Today is Thursday, Dec. 15, the 349th day of 2011. There are 16 days left in the year.
On Dec. 15, 1961, former Nazi official Adolf Eichmann was sentenced to death by an Israeli court for crimes against humanity. (Eichmann was hanged 5½ months later.)
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 1911, jazz musician, composer and bandleader Stan Kenton was born in Wichita, Kan.
In 1938, groundbreaking for the Jefferson Memorial took place in Washington with President Franklin D. Roosevelt taking part in the ceremony.
In 1939, the motion picture “Gone With the Wind” had its world premiere in Atlanta.
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 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 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.