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Sunday 31 December 2017 Calendar with holidays, observances and special days

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December 31 Events

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Holidays and observances

  • New Year's Eve (International observance), and its related observances: - First Night (United States)
  • New Year's Eve (International observance), and its related observances: - The first day of Hogmanay or "Auld Year's Night" (Scotland)
  • The sixth day of Kwanzaa (United States)

Events

  • 2011 – NASA succeeds in putting the first of two Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory satellites in orbit around the Moon.
  • 2010 – Tornadoes touch down in midwestern and southern United States, including Washington County, Arkansas; Greater St. Louis, Sunset Hills, Missouri, Illinois, and Oklahoma, with a few tornadoes in the early hours. A total 36 tornadoes touched down, resulting in the deaths of nine people and $113 million in damages.
  • 1999 – First President of Russia, Boris Yeltsin, resigns from office, leaving Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as the acting President and successor.
  • 1999 – The United States Government hands control of the Panama Canal (as well all the adjacent land to the canal known as the Panama Canal Zone) to Panama. This act complied with the signing of the 1977 Torrijos–Carter Treaties.
  • 1994 – The First Chechen War: Russian army began a New Year's storming of Grozny.
  • 1983 – The AT&T Bell System is broken up by the United States Government.
  • 1968 – The first flight of the Tupolev Tu-144, the first civilian supersonic transport.
  • 1961 – RTÉ, Ireland's state broadcaster, launches its first national television service.
  • 1955 – General Motors becomes the first U.S. corporation to make over US$1 billion in a year.
  • 1907 – The first New Year's Eve celebration is held in Times Square (then known as Longacre Square) in Manhattan.
  • 1879 – Thomas Edison demonstrates incandescent lighting to the public for the first time, in Menlo Park, New Jersey.
  • 1878 – Karl Benz, working in Mannheim, Germany, filed for a patent on his first reliable two-stroke gas engine, and he was granted the patent in 1879.
  • 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 begins near Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
  • 1790 – Efimeris, the oldest Greek newspaper of which issues have survived till today, is published for the first time.
  • 1775 – American Revolutionary War: Battle of Quebec: British forces repulse an attack by Continental Army General Richard Montgomery.
  • 1687 – The first Huguenots set sail from France to the Cape of Good Hope.
  • 1501 – The First Battle of Cannanore commences.

Births

  • 1995 – Gabby Douglas, American gymnast
  • 1993 – Ryan Blaney, American race car driver
  • 1987 – Javaris Crittenton, American basketball player
  • 1986 – Nate Freiman, American baseball player
  • 1985 – Jonathan Horton, American gymnast
  • 1982 – The Rocket Summer, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer
  • 1981 – Jason Campbell, American football player
  • 1980 – Jesse Carlson, American baseball player
  • 1980 – Matt Cross, American wrestler
  • 1979 – Jeff Waldstreicher, American lawyer and politician
  • 1977 – Donald Trump, Jr., American businessman and son of billionaire Donald Trump
  • 1974 – Ryan Sakoda, Japanese-American wrestler and trainer
  • 1973 – Shandon Anderson, American basketball player
  • 1972 – Joey McIntyre, American singer-songwriter and actor
  • 1971 – Brent Barry, American basketball player and sportscaster
  • 1970 – Bryon Russell, American basketball player
  • 1968 – Junot Diaz, Dominican-born American novelist, short story writer, and essayist
  • 1965 – Nicholas Sparks, American author, screenwriter, and producer
  • 1964 – Michael McDonald, American comedian, actor, and director
  • 1963 – Scott Ian, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
  • 1962 – Tyrone Corbin, American basketball player and coach
  • 1961 – Rick Aguilera, American baseball player and coach
  • 1959 – Paul Westerberg, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
  • 1959 – Phill Kline, American lawyer and politician, Kansas Attorney General
  • 1959 – Val Kilmer, American actor
  • 1958 – Bebe Neuwirth, American actress and dancer
  • 1956 – Steve Rude, American author and illustrator
  • 1954 – Alex Salmond, Scottish economist and politician, 4th First Minister of Scotland
  • 1953 – Jane Badler, American actress
  • 1951 – Kenny Roberts, American motorcycle racer
  • 1951 – Tom Hamilton, American bass player and songwriter
  • 1950 – Bob Gilder, American golfer
  • 1950 – Cheryl Womack, American businesswoman
  • 1949 – Ellen Datlow, American anthologist and author
  • 1949 – Susan Shwartz, American author
  • 1948 – Donna Summer, American singer-songwriter (d. 2012)
  • 1948 – Joe Dallesandro, American actor
  • 1947 – Tim Matheson, American actor, director, and producer
  • 1946 – Cliff Richey, American tennis player
  • 1946 – Diane von Fürstenberg, Belgian-American fashion designer
  • 1946 – Nigel Rudd, English businessman, founded Williams Holdings
  • 1945 – Connie Willis, American author
  • 1944 – Taylor Hackford, American director, producer, and screenwriter
  • 1943 – John Denver, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor (d. 1997)
  • 1939 – Willye White, American sprinter and long jumper (d. 2007)
  • 1938 – Rosalind Cash, American singer and actress (d. 1995)
  • 1933 – Edward Bunker, American author, screenwriter, and actor (d. 2005)
  • 1932 – Don James, American football player and coach (d. 2013)
  • 1930 – Jaime Escalante, Bolivian-American educator (d. 2010)
  • 1930 – Odetta, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actress (d. 2008)
  • 1928 – Ross Barbour, American pop singer (d. 2011)
  • 1924 – Taylor Mead, American actor and poet (d. 2013)
  • 1920 – Rex Allen, American actor and singer-songwriter (d. 1999)
  • 1919 – Carmen Contreras-Bozak, Puerto Rican-American soldier (d. 2017)
  • 1919 – Tommy Byrne, American baseball player, coach, and politician (d. 2007)
  • 1918 – Ray Graves, American football player and coach (d. 2015)
  • 1917 – Evelyn Knight, American singer (d. 2007)
  • 1915 – Sam Ragan, American journalist, author, and poet (d. 1996)
  • 1914 – Mary Logan Reddick, American neuroembryologist (d. 1966)
  • 1910 – Carl Dudley, American director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 1973)
  • 1909 – Jonah Jones, American trumpet player and saxophonist (d. 2000)
  • 1905 – Helen Dodson Prince, American astronomer and academic (d. 2002)
  • 1905 – Jule Styne, English-American composer (d. 1994)
  • 1884 – Bobby Byrne, American baseball and soccer player (d. 1964)
  • 1880 – Fred Beebe, American baseball player and coach (d. 1957)
  • 1880 – George Marshall, American general and politician, 50th United States Secretary of State, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1959)
  • 1878 – Elizabeth Arden, Canadian businesswoman, founded Elizabeth Arden, Inc. (d. 1966)
  • 1874 – Julius Meier, American businessman and politician, 20th Governor of Oregon (d. 1937)
  • 1872 – Fred Marriott, American race car driver (d. 1956)
  • 1864 – Robert Grant Aitken, American astronomer and academic (d. 1951)
  • 1860 – Joseph S. Cullinan, American businessman, co-founded Texaco (d. 1937)
  • 1857 – King Kelly, American baseball player and manager (d. 1894)
  • 1851 – Henry Carter Adams, American economist and academic (d. 1921)
  • 1815 – George Meade, American general and engineer (d. 1872)
  • 1776 – Johann Spurzheim, German-American physician and phrenologist (d. 1832)

