December 31 in Pop Culture History
1600 – The British East India Company was chartered. It was the first global mega-corporation.
1805 – The ‘Calendar of Reason’ had been introduced in France on November 24, 1793. It was abandoned, and the Gregorian calendar, which we still use today, replaced it.
1831 – Gramercy Park was presented to New York, New York.
1865 – “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude… shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction” was some of the phrasing in the 13th Amendment, eliminating Slavery in the US.
1870 – The ‘Goodrich, Tew & Co’ was formed as a partnership by B.F. Goodrich and his brother-in-law, Harvey W. Tew, and others in Akron, Ohio.
1879 – Thomas Edison demonstrated the incandescent light to the public for the first time, in Menlo Park, New Jersey.
1907 – The first New Year’s Eve celebration is held in Longacre Square (now known as Times Square) in New York, New York.
1923 – The chimes of Big Ben were broadcast on radio for the first time by the BBC.
1935 – The patent (# 2,026,082) was issued for the game of Monopoly, assigned to Parker Brothers, by Charles Darrow of Pennsylvania.
1938 – The ‘drunkometer’ – the first breath test for car drivers, was invented by Dr Rolla N. Harger of Indiana University School of Medicine.
1955 – General Motors became the first US corporation to make over $1 billion in a single year.
1956 – Bob Barker made his national debut on Truth or Consequences.
1966 – #1 Hit December 31, 1966 – February 17, 1967: The Monkees – I’m a Believer
1972 – Roberto Clemente was killed, along with four others when the cargo plane in which he is traveling crashes off the coast of Puerto Rico.
1983 – AT&T ‘Ma Bell’ telephone system monopoly was broken up by the United States Government.
1985 – Singer Rick Nelson was killed in a plane crash in De Kalb, Texas.
1999 – The United States, in accordance with the Torrijos-Carter Treaties, officially handed over control of the Panama Canal to Panama.
1999 – (fictional) The Earth is nearly pulled inside out when the renegade Time Lord ‘The Master’ opened the Eye of Harmony in the newly regenerated Doctor’s TARDIS (Doctor Who television movie).
2005 – #1 Hit December 31, 2005 – January 13, 2006: Mariah Carey – Don’t Forget About Us