Events on Dec 15

  • 0687St. Sergius I begins his reign as Catholic Pope succeeding Conon
  • 1124Chancellor Haimeric selects Pope (Lamberto becomes Honorius II)
  • 1488Bartholomeus Diaz returns to Portugal after sailing round Cape of Good Hope
  • 1569Westmoreland flees to Scotland
  • 1582Leidse university names Rembert Dodoens prof of botany / medicine
  • 1582Spanish Netherlands / Denmark / Norway adopt Gregorian calendar
  • 1586Laevinus Torrentius, becomes Bishop of Antwerp
  • 1593State of Holland grants patent on windmill with crankshaft
  • 1612Simon Marius, is 1st to observe Andromeda galaxy through a telescope
  • 1660Philippines: Andres Malongs rebels plunders Bagnotan
  • 1664English colonizing Connecticut
  • 1667Brandenburg declares himself neutral in Devolutie War
  • 1680Tax revolt on Terschelling due to tax on cereal
  • 1745Battle at Kesseldorf: Prussia beats Saksen and Austria
  • 17911st US law school established at University of Pennsylvania
  • 1791Bill of Rights ratified when Virginia gave its approval
  • 17921st life insurance policy issued in US (Philadelphia)
  • 1794Revolutionary Tribunal abolished in France
  • 18101st Irish magazine in US, Shamrock, is published
  • 1811Earthquake hits New Madrid, Missouri
  • 1815Rossini gets assignment for Il barbiere di Siviglia
  • 18201st General pharmacopoeia in US published, Boston
  • 1836Patent Office burns in Washington, DC
  • 18541st street-cleaning machine in US 1st used in Philadelphia
  • 1859GR Kirchoff describes chemical composition of Sun
  • 1864Battle of Nashville, Tennessee
  • 1864Raid on Stoneman: Abingdon and Glade Springs, Virginia
  • 18741st reigning King to visit US (of Hawaii) received by President Grant
  • 1877Thomas Edison patents phonograph
  • 1891James Naismith invents basketball (Canada)

Born on Dec 15

  • 0037Nero Claudius Augustus Germanicus: 5th Emperor of Rome (54-68)
  • 1534Lucas Osiander: Composer
  • 1567Christoph Demantius: Composer
  • 1574Samuel Besler: Composer
  • 1610David Teniers II: Flemish courtpainter (Theatrum Pictorium)
  • 1648Gregory King: English statistician (Natural & Political Observations)
  • 1657Michel-Richard Delalande: Composer
  • 1667Ludwig Ernst: Composer
  • 1720J F Beck: Writer
  • 1735Cesare Beccaria-Bonesana: Italian lawyer
  • 1765Philippe-Jacques Pfeffinger: Composer
  • 1778Godert AGP Baron van der Capellen: Dutch Governor-General (Dutch-Indies)
  • 1787Charles Cowden Clarke: English editor / Shakespearean critic
  • 1793Henry Charles Carey: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania -- Economist (Principles of Poli Economy)
  • 1803August Freyer: Composer
  • 1812Isidor Dannstrom: Composer
  • 1821Auguste Emmanuel Vaucorbeil: Composer
  • 1822Edward Stephen: Composer
  • 1823Friedrich Gottlieb Schwencke: Composer
  • 1832Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel: French engineer (Eiffel tower)
  • 1836Edmond Picard: French / Belgian lawyer / writer (La forge Roussel)
  • 1842Henry Gadsby: Composer
  • 1848Edwin Howland Blashfield: Decorated the dome of Library of Congress
  • 1852Antoine Henri Becquerel: Discovered radioactivity (Nobel 1903)
  • 1852Tewfik Pasja: Khedive (viceroy) of Egypt
  • 1853Jean B A Kessler: Director of Oil on Dutch Indies
  • 1857Eugeniusz Pankiewicz: Composer
  • 1859Ludwik L Zamenhof: Russian Poland, Physician / linguist (Esperanto)
  • 1860Niels Ryberg Finsen: Denmark -- Physician / phototherapist (Nobel 1903)
  • 1861Charles Edgar Duryea: Inventor (1st auto built and operated in US)

