Daily Trivia Facts

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Daily Trivia Facts - December 31

Births

1378 - Pope Callixtus III (d. 1458)
1491 - Jacques Cartier, French explorer (d. 1557)
1514 - Vesalius, Flemish anatomist (d. 1564)
1572 - Emperor Go-Yozei of Japan, (d. 1617)
1668 - Herman Boerhaave, Dutch humanist and physician (d. 1738)
1720 - Charles Edward Stuart, pretender to the British throne (d. 1788)
1738 - Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis, British general (d. 1805)
1763 - Pierre-Charles Villeneuve, French admiral (d. 1806)
1830 - Isma'il Pasha, Governor of Egypt (d. 1895)
1869 - Henri Matisse, French painter and graphic artist (d. 1954)
1880 - George C. Marshall, United States Secretary of State, recipient of Nobel Peace Prize, World War II Chief of Staff of the United States Army (d. 1959)
1881 - Max Pechstein, German painter and graphic artist (d. 1955)
1903 - Nathan Milstein, Ukrainian violinist (d. 1992)
1905 - Jule Styne, English-born composer (d. 1994)
1908 - Simon Wiesenthal, Austrian Holocaust survivor and activist (d. 2005)
1910 - Carl Dudley, American film director (died 1973)
1919 - Tommy Byrne, baseball player
1920 - Rex Allen, American actor and singer (d. 1999)
1928 - Siné, French cartoonist
1930 - Odetta, American singer
1931 - Bob Shaw, Irish writer (d. 1996)
1934 - Akram Awan, Islamic scholar, Sufi
1937 - Avram Hershko, Israeli biologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
1937 - Anthony Hopkins, Welsh actor
1938 - Rosalind Cash, American actress (d. 1995)
1941 - Alex Ferguson, Scottish footballer and manager
1942 - Andy Summers, British musician (The Police)
1943 - John Denver, American musician (d. 1997)
1943 - Ben Kingsley, English actor
1945 - Taylor Hackford, American film producer and director
1945 - Diane von Fürstenberg, fashion designer
1945 - Connie Willis, American writer
1947 - Burton Cummings, Canadian musician (The Guess Who)
1947 - Tim Matheson, American actor
1948 - Donna Summer, American singer
1949 - Ellen Datlow, American editor and anthologist
1949 - Susan Shwartz, American writer
1951 - George Thorogood, American musician
1951 - Tom Hamilton, American musician (Aerosmith)
1953 - James Remar, American actor
1953 - Jane Badler, American actress
1958 - Bebe Neuwirth, American actress
1959 - Phill Kline, American politician
1959 - Val Kilmer, American actor
1959 - Paul Westerberg, American singer, songwriter, and musician (Replacements)
1960 - John Allen Muhammad, American serial killer
1963 - Scott Ian, American musician (Anthrax)
1964 - Allen D'Nulderf, American stuntman
1971 - Brent Barry, American basketball player
1980 - Richie McCaw, New Zealand rugby player and current captain of the All Blacks
1980 - Bob Bryar, American drummer (My Chemical Romance)
1981 - Jason Campbell, American Quarterback (Washington Redskins (NFL))

Deaths

192 - Commodus, Roman Emperor (b. 161)
1164 - Margrave Ottokar III of Styria (b. 1124)
1194 - Duke Leopold V of Austria (killed at a tournament) (b. 1157)
1297 - Humphrey de Bohun, 3rd Earl of Hereford, English soldier (b. 1249)
1302 - Frederick III, Duke of Lorraine (b. 1238)
1384 - John Wycliffe, English theologian and Bible translator
1424 - Thomas Beaufort, 1st Duke of Exeter, English military leader
1460 - Edmund, Earl of Rutland, brother of Kings Edward IV of England and Richard III of England (executed) (b. 1443)
1460 - Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury, English politician (b. 1400)
1510 - Bianca Maria Sforza, wife of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1472)
1535 - William Skeffington, Lord Deputy of Ireland (b. 1465)
1568 - Shimazu Tadayoshi, Japanese warlord (b. 1493)
1575 - Pierino Belli, Italian soldier and jurist (b. 1502)
1583 - Thomas Erastus, Swiss theologian (b. 1524)
1610 - Ludolph van Ceulen, German mathematician (b. 1540)
1650 - Dorgon, Chinese emperor (b. 1612)
1673 - Oliver St John, English statesman and judge
1679 - Giovanni Alfonso Borelli, Italian physiologist and physicist (b. 1608)
1691 - Dudley North, English economist (b. 1641)
1719 - John Flamsteed, English astronomer (b. 1646)
1742 - Karl III Philip, Elector Palatine (b. 1661)
1799 - Jean-François Marmontel, French historian and writer (b. 1723)
1872 - Aleksis Kivi, Finnish author (b. 1834)
1877 - Gustave Courbet, French painter (b. 1819)
1888 - Samson Raphael Hirsch, German rabbi (b. 1808)
1889 - Ion Creangă, Romanian writer (b. 1837 or 1839)
1905 - Alexander Popov, Russian physicist (b. 1859)
1921 - Boies Penrose, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania (b. 1860)
1936 - Miguel de Unamuno, Spanish writer and philosopher (b. 1864)
1948 - Malcolm Campbell, English race car driver (b. 1885)
1953 - Albert Plesman, Dutch aviation pioneer (b. 1889)
1964 - Ólafur Thors, Prime Minister of Iceland (b. 1892)
1969 - George Lewis, American musician (b. 1900)
1971 - Marin Sais, American actress (b. 1890)
1971 - Vikram Sarabhai, Indian physicist (b. 1919)
1972 - Roberto Clemente, baseball player (b. 1934)
1977 - Sabah III Al-Salim Al-Sabah, ruler of Kuwait (b. 1924)
1980 - Marshall McLuhan, Canadian writer (b. 1911)
1980 - Raoul Walsh, American film director (b. 1887)
1985 - Rick Nelson, American singer (b. 1940)
1990 - Vasili Lazarev, cosmonaut (b. 1928)
1993 - Zviad Gamsakhurdia, first President of Georgia (b. 1939)
1997 - Floyd Cramer, American musician (b. 1933)
1997 - Michael Kennedy, American politician (b. 1958)
1999 - Elliot Richardson, American politician (b. 1920)
2000 - Alan Cranston, American politician (b. 1914)
2003 - Arthur R. von Hippel German-born physicist (b. 1898)
2004 - Gerard Debreu, French-born economist, Bank of Sweden Prize winner (b. 1921)
2005 - Phillip Whitehead, British politician (b. 1937)

