2001 – The Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens after 11 years and $27,000,000 spent to stabilize it, without fixing its famous lean.
1981 – A suicide car bombing targeting the Iraqi embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, levels the embassy and kills 61 people, including Iraq's ambassador to Lebanon. The attack is considered the first modern suicide bombing.
1978 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter announces that the United States will recognize the People's Republic of China and sever diplomatic relations with Taiwan
1973 – John Paul Getty III, grandson of American billionaire J. Paul Getty, is found alive near Naples, Italy, after being kidnapped by an Italian gang on July 10.
1973 – The American Psychiatric Association votes 13–0 to remove homosexuality from its official list of psychiatric disorders, the DSM-II.
1970 – Soviet spacecraft Venera 7 successfully lands on Venus. It is the first successful soft landing on another planet
1965 – Project Gemini: Gemini 6A, crewed by Wally Schirra and Thomas Stafford, is launched from Cape Kennedy, Florida. Four orbits later, it achieves the first space rendezvous, with Gemini 7.
1939 – Gone with the Wind (highest inflation adjusted grossing film) receives its premiere at Loew's Grand Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.
1933 – The Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution officially becomes effective, repealing the Eighteenth Amendment that prohibited the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol.
1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Nashville: Union forces under George Thomas almost completely destroy the Army of Tennessee under John Hood.
1791 – The United States Bill of Rights becomes law when ratified by the Virginia General Assembly.
1778 – American Revolutionary War: British and French fleets clash in the Battle of St. Lucia.
1997 – Zach Banks, American race car driver. Banks has recorded 48 career race wins.
1983 – Ronnie Radke, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer. After his release, Radke subsequently became the lead singer of a new band, Falling in Reverse.
1981 – Andy González, Puerto Rican-American baseball player. Andy Gonzalez or González is the name of:
1981 – Thomas Herrion, American football player (d. 2005), was an American football player for the San Francisco 49ers. Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Herrion, a 6-foot-3 (190 cm), 310-pound (140 kg) guard, played college football first at Kilgore College at the junior college level before transferring to the University of Utah where he blocked for former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and number one draft pick Alex Smith.
1979 – Adam Brody, American actor. Adam Jared Brody (born December 15, 1979) is an American actor, writer, musician, and producer.
1978 – Jerome McDougle, American football player. McDougle played college football at the University of Miami.
1978 – Ned Brower, American drummer. Edward Andrew "Ned" Brower (born December 15, 1978) is the drummer/vocalist in the Los Angeles rock quintet Rooney and is also a model and actor.
1977 – Geoff Stults, American actor and producer. He most recently starred as Major Walter Sherman in The Finder and as Sgt.
1976 – Aaron Miles, American baseball player and coach. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, and Los Angeles Dodgers.
1976 – Todd Tichenor, American baseball player and umpire. He wore number 97 until the 2014 season, when he switched to number 13 (formerly worn by Derryl Cousins).
1972 – Rodney Harrison, American football player and sportscaster. He was a two-time Pro Bowl selection and winner of two Super Bowl rings.
1971 – Clint Lowery, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer. Clint Edward Lowery (born December 15, 1971) is an American musician, songwriter and producer, best known as the lead guitarist and backing vocalist of the heavy metal band Sevendust.
1970 – Lawrence Funderburke, American basketball player. Lawrence Damon Funderburke (born December 15, 1970) is an American former professional basketball player.
1969 – Adam Setliff, American discus thrower and lawyer. Adam Setliff (born December 15, 1969) is a retired discus thrower from the United States, who represented his native country at two consecutive Summer Olympics (1996 and 2000), finishing 12th and 5th respectively.
1967 – Mo Vaughn, American baseball player. Maurice Samuel "Mo" Vaughn (born December 15, 1967), nicknamed "The Hit Dog", is a former Major League Baseball first baseman.
