December 15 in history

December 15 events chronologically

533 Vandalic War: Byzantine general Belisarius defeats the Vandals, commanded by King Gelimer, at the Battle of Tricamarum
687 Pope Sergius I is elected
1161 Jin–Song wars: Military officers conspire against Emperor Hailing of the Jin Dynasty after a military defeat at the Battle of Caishi, and assassinate the emperor at his camp
1167 Sicilian Chancellor Stephen du Perche moves the royal court to Messina to prevent a rebellion
1256 Hulagu Khan captures and destroys the Hashshashin stronghold at Alamut Castle (in present-day Iran) as part of the Mongol offensive on Islamic southwest Asia
1467 Stephen III of Moldavia defeats Matthias Corvinus of Hungary, with the latter being injured thrice, at the Battle of Baia
1778 American Revolutionary War: British and French fleets clash in the Battle of St. Lucia

Top 7 most famous people born on December 15

37 Nero Roman Emperor from 54 to 68, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Nero was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius to become his heir and successor, and succeeded to the throne in 54 following Claudius' death
1832 Gustave Eiffel a French civil engineer and architect. A graduate of the École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures, he made his name with various bridges for the French railway network, most famously the Garabit viaduct. He is best known for the world-famous Eiffel Tower, built for the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris, France. After his retirement from engineering, Eiffel concentrated his energies on research into meteorology and aerodynamics, making important contributions in both fields
1852 Henri Becquerel a French physicist, Nobel laureate, and the discoverer of radioactivity along with Marie Skłodowska-Curie and Pierre Curie, for which all three won the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics. The SI unit for radioactivity, the becquerel , is named after him
1859 L. L. Zamenhof the creator of Esperanto, the world's most successful constructed language, and a physician by profession. He grew up fascinated by the idea of a world without war, and believed that this could happen with the help of a new international auxiliary language which he first developed in 1873 while still in school
1907 Oscar Niemeyer 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 United Nations Headquarters in New York City. His exploration of the aesthetic possibilities of reinforced concrete was highly influential in the late 20th and early 21st centuries
1916 Maurice Wilkins a New Zealand-born English physicist and molecular biologist, and Nobel Laureate whose research contributed to the scientific understanding of phosphorescence, isotope separation, optical microscopy and X-ray diffraction, and to the development of radar. He is best known for his work at King's College, London on the structure of DNA which falls into three distinct phases. The first was in 1948–50 where his initial studies produced the first clear X-ray images of DNA which he presented at a conference in Naples in 1951 attended by James Watson. During the second phase of work he produced clear "B form" "X" shaped images from squid sperm which he sent to James Watson and Francis Crick causing Watson to write "Wilkins... has obtained extremely excellent X-ray diffraction photographs". Throughout this period Wilkins was consistent in his belief that DNA was helical even when Rosalind Franklin expressed strong views to the contrary
1923 Freeman Dyson an English-born American theoretical physicist and mathematician, famous for his work in quantum electrodynamics, solid-state physics, astronomy and nuclear engineering. Dyson is a member of the Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Top 7 most famous people died on December 15

1675 Johannes Vermeer a Dutch painter who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle-class life. Vermeer was a moderately successful provincial genre painter in his lifetime. He seems never to have been particularly wealthy, leaving his wife and children in debt at his death, perhaps because he produced relatively few paintings
1890 Sitting Bull a Hunkpapa Lakota holy man who led his people as a tribal chief during years of resistance to United States government policies. He was killed by Indian agency police on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation during an attempt to arrest him, at a time when authorities feared that he would join the Ghost Dance movement
1944 Glenn Miller an American big band musician, arranger, composer, and bandleader in the swing era. He was the best-selling recording artist from 1939 to 1943, leading one of the best known big bands. Miller's notable recordings include "In the Mood", "Moonlight Serenade", "Pennsylvania 6-5000", "Chattanooga Choo Choo", "A String of Pearls", "At Last", " Kalamazoo", "American Patrol", "Tuxedo Junction", "Elmer's Tune", and "Little Brown Jug". While he was traveling to entertain U.S. troops in France during World War II, Glenn Miller's aircraft disappeared in bad weather over the English Channel
1950 Vallabhbhai Patel an Indian barrister and statesman, one of the leaders of the Indian National Congress and one of the founding fathers of the Republic of India. He was a social leader who played a leading role in the country's struggle for independence and guided its integration into a united, independent nation. In India and elsewhere, he was often addressed as Sardar, which means Chief in Hindi, Urdu and Persian. A 'Run for Unity' and pledge taking will mark India's first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's birth anniversary on Oct 31, being observed as 'Rashtriya Ekta Divas'
1958 Wolfgang Pauli an Austrian-born Swiss theoretical physicist and one of the pioneers of quantum physics.
1966 Walt Disney an American business magnate, cartoonist, and filmmaker. As a prominent figure within the American animation industry and throughout the world, he is regarded as a cultural icon, known for his influence and contributions to entertainment during the 20th century. As a Hollywood business mogul, he and his brother Roy Disney co-founded The Walt Disney Company
2011 Christopher Hitchens a British American author, philosopher, polemicist, debater, and journalist. He contributed to New Statesman, The Nation, The Atlantic, The London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement and Vanity Fair. Hitchens was the author, co-author, editor and co-editor of over thirty books, including five collections of essays, and concentrated on a range of subjects, including politics, literature and religion. A staple of talk shows and lecture circuits, his confrontational style of debate made him both a lauded and controversial figure. Known for his contrarian stance on a number of issues, Hitchens excoriated such public figures as Mother Teresa, Bill Clinton, Henry Kissinger, Diana, Princess of Wales, and Pope Benedict XVI. He was the elder brother of author Peter Hitchens