Commodus, Roman emperor, strangled by a professional wrestler
Death of St. Sylvester I, Pope
Vandals, Alans and Sueves invade Roman Gaul
Darak fails to break the Crusaders' Siege of Antioch
Death of Wycliffe, at Lutterworth, England
French explorer Jacques Cartier (some sources 1499) born
Jews are expelled from Sicily.
Caesare Borgia executes Oliverotto da Fermo and Vitellozzo Vitelli
Henry VIII, King of England, meets Anne of Cleves, his 4th wife
British East India Company chartered
Charles Edward Stuart, son of James II, known as the Young Pretender and Bonnie Prince Charlie. born
George Washington orders recruiting officers to accept free blacks into the army.
The British repulsed an attack by Continental Army generals Richard Montgomery and Benedict Arnold at Quebec; Montgomery was killed.
The State of Alabama enacted the first dental legislation in the United States.
Richest year of the gold rush ends, with $81.3 million in gold produced.
Britain's Queen Victoria decided to make Ottawa the capital of Canada.
President Lincoln signed an act admitting West Virginia to the Union.
The USS Monitor sinks off Cape Hatteras, NC., losing sixteen.
Verdi had occasion to comment on the talents of his contemporary Wagner. "I have heard the overture to Tannhauser," said Verdi. "He's mad!"
Henri Matisse, French artist best known for his paintings Woman with a Hat and The Red Studio. born
President Rutherford B. Hayes became the first U.S. President to celebrate his 25th silver wedding anniversary in the White House. The President and his wife reenacted their marriage ceremony.
Thomas Edison first publicly demonstrated his electric incandescent light in Menlo Park, New Jersey.
George Marshall (U.S. Secretary of State 1947. He was the designer of Marshall Plan born
George Catlett Marshall, Chief of Staff who led the U.S. Army to victory in World War II and later became Secretary of State for President Harry Truman. Won Nobel Peace Prize for the Marshall Plan. born
Ellis Island (NYC) opens as a US immigration depot
Brooklyn, New York, spent its last day as a separate entity before becoming part of New York City.
Musician and trumpeter Jonah (Robert) Jones (he played with Cab Calloway) born
Simon Wiesenthal, survivor of the Nazi Holocaust who dedicated his life to tracking down former Nazis. born
Actor Pat Brady (Roy Rodgers Show) born
The Germans torpedo the British liner Persia without any warning; 335 are dead.
Boxer Rocky Graziano (Middlewgt champ). born
The Sahara is crossed by an automobile for the first time.
Entertainer Rex Allen ('The Arizona Cowboy) born
Folk-blues singer (Holmes Felious Gordon) Odetta (Music, Give Me Your Hand, Got to be Me) born
Brewery heir Adolphus Busch is kidnapped.
T-V producer George Schlatter is 65. born
Actor Sir Anthony Hopkins (Elephant Man, QB VII, Magic, Bounty, Shadowlands) born
Actress Sarah Miles (Ryan's Daughter, Dynasty, Queenie) born
Rock musician Andy Summers born
Singer and songwriter John (Deutschendorf) Denver (Leavin' on a Jet Plane; singer: Take Me Home Country Roads, Sunshine on my Shoulders, Annie's Song, Rocky Mountain High, Fly Away, Calypso, Thank God I'm a Country Boy) born
Actor Ben Kingsley (Gandhi, Betrayal, Maurice) born
Producer-director Taylor Hackford born
Fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg born
President Truman officially proclaimed the end of hostilities in World War Two.
Actor Tim Matheson (Animal House, Fletch, Up the Creek) born
Pop singer Burton Cummings (The Guess Who) born
Roy Rogers, 'the King of the Cowboys', and Dale Evans were married.
Actor Joe Dallesandra born
Singer Donna (LaDonna Gaines) Summer (Love to Love You Baby, On the Radio) born
Rock musician Tom Hamilton (Aerosmith) born
Actor James Remar ("Total Security") born
General Motors became the first U.S. corporation to earn more than one billion dollars in a single year. The company's annual report to stockholders listed a net income of $1,189,477,082 in revenues.
Actress Bebe Neuwirth born
Singer Paul Westerberg born
After playing California nightclubs as The Pendletones, Kenny and the Cadets and Carl and the Passions, a new group emerged this day: The Beach Boys.
The Marshall Plan expired after distributing more than $12 billion in foreign aid.
Governor Edmund G. Brown, of California, announced that his state was now the most populous of the 50 United States. New York's governor, Nelson Rockefeller, disagreed and refused to concede.
Rock musician Scott Ian (Anthrax) born
California becomes the largest state in population.
Monkee's "I'm a Believer" hits #1 & stays there for 7 weeks.
Paul McCartney files a lawsuit to disolve the Beatles.
Pirates right-fielder Roberto Clemente dies in a plane crash
Pop singer Joe