Dec. 15, 1791 - The United States ratified the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which confirmed the fundamental rights of its citizens. The First Amendment guaranteed freedom of religion, speech, and the press, and the rights of peaceful assembly and petition. Other amendments guaranteed the rights of the people to form a "well-regulated militia," to keep and bear arms, the rights to private property, fair treatment for accused criminals, protection from unreasonable search and seizure, freedom from self-incrimination, a speedy and impartial jury trial, and representation by counsel.
1864 - Corporal Samuel J. Churchill with Company G, 2d Illinois Light Artillery earned the Medal of Honor for actions taken at Nashville, Tenn. When the artillery fire of the enemy’s batteries compelled the men of his detachment to seek shelter, he stayed with his cannon and returned fire by himself.
1914 - The president instructed the secretary of war to comply with Brig. Gen. Taskar H. Bliss request for additional forces at Naco, Az. to stop Mexican firing into U.S. territory. The re-enforcements brought the American Army size in Naco to 5,000 soldiers which included: 11 troops of cavalry, 3 regiments of infantry and 6 batteries of artillery with 24 cannons. Among the artillery units sent were two batteries of 4.7 howitzers from Fort Sill, Okla. (from the "Tombstone Epitaph" newspaper (Tombstone, Ariz.).
1956 - The Nike B antiaircraft artillery missile was renamed the Nike Hercules. Hercules was the only nuclear-armed surface-to-air weapon ever used by the U.S. Army. Development of an improved Nike missile began in 1952, with the primary goal of developing a missile with significantly higher performance than MIM-3 Nike Ajax, known simply as Nike, which could still be used with the existing Nike ground equipment. After it had been shown that the Nike Ajax could not be equipped with then existing nuclear warheads, nuclear armament became another goal for the new missile. The SAM-A-25 Nike B program was formally established in June 1953.