On this Day in History, December 31

Being New Year’s Eve, you probably have several memories of things that happened on December 31.

Most of them being the time you spent with family and friends, places you visited, Oh! How hard you partied as you ushered in the new year and so much more.

Have you ever wondered how many things happened on this day in different parts of the world and made it to history books? Here, take a look.

  • 1711 – The Duke of Marlborough was dismissed as commander-in-chief.
  • 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.
  • 1877 – U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes became the first U.S. President to celebrate his silver (25th) wedding anniversary in the White House.
  • 1944 – World War II: Hungary declared war on Germany.
  • 1945 – Ratification of the United Nations Charter was completed.
  • 1946 – U.S. President Truman officially proclaimed the end of hostilities in World War II.
  • 1955 – General Motors became the first U.S. corporation to earn more than one billion dollars in a single year.
  • 1974 – Private U.S. citizens were allowed to buy and own gold for the first time in more than 40 years.
  • 1983 – There was a coup in Nigeria, which overthrew President Shagari.
  • 1983 – Brunei gained complete independence from Britain.
  • 1984 – The United States left UNESCO.
  • 1997 – Microsoft bought Hotmail email service for $400 million and re-launched it as MSN Hotmail.
  • 1997 – Michael Kennedy, a 39-year-old son of the late U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, was killed in a skiing accident on Aspen Mountain in Colorado.
  • 1999 – Russian President Boris Yeltsin resigned. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was designated acting president.
  • 1999 – Sarah Knauss died at the age of 119 years. She was the world’s oldest person. She was born on September 24, 1880.
  • 2009 – Both a Blue Moon and lunar eclipse occurred on the same day.
  • 2014 – Beji Caid Essebsi was sworn in as Tunisia’s 1st ever freely elected President.
  • 2020 – WHO granted the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine emergency authorization, paving the way for worldwide distribution.

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