Today in History: December 31, 2007

WAR!, DISASTER, ECONOMICS, SMOKING, NANNY STATE, POLITICS, DICTATORS, IMMIGRATION, COMPUTERS, SCIENCE, SERIAL KILLERS, COUP, CULTURE, 2nd AMENDMENT, MAINSTREAM MEDIA, ROCK AND ROLL, BORN, DEATH

In 1991, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) last day of existence.

WAR!

In 406, 80,000 Vandels attack the Rhine at Mainz.

In 1775, Battle of Québec; Americans unable to take British stronghold.

In 1862, Union ironclad ship “Monitor” sinks off Cape Hatteras NC.

In 1946, President Truman officially proclaims end of WWII.

DISASTER

In 1986 Dupont Plaza Hotel fire in San Juan, Puerto Rico kills 97

ECONOMICS

In 1600, British East India Company chartered.

In 1776, Rhode Island establishes wage & price controls to curb inflation: Limit is 70¢ a day for carpenters, 42¢ for tailors.

In 1896, 25th auto built in US.

In 1961, Marshall Plan expires after distributing more than $12 billion.

In 1974, Gold legal in US, Franklin Mint strikes Panamá’s Gold 100 balboa coin.

In 1991, Dow Jones closes at record high 3168.83.

SMOKING

In 1910, US tobacco industry produced 9 billion cigarettes in 1910.
In 1930, US tobacco industry produced 123 billion cigarettes in 1930.

POLITICS

In 1857, Queen Victoria chooses Ottawa as new capital of Canada.

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

In 1897, Brooklyn’s last day as a city, it incorporates into NYC (1/1/1898).

In 1945. Ratification of UN Charter completed.

In 1984, US leaves UNESCO.

In 1978, Taiwan’s final day of diplomatic relations with the US.

In 1999, Control of Panamá Canal reverts to Panamá.

DICTATORS

In 1958, Cuban dictator Batista flees from advancing rebels led by Fidel Castro.

IMMIGRATION

In 1890, Ellis Island (New York NY) opens as a US immigration depot.

COMPUTERS

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

In 1997, Microsoft buys Hotmail E-mail service.

SCIENCE

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

In 1911, Marie Curie receives her 2nd Nobel Prize.

In 1923, 1st transatlantic radio broadcast of a voice, Pittsburgh-Manchester.

In 1924, Edwin Hubble announces existence of distant galactic systems.

In 1958, International Geophyscial Year (IGY) ends.

In 1968, 1st supersonic airliner flown (Russian Tupolev TU-144).

SERIAL KILLERS

In 1977, Ted Bundy escapes from jail in Colorado.

CULTURE

In 1907, for the 1st time a ball drops at Times Square to signal the new year.

1921 Last San Francisco firehorses retired.

In 1923, BBC begins using Big Ben chime ID.

In 1935, Charles Darrow patents Monopoly.

In 1990, The Sci-Fi Channel on cable TV begins transmitting.

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

2nd AMENDMENT

In 1984, NYC subway gunman Bernhard Goetz surrenders to police in New Hampshire.

MAINSTREAM MEDIA

In 1981, CNN Headline News debuts.

COUP

In 1961, failed coup by Syrian group in Lebanon.

NANNY STATE

1938 Dr R N Harger’s “drunkometer”, 1st breath test, introduced in Indiana

ROCK AND ROLL

In 1963, Jerry Garcia & Bob Weir played music together for the 1st time.

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

DEMOGRAPHY

1997 More Swedes died than were born in 1997, 1st time since 1809

BORN

1880 George C Marshall Uniontown PA, authored Marshall Plan (Nobel 1953)
1892 Jason Robards Sr Hillsdale MI, actor (Acapulco)
1908 Simon Wiesenthal Polish/Austrian nazi hunter (Wiesenthal Center)
1921 Rocky Graziano New York NY, boxer (Middleweight champion)/actor (Miami Undercover)
1942 Andy Summers Blackpool England, rock guitarist (Police-Roxanne)
1943 Ben Kingsley Scarborough England, actor (Gandhi, Betrayal, Maurice)
1943 John Denver [Henry John Deutschendorf Jr] Roswell NM, singer/songwriter/actor (Rocky Mountain High, Thank God I’m a Country Boy, Oh God!)
1946 Patti Smith Chicago IL, singer (Radio Ethiopia)
1947 Burton Cummings rock guitarist (Guess Who-These Eyes)
1947 Tim Matheson California, actor (Animal House, Fletch, Up the Creek)
1948 Donna Summer Boston MA, singer (Love to Love You Baby, On the Radio)
1959 Val [Edward] Kilmer actor (The Saint, Top Gun, The Doors)
1959 Bebe Neuwirth Princeton NJ, actress (Lilith-Cheers, Damn Yankees)
1970 Bryon Russell NBA forward (Utah Jazz)

DEATH

0192 Lucius Aurelius Commodus Emperor of Rome (180-192), murdered at 31
1384 John Wycliffe English religious reformer/bible translator, dies
1862 Joshua Woodrow Sill US Union Brigadier-General, dies in battle at 31
1972 Roberto Clemente Pittsburgh Pirate slugger, dies in a plane crash at 38
1980 Marshall McLuhan Canadian cultural philosopher, dies at 69
1985 Rick Nelson singer/actor (Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet), dies at 45
1990 George Allen US football coach (Los Angeles Rams, Washington Redskins), dies
1995 Calvin/Hobbes (comic strip), dies
1996 61 law enforcement officers killed by felons in US this year
1997 76 law enforcement officers killed by felons in US this year

HOLIDAYS

Austria : Imperial Ball
Benin : Feed Yourself Day
Congo : National Day
Japan : Omisoka Day/Grand Purification
Scotland : Hogmanay Day
World : New Year’s Eve/Watch Night

December 31, 2007, the last day of the year. There are no days left in the year.

compiled by Mondoreb
Sources:
* Today in History
* Today in History

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