On Dec. 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, went into effect following ratification by Virginia.
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 1939, the Civil War motion picture epic “Gone with the Wind,” starring Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable, had its world premiere in Atlanta.
In 1967, the Silver Bridge between Gallipolis (gal-ih-puh-LEES’), Ohio, and Point Pleasant, West Virginia, collapsed into the Ohio River, killing 46 people.
In 1971, the Secret Service appointed its first five female special agents.
In 1974, the horror spoof “Young Frankenstein,” starring Gene Wilder and directed by Mel Brooks, was released by 20th Century Fox.
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 (chow-SHEHS’-koo).
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 2010, the U.N. Security Council gave a unanimous vote of confidence to the government of Iraq by lifting 19-year-old sanctions on weapons and civilian nuclear power.
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.