KSAT Kids: Today in History, Dec. 15

Chernobyl nuclear power plant closes; Nelson Mandela laid to rest

1789: New Jersey becomes the first U.S. state to ratify the Bill of Rights. On Dec. 15, 1791, 10 of these proposals would become the First through 10th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution when they are ratified by the Virginia legislature. (National Archives and Records Administration)

Today is Tuesday, Dec. 15, the 350th day of 2020. 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 1944, the U.S. Senate approved the promotions of Henry H. Arnold, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur and George C. Marshall to the five-star rank of General of the Army and the nominations of William D. Leahy, Ernest J. King and Chester W. Nimitz as Admirals of the Fleet.
  • In 1965, two U.S. manned spacecraft, Gemini 6A and Gemini 7, maneuvered toward each other while in orbit, at one point coming as close as one foot.
  • In 1967, the Silver Bridge between Gallipolis, Ohio, and Point Pleasant, West Virginia, collapsed into the Ohio River, killing 46 people.
Cars and trucks lie crushed beneath the fallen ramp of the Ohio Silver Bridge which fell Dec. 15, 1967 with an estimated 75 cars and trucks on the span. Workers with torches toiled through the night, probing the wreckage for victims. (AP Photo) (The Associated Press)
  • 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.
  • 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 2009, evangelist Oral Roberts died in Newport Beach, California, at age 91.
  • 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.

Today’s Birthdays:

Today’s Birthdays: Singer Cindy Birdsong (The Supremes) is 81. Rock musician Dave Clark (The Dave Clark Five) is 78. Rock musician Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge) is 74. Actor Don Johnson is 71. Actor Melanie Chartoff is 70. Movie director Julie Taymor is 68. Movie director Alex Cox is 66. Rock musician Paul Simonon (The Clash) is 65. Movie director John Lee Hancock is 64. Democratic Party activist Donna Brazile is 61. Country singer Doug Phelps (Brother Phelps; Kentucky Headhunters) is 60. Movie producer-director Reginald Hudlin is 59. Actor Helen Slater is 57. Actor Paul Kaye (TV: “Game of Thrones”) is 56. Actor Molly Price is 55. Actor Garrett Wang is 52. Actor Michael Shanks is 50. Actor Stuart Townsend is 48. Figure skater Surya Bonaly is 47. Actor Geoff Stults is 44. Actor Adam Brody is 41. Actor Michelle Dockery is 39. Actor George O. Gore II is 38. Actor Camilla Luddington is 37. Rock musician Alana Haim is 29. Actor Maude Apatow is 23. Actor Stefania Owen is 23.

Actress Michelle Dockery of the drama series "Downton Abbey" arrives at the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills on Jan. 12, 2014. (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)