ON THIS DAY: December 31, 2016

December 31st is


Champagne Day

Make Up Your Mind Day

Universal Hour of Peace *



MORE! Arthur Guinness, Elizabeth Arden and Guy Lombardo, click



Global – New Year’s Eve  streamers  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Australia – Sydney: Harbour Bridgeinternational Flags
New Year’s Eve Fireworks Display

Azerbaijan – Solidarity Day of World Azerbaijanis

Japan – Ōmisoka Hatsumōde
(new year’s eve/worship and visits to shrines)

Maldives – Day Maldives Embraced Islam

Montserrat – New Year’s Festival Dayinternational Flags

Scotland – Hogmanay

Switzerland – Geneva: Restoration Day

United Kingdom –
Allendale, Northumberland: Baal Fire Festival

On This Day in HISTORY

1491 – Jacques Cartier born, French navigator and explorer


1514 – Andreas Vesalius born, Belgian anatomist, physician, and author

1600 – The British East India Company is incorporated by royal charter to compete in the East Indian spice trade


1687 – The first Huguenots set sail from France for the Cape of Good Hope, taking vines with them that would become the foundation of the South African wine industry

1695 – The British window tax is imposed, resulting in many windows being bricked up

1711 – Queen Anne sides with the Tories, and the Duke of Marlborough is dismissed as commander-in-chief – he is restored to favour by George I in 1714

1759 – Arthur Guinness signs a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum and starts brewing Guinness


1790 – Efmeris, the oldest Greek newspaper of which issues have survived till today, is published for the first time

1796 – The incorporation of Baltimore as a city

1813 – Geneva’s re-establishment as a republic is proclaimed. Over 15 years after Napoleon annexed the city, the last French troops leave on December 30

1841 – Alabama becomes the first state to issue dental licenses

1853 – A New Years Eve dinner party for 21 scientists is held inside a life size model of an Iguanodon dinosaur on the grounds of the Crystal Palace in London. Sculptor Benjamin W. Hawkins teamed up with paleontologist Richard Owen to create more than 2 dozen life-size models of dinosaurs for a special exhibit


1857 – Britain’s Queen Victoria decides to make Ottawa the capital of Canada

1862 – U.S. President Lincoln signed an act admitting West Virginia to the Union

1869 – Henri Matisse born, French painter and sculptor


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

1878 – ‘Elizabeth Arden’ – Canadian businesswoman Florence Nightingale Graham is born, founder of Elizabeth Arden, Inc

1880 – George Catlett Marshall born, U.S. Army Chief of Staff (1939-1945), U.S. Secretary of State (1947-1949), spearheaded the post-WWII European recovery plan,  known as the Marshall Plan, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953

1891 – New York’s new Immigration Depot opens on Ellis Island, with improved facilities to cope with the massive numbers of arrivals

1897 – Brooklyn NY spent its last day as a separate entity before becoming part of New York City

1899 – Silvestre Revueltas born, Mexican violinist-composer-conductor

1900 – Selma Burke born, sculptor, part of Black Renaissance under Augusta Savage, created artwork for “Roosevelt dime,” established Selma Burke Art Center (1970s)


1905 – Jule Styne born, English-American composer

1908 – Simon Wiesenthal born, Ukrainian-Austrian nazi hunter and author

1909 – Jonah Jones born, American trumpet player and saxophonist

1917 – During WWI, sugar rationing begins in Britain

1923 – In London, the BBC first broadcasts the chimes of Big Ben

1925 – Daphne Oram born, British composer and pioneer in electronic music

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

1930 – Odetta Holmes born, known simply as Odetta, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, civil and human rights activist, “The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement”

1938 – The Harger ‘Drunkometer’, the first alcohol breath testing device, was introduced in Indiana

1940 – During a dispute between the radio networks and ASCAP (the American Society of Composers and Publishers), the radio industry was banned for ten months from playing any ASCAP-licensed music

1943 – John Denver born, American singer-songwriter-guitarist

1946 – U.S. President Truman proclaims the end of hostilities in World War II

1955 – General Motors is first U.S. corporation to earn over a billion dollars in a single year

1960 – The farthing coin, used in Britain since the 13th century, ceases to be legal tender

1961 – The U.S. Marshall Plan expires after distributing over $12 billion in foreign aid

1972 – Joey McIntyre born, American singer-songwriter, New Kids on the Block

1974 – Private U.S. citizens are allowed to buy/own gold for the first time in 40 years

1978 – Taiwanese diplomats struck their colors for the last time from their Washington DC embassy flagpole, marking the end of diplomatic relations with the U.S.

1979 – Year-end oil prices are 88% higher than at the start of 1979

1990 – Titleholder Gary Kasparov of the U.S.S.R. wins the world chess championship match against his countryman Anatoly Karpov

1995 – Dr. Barbara Condron of the School of Metaphysics launched the first Universal Hour of Peace * on October 24, to mark the 50th anniversary of the United nations and the autumnal equinox – it is now celebrated annually from 11:30 PM on December 31 to 12:30 AM on January 1


1999 – Russian President Boris Yeltsin resigns and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is designated acting president

1999 – The world’s oldest person, Sarah Knauss, dies at age 119 years. She was born September 24, 1880

2004 – In Taiwan, the Taipei 101 skyscraper opens to the public

2009 – Both a ‘blue moon’ and a lunar eclipse occur

2011 – NASA puts first of two Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory satellites in orbit around the Moon




  • ‘Peace’ in flowers
  • Champagne flutes
  • Streamers and confetti
  • International flags
  • Jacques Cartier Canadian postage stamp
  • British East India Company
  • Guinness bottles
  • The Iguanodon Dinosaur Dinner on the grounds of the Crystal Palace
  • Dance II, 1910 – by Henri Matisse
  • Selma Burke, with WPA project
  • Peace banner
  • NASA  Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory satellites


About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
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