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15th December

1832 * Alexandre Gustav Eiffel, French engineer who built the tower in Paris in 1899.

1859 * Dr. Lazarus Zamenof, Polish linguist, inventor of the artificial language Esperanto (1887).

1890 Sioux Indian chief Sitting Bull was killed by police, in South Dakota.

1892 * Jean Paul Getty, US multimillionaire chairman of the Getty Oil Company from 1947.

1906 The Piccadilly branch of the London Underground system opened

1939 Nylon yarn was first produced commercially in Delaware, USA.

1944 Band leader Glenn Miller disappeared in a plane over the English Channel.

1951 * Joe Jordan, former Scottish international soccer player.

1964 The Canadian Parliament adopted the maple leaf as the official symbol of Canada.

1966 Walt Disney, the creator of Mickey Mouse and the Walt Disney Studios, died.

1978 Laser videodiscs were launched in Atlanta, Georgia by Philips.

1979 Canadians Chris Haney and Scott Abbott devised the board game, Trivial Pursuit.

1982 Spain opened the border with Gibraltar for the first time in 13 years.

1993 John Major and Albert Reynolds signed the historic Joint Declaration for Peace in Northern Ireland.

2004 The Home Secretary, David Blunkett, resigned after an email implicated him in using his position to grant favours to his ex-lover Kimberly Quinn.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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