31 December

31 December

December 31 is the 365th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. It is known by a collection of names including: Saint Sylvester’s Day, New Year’s Eve or Old Years Day/Night, as the following day is New Year’s Day. It is the last day of the year; the following day is January 1, the first day of the following year. 

We have some interesting facts & historic events all about December 31st, including areas in religion, crime, health and more.

Keep reading for more interesting facts about December 31st in history!

Table of Contents

  1. Global Celebrations
  2. Historic Events
  3. Famous Birthdays
  4. Heartbreaking Deaths

Global Celebrations

  • No Interruptions Day
  • Make Up Your Mind Day

Historic Events

What Happened On This Day – December 31

2009: Both a Blue Moon and lunar eclipse occured on the same day

The next such event to happen 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

The Manhattan Bridge, one of the first suspension bridges ever constructed, was opened to traffic on this day. The bridge was designed by Leon Moisseiff and crosses the East River in New York City.

1907: The first annual ball drop at Times Square

The annual tradition of dropping a ball at 11:59 pm to mark the start of the New Year was organized for the first time by Adolph Ochs, the owner of the New York Times.

1943: Native Americans in WW2 – General Douglas MacArthur meeting Navajo, O’odham, Pawnee and other native troops on 31 December 1943.

Native Americans in WW2 – General Douglas MacArthur meeting Navajo, O’odham, Pawnee and other native troops on 31 December 1943.

Famous Birthdays

Births On This Day, December 31

1990: Patrick Chan, Canadian figure skater

1980: Richie McCaw, New Zealand rugby union footballer

1977: Psy, South Korean singer-songwriter, rapper, producer, dancer

1941: Alex Ferguson, Scottish footballer, manager

1869: Henri Matisse, French painter

Heartbreaking Deaths

Deaths On This Day, December 31

2015: Natalie Cole, American singer-songwriter, actress

1985: Ricky Nelson, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor

1980 Marshall McLuhanCanadian author, theorist

1972: Roberto Clemente, Puerto Rican baseball player

1889: Ion Creangă, Romanian author, educator


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