This Day in History – December 31st

Happy New Year 2014As the old year closes out, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at today and see what events happened on the last day of the year in history.

One might assume that this day was always one filled with cheer and celebration, and although there is no doubt this has been the case, there are still many other interesting things that happened on December 31st in history.

Here is a list of some interesting events:

1600 – The British East India Trading Company was chartered.

1660 – James II of England is named Duke of Normandy by Louis XIV of France.

1695 – A window tax is imposed in England, causing many shopkeepers to brick up their windows to avoid the tax.

1744 – James Bradley announces discovery of Earth’s nutation motion (wobble).

1775 – The Battle of Quebec; Americans were unable to take the British stronghold.

1781 – Bank of North America – the 1st US bank opens.

1783 – Import of African slaves banned by all of the Northern states.

1805 – End of French Republican calendar; France returns to Gregorianism.

1841 – Alabama becomes 1st state to license dental surgeons.

1862 – President Lincoln signs act admitting West Virginia to the Union.

1879 – Edison gives 1st public demonstration of his incandescent lamp.

1896 – the 25th auto built in US.

1904 – The first New Year’s Eve celebration is held in Times Square, then known as Longacre Square, in New York, New York.

1907 – For 1st time a ball drops at Times Square to signal new year.

1911 – Marie Curie receives her 2nd Nobel Prize.

1914 – Colonel Jacob Ruppert & Cap Huston purchase NY Yankees for $460,000.

1923 – The 1st transatlantic radio broadcast of a voice, Pittsburgh, PA to Manchester, UK.

1935 – Charles Darrow patents Monopoly.

1943 – NYC’s Times Square greets Frank Sinatra at Paramount Theater.

1944 – World War II: Hungary declares war on Germany.

1961 – 1st performance of the Beach Boys.

1966 – Monkee’s “I’m a Believer” hits #1 & stays there for 7 weeks

1967 – 1st NBA game at Great Western Forum, LA Lakers beat Houston 147-118

1974 – Popular Electronics displays Altair 8800 computer.

1976 – The Cars played their 1st gig.

1981 – CNN Headline News debuts

1984 – Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen loses his arm in a car crash.  Returns to band later 1985 as a one armed drummer.

1989 – Fog Bowl: Heavy fog rolls in on Bears 20-12 victory over Eagles

1991 – USSR, last day of existence.

1995 – Cartoonist Bill Watterson ends his “Calvin & Hobbes” comic strip.

1999 – Control of Panama Canal reverts to Panama.

2004 – The official opening of Taipei 101, the current tallest skyscraper in the world, standing at a height of 509 metres (1,670 feet).

It is interesting to find out all the things that occurred on the last day of the year, isn’t it?

Wishing you all a prosperous and happy New Year in 2014!

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