Today in History
2009 Both a Blue Moon and lunar eclipse occured on the same day
The next such event on New Year’s eve will be in 2028.
1994 Date skipped in Kiribati
The Phoenix Islands and the Line Islands in Kiribati skip December 31st due to a change in their time zone from UTC−11:00 to UTC+13:00 and UTC−10:00 to UTC+14:00, respectively.
1983 Coup in Nigeria
A military coup in Nigeria overthrew the civilian government of Shehu Shagari and installed Maj-Gen Muhammadu Buhari.
1909 Manhattan Bridge opens for traffic
On this day, the Manhattan Bridge, one of the first suspension bridges, opened to traffic. Leon Moisseiff designed the bridge, which spans the East River in New York City.
1907 The first annual ball drop at Times Square
Adolph Ochs, the owner of the New York Times, organized the first annual tradition of dropping the ball at 11:59 p.m. to mark the start of the New Year.
Births On This Day, December 31
1990 Patrick Chan
Canadian figure skater
1980 Richie McCaw
New Zealand rugby union footballer
South Korean singer-songwriter, rapper, producer, dancer
1941 Alex Ferguson
Scottish footballer, manager
1869 Henri Matisse
Deaths On This Day, December 31
2015 Natalie Cole
American singer-songwriter, actress
1985 Ricky Nelson
American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor
1980 Marshall McLuhan
Canadian author, theorist
1972 Roberto Clemente
Puerto Rican baseball player
1889 Ion Creangă
Romanian author, educator