[Except for New Year's Eve 1962, during which heavy snow caused the pendulum to detach and forced it to ring ten minutes late, and New Year's Eve 1976, which was interrupted due to major damage to the clock mechanism earlier that year, Big Ben has rung in the new year in the British capital every year since it was first built in 1859.]
1229 - An army commanded by Aragon's King James I - who was known as 'the Conqueror ' - entered Medina Mayurqa (which he promptly renamed Palma) thus completing the Christian reconquest of the island of Majorca.
1600 - The British East India Company was chartered by England's Queen Elizabeth I.
1687 - The first Huguenots, fleeing religious persecution in France, set sail for the Cape of Good Hope.
1831 - Gramercy Park was deeded to New York City by Samuel B. Ruggles; the oldest private park in the United States, it's gated, and local residents are able to buy keys.
1857 - Queen Victoria chose Ottawa for Canada's capital over the likes of Toronto and Montreal, both of which have been over-compensating for it ever since.
1862 - The USS Monitor sank off North Carolina's Cape Hatteras.
1879 - Thomas Edison demonstrated incandescent lighting to the public for the first time, at Menlo Park.
1904 - The first New Year's Eve celebration was held in Manhattan's Times Square, then still known as Longacre Square.
1909 - The Manhattan Bridge opened.
1923 - The chimes of Big Ben were broadcast on BBC radio for the first time to mark the arrival of the New Year.
1929 - Guy Lombardo performed Auld Lang Syne at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City for the first time; coming as it did just two months after the Wall Street crashed must have given it the utmost poignance.
1960 - The farthing coin ceased to be legal tender in the United Kingdom.
1963 - The Central African Federation officially collapsed, splitting into Zambia, Malawi and Rhodesia.
1981 - A coup d'état in Ghana removed President Hilla Limann's PNP government and replaced it with the Provisional National Defence Council led by Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings.
1986 - A fire at the Dupont Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, killed 97 and injured 140.
1987 - Robert Mugabe assumed office as President of Zimbabwe; he clings to power still, but for how long...
1992 - Czechoslovakia was dissolved, resulting in the creation of the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
1999 - Boris Yeltsin resigned as President of Russia, leaving Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in charge.
2007 - Boston's massive Big Dig construction project ended.
share on: facebook