December 31

TODAY IN HISTORY:

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

1862 – President Abraham Lincoln signed an act admitting West Virginia to the Union thus dividing Virginia in two.

1877 – President Rutherford B. Hayes became the first U.S. President to celebrate his silver (25th) wedding anniversary in the White House.

1879 – In Menlo Park, NJ, Thomas Edison gave his first public demonstration of incandescent lighting.

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

1907 – The first New Year’s Eve celebration was held in Times Square (then called Longacre Square) in New York, NY.

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

1940 – As a result of a dispute between the radio networks and the American Society of Composers and Publishers [ASCAP], the radio industry began a ten month ban on playing ASCAP licensed music.

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

1953 – Jockey Willie Shoemaker broke his own record, winning his 485th race of the year.

1955 – General Motors became the first corporation in the United States to earn more than a billion dollars in a single year.

1967 – Daredevil Evel Knievel lost control of his motorcycle during a jump of 141 feet over the fountains in front of Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, NV. In the crash, he suffered a crushed pelvis and femur, fractures to his hip, wrist, and both ankles and a concussion. He spent nearly a month in a coma.

1967 – The Green Bay Packers won the National Football League championship game by defeating the Dallas Cowboys 21-17. The game, played at a wind chill factor of -40 degrees, is dubbed “The Ice Bowl.”

1972 – Dick Clark’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” aired for the first time on New Year’s Eve.

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

1975 – Elvis Presley performed for 62,500 fans at the Silverdome, in Pontiac, MI. He set a world record for earning $816,000 for a single concert by a single artist.

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

1981 – MTV hosted the first New Year’s Eve Rock and Roll Ball.

1983 – The AT&T Bell System was broken up by the United States Government.

1984 – Drummer Rick Allen of Def Leppard lost his left arm when his car overturns near Sheffield, England.

1985 – Ricky Nelson and six others died in an airplane crash near DeKalb, TX. A fire had broken out on the plane.

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

1999 – The United States Government handed control of the Panama Canal (as well as all the adjacent land to the canal known as the Panama Canal Zone) over to Panama. The act complied with the signing of the 1977 Torrijos-Carter Treaties.

2009 – Both a blue moon and a lunar eclipse occurred.

2010 – Tornadoes touched down in midwestern and southern states in the U.S., including Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois and Oklahoma. A total of 36 tornadoes touched down, resulting in 9 deaths and $113 million in damages.

2011 – NASA succeeded in putting the first of two Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory satellites in orbit around the moon.

2012 – ABC aired Dick Clark’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” for the first time since Dick Clark’s death. Ryan Seacrest, who joined as co-host in 2005, takes over the annual show.

 

BIRTHDAYS:

Sir Anthony Hopkins 1937 – Actor (“The Silence of the Lambs”, “The Remains of the Day”, “Nixon”, “Amistad”)

Tim Considine 1940 – Actor (Played “Spin” in the 1950’s Disney movie and TV series “Spin and Marty”, “My Three Sons”)

Sarah Miles 1941 – Actress (“The Servant”, “Blowup”, “Ryan’s Daughter”, “Hope and Glory”)

Andy Summers 1942 – Musician (The Police)

Sir Ben Kingsley 1943 – Actor (“Gandhi”, “House of Sand and Fog”, “Bugsy”, “Sexy Beast”)

Barbara Carrera 1945 – Actress (TV’s “Dallas”)

Tim Matheson 1947 – Actor (“Animal House”, TV’s “The West Wing”)

Burton Cummings 1947 – Musician (The Guess Who)

Joe Dallesandro 1948 – Actor (“The Cotton Club”)

Tom Hamilton 1951 – Bassist (Aerosmith)

James Remar 1953 – Actor (“Sex and the City”, “The Warriors”, “48 Hrs”, “The Cotton Club”, “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation”, “Miracle on 34th Street”, TV’s “The Vampire Diaries”, “Dexter”)

Bebe Neuwirth 1958 – Actress (TV’s “Frasier”, “Cheers”, movies “Jumanji”, “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”, “The Summer of Sam”)

Val Kilmer 1959 – Actor (“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”, “Alexander”, “The Saint”, “Heat”, “Batman Forever”, “Tombstone”, “The Doors”, “Willow”, “Top Gun”, “Real Genius”, “Top Secret”)

Paul Westerberg 1959 – Musician (The Replacements)

Scott Ian 1963 – Guitarist (Anthrax)

Joey McIntyre 1972 – Singer (New Kids on the Block)

Donald Trump Jr. 1977 – TV personality (TV’s The Apprentice”, “The Celebrity Apprentice”)

 

TODAY IS:

Make Up Your Mind Day

No Interruptions Day

 

For additional information check out websites like: www.on-this-day.comwww.born-today.com, www.famousbirthdays.com, and www.daysoftheyear.com.

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