Home Today's History Lesson TODAY’S HISTORY LESSON: DEC 31



1967 – The Green Bay Packers won the National Football League championship game by defeating the Dallas Cowboys 21-17. The game is known as the Ice Bowl since it was played in a wind chill of 40 degrees below zero. 


0192 – Roman Emperor Commodus survives poisoning attempt by his mistress only to be strangled in the bath in assassination plot

0406 – Vandals, Alans and Suebians cross the Rhine, beginning an invasion of Gallia

1229 – James I of Aragon the Conqueror enters Medina Mayurqa (nowadays Palma de Mallorca, Spain) thus consummating the Christian conquest of the island of Mallorca.

1492 – 100,000 Jews expelled from Sicily

1564 – William I of Orange demands freedom of religious conscience for his subjects in dramatic speech to the Council of State

1599 – British East India Company is chartered.

1660 – James II of England is created Duke of Normandy by King Louis XIV.

1687 – The first Huguenots set sail from France for the Cape of Good Hope, where they would later create the South African wine industry with the vines they took with them on the voyage.

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 motion of nutation

1775 – Battle of Quebec: American Continental Army led by Richard Montgomery is defeated trying to take the British stronghold of Quebec City in the American Revolutionary War, General Montgomery is killed and Benedict Arnold is injured

1776 – Rhode Island establishes wage and price controls to curb inflation: Limit is $0.70 a day for carpenters, $0.42 for tailors

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

1841 – The State of Alabama enacted the first dental legislation in the U.S.

1857 – Britain’s Queen Victoria decided to make Ottawa the capital of Canada.

1862 – U.S. President Lincoln signed an act admitting West Virginia to the Union.

1879 – Thomas Edison gave his first public demonstration of incandescent lighting to an audience in Menlo Park, NJ.

1891 – New York’s new Immigration Depot was opened at Ellis Island, to provide improved facilities for the massive numbers of arrivals.

1907 – For the first time a ball drops at Times Square to signal the new year

1910 – US tobacco industry produced 9 billion cigarettes in 1910

1923 – In London, the BBC first broadcast the chimes of Big Ben.

1924 – Italian Fascist Mussolini orders the suppression of opposition newspapers

1929 – Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians played “Auld Lang Syne” as a New Year’s Eve song for the first time.

1941 – Admiral Chester W. Nimitz assumes command of U.S. Pacific Fleet.

1945 – Ratification of United Nations Charter completed

1946 – U.S. President Truman officially proclaimed the end of hostilities in World War II.

1951 – First battery to convert radioactive energy to electrical announced

1955 – General Motors became the first U.S. corporation to earn more than one billion dollars in a single year.

1958 – Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista tells his Cabinet he is fleeing the country

1960 – The farthing coin, which had been in use in Great Britain since the 13th century, ceased to be legal tender.

1961 – In the U.S., the Marshall Plan expired after distributing more than $12 billion in foreign aid.

1963 – The Central African Federation officially collapses and splits into Zambia, Malawi and Rhodesia.

1967 – The Green Bay Packers won the National Football League championship game by defeating the Dallas Cowboys 21-17. The game is known as the Ice Bowl since it was played in a wind chill of 40 degrees below zero. (NFL)

1974 – Private U.S. citizens were allowed to buy and own gold for the first time in more than 40 years.

1977 – Donald Woods, a banned anti-Apartheid white editor flees South Africa

1978 – Taiwanese diplomats struck their colors for the final time from the embassy flagpole in Washington, DC. The event marked the end of diplomatic relations with the U.S.

1979 – At year end oil prices were 88% higher than at the start of 1979.

1981 – Coup d’tat in Ghana removes President Hilla Limann’s PNP government and replaces it with the Provisional National Defence Council led by Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings

1983 – Coup in Nigeria, A military coup in Nigeria overthrew the civilian government of Shehu Shagari and installed Maj-Gen Muhammadu Buhari.

1986 – A fire at the Dupont Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, killed 97 and injured 140 people. Three hotel workers later pled guilty to charges in connection with the fire.

1988 – “The Fog Bowl”, a heavy, dense fog rolls over Soldier Field in Chicago during second quarter of the Bears vs Eagles NFC Divisional Playoff Game, cuts visibility to 15-20 yards (Bears win 20-12)

1990 – Iraq begins a military draft of 17 year olds

1995 – Cartoonist Bill Watterson ends his “Calvin & Hobbes” comic strip after 10 years, believing he had achieved all he could in the medium

1997 – Quaker Oats settles a lawsuit involving the immoral use of child subjects in radioactivity experiments circa 1945-1956.

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

2006 – The United Kingdom pays final installment of Second World War debt to the United States.

2007 – The Massive Big Dig construction project in Boston, Massachusetts ends.

2009 – Both a Blue Moon and lunar eclipse occured on the same day, The next such event to happen on New Year’s eve will be in 2028.

2014 – 36 die and 47 are wounded during a stampede of New Year revellers on Shanghai’s Bund riverfront

2015 – US law enforcement kills 1,134 in 2015, young black men 9x more likely to be victims

2017 – Ban on ivory trade in China comes into effect

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

REFERENCE: history.net, onthisday.com, thepeopleshistory.com, timeanddate.com, scopesys.com, on-this-day.com



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