Died on Dec 15

  • 1025Basilius II [the Bulgarendoder]: Byzantine Emperor (976-1025)
  • 1230Ottokar I: King of Bohemia (1197-1230)
  • 1515Alfonso de Albuquerque: Viceroy of Portuguese Indies
  • 1576Joachim Hopperus [Hoppers]: Frisian lawyer / politician, dies at 53
  • 1598Philip van Marnix: Flemish ruler of St Aldegonde / poet, dies at 58
  • 1626Adriaen de Vries: Dutch Sculptor / painter, dies at about 70
  • 1675John Vermeer: Dutch Painter (Love Letter), dies at 43
  • 1688Gaspar Fagel: Lawyer / Netherlands grand pensionary (1672-88), dies at 54
  • 1699Henrik A van Reede tot Drakenstein: Dutch botanist, dies at about 63
  • 1712Sidney 1st Earl of Godolphine: English Minister of Finance, dies at 67
  • 1715George Hickes: English linguist (Old German Philology), dies at 73
  • 1779Manuel Jeronimo Romero de Avila: Composer, dies at 62
  • 1792Joseph Martin Kraus: Composer, dies at 36
  • 1816Joseph Franz Maximilian Lobkowitz: Composer, dies at 44
  • 1817Maria Walewska [Leszczinska]: Lover of Emperor Napoleon I
  • 1822Ferenc Verseghy: Composer, dies at 65
  • 1826William Browser: Revolting slave, executed in New York City
  • 1831Paul R Cantzlaar: Gov of Saba / Curacao / Dutch-West Indies, dies at 60
  • 1839Matthijs I van Bree: Flemish court-painter, dies at 66
  • 1861Gualtiero Sanelli: Composer, dies at 45
  • 1880Carlo Boncompagni di Mombello: Ital Minister of Justice, dies at 76
  • 1889Ferdinand II A F A: King of Portugal, dies at 73
  • 1890Sitting Bull: Hunkpapa-Sioux chief (Little Big Horn), killed by US
  • 1892Charles Balmer: Composer, dies at 75
  • 1896John GR Acquoy: Dutch Theologist / church historian, dies at 67
  • 1901Elias Alvares Lobo: Composer, dies at 67
  • 1909Francisco Tarrega y Eixea: Composer, dies at 57
  • 1934Maggis Lena Walker: 1st US (black) woman to head a bank, dies at 69
  • 1943Thomas W "Fats" Waller: Jazz pianist, dies at 39 in Kansas City, Missouri
  • 1944Glenn Miller: US band leader / jazz composer, dies at 40

Historical events on December 16

  • 0882Marinus I begins his reign as Catholic Pope succeeding John VIII
  • 1431King Henry VI of England crowned King of France
  • 1538King Francois I orders renewed pursuit of Protestants
  • 1631Mount Vesuvious, Italy erupts, destroys 6 villages and kills 4,000
  • 1653Oliver Cromwell sworn in as English Lord Protector
  • 1659General Monck demands free parliamentary election in Scotland
  • 1689English Parliament adopts Bill of Rights after Glorious Revolution
  • 1740Prussian Libya falls to Silezie
  • 1761Russian army occupies Kolberg
  • 1767Van Ritter von Glucks opera "Alceste" premiers
  • 1773Big tea party in Boston harbor-indians welcome (Boston Tea Party)
  • 1809Napoleon Bonaparte divorces Empress Josephine by French Senate
  • 18118.0 earthquake shakes New Madrid, Missouri
  • 1817Leaders of Molukkas uprising hanged in Ambon
  • 1824Great North Holland Canal opens
  • 1835Fire consumes over 600 buildings in New York City
  • 1838Boers beat Zulu chieftain Dingaan in South Africa
  • 1857Earthquake in Naples, Italy
  • 1858Dutch government decides to vacate Schokland Island
  • 1862Kingdom of Nepal accepts its constitution
  • 1864Battle of Nashville ends after 4400 casualities
  • 1880Republic of South-Africa forms
  • 1886Rift at Dutch Reformed Church over "Doleantie"
  • 1890Negro Methodist Episcopal Church founded in Jackson, Tennessee
  • 18971st submarine with an internal combustion engine demonstrated
  • 1900Boer army under General Kritzinger take Cape colony
  • 1901Boer general Kritzinger captured
  • 1903Majestic Theater, NYC, becomes 1st in US to employ women ushers
  • 1905"Variety, " covering all phases of show business, 1st published
  • 1907Eugene H Farrar is 1st to sing on radio (Brooklyn Navy Yard NY)

