – Hulagu Khan captures and destroys the Hashshashin stronghold at Alamut Castle (in present-day Iran) as 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. 1778 – American Revolutionary War: British and 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: Union forces under George Thomas almost completely destroy the Army of Tennessee under John Hood. 1890 – Hunkpapa 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 – A gas explosion at Mitsubishi Hōjō coal mine, in Kyushu, Japan, kills 687. 1917 – World War I: An armistice between Russia and the Central Powers is signed. 1933 – The Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution officially becomes effective, repealing the Eighteenth Amendment that prohibited the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol. 1939 – Gone with the Wind receives its premiere at Loew's Grand Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. 1941 – The Holocaust: 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 election to the Representative Assembly of French India was held. 1954 – The Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands is signed. 1960 – Richard Pavlick is arrested for plotting to assassinate 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 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 Stafford, is launched from 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 landing on another planet 1970 – The South Korean 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 psychiatric disorders, the DSM-II. 1976 – 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 recognize the People's Republic of China and sever diplomatic relations with Taiwan 1981 – A 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 bombing. 1993 – The Troubles: The Downing Street Declaration is issued by British Prime Minister John Major and Irish Taoiseach Albert Reynolds. 1994 – Palau becomes a member of the United Nations. 1997 – Tajikistan Airlines Flight 3183 crashes in the desert near 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 USAF active service. 2006 – First flight of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. 2009 – Boeing's 787 Dreamliner makes its maiden flight from Seattle, Washington. 2010 – A boat carrying 90 asylum seekers crashes into rocks off the coast of Christmas Island, Australia, killing 48 people. 2014 – Man Haron Monis takes 18 hostages inside the Martin Place Lindt Café for 16 hours in Sydney. He dies, along with two hostages, when police raid the café the following morning.


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