On This Day

Historical Events on December 31 (Part 2)

Music Concert

1993 Barbra Streisand performs her 1st public concert in 20 years before a sell-out crows of over 25,000 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada

  • 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 "Danny Gans on Broadway" closes at Neil Simon NYC
  • 1995 "Having Our Say" closes at Booth Theater NYC after 308 performances
  • 1995 "Heiress" closes at Cort Theater NYC after 340 performances
  • 1995 "Paul Roebson" closes at Longacre Theater NYC after 14 performances
  • 1995 "Racing Demon" closes at Vivian Beaumont Theater NYC after 48 performances
  • 1995 "Tempest" closes at Broadhurst Theater NYC after 71 performances
  • 1995 Cartoonist Bill Watterson ends his "Calvin & Hobbes" comic strip after 10 years, believing he had achieved all he could in the medium
  • 1995 Matthew Elliott scores separate cricket century same day for Victoria

Historic Event

1997 Intel cuts price of Pentium II-233 MHz from $401 to $268

  • 1997 72 year-old Marv Levy retires as coach of the NFL Buffalo Bills after 12 seasons, including 4 consecutive losing Super Bowl appearances
  • 1997 Microsoft buys Hotmail email service for $400 million and re-launches it as MSN Hotmail
  • 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
  • 1997 Buffalo's Czech NHL goalie Dominik Hasek stops 36 shots for his 27th career shutout in Sabres' 3-0 win over Ottawa Senators; his 6th shutout in month of December; first since George Hainsworth in 1928-29 to achieve the feat
  • 1998 US movie box office hits record $6.24 billion for year
  • 1998 Exchange rates between the euro and legacy currencies in the Eurozone become fixed.
  • 1999 Control of Panama Canal reverts to Panama

Historic Event

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

  • 2004 Official opening of Taipei 101, then the tallest skyscraper in the world, at a height of 509 metres (1,670 feet)

Historic Event

2005 Jamie Dimon named as CEO of JPMorgan Chase

  • 2006 The final contest at the old Lansdowne Road Stadium in Dublin is a rugby match with Leinster beating Ulster 20-12 in a Celtic League game
  • 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

Election of Interest

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

  • 2015 US law enforcement kills 1,134 in 2015, young black men 9x more likely to be victims
  • 2015 82nd Orange Bowl: #1 Clemson beats #4 Oklahoma, 37-17

Appointment of Interest

2016 Chris Ofili is appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to art

  • 2017 Bus crash at Migaa near Molo, central Kenya, kills at least 30
  • 2017 Ban on ivory trade in China comes into effect
  • 2017 Cleveland Browns crash to a 28-24 loss to Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field to become only the 2nd team in NFL history to finish season with 0-16 record

Music History

2017 Singer Lorde called a bigot in ad in Washington Post after cancelling show in Israel

Film & TV History

2017 Indian movie star Rajinikanth announces he is entering politics

  • 2018 Houston guard James Harden scores 43 points in Rockets' 113-101 win over Memphis Grizzlies; 4th straight NBA game with 40+ points and 8th straight with 35+; joins Oscar Robertson as only player with at least 35 points & 5 assists in 8 straight games
  • 2018 Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wins third term in Bangladesh elections with 17 people killed in violent clashes
  • 2019 Iraqi militiamen and protesters breach the outer wall of the US embassy in Baghdad following US airstrikes against Kataib Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Iraqi militia, on December 29
  • 2020 WHO grants the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine emergency authorization, paving the way for worldwide distribution