Today Yesterday



31st December

1879 Thomas Edison gave the first public demonstration of his new electric incandescent lamp.

1890 Ellis Island in New York was opened as an immigration depot.

1911 Marie Curie received an unprecedented second Nobel Prize.

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

1935 Charles Darrow patented his board game 'Monopoly'.

1937 * Anthony Hopkins, Welsh actor who won an Oscar for Silence of the Lambs (1991).

1941 * Sarah Miles, English actress who appeared in the film Ryan's Daughter.

1943 * Ben Kinsley, English actor who won an Oscar for the film Gandhi (1982).

1948 * Donna Summer, US singer who sang 'MacArthur Park' (1978).

1951 The British Prime Minister Churchill sets off on his trip to America aboard the Queen Mary for talks with Truman.

1960 The farthing coin ceased to be legal tender in Britain.

1964 Donald Campbell broke the world water speed record, becoming the only man to break both land and water speed records in the same year.

1973 The 3-day working week began in Britain as a result of power strikes.

1987 Robert Mugabe was sworn in as Zimbabwe's president.

1987 People who displayed heroism during the Zeebrugge ferry disaster were recognised in the New Year's Honours List.

1991 The civil war in El Salvador came to an end.

1999 Prime Minister Vladimir Putin took over as Boris Yeltsin resigned as Russian president.

1999 The Cezanne painting "Auvers-sur-Oise" was stolen from the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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