1963 – Helen Slater, American actress. In the intervening years, she starred in several films including The Legend of Billie Jean (1985), Ruthless People (1986), The Secret of My Success (1987), and City Slickers (1991).
1963 – Norman J. Grossfeld, American screenwriter and producer. Grossfeld (born December 15, 1963 in New York) is an American director, television producer, record producer, screenwriter and media executive.
1962 – Tim Gaines, American bass player. Timothy "Tim" Gaines (born Timothy Hagelganz; December 15, 1962) is an American bass guitarist best-known as the long-time bassist for the Christian metal band Stryper until his departure in 2017.
1958 – Richard Kastle, American classical pianist. Richard Kastle (born December 15, 1958) is an American classical pianist and composer.
1957 – Mike McAlary, American journalist and author (d. 1998), was an American journalist and columnist who worked at the New York Daily News for 12 years, beginning with the police beat. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for his columns exposing police brutality against Haitian immigrant Abner Louima.
1957 – Tim Reynolds, German-American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Tim Reynolds (born 15 December 1957) is an American guitarist and multi-instrumentalist known as both a solo artist and as a lead guitarist for the Dave Matthews Band.
1954 – Mark Warner, American businessman and politician, 69th Governor of Virginia, was first elected to in 2008. He is a member of the Democratic Party and currently a Vice Chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus and the Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
1953 – J. M. DeMatteis, American author. John Marc DeMatteis (/dəˈmætiːs/; born December 15, 1953) is an American writer of comic books, television and novels.
1953 – John R. Allen, American general and diplomat. Allen (born December 15, 1953) is the president of the Brookings Institution, a retired United States Marine Corps four-star general, and former commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force and U.S.
1953 – Robert Charles Wilson, American-Canadian author. Robert Charles Wilson (born December 15, 1953) is an American-Canadian science fiction author.
1952 – Julie Taymor, American director, producer, and screenwriter. Lion King also received 11 Tony Award nominations, earning Taymor Tony Awards for Best Director and Costume Designer, and was honored with more than 70 major arts awards worldwide.
1952 – Rudi Protrudi, American singer-songwriter and producer. Rudi Action Protrudi (born December 15, 1952) is an American rock musician, songwriter, record producer, artist, and actor best known as the lead vocalist and frontman of the rock and roll band The Fuzztones.
1950 – Melanie Chartoff, American actress and comedian. She voiced both Didi Pickles and Grandma Minka on the two animated shows Rugrats and All Grown Up!.
1950 – Sylvester James Gates, American theoretical physicist and professor. Sylvester James Gates Jr. (born December 15, 1950), known as S.
1949 – Don Johnson, American actor. Donnie Wayne Johnson (born December 15, 1949) is an American actor, producer, director, singer, and songwriter.
1946 – Art Howe, American baseball player and manager. Arthur Henry Howe Jr. (born December 15, 1946), is an American former professional baseball infielder, coach, scout, and manager, who appeared as a player in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1974–1975), Houston Astros (1976–1982), and St.
1946 – Carmine Appice, American drummer and songwriter. Carmine Appice (/ˈkɑːrmaɪn/ /æˈpiːs/) (born December 15, 1946) is an American drummer and percussionist most commonly associated with the rock genre of music.
1944 – Jim Leyland, American baseball player and manager. He currently serves as a special assistant to the Detroit Tigers and is the manager of the United States national baseball team.
1942 – Kathleen Blanco, American educator and politician, 54th Governor of Louisiana, was an American politician who served as the 54th Governor of Louisiana from January 2004 to January 2008. A member of the Democratic Party, she was the first and only woman elected as the state's governor.
1940 – Nick Buoniconti, American football player and sportscaster, was an American professional football player who was a middle linebacker in the American Football League (AFL) and National Football League (NFL). He played for the Boston Patriots and Miami Dolphins, winning two Super Bowls with the Dolphins.
