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Monday, December 15, 2008


Today is Monday, Dec. 15, the 350th day of 2008.
There are 16 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

  • On Dec. 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights 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, S.D., during a confrontation with Indian police.
  • In 1938, groundbreaking ceremonies for the Jefferson Memorial took place in Washington, D.C., with President Franklin D. Roosevelt taking part.
  • 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, who was a major in the U.S. Army Air Forces, disappeared over the English Channel while en route to Paris.
  • In 1944, during World War II, American forces invaded Mindoro Island in the Philippines.
  • In 1948, former State Department official Alger Hiss was indicted by a federal grand jury in New York on charges of perjury. (He was convicted in 1950.)
  • In 1961, former Nazi official Adolf Eichmann was sentenced to death by an Israeli court.
  • In 1964, Canada's House of Commons approved dropping the "Red Ensign" flag in favor of a new design.
  • In 1965, two U.S. manned spacecraft, Gemini 6A and Gemini 7, maneuvered to within ten feet of each other while in orbit.
  • In 1978, Cleveland became the first major U.S. city since the Great Depression to default on its loans.

Ten years ago:
  • President Bill Clinton concluded his three-day Middle East journey on a disappointing note as Israel refused to resume the West Bank troop withdrawals called for under the Wye River peace accord; nevertheless, Clinton declared his trip a success.

Five years ago:
  • Former nurse Charles Cullen was charged with murder after telling prosecutors he had killed 30 to 40 severely ill patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey since 1987 by injecting them with drugs. (Cullen later pleaded guilty to killing 29 people and attempting to kill six others; he was sentenced to 18 life prison terms.)
  • The late Sen. Strom Thurmond's family acknowledged Essie Mae Washington-Williams' claim that she was his illegitimate mixed-race daughter.

One year ago:
  • Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf lifted a six-week-old state of emergency.
  • International climate talks in Bali, Indonesia, culminated in a last-minute U.S. compromise and an agreement to adopt a blueprint for fighting global warming by 2009.
  • Celine Dion concluded a five-year engagement at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Today's Birthdays:
  • Country singer Ernest Ashworth is 80.
  • Actor-comedian Tim Conway is 75.
  • Singer Cindy Birdsong (The Supremes) is 69.
  • Rock musician Dave Clark (The Dave Clark Five) is 66.
  • Rock musician Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge) is 62.
  • Actor Don Johnson is 59.
  • Movie director Julie Taymor is 56.
  • Movie director Alex Cox is 54.
  • Actor Justin Ross is 54.
  • Rock musician Paul Simonon (The Clash) is 53.
  • Country singer Doug Phelps (Brother Phelps; Kentucky Headhunters) is 48.
  • Movie producer-director Reginald Hudlin is 47.
  • Actress Helen Slater is 45.
  • Actress Molly Price is 43.
  • Actor Michael Shanks is 38.
  • Actor Stuart Townsend is 36.
  • "Crowd-hyper" Kito Trawick (Ghostown DJs) is 31.
  • Actor Adam Brody is 29.
  • Actor George O. Gore II is 27.

Thought for Today:
"History is the record of an encounter between character and circumstances."
Donald Creighton, Canadian historian (1902-1979).

"Let's all be careful out there!"