On This Day in History for December 31

Events in History

Events 1 - 100 of 157

  • 406 80,000 Vandals, Alans and Suebians cross the Rhine at Mainz, beginning invasion of Gallia
  • 535 Byzantine General Belisarius completes the conquest of Sicily, defeating Ostrogothic garrison of Syracuse, and ending his consulship for the year
  • 765 Coffin of Ho-tse Shen-hui interred in a stupa built in China
  • 870 Skirmish at Englefield: Ethelred of Wessex beats Danish invasion army
  • 1229 James I of Aragon the Conqueror enters Medina Mayurqa (Palma) consummating Christian conquest of the island of Majorca
  • 1492 100,000 Jews expelled from Sicily
  • 1502 Cesare Borgia (son of pope Alexander VI) occupies Urbino
  • 1564 Willem van Orange demands freedom of conscience/religion
  • 1600 British East India Company chartered
  • 1604 Admiral Steven van der Haghen's fleet reaches Bantam
  • 1621 Hungarian King Bethlen Gabor/Ferdinand II sign Treaty of Mikulov
  • 1660 James II of England is named Duke of Normandy by Louis XIV of France.
  • 1669 France & Brandenburg sign secret treaty
  • 1670 France & England sign Boyne-treaty
  • 1687 1st Huguenots depart France to Cape of Good Hope
  • 1688 Pro-James II-earl of Devonshire occupies Nottingham [OS=Dec 21]
  • 1695 A window tax is imposed in England, causing many shopkeepers to brick up their windows to avoid the tax.
  • 1700 Frisia/Groningen adopt Gregorian calendar, tomorrow is 1/12/1701
  • 1708 Great Alliance captures Bridge
  • 1711 John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, fired as English army commander
  • 1744 English astronomer James Bradley announces discovery of Earth's nutation motion (wobble)
  • 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlies army meets with de Esk
  • 1756 Russia joins the Alliance of Versailles
  • 1758 British expeditionary army occupies Goree (Dakar) Senegal
  • 1775 Battle of Quebec in American Revolutionary War; Americans defeated trying to take British stronghold
  • 1776 Rhode Island establishes wage & price controls to curb inflation: Limit is 70 cents a day for carpenters, 42 cents for tailors
  • 1779 British fleet beat Dutch Merchant vessels
  • 1781 Bank of North America, 1st US bank opens
  • 1783 Import of African slaves banned by all of the Northern US states
  • 1805 End of French Republican calendar; France returns to Gregorianism
  • 1831 Gramercy Park is deeded to New York City.
  • 1841 Alabama becomes 1st state to license dental surgeons

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1857 Queen Victoria chooses Ottawa as new capital of Canada

Queen of the United Kingdom Victoria
Queen of the United Kingdom
Victoria
  • 1859 Dutch colony in Dutch Indies counts 4,800 slaves
  • 1861 22,990mm of rain falls in Cherrapunji Assam in India in 1861, a world record
  • 1862 -Jan 20th) Battle of Stone's River/Battle of Murfreesboro, Tennesse in American Civil War
  • 1862 President Lincoln signs act admitting West Virginia to the Union
  • 1862 Skirmish at Parker Cross Roads, Tennessee
  • 1862 Union ironclad ship "Monitor" sank off Cape Hatteras, NC
  • 1870 J D Schneiter patents rocket mail in France, (not done)
  • 1879 Cornerstone laid for Honolulu's Iolani Palace (only royal palace in US)
  • 1879 Edison gives 1st public demonstration of his incandescent lamp
  • 1890 Ellis Island (NYC) opens as a US immigration depot
  • 1897 Brooklyn's last day as a city, it incorporates into NYC (1/1/1898)
  • 1901 In the first election under their new constitution, Cuba elects a Congress and their first president, Tomas Estrada Palma
  • 1902 Boers & British army sign peace treaty
  • 1904 First New Year's Eve celebration held in Times Square (then Longacre Square), in New York City
  • 1906 French, British and Italian treaty concerning rights on Abyssinia
  • 1907 For 1st time a ball drops at Times Square to signal the New Year
  • 1910 US tobacco industry produced 9 billion cigarettes in 1910

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1911 Marie Curie receives her 2nd Nobel Prize

Physicist Marie Curie
Physicist
Marie Curie
  • 1917 Dutch Social-democratic trade union NVV counts 159,450 members
  • 1921 Last San Francisco firehorses retired
  • 1923 1st transatlantic radio broadcast of a voice, Pittsburgh-Manchester

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1924 Italian Fascist Mussolini orders the suppression of opposition newspapers

Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini
Italian Dictator
Benito Mussolini
  • 1925 14th congress of CPSU decides to accelerate industry
  • 1927 Ponsford scores 336 against SA, giving him 1146 for month
  • 1929 Pope Pius XI publishes encyclical Divini illius magistri
  • 1930 Pontifical encyclical Casti connubii against mixed marriages
  • 1930 US tobacco industry produced 123 billion cigarettes in 1930
  • 1932 John P O'Brien sworn-in as mayor of NYC
  • 1934 Helen Richey becomes 1st woman to pilot an airmail transport
  • 1935 CPH becomes Dutch Communist Party
  • 1935 Charles Darrow patents Monopoly
  • 1938 Dr R N Harger's "drunkometer", 1st breath test, introduced in Indiana
  • 1938 Dutch national debt hits ƒ3,986,629,805.70
  • 1939 Dutch national debt hits ƒ4,218,553,180.99
  • 1941 Young Park (2) in the Bronx named in honor of Samuel Young
  • 1942 Battle of the Barents Sea between British Navy and German Kriegsmarine off North Cape, Norway
  • 1944 48 people die in a train accident in Ogden, Utah
  • 1944 Japanese army evacuates harbor city Akyab
  • 1944 World War II: Hungary declares war on Germany.

AgreementUnited Nations Charter

1945 Ratification of United Nations Charter completed

  • 1946 French troops leave Lebanon

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1946 US President Harry Truman officially proclaims end of WW II

33rd US President Harry Truman
33rd US President
Harry Truman
  • 1948 Dutch police actions up Java gone on strike
  • 1949 18 countries recognize Republic Indonesia
  • 1951 1st battery to convert radioactive energy to electricity announced
  • 1953 Hulan Jack sworn in as Manhattan Borough president
  • 1953 Willie Shoemaker shatters record, riding 485 winners in a year
  • 1955 The General Motors Corporation becomes the first U.S. corporation to make over $1 billion USD in a year.
  • 1957 AAU awards Bobby Morrow, James Sullivan Memorial Trophy

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1958 Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista tells his Cabinet he is fleeing the country

Cuban President and Dictator Fulgencio Batista
Cuban President and Dictator
Fulgencio Batista
  • 1958 International Geophyscial Year ends
  • 1961 Beach Boys play their debut gig under that name
  • 1961 Failed coup by Syrian group in Lebanon
  • 1961 Marshall Plan expires after distributing more than $12 billion
  • 1962 Dutch leave New Guinea
  • 1962 Katanga becomes part of Democratic Republic of Congo
  • 1962 Ohio ends suit against Reds when they agree to stay in Cin for 10 yrs
  • 1964 Donald Campbell (UK) sets world water speed record (276.33 mph)
  • 1964 Indonesia proclaims expelled from the UN
  • 1966 Pirate Radio 390 (Radio Invicata) off England, resumes transmitting
  • 1966 Toboggan Chutes begin operation in Cleveland Metroparks
  • 1968 1st supersonic airliner flown (Russian TU-144)
  • 1968 1st test flight of Tupolev TU 144
  • 1969 Congo-Brazzaville becomes People's republic, under major Ngouabi

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1970 Congress authorizes Eisenhower dollar coin

34th US President & WWII General Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th US President & WWII General
Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • 1970 President Allende nationalizes Chilean coal mines
  • 1971 Lt Gen Robert E Cushman, Jr, USMC, ends term as deputy director of CIA

Birthdays in History

  • 695 Muhammad bin Qasim, Syrian general (d. 715)
  • 1378 Callistus III, (Alfonso the Borja), Pope (1455-58)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1491 Jacques Cartier, French explorer who claimed what is now Canada for France, born in St. Malo, Brittany (d. 1557)

French Explorer Jacques Cartier
French Explorer
Jacques Cartier
  • 1514 Andreas Vesalius, anatomist (Fabrica), born in Brussels, Belgium
  • 1540 Silvio Antoniano, Italian cardinal/theologist (Tre libri)
  • 1572 Emperor Go-Yozei of Japan, (d. 1617)
  • 1668 Hermannus Boerhaave, Dutch medical/botanist
  • 1720 [Bonnie Prince] Charles Edward Stuart, English pretender to throne (Jacobite rebellion), born in Rome (d. 1788)
  • 1738 Charles Cornwallis, British general and colonial administrator, born in London (d. 1805)
  • 1741 Isabella Maria of Parma, wife of future Holy Roman emperor (d. 1763)
  • 1763 Pierre-Charles Villeneuve, French admiral (d. 1806)
  • 1805 Marie-C-S de Flavigny Agoult, [Daniel Stern], French author (Knife)
  • 1815 George Gordon Meade, Major General (Union Army), (d. 1872)
  • 1825 Francis Trowbridge Sherman, Brig Gen (Union volunteers), (d. 1905)
  • 1830 Ismail Pasha, kedive of Egypt (1863-79)
  • 1838 Emile Loubet, premier/president of France (1892, 1899-1906)
  • 1846 Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis, vicar/Dutch anarchist (Right for all)
  • 1855 Giovanni Pascoli, Italian classicist/poet
  • 1860 Joseph S. Cullinan, American oil industrialist (d. 1937)
  • 1863 Alfredo Panzini, Italian author (Dizionario Moderno)
  • 1864 Robert G Aitken, US astronomer (Binary Stars)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1869 Henri Matisse, French impressionist painter (Odalisque), born in Le Cateau-Cambresis, France (d. 1954)