Deaths

  • 2016 – William Christopher, American actor (b. 1932)
  • 2015 – Beth Howland, American actress (b. 1941)
  • 2015 – Marvin Panch, American race car driver (b. 1926)
  • 2015 – Natalie Cole, American singer-songwriter and actress (b. 1950)
  • 2015 – Wayne Rogers, American actor and investor (b. 1933)
  • 2014 – Edward Herrmann, American actor (b. 1943)
  • 2014 – Norm Phelps, American author and activist (b. 1939)
  • 2014 – S. Arthur Spiegel, American captain, lawyer, and judge (b. 1920)
  • 2013 – Bob Grant, American radio host (b. 1929)
  • 2013 – James Avery, American actor (b. 1945)
  • 2008 – Donald E. Westlake, American author and screenwriter (b. 1933)
  • 2007 – Bill Idelson, American actor, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1919)
  • 2007 – Michael Goldberg, American painter and educator (b. 1924)
  • 2007 – Roy Amara, American scientific researcher (b. 1925)
  • 2006 – George Sisler, Jr., American businessman (b. 1917)
  • 2006 – Seymour Martin Lipset, American sociologist, author, and academic (b. 1922)
  • 2005 – Enrico Di Giuseppe, American tenor and educator (b. 1932)
  • 2003 – Arthur R. von Hippel German-American physicist and author (b. 1898)
  • 2002 – Kevin MacMichael, American guitarist, songwriter, and producer (b. 1951)
  • 2001 – Eileen Heckart, American actress (b. 1919)
  • 2000 – Alan Cranston, American journalist and politician (b. 1914)
  • 2000 – Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane, American-Israeli rabbi and scholar (b. 1966)
  • 2000 – José Greco, Italian-American dancer and choreographer (b. 1918)
  • 1999 – Elliot Richardson, American lawyer and politician, 69th United States Attorney General (b. 1920)
  • 1997 – Billie Dove, American actress (b. 1903)
  • 1997 – Floyd Cramer, American singer-songwriter and pianist (b. 1933)
  • 1996 – Wesley Addy, American actor (b. 1913)
  • 1994 – Woody Strode, American football player, wrestler, and actor (b. 1914)
  • 1993 – Brandon Teena, American murder victim (b. 1972)
  • 1990 – George Allen, American football player and coach (b. 1918)
  • 1990 – Giovanni Michelucci, Italian architect and urban planner, designed the Firenze Santa Maria Novella railway station (b. 1891)
  • 1988 – Nicolas Calas, Greek-American poet and critic (b. 1907)
  • 1987 – Jerry Turner, American journalist (b. 1929)
  • 1985 – Ricky Nelson, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor (b. 1940)
  • 1980 – Raoul Walsh, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1887)
  • 1978 – Basil Wolverton, American illustrator (b. 1909)
  • 1972 – Henry Gerber, German-American activist, founded the Society for Human Rights (b. 1892)
  • 1972 – Roberto Clemente, Puerto Rican-American baseball player and soldier (b. 1934)
  • 1968 – George Lewis, American clarinet player and composer (b. 1900)
  • 1964 – Bobby Byrne, American baseball and soccer player (b. 1884)
  • 1953 – Albert Plesman, Dutch businessman, founded KLM (b. 1889)
  • 1921 – Boies Penrose, American lawyer and politician (b. 1860)
  • 1910 – Archibald Hoxsey, American pilot (b. 1884)
  • 1910 – John Moisant, American pilot and engineer (b. 1868)
  • 1909 – Spencer Trask, American financier and philanthropist (b. 1844)
  • 1775 – Richard Montgomery, American general (b. 1738)
Sunday 31 December 2017
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