What Happened on December 15?

  • The US Bill of Rights was ratified. (1791) The Bill of Rights — the first ten amendments to the Constitution — came into effect two years after the Constitution was ratified. Among other things, it outlined the fundamental rights of Americans, including the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion.

  • The American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses. (1973) Before this time, homosexuality had been listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

  • The US House of Representatives recommended the impeachment of President Clinton. (1998) In the aftermath of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, the House of Representatives issued an almost 300-page report condemning President Clinton for high crimes and misdemeanors, including concealing evidence, influencing witnesses, shady real estate deals, and fundraising violations.

  • The US diplomatically recognized communist China and severed ties with Taiwan. (1978) President Jimmy Carter announced that the US would sever ties with the Republic of China in Taiwan, which it had been supporting since Mao Zedong and the People's Republic of China came to power nearly forty years earlier. This recognition was one of the first steps taken to break the ice between the US and China.

  • Thomas Edison applied for a patent for the phonograph. (1877) Though Edison thought the phonograph would be primarily used for recording business sessions, it laid the groundwork for subsequent generations of music players.

  • Glenn Miller disappeared. (1944) Legendary big band leader Glenn Miller had joined the United States Army Air Force Band during the war, and was flying over the English channel on his way to lead a concert in Paris when the plane he was flying in went missing. Miller would later be classified as "Missing In Action." The wreckage of the plane was never found.

  • Gone With the Wind premiered. (1939) The famous film chronicling the life of Southern Belle Scarlett O'Hara and blockade-runner Rhett Butler debuted in Atlanta after three days of festivals. The film became one of the highest-grossing films up until that point.

  • The Andromeda Galaxy was observed through a telescope for the first time. (1612) German astronomer Simon Marius was the first to see the Andromeda Galaxy through a telescope, and the first to record its existence in print.

  • The Leaning Tower of Pisa reopened. (2001) The tower had been closed for 11 years for renovations. Engineers spent almost $30 million US Dollars (USD) to restore the tower to architectural safety without eliminating the lean.

  • The first life insurance policy was issued in the US. (1792) Written for Mr. Ebenezer Harvel of Philadelphia, the policy was issued by the North American and Philadelphia Life Insurance Company. It paid out death benefits of $600,000 USD.

Discussion Comments


A theory for the disappearance of Glen Miller has been posted.

There was a "drop zone" established where bombers that had failed to find their target, and thus failed to drop their bombs, could there drop their bombs rather than to proceed back to their landing fields (in England), to land with their full bomb loads. A somewhat hazardous landing operation.

Glen Millers plane was assumed to be at a lower altitude and hit from above by a bomb drop from such a "friendly" bomber". And I believe some ocean floor wreckage gives some truth to this. I believe his airplane was a Noordan Norseman. --aircraft engineer


Is child support a form of slavery? And against the Constitution! As well as a debtor's prison when people are thrown in jail or prison for owning money, then stripped of their rights, license and passport whether they can afford to pay or not.

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