Impressionist Painter Henri Matisse
Impressionist Painter
Henri Matisse
  • 1877 Lawrence Beesley, English journalist and author (d. 1967)
  • 1878 Horacio Quiroga, Uruguayan author/poet (El Crimen del Otro)
  • 1878 Elizabeth Arden, Canadian businesswoman (d. 1966)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1880 George Marshall, US Secretary of State (1947-49) who authored the Marshall Plan (Nobel 1953), born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania (d. 1959)

Military Leader George Marshall
Military Leader
George Marshall
  • 1881 Colin G Fink, US chemist (electro chemistry)
  • 1881 Jacob Israel de Haan, Dutch poet/writer (Pipelines, Jewish Song)
  • 1881 Max Pechstein, German "entartet" painter/graphic artist (The Bridge)
  • 1882 David Cohen, Dutch historian and chairman of the Jewish Council
  • 1882 Martin O'Meara, Australian soldier (d. 1935)
  • 1885 Princess Victoria Adelaide of Schleswig-Holstein (d. 1970)
  • 1893 Max Lamberty, Flemish sociologist/author (Flemish Resurrection)
  • 1899 Gaston Glass, film executive, born in Paris, France
  • 1905 Guy Mollet, Prime Minister of France (1956-57), born in Flers, France (d. 1975)
  • 1905 Tadeusz Breza, Polish writer (The Bronze Gate), born in Sekežintsõ, Ostrog (d. 1970)
  • 1908 Simon Wiesenthal, Polish/Austrian nazi hunter (Wiesenthal Center)
  • 1911 Dal Stivens, Australian novelist (d. 1997)
  • 1912 Maj-Gen John Frost, British para commander (d. 1993)
  • 1919 Artur Fischer, German Inventor with more patents than Edison, born in Tumlingen, Baden-Württemberg (d. 2016)
  • 1921 Lynn Compton, jurist (Sirhan Sirhan prosecutor) and commissioned officer (Easy Company, 101st Airborne), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 2012)
  • 1927 Dieter Noll, German writer (Die Abenteuer des Werner Holt), born in Riesa, Saxony (d. 2008)
  • 1928 Veijo Meri, Finnish writer, born in Viipuri (d. 2015)
  • 1928 Siné, French cartoonist
  • 1929 Sidney Greenbaum, grammarian
  • 1931 Bob Shaw, Belfast, Northern Ireland, sci-fi author (Light of Other Days, The Ragged Astronauts)
  • 1933 Chryssa Vardea-Mavromichali, Athens Greece, Greek American artist
  • 1934 Akram Awan, Islamic scholar
  • 1935 Rolf Haufs, German writer, born in Düsseldorf (d. 2013)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1935 Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia (2015-), born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
King of Saudi Arabia
Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
  • 1937 Nicolas Born, German writer, born in Duisburg (d. 1979)
  • 1937 Avram Hershko, Hungarian-born Israeli biochemist and Nobel laureate in Chemistry, born in Karcag, Hungary
  • 1938 Henricus G Wijmans, Dutch graphic artist
  • 1940 Oleg Anatolyevich Yakovlev, Russian cosmonaut
  • 1944 Taylor Hackford, American director (Devil's Advocate, Ray), born in Santa Barbara, California
  • 1945 Claude D Marks, Buenos Aires Argent, FALN member (FBI most wanted)
  • 1946 Pius Ncube, Zimbabwean human rights advocate

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1946 Diane von Furstenberg, Belgian-born American fashion designer (wrap dress), born in Brussels