Born on December 16

  • 1485Catherine of Aragon: Spanish Princess / 1st Wife of Henry VIII
  • 1622Kurt S Adeler: Danish Admiral / ship builder
  • 1652Giovanni Maria Casini: Composer
  • 1734Georg Peter Weimar: Composer
  • 1748Ferdinand-Philippe-Joseph Staes: Composer
  • 1775Francois-Adrien Boieldieu: Composer
  • 1775Jane Austin: England, United Kingdom -- Novelist (Pride & Prejudice)
  • 1777Janos Fusz: Composer
  • 1809Peter P van Bosse: Dutch attorney / liberal Minister of Finance
  • 1812William Grose: Bvt Major General (Union volunteers), died in 1900
  • 1819Robert Selden Garnett: Brigadier General (Confederate Army), died in 1861
  • 1822Charles Edward Horsley: Composer
  • 1825Henry Heth: Major General (Confederate Army), died in 1899
  • 1825Robert Prescott Stewart: Composer
  • 1827John A C Oudemans: Dutch geographer / astronomer
  • 1828John Beatty: Brigadier General (Union volunteers), died in 1914
  • 1830John Frederick Hartranft: Bvt Major General (Union volunteers), died in 1889
  • 1847Augusta Mary Anne Holmes: Composer
  • 1851Theodoor H de Meester: Dutch Premier (1905-08)
  • 1863George Santayana: Spain -- Philosopher / poet / humanist (Last Puritan)
  • 1863Ralph Adams Cram: United States -- Gothic architect (Cathedral of St Joan NYC)
  • 1865Victor Rousseau: Belgian sculptor
  • 1869Albert F Pollard: British historian (Dict of natural biography)
  • 1879William Duncan: Scotland, United Kingdom -- Actor (Thunder Trail)
  • 1882Walther Meissner: German physicist (Meissner effect)
  • 1883Max Linder: Caverne, France -- Actor / comic / director (Max Prend un Bain)
  • 1888Alphonse Juin: French marshal
  • 1890Harlan Sanders: Founder / CEO (Kentucky Fried Chicken)
  • 1893Vladimir Golschmann: Paris, France -- Conductor with Immortal Downbeat
  • 1895Lidj Jasu: Emperor of Ethiopia

Died on December 16

  • 0875Ado of Vienne: French Archbishop of Vienne, dies at about 75
  • 0882John VIII: Italian Pope (872-82)
  • 0999Adelheid the Saint: German empress of Otto I / saint, dies at about 68
  • 1404Albrecht of Bavaria: Duke of Bavaria, dies at about 74
  • 1670Dorothy: 1st English Marquis of Halifax
  • 1672John II Casimir Vasa: Cardinal / King of Poland (1648-68), dies at 63
  • 1719Adrian "Aart" van Wijck: Dutch Theologist (anti-jansenism), dies at 78
  • 1774Francois Quesnay: French personal Physician of Louis XIV, dies at 80
  • 1781Georg Simon Lohlein: Composer, dies at 56
  • 1783Johann Adolf Hasse: Dutch operatic Composer (Sesostrate), dies at 84
  • 1790Ludwig August Lebrun: Composer, dies at 38
  • 1816Vincenzo Galeotti [Tomazelli]: Ital dancer / choreographer, dies at 73
  • 1833Friedrich August Kanne: Composer, dies at 55
  • 1852Andries H Potgieter: South African / Transvaal explorer, dies at 59
  • 1852Henri-Jean Rigel: Composer, dies at 80
  • 1859Wilhelm Grimm: Writer, dies at 73
  • 1861Karol Joseph Lipinski: Composer, dies at 71
  • 1870Stanislaw Duniecki: Composer, dies at 31
  • 1871Willibald Alexis: German writer (Schloss Avalon), dies at 73
  • 1874Abraham Capadose: Physician / missionary, dies at 79
  • 1897Alphonse Daudet: Writer, dies at 57
  • 1897L-M Alphonse Daudet: Frans writer (Tartarin sur les Alpes), dies at 57
  • 1914Ivan Zajc: Composer, dies at 82
  • 1916Grigori Rasputin: A powerful Russian monk, murdered
  • 1920Ma [the Benovelent]: Chinese muslim rebel (holy war)
  • 1921Charles Camille Saint-Saens: French composer, dies at 86
  • 1922Gabriel Narutowicz: 1st President of Poland (Dec 7-16, 1922), assassinated
  • 1923Pongrac Kacsoh: Composer, dies at 50
  • 1927Hugh Archibald Clarke: Composer, dies at 88
  • 1931Gustave J Waffelaert: Flemish Theologist / Bishop of Bruges, dies at 82