Saturday, December 31, 2011

31st of December

Today is the 365th day of the year, widely known as New Year's Eve.  It is the last day of the year.

406 - Vandals, Alans, and Suebians, cross the Rhine River beginning an invasion of Gaul.

1225 - The Ly Dynasty of Vietnam ends after 216 years of reign, by the enthronement of the boy emperor Train Thai Tong, husband of the last Ly monarch, Ly Chieu Hoang.  This begins the Tran Dynasty.

1600 - The British East India Company is chartered.

1687 - The first Huguenots set sail from France to the Cape of Good Hope.

1759 - Arthur Guinness signs a 9,000 year lease at 45 pounds per year, and starts brewing Guinness.

1857 - Queen Victoria chooses Ottawa, Canada, then a small logging town, as the capital of Canada.

1862 - Abraham Lincoln signs an act that admits West Virginia to the Union, thus dividing Virginia in two.

1879 - Thomas Edison demonstrates incandescent lighting to the public for the first time in Menlo Park, New Jersey.

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

1923 - The chimes of Big Ben are broadcast on radio for the first time by the BBC.

1946 - President Harry S. Truman officially proclaims the end of hostilities in World War II.

1951 - The Marshall Plan expires after distributing more than $13.3 billion in foreign aid to rebuild Europe.

1955 - The General Motors Corporation becomes the first U.S. corporation to make over $1 billion in a year.

1983 - The AT&T Bell System is broken up by the United States Government.

1991 - All official Soviet Union institutions have ceased operations by this date and the Soviet Union is officially dissolved.

1992 - Czechoslovakia is peacefully dissolved in what is dubbed the Velvet Divorce, resulting in the creation of the Czech Republic and Slovakia as separate countries.

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

2004 - The official opening of Taipei 101, the tallest skyscraper at that time in the world, standing at a height of 509 meters or 1,670 feet.

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