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December 31 in History

Update: December, 31/2011 - 09:21

 

736

Birth of Phung Hung (died 790), the leader of a Vietnamese independence movement against the Tang dynasty that later spread to Tong Binh Citadel, now Ha Noi.

1719

Death of John Flamsteed, who became England's first Astronomer Royal. The Greenwich Observatory was built for him.

1879

US inventor Thomas Edison gives the first public demonstration of his electric incandescent lamp at Menlo Park, New Jersey.

1880

Birth of US general and statesman George Marshall. Chief of staff (died 1959), he directed the US army during World War Two. As secretary of state (1947-49), he devised the Marshall Plan for Europe's post-war reconstruction.

1923

In Britain, the chimes of the clock Big Ben are broadcast for the first time by the BBC.

1937

Birth of Welsh actor Anthony Hopkins. He won the Oscar for best actor for The Silence of the Lambs.

1938

Dr RN Harger's "drunkometer", the first breath test device for car drivers, is officially introduced in Indianapolis, USA.

1946

US President Truman formally declares an end to all hostilities in World War II.

1957

Viet Nam and the United Arab Emirates sign their first bilateral trade agreement.

1967

Death of Vietnamese composer Hoang Viet (born 1928). He was posthumously conferred the Ho Chi Minh Award.

1988

India and Pakistan agree not to attack each others' nuclear facilities.

1997

Hong Kong authorities finish up the slaughter of 1.3 million chickens and other fowl to prevent an outbreak of a deadly strain of bird flu in humans.

1998

Eleven European nations usher in the New Year and the euro.

1999

Russian President Boris Yeltsin announces his resignation.

2004

Locked doors at a nightclub in Buenos Aires, Brazil, block or slow the exit of many concert-goers fighting to escape a fire that kills 186 people and injures hundreds.

2006

Nine bombs explode across Bangkok as the Thai capital celebrates New Year's Eve, killing two people and capping a year of unrest in Thailand, including a military coup and an increasingly violent Muslim insurgency in the south. — REUTERS/AP/VNS

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