1939 – Cindy Birdsong, American singer-songwriter. Cynthia Ann Birdsong (born December 15, 1939) is an American singer who became famous as a member of The Supremes in 1967, when she replaced co-founding member Florence Ballard.
1938 – Billy Shaw, American football player, was an offensive guard for the Buffalo Bills in the American Football League (AFL). After playing college football with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, he was drafted by the Bills.
1933 – Tim Conway, American actor, producer, and screenwriter, was an American actor, comedian, writer, and director. From 1966 to 2012 he appeared in more than 20 TV shows, TV series and films.
1932 – Jesse Belvin, American singer-songwriter and pianist (d. 1960), was an American rock and roll singer, pianist and songwriter popular in the 1950s, whose success was cut short by his death in a car crash aged 27.
1928 – Ernest Ashworth, American singer-songwriter (d. 2009), was an American country music singer, broadcaster, and longtime Grand Ole Opry star. Signed to the Hickory label, he recorded two studio albums in his career and charted several singles on Billboard Hot Country Songs, including the number one "Talk Back Trembling Lips" and seven other top ten hits.
1925 – Kasey Rogers, American actress and author (d. 2006), was an American actress, memoirist and writer, best known for playing the second Louise Tate in the popular U.S. television sitcom Bewitched.
1924 – Frank W. J. Olver, English-American mathematician and academic (d. 2013), was an emeritus professor of mathematics at the Institute for Physical Science and Technology and Department of Mathematics at the University of Maryland who worked on asymptotic analysis, special functions, and numerical analysis. He was the editor in chief of the NIST Digital Library of Mathematical Functions.
1923 – Freeman Dyson, English-American physicist and mathematician. Freeman John Dyson FRS (born 15 December 1923) is an American theoretical physicist and mathematician, of British origin, known for his work in quantum electrodynamics, solid-state physics, astronomy and nuclear engineering.
1923 – Pierre Cossette, American producer and manager (d. 2009), was a television executive producer and Broadway producer. Cossette produced the first television broadcast of the Grammy Awards in 1971.
1923 – Uziel Gal, German-Israeli engineer, designed the Uzi gun (d. 2002), was a German-born Israeli gun designer, best remembered as the designer and namesake of the Uzi submachine gun.
1921 – Alan Freed, American radio host (d. 1965), was an American disc jockey. He became internationally known for promoting the mix of blues, country, rhythm and blues music on the radio in the United States and Europe under the name of rock and roll.
1920 – Kurt Schaffenberger, German-American sergeant and illustrator (d. 2002), was an American comics artist. He was best known for his work on Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family during both the Golden Age and Bronze Age of comics, as well as his work on the title Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane during the 1950s and 1960s.
1919 – Max Yasgur, American dairy farmer and host of the Woodstock Music & Art Fair (d. 1973). Yasgur (December 15, 1919 – February 9, 1973) was an American farmer, best known as the owner of the 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York, at which the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was held between August 15 and August 18, 1969.
1918 – Jeff Chandler, American actor (d. 1961), was an American actor, film producer and singer best remembered for playing Cochise in Broken Arrow (1950), for which he was Oscar nominated. He was one of Universal Pictures's more popular male stars of the 1950s.
1913 – Muriel Rukeyser, American poet, academic, and activist (d. 1980), was an American poet and political activist, best known for her poems about equality, feminism, social justice, and Judaism. Kenneth Rexroth said that she was the greatest poet of her "exact generation."
1911 – Nicholas P. Dallis, American psychiatrist and illustrator (d. 1991), was an American psychiatrist turned comic strip writer, creator of the soap opera-style strips Rex Morgan, M.D., Judge Parker and Apartment 3-G. Separating his comics career from his medical practice, he wrote under pseudonyms, Dal Curtis for Rex Morgan, M.D. and Paul Nichols for Judge Parker.
1911 – Stan Kenton, American pianist and composer (d. 1979), was an American popular music and jazz artist. As a pianist, composer, arranger and band leader he led an innovative and influential jazz orchestra for almost four decades.
