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On December 31st...
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New Year's Eve
1378 Pope Callistus III was born.
1600 The English East India Company was chartered by Queen Elizabeth, under the title of "The Governor and Company of Merchants of London, trading into the East Indies."
1705 Catherine of Braganza, consort of King Charles II of England, died.
1738 British General Charles Cornwallis was born.
Battle of Quebec (Canada) was fought.
1781 The Bank of North America opened.
1815 Union Army General George Gordon Meade was born.
1830 Ismail Pasha, Khedive of Egypt, was born.
1831 Gramercy Park was deeded to New York City, New York.
1841 Alabama became the first U.S. state to license dental surgeons.
1857 Queen Victoria chose Ottawa as the new capital of Canada.
1864 George M. Dallas, U.S. Vice-President under James Knox Polk, died.
1869 Painter Henri Matisse was born.
1870 J. D. Schneiter patented rocket mail in France.
1878 Businesswoman Elizabeth Arden was born.
1880 George Catlett Marshall, U.S. Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense, was born.
1884 U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stanley Reed was born.
1890 Ellis Island opened as a U.S. immigration depot.
1892 Actor Jason Robards was born.
1901 Tomas Estrada Palma was elected the first President of Cuba.
1902 Boers and the British Army signed a peace treaty.
1904 The first New Year's Eve celebration was held in Times Square, then known as Longacre Square, in New York, New York.
1907 For the first time, a ball dropped at Times Square to signal the new year.
1908 "Nazi hunter" Simon Wiesenthal was born.
1923 The first transatlantic radio broadcast of a voice was made, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Manchester, England.
1934 Helen Richey became the first woman to pilot an airmail transport.
1935 Charles Darrow patented the Monopoly game.
1937 Actor Anthony Hopkins was born.
1938 The first pressurized airliner, the Boeing 307 Stratoliner, made its maiden flight.
1943 Singer John Denver
1944 A train accident in
Ogden, Utah, killed 48 persons.
1945 Ratification of the United Nations Charter was completed.
1946 French troops left
1947 Actor Tim Matheson was born.
1948 Singer Donna Summer was born.
1950 Musician George
Thorogood was born.
1958 Cuban rebels
captured Santa Clara.
1959 Actor Val Kilmer was born.
1961 The Green Bay Packers shut out the New York Giants 37-0 in the NFL Championship game.
1962 Katanga became part of the Democratic
Republic of Congo.
1963 The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was
1968 The first supersonic airliner, a Russian TU-144, was test flown.
1970 The U.S. Congress authorized an Eisenhower dollar coin.
1972 Baseball player Roberto Clemente died.
1977 Amir Sheikh Jabir al-Ahmad al-Jabir Al Sabah became the leader of Kuwait.
1980 Leopold Senghor resigned as President of Senegal.
1981 CNN Headline News
1985 Singer Ricky Nelson died.
1986 Fire at the Dupont Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, killed 97 persons.
1988 The Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles played the NFC Divisional Playoff Game in a dense fog.
1990 The Sci-Fi Channel
1993 Barbra Streisand
did her first live public concert in 20 years.
1995 Cartoonist Bill
Watterson ended his "Calvin & Hobbes" comic
successfully separate Zambian Siamese twins joined at the
2000 Alan Cranston, former U.S. Senator from California, died.
2004 The 1,670-foot-high Taipei 101 was officially opened.
2014 A stampede of New
Year's revellers on Shanghai's Bund Riverfront left 36
persons dead and 47 wounded.
2016 Actor William Christopher died.
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This page was last updated on December 31, 2017.