Events

406 - Vandals, Alans and Suebians cross the Rhine, beginning an invasion of Gallia.
1229 - James I of Aragon the Conqueror enters Medina Mayurqa (nowadays Palma de Mallorca, Spain) thus consuming the Christian conquest of the island of Mallorca.
1600 - British East India Company is chartered.
1687 - The first Huguenots set sail from France to the Cape of Good Hope.
1695 - A window tax is imposed in England, causing many shopkeepers to brick up their windows to avoid the tax.
1775 - American Revolutionary War: Battle of Quebec British forces repulse an attack by Continental Army generals Richard Montgomery and Benedict Arnold.
1831 - Gramercy Park is deeded to New York City.
1857 - Queen Victoria chooses Ottawa, Ontario, as the capital of Canada.
1862 - American Civil War: Abraham Lincoln signs an act that admits West Virginia to the Union (thus dividing Virginia in two).
1862 - American Civil War: The Battle of Stones River is fought near Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
1879 - Thomas Edison demonstrates incandescent lighting to the public for the first time.
1891 - A new immigration depot is opened on Ellis Island, New York.
1904 - The first New Year's Eve celebration is held in Times Square, then known as Longacre Square, in New York, New York.
1909 - Manhattan Bridge opens.
1916 - The Hampton Terrace Hotel in North Augusta, South Carolina, one of the largest and most luxurious hotels in the United States at the time, burns to the ground.
1923 - The chimes of Big Ben are broadcast on radio for the first time by the BBC.
1929 - Guy Lombardo performs Auld Lang Syne at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City for the first time.
1944 - World War II: Hungary declares war on Germany.
1946 - President Harry Truman officially proclaims the end of hostilities in World War II.
1955 - General Motors becomes the first U.S. corporation to make over USD $1 billion in a year.
1960 - The farthing coin ceases to be legal tender in the United Kingdom.
1961 - The Marshall Plan expires after distributing more than USD $12 billion in foreign aid to rebuild Europe.
1963 - The Central African Federation officially collapses and splits into Zambia, Malawi and Rhodesia.
1968 - Marien Ngouabi assumed the presidency of the Republic of the Congo.
1983 - The AT&T Bell System is broken up by the United States Government.
1986 - A fire at the Dupont Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, kills 97 and injures 140.
1990 - Garry Kasparov holds his title by winning the World Chess Championship match against his countryman Anatoly Karpov.
1991 - The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is officially dissolved.
1991 - The civil war in El Salvador ends.
1992 - In the last of the great ITV franchise renewals, Thames Television, Television South West and Television South cease broadcasting, replaced by Carlton Television, Westcountry Television and Meridian Television respectively.
1994 - This date is skipped altogether in Kiribati, as the Phoenix Islands and Line Islands changed time zones from UTC-11 to UTC+13 and UTC-10 to UTC+14, respectively.
1995 - The last strip of the popular comic Calvin and Hobbes is published.
1997 - Quaker Oats settles a lawsuit involving the immoral use of child subjects.
1999 - Boris Yeltsin resigns as President of Russia, to be replaced by Vladimir Putin.
1999 - Five hijackers, who had been holding 155 hostages on an Indian Airlines plane, leave the plane with two Islamic clerics that they had demanded be freed.
1999 - At noon, according to the Torrijos-Carter Treaties, the United States Government handed Panama Canal control over to Panama. The Panama Canal Authority, the Panamanian Government Agency created to run the Canal, takes over.
2004 - The official opening of Taipei 101, the current tallest skyscraper in the world, standing at a height of 509 metres (1,670 feet).
2005 - AT&T and SBC Communications merge, SBC name is dropped. A new AT&T is formed.

Holidays

New Year's Eve on the Gregorian Calendar.
     
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