Today is Saturday, Dec. 15, the 350th day of 2012. There are 16 days left in the year.
On Dec. 15, 1939, the epic Civil War movie “Gone With the Wind,” produced by David O. Selznick and starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, had its world premiere in Atlanta.
On this date:
In 1791, the Bill of Rights went into effect following ratification by Virginia.
In 1890, Sioux Indian Chief Sitting Bull and 11 other tribe members were killed in Grand River, S.D., during a confrontation with Indian police.
In 1938, groundbreaking for the Jefferson Memorial took place in Washington with President Franklin D. Roosevelt taking part in the ceremony.
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. American forces invaded Mindoro Island in the Philippines.
In 1961, former Nazi official Adolf Eichmann was sentenced to death by an Israeli court for crimes against humanity. (Eichmann was hanged 5 1/2 months later.)
In 1962, the Vail Mountain ski resort in Colorado officially opened. Actor-director Charles Laughton died in Los Angeles at age 63.
In 1965, two U.S. manned spacecraft, Gemini 6A and Gemini 7, maneuvered to within 10 feet of each other while in orbit.
In 1971, the Secret Service appointed its first five female special agents.
In 1972, Bernardo Bertolucci’s controversial film “Last Tango in Paris” had its European premiere in Rome, as well as Paris.
In 1989, a popular uprising began in Romania that resulted in the downfall of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.
In 1991, an Egyptian-registered ferry, the Salem Express, hit a reef and sank in the Red Sea; at least 470 people died, although some estimates are much higher.
In 2001, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy, was reopened to the public after a $27 million realignment that had dragged on for over a decade.