It was a busy day.
1384 — John Wycliffe (the Morning Star of the Reformation) dies.
1695 — A window tax is imposed in England, causing many householders to brick up windows to avoid the tax. Coming soon to a window near you?
1862 — President Lincoln signs an act that admits West Virginia to the Union (thus dividing Virginia in two). I’ve long wondered why the US has two Virginias.
1879 — Thomas Edison does his first public demonstration of incandescent lighting.
1944 — Hungary declares war on Germany.
1946 — President Truman officially proclaims the end of hostilities in World War II.
1974 — Private US citizens are allowed to buy and own gold for the first time in more than 40 years.
1983 — The AT&T Bell System is broken up by the US government. I think I liked Ma Bell better than I like Qwest.
1991 — The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is officially dissolved. The Great Charade continues to this day. 🙄
1992 — Czechoslovakia is peacefully dissolved, resulting in the creation of the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
1999 — Boris Yeltsin resigns as President of Russia, leaving Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as the acting President. See 1991 entry above. Thanks.
1999 — The United States hands Panama Canal Zone control over to Panama.
2006 — Great Britain pays the final installment of its Second World War debt to the United States. Good for them!
2008 — One leap second is added to the end of the year.
2010 — The “Universal Hour of Peace” — beginning at 11:30 pm on Dec 31, 2010, and ending at 12:30 am on Jan 1, 2011 — is dedicated to creating peace throughout our planet. Every man, woman and child is asked to spend the hour in meditation, prayer, conversation, listening to beautiful music or whatever helps them concentrate on peace. Oh wow.
2010 — Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico announces that he will not pardon Billy the Kid.