Fashion Designer Diane von Furstenberg
Fashion Designer
Diane von Furstenberg
  • 1948 Viktor Mikhailovich Afanasieyv, Russian cosmonaut (Soyuz TM-11, TM-18)
  • 1948 René Robert, National Hockey League player
  • 1949 Ellen Datlow, American editor
  • 1949 Susan Shwartz, American writer
  • 1954 Alex Salmond, Scottish politician
  • 1954 Hermann Tilke, German racing circuit architect
  • 1955 Dawood Ibrahim, Indian crime boss
  • 1956 Martin Joseph Fettman, American PhD/astronaut (STS 58), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • 1956 Steve Rude, American comics artist
  • 1959 Phill Kline, American politician
  • 1962 Heather McCartney, British artist and daughter of Paul McCartney
  • 1964 Liz Masakayan, Quezon City Philippines, WPVA volley (Best of Beach-3rd-1994)
  • 1965 Julie Doucet, Canadian underground cartoonist
  • 1965 Nicholas Sparks, American author (The Notebook), born in Omaha, Nebraska
  • 1969 Dominik Diamond, Scottish presenter and newspaper columnist
  • 1977 Donald Trump Jr., son of Donald Trump and Ivana Trump

Weddings in History


HeartWedding of Interest

1910 Editor Maxwell Perkins (26) weds Louise Saunders at Holy Cross Episcopal Church in North Plainfield, New Jersey

HeartWedding of Interest

1978 Best-selling author Michael Crichton (36) weds lawyer Kathleen St. Johns

  • 1992 WCBS TV news anchor Carol Martin weds Joe Terry

Deaths in History


MurderMurder of Interest

192 Commodus, Emperor of Rome (180-192), murdered at 31

Roman Emperor Commodus
Roman Emperor
Commodus
  • 335 St. Silvester I, Catholic Pope, dies in office
  • 406 Godagisel, King of the Vandals, dies in battle
  • 439 Melania the Younger, Roman monastery founder/saint, dies at about 56
  • 1164 Margrave Ottokar III of Styria (b. 1124)
  • 1194 Duke Leopold V of Austria (killed at a tournament) (b. 1157)
  • 1297 Humphrey de Bohun, 3rd Earl of Hereford, English soldier (b. 1249)
  • 1302 Frederick III, Duke of Lorraine (b. 1238)
  • 1382 Daigaku, Zen teacher/46th head of Engakuji, dies in Kamakura Japan
  • 1384 John Wycliffe, English religious reformer/bible translator, dies
  • 1424 Thomas Beaufort, 1st Duke of Exeter, English military leader
  • 1460 Edmund, Earl of Rutland, brother of Kings Edward IV of England and Richard III of England (executed) (b. 1443)
  • 1460 Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury, English politician (b. 1400)
  • 1510 Bianca Maria Sforza, wife of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1472)
  • 1535 William Skeffington, Lord Deputy of Ireland (b. 1465)
  • 1568 Shimazu Tadayoshi, Japanese warlord (b. 1493)
  • 1575 Pierino Belli, Italian soldier and jurist (b. 1502)
  • 1583 Thomas Erastus, Switz, theologist, dies
  • 1610 Ludolph van Ceulen, German mathematician (b. 1540)
  • 1616 Jacques Le Maire, pirate/explorer (Lemaire Strait), dies at 31
  • 1650 Dorgon, Chinese emperor (b. 1612)
  • 1652 Frances Cecil, 2nd wife of English earl of Shaftesbury, dies
  • 1673 Oliver St John, English statesman and judge
  • 1679 Giovanni Alfonso Borelli, Italian physiologist and physicist (b. 1608)
  • 1691 Dudley North, English economist (b. 1641)
  • 1719 John Flamsteed, 1st Astronomer Royal, dies at 73
  • 1733 Hubert K Poot, Dutch poet (Akkerleven), dies at 44
  • 1742 Karl III Philip, Elector Palatine (b. 1661)
  • 1775 Richard Montgomery, General in Continental Army during American Revolutionary War, dies in attack on Quebec
  • 1799 Jean-François Marmontel, French historian and writer (b. 1723)
  • 1802 Francis Lewis, Welsh/US merchant/signer (Declaration of Independence), dies at 89
  • 1862 James Edward Rains, lawyer/Confederate brig-gen, dies in Battle of Stone's River at 29
  • 1862 Joshua Woodrow Sill, US Union brig-general, dies in Battle of Stone's River at 31
  • 1872 Aleksis Kivi, [Stenvall], Finnish writer/poet (Kanervala), dies at 38
  • 1877 JD Gustave Courbet, French painter (Baigneuses), dies at 58
  • 1882 Leon Michel Gambetta, French attorney/premier (1881-82), dies at 44
  • 1888 Samson Raphael Hirsch, German rabbi (b. 1808)
  • 1889 Ion Creanga, Romanian (fairy tales) author, dies at 52
  • 1890 Pancha Carrasco, Costa Rican war heroine (b. 1826)
  • 1893 Jacob G de Scheffer, Dutch vicar/theologist, dies at 74
  • 1894 Thomas J Stieltjes, mathematician (Stieltjes-integral), dies at 38
  • 1907 Jules de Trooz, Belgium PM, dies at 63
  • 1910 John Moisant, American aviator (b. 1868)
  • 1910 Arch Hoxsey, American aviator (b. 1884)
  • 1920 Albert Roelofs, Dutch painter/etcher, dies at 43
  • 1921 Boies Penrose, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania (b. 1860)
  • 1936 Miguel de Unamuno Jugo, Span philosopher/poet (Cancionero), dies at 72
  • 1936 William FA Ellison, Irish clergyman/astronomer, dies at 72
  • 1938 Richard N Roland Holst, Dutch artist/painter, dies at 70
  • 1945 Donald Douglas II, dies at 40
  • 1947 Franz X Ritter von Epp, German General (SW Africa), dies at 79
  • 1950 Karl Renner, Austrian Chancellor/pres (1918-20, 45-50), dies at 80
  • 1951 Maxim M Litvinov, [Meyer H Wallach], Russian diplomat, dies at 75
  • 1951 Philipp A Kohnstamm, Dutch philosopher/physicist, dies at 76
  • 1953 Albert Plesman, Dutch aviation pioneer/founder (KLM), dies at 64
  • 1964 Ólafur Thors, Prime Minister of Iceland (b. 1892)
  • 1966 Pieter C A Geyl, historian (History of Dutch Race), dies
  • 1968 Carl Oscar Ahues, German International Chess Master (1950), dies at 85
  • 1971 Vikram Sarabhai, Indian physicist (b. 1919)
  • 1977 Sabah III Al-Salim Al-Sabah, ruler of Kuwait (b. 1924)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1980 Marshall McLuhan, Canadian cultural philosopher, dies at 69