1907 – Oscar Niemeyer, Brazilian architect, designed the United Nations Headquarters and the Cathedral of Brasília (d. 2012), was a Brazilian architect considered to be one of the key figures in the development of modern architecture. Niemeyer was best known for his design of civic buildings for Brasília, a planned city that became Brazil's capital in 1960, as well as his collaboration with other architects on the headquarters of the United Nations in New York.
1902 – Robert F. Bradford, American lawyer and politician, 57th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1983), was an American lawyer and politician who served one term as the 57th Governor of Massachusetts, from 1947 to 1949.
1896 – Betty Smith, American author and playwright (d. 1972). She is best known for her 1943 bestselling novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, which is considered one of the great American novels of the 20th century.
1892 – J. Paul Getty, American-English businessman and art collector, founded Getty Oil (d. 1976). Jean Paul Getty (/ˈɡɛti/; December 15, 1892 – June 6, 1976), known widely as J.
1888 – Maxwell Anderson, American journalist and playwright (d. 1959), was an American playwright, author, poet, journalist and lyricist.
1863 – Arthur Dehon Little, American chemist and engineer (d. 1935), was an American chemist and chemical engineer. He founded the consulting company Arthur D.
1861 – Charles Duryea, American engineer and businessman, co-founded the Duryea Motor Wagon Company (d. 1938), was the engineer of the first-ever working American gasoline-powered car and co-founder of Duryea Motor Wagon Company. He was born near Canton, Illinois, the son of George Washington Duryea and Louisa Melvina Turner and died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but spent most of his life working in Springfield, Massachusetts.
1860 – Abner Powell, American baseball player and manager (d. 1953), was a Major League Baseball player who was a member of the Washington Nationals of the Union Association in 1884. He later played for the Baltimore Orioles and the Cincinnati Red Stockings in 1886.
1832 – Gustave Eiffel, French architect and engineer, co-designed the Eiffel Tower (d. 1923), was a French civil engineer and architect. A graduate of the prestigious École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures of France, he made his name with various bridges for the French railway network, most famously the Garabit viaduct.
2013 – Dyron Nix, American basketball player (b. 1967)
2013 – Harold Camping, American evangelist, author, radio host (b. 1921)
2013 – Joan Fontaine, British-American actress (b. 1917)
2011 – Bob Brookmeyer, American trombone player and composer (b. 1929)
2011 – Christopher Hitchens, English-American essayist, literary critic, and journalist (b. 1949)
2010 – Blake Edwards, American director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1922)
2010 – Bob Feller, American baseball player and sportscaster (b. 1918)
2010 – Eugene Victor Wolfenstein, American psychoanalyst and theorist (b. 1940)
2009 – Oral Roberts, American evangelist, founded the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association (b. 1918)
2007 – Julia Carson, American lawyer and politician (b. 1938)
2006 – Mary Stolz, American journalist and author (b. 1920)
2005 – Darrell Russell, American football player (b. 1976)
2005 – William Proxmire, American soldier, journalist, and politician (b. 1915)
1993 – William Dale Phillips, American chemist and engineer (b. 1925)
1984 – Jan Peerce, American tenor and actor (b. 1904)
1978 – Chill Wills, American actor (b. 1903)
1968 – Jess Willard, American boxer and actor (b. 1881)
1966 – Walt Disney, American animator, director, producer, and screenwriter, co-founded The Walt Disney Company (b. 1901)
1962 – Charles Laughton, English-American actor, director, and producer (b. 1899)
1944 – Glenn Miller, American bandleader and composer (b. 1904)
1943 – Fats Waller, American singer-songwriter and pianist (b. 1904)
1890 – Sitting Bull, American tribal chief (b. 1831)
1878 – Alfred Bird, English chemist and businessman, invented baking powder (b. 1811)
1753 – Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington, English architect and politician, designed Chiswick House (b. 1694)