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  On This Day
 

On December 31st...

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New Year's Eve

1378 Pope Callistus III was born.

English East India Company1600 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."

1738 British General Charles Cornwallis was born.

1775 U.S. General Richard Montgomery died.

1830 Ismail Pasha, Khedive of Egypt, was born.

1831 Gramercy Park was deeded to New York City.

USS Monitor1862 The USS Monitor sank in a storm.

1869 Painter Henri Matisse was born.

1878 Businesswoman Elizabeth Arden was born.

George C. Marshall1880 George Catlett Marshall, U.S. Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense, was born.

1890 Ellis Island opened as a U.S. immigration depot.

1892 Actor Jason Robards was born.

1904 The first New Year's Eve celebration was held in Times Square, then known as Longacre Square, in New York, New York.

Frank Marshall Davis1905 Frank Marshall Davis, journalist and poet, was born.
Guy Mollet1905 Guy Mollet, Prime Minister of France, was born.

1907 For the first time, a ball dropped at Times Square to signal the new year.

1908 "Nazi hunter" Simon Wiesenthal was born.

1935 Charles Darrow patented the Monopoly game.

1943 Singer John Denver was born.
1943 Actor Ben Kingsley was born.

1946 Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg was born.

1948 Singer Donna Summer was born.

1950 Musician George Thorogood was born.
1950 Austrian President Karl Renner died.

1958 Actress Bebe Neuwirth was born.

1959 Actor Val Kilmer was born.

1962 Katanga became part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
1962
"Match Game" debuted on NBC-TV.

Rhodesia and Nyasaland1963 The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was formally dissolved.

1968 The first supersonic airliner, a Russian TU-144, was test flown.

1972 Baseball player Roberto Clemente died.

1981 CNN Headline News debuted.

1985 Singer Ricky Nelson died.

1990 The Sci-Fi Channel debuted.

1993 U.S. Senator Alan Cranston died.

1995 Cartoonist Bill Watterson ended his "Calvin & Hobbes" comic strip.

1997 Pianist Floyd Cramer died.

Panama Canal1999 The United States formally transferred sovereignty over the Panama Canal to Panama.
1999 U.S. government official Elliot Richardson died.

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This page was last updated on January 15, 2016.

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