December 31 Today In History

Today’s Important Historical Events

406 80,000 Vandals, Alans and Suebians cross the Rhine at Mainz, beginning invasion of Gallia

1744 English astronomer James Bradley announces discovery of Earth’s nutation motion (wobble)

1775 Battle of Quebec in American Revolutionary War; Americans defeated trying to take British stronghold

1861 22,990mm of rain falls in Cherrapunji Assam in India in 1861, a world record

1958 Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista tells his Cabinet he is fleeing the country

Today’s Historical Events

192 Roman Emperor Commodus survives poisoning attempt by his mistress only to be strangled in the bath in assassination plot

406 80,000 Vandals, Alans and Suebians cross the Rhine at Mainz, beginning invasion of Gallia

535 Byzantine General Belisarius completes the conquest of Sicily, defeating Ostrogothic garrison of Syracuse, and ending his consulship for the year

765 Coffin of Ho-tse Shen-hui interred in a stupa built in China

870 Skirmish at Englefield: Ethelred of Wessex beats Danish invasion army

1229 James I of Aragon the Conqueror enters Medina Mayurqa (Palma) consummating Christian conquest of the island of Majorca

1492 100,000 Jews expelled from Sicily

1502 Cesare Borgia (son of pope Alexander VI) occupies Urbino

Today’s Historical Events in Film and TV

1923 BBC begins using Big Ben chime ID

1943 NYC’s Times Square greets Frank Sinatra at Paramount Theater

1953 WFBC (now WYFF) TV channel 4 in G’ville-Spartanburg, SC (NBC) begins

1962 “Match Game” debuts on NBC with host Gene Rayburn

1963 Dear Abby show premieres on CBS radio (runs 11 years)

1971 KAID TV channel 4 in Boise, ID (PBS) begins broadcasting

1981 CNN Headline News debuts

1982 CBS Mystery Theater final episode on radio after 8 years

Today’s Historical Music Events

1680 Amsterdam opera at Leidsegracht opens

1879 Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera “Pirates of Penzance” premieres in NYC

1923 Harry Tierney and Joseph McCarthy’s musical “Kid Boots,” premieres in New York City

1955 “Vamp” closes at Winter Garden Theater NYC after 60 performances

1961 “lrma La Douce” closes at Plymouth Theater NYC after 527 performances

1963 Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir play music together for the 1st time

1966 Monkee’s “I’m a Believer” hits #1 & stays there for 7 weeks

1967 “Henry, Sweet Henry” closes at Palace Theater NYC after 80 performances

Today’s Historical Events in Sports

1906 Australasian Championships Men’s Tennis, Christchurch, NZ: All-NZ final; Antony Wilding beats Francis Fisher 6-0, 6-4, 6-4

1918 Kid Gleason replaces Pants Rowland as Chicago White Sox manager; reach World Series but lose in the “Black Sox” betting scandal; Gleason not involved

1920 Victorian all-rounder Roy Park makes Test cricket debut for Australia v England in 2nd Test in Melbourne; bowled by Harry Howell for a first ball ‘golden duck’ in his first and only Test innings

1920 International Lawn Tennis Challenge, Auckland, NZ: Bill Johnson & Bill Tilden (US) beat Norman Brookes & Gerald Patterson (Australasia) 6-4, 4-6, 6-0, 6-4 for an unassailable 3-0 lead; ends 5-0

1921 Australasian Championships Men’s Tennis, Perth: Australian Rhys Gemmell beats countryman Alf Hedeman 7-5, 6-1, 6-4

1945 Before the biggest Adelaide Oval crowd of the season, batting maestro Don Bradman scores his first post-WWII century; 112 for South Australia v Australian Services

1950 American thoroughbred jockeys Bill Shoemaker and Joe Culmone end the year tied, leading the nation with record 388 wins

1952 Davis Cup Men’s Tennis, Memorial Drive, Adelaide: Vic Seixas beats Ken McGregor in 4 sets but Australia retains title for third straight year; beats US, 4-1 in Adelaide

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