Years Ago

Today is Sunday, Dec. 15, the 349th day of 2013. There are 16 days left in the year.


On this date in:

1791: The Bill of Rights goes into effect after ratification by Virginia.

1890: Sioux Indian Chief Sitting Bull and 11 other tribe members are killed in Grand River, S.D., during a confrontation with Indian police.

1938: Groundbreaking for the Jefferson Memorial takes place in Washington, D.C., with President Franklin D. Roosevelt officiating the ceremony.

American forces invade Mindoro Island in the Philippines.

1961: Former Nazi official Adolf Eichmann is sentenced to death by an Israeli court for crimes against humanity.

1962: The Vail Mountain ski resort in Colorado officially opens.

1965: Two U.S. manned spacecraft, Gemini 6A and Gemini 7, maneuver to within 10 feet of each other while in orbit.

1971: The Secret Service appoints its first five female special agents.

1989: A popular uprising begins in Romania that results in the downfall of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.

1991: An Egyptian-registered ferry, the Salem Express, hits a reef and sinks in the Red Sea; at least 470 people die, although some estimates are much higher.

1993: U.S. Defense Secretary Les Aspin announces his resignation, citing “personal reasons.”

2001: The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy, is reopened to the public after a $27 million realignment that has dragged on for more than a decade.

2003: Former nurse Charles Cullen is 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 pleads 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 acknowledges Essie Mae Washington-Williams’ claim that she is his illegitimate mixed-race daughter.

2008: President George W. Bush wraps up a whirlwind trip to Iraq and Afghanistan; an Iraqi reporter hurls two shoes at Bush, an incident the president calls “a bizarre moment.”


1988: Detective John Palma tells Youngstown City Council that the “Jamaican posse” has taken over the crack cocaine business in the city and are operating out of heavily fortified houses, completing transactions through mail slots that prevent undercover officers from seeing from whom they are buying.

Roland Alexander, 66, a civic leader and president of the Youngstown Branch of the NAACP, dies of a heart attack in St. Elizabeth Hospital.

Mahoning County’s seven common pleas court judges assign Atty. Robert Lisotto to the county court in Canfield and Atty. Beth Smith to the Sebring court.

1973: Ohio Edison’s application to discontinue steam heating service in downtown Youngstown is rejected by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

Mahoning County’s long sought Juvenile Justice Center takes its biggest step toward reality when Youngstown City Council President William A. Holt designates $47,500 in federal funds toward the project.

Gov. John J. Gilligan will appoint Howard M. Metzenbaum, a Democrat, to the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by William Saxbe, a Republican who will become U.S. attorney general.

1963: A frigid air mass brings overnight temperatures in the Youngstown district to near zero.

Youngstown Municipal Judge Don L. Hanni Jr. warns that motorists who come before him will have their driving licenses suspended until after the holidays if they come before him on any traffic violation involving drinking and driving.

Broumas Theater Group of Silver Spring, Md., opens new theaters in the Lincoln Knolls and Boardman plazas with showings of “Fun in Acapulco,” starring Elvis Presley and Ursula Andress.

1938: Mrs. Frank Richards, 54, is slashed to death by a stranger after a loud quarrel in her home at 920 Arch St.

The U.S. Housing Administration approves a grant of $990,000 for slum elimination in Warren and construction of 224 apartments for low-income families.

The National Brotherhood of Operative Potters and the United States Potters Association in East Liverpool declare a renewed war against cheap Japanese and other foreign-made tableware.

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