Events in History on December 31

  • 406 80,000 Vandals, Alans and Suebians cross the Rhine at Mainz, beginning an invasion of Gallia.
  • 535 Byzantine General Belisarius completes the conquest of Sicily, defeating the 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 (now known as Palma, Spain) thus consummating the 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
  • 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 The first New Year's Eve celebration is held in Times Square, then known as Longacre Square, in New York, New York.
  • 1906 French/British/Italian treaty concerning rights on Abyssinia
  • 1907 For 1st time a ball drops at Times Square to signal 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
Marie Curie
  • 1914 As the year ends, the world finds itself engulfed in a war that would have seemed like and unimaginable nightmare only six months before
  • 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 25 U boats sunk this month (81,000 ton)
  • 1939 Dutch national debt hits ƒ4,218,553,180.99
  • 1940 37 U boats sunk this month (213,000 ton)
  • 1941 Young Park (2) in the Bronx named in honor of Samuel Young
  • 1942 60 U boats sunk this month (330,000 ton)
  • 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 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
  • 1971 Edmund Compton, then Northern Ireland Ombudsman, is replaced by John Benn
  • 1972 Leap second day; also in 1973-79, 1987
  • 1972 Martin McGuinness is arrested and held under the new Republic of Ireland legislation
  • 1974 Gold legal in US, Franklin Mint strikes Panama's Gold 100 balboa coin
  • 1974 Lindsey Buckingham & Stevie Nicks join Fleetwood Mac
  • 1974 Popular Electronics displays Altair 8800 computer
  • 1976 TV soap "Somerset" ends 6 year run
  • 1976 The Cars played their 1st gig
  • 1977 Amir Sheikh Jabir al-Ahmad al-Jabir Al Sabah becomes leader of Kuwait
  • 1977 Cambodia drops diplomatic relations with Vietnam
  • 1977 Donald Woods, a banned white editor flees South Africa

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1977 Ted Bundy escapes from jail in Colorado

Serial Killer Ted Bundy
Serial Killer
Ted Bundy
  • 1977 WFAT (Brooklyn New York pirate radio station) begins broadcasting on 1620 AM
  • 1978 CIA director, Admiral Stansfield Turner retires from the Navy
  • 1978 Iran shah names Chapour Bakhtiar premier
  • 1978 Taiwan's final day of diplomatic relations with US
  • 1978 The Runaways' band's last ever concert at Daly, CA.'s Cow Palace
  • 1980 A Jewish owned hotel in Nairobi Kenya is bombed killing 18
  • 1980 Senegal president Leopold Senghor resigns
  • 1981 Lt Jerry Rawlings becomes head of Ghana, suspends constitution
  • 1981 Netherlands unemployment stands at record 475,000
  • 1982 TV soap "Doctors" ends 19 year run
  • 1983 Brunei gains complete independence from Britain
  • 1983 Jose Happart installed as mayor of Voeren Belgium
  • 1983 Nigeria's National Assembly dissolves after military coup
  • 1983 Benjamin Ward appointed 1st African American NY City Police Commissioner by Mayor Ed Koch
  • 1984 NYC subway gunman Bernhard Goetz surrenders to police in NH
  • 1984 Rajiv Gandhi takes office as India's 7th Prime Minister succeeding his mother Indira Gandhi
  • 1984 US leaves UNESCO
  • 1986 Dupont Plaza Hotel fire in San Juan, Puerto Rico kills 97
  • 1986 Russian TU-144 flies for 1st time faster than sound
  • 1986 WIS-AM in Columbia SC changes call letters to WVOC (now WOMG)
  • 1988 "The Fog Bowl", a heavy, dense fog rolled over Soldier Field in Chicago during the second quarter of the Bears/Eagles NFC Divisional Playoff Game, cutting visibility to about 15-20 yards for the rest of the game (Bears win 20-12)
  • 1989 Fog Bowl: Heavy fog rolls in on Bears 20-12 victory over Eagles
  • 1990 Iraq begins a military draft of 17 year olds
  • 1990 Sci-Fi Channel on cable TV begins transmitting
  • 1990 United Somali Congress seizes Presidential Palace
  • 1991 CPN, Communist Party of Netherland, last day of existance
  • 1991 Dow Jones closes at record high 3168.83
  • 1992 Target date for Europe's single market
  • 1994 1st snowless December in Baltimore Maryland
  • 1994 Anti Apartheid Group of Netherlands (AABN) disbands
  • 1994 This date is skipped altogether in Kiribati as the Phoenix Islands and Line Islands change time zones from UTC-11 to UTC+13 and UTC-10 to UTC+14, respectively.
  • 1995 Cartoonist Bill Watterson ends his "Calvin & Hobbes" comic strip
  • 1997 Intel cuts price of Pentium II-233 MHz from $401 to $268
  • 1997 Microsoft buys Hotmail E-mail service
  • 1997 More Swedes died than were born in 1997, 1st time since 1809
  • 1997 Orlando Hernandez, half-brother of pitcher Livan, defects from Cuba
  • 1997 South African & US surgeons separate Zambian Siamese twins joined at the head
  • 1998 Exchange rates between the euro and legacy currencies in the Eurozone become fixed.
  • 1999 Control of Panama Canal reverts to Panama

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1999 Boris Yeltsin resigns as President of Russia, leaving Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as acting President.

Russian President Boris Yeltsin
Russian President
Boris Yeltsin
  • 2004 The official opening of Taipei 101, the current tallest skyscraper in the world, standing at a height of 509 metres (1,670 feet).
  • 2007 Bocaue Fire. Seven people injured when a fire razed several fireworks stores in the Municipality of Bocaue, Bulacan, Philippines.
  • 2007 The Massive Big Dig construction project in Boston, Massachusetts ends.
  • 2014 36 die and 47 are wounded during a stampede of New Year revellers on Shanghai's Bund riverfront

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

2014 Beji Caid Essebsi is sworn in as Tunisia's 1st ever freely elected President

President of Tunisia Beji Caid Essebsi
President of Tunisia
Beji Caid Essebsi
  • 2015 US law enforcement kills 1,134 in 2015, young black men 9x more likely to be victims