Philosopher of Communication Theory Marshall McLuhan
Philosopher of Communication Theory
Marshall McLuhan
  • 1980 Raoul Walsh, US director (High Sierra), dies at about 88
  • 1985 Sam Spiegel, Academy Award winning producer (Betrayal), dies at 84
  • 1987 [Gordon] Randall [P D] Garrett, author (Lord Darcy), dies at 60
  • 1990 Dalton Cathey, dies of AIDS at 44
  • 1990 Vasily Grigoryevich Lazarev, cosmonaut (Soyuz 12, 18A), dies at 62
  • 1993 Lambert Fokkema, founder Dutch Export Combination, dies at 80
  • 1993 Thomas J Watson Jr, president of IBM (1956-71)/diplomat, dies at 79
  • 1993 Zviad Gamsachurdia, President of Georgia SSR (1991-1993), suicide at 54
  • 1993 Brandon Teena, Transsexual, murdered (b. 1972)
  • 1994 BAM "Bob" Schreiner, airline owner (S Aviation Group), dies at 79
  • 1994 Harri Webb, Welsh poet and nationalist, dies at 74
  • 1994 Leigh Bowery, designer, dies at 33
  • 1994 Thomas J Watson Jr, CEO (IBM), dies of a stroke at 79
  • 1995 Calvin/Hobbes, (comic strip), dies
  • 1995 John Powell, campaigner, dies at 75
  • 1996 61 law enforcement officers, killed by felons in US this year
  • 1996 Ann Susan Hills, freelance journalist, dies at 55
  • 1996 Michael Roberts, historian, dies at 88
  • 1996 Phillip Edmund Clinton Manson-Bahr, tropical mediciner, dies at 85
  • 1997 76 law enforcement officers, killed by felons in US this year
  • 1997 Dominique de Menil, arts patron/human rights advocate, dies at 89
  • 1997 Michael Kennedy, son of Robert F. Kennedy, dies in ski accident at 39
  • 1999 Elliot Richardson, American politician (b. 1920)
  • 2000 Alan Cranston, American politician (b. 1914)
  • 2003 Arthur R. von Hippel German-born physicist (b. 1898)
  • 2004 Gerard Debreu, French-born economist, Bank of Sweden Prize laureate (b. 1921)
  • 2005 Phillip Whitehead, British politician (b. 1937)
  • 2007 Michael Goldberg, American painter (b. 1924)
  • 2007 Milton L. Klein, Canadian politician (b. 1910)
  • 2007 Ettore Sottsass, Italian architect and designer (b. 1917)
  • 2008 Donald E. Westlake, American author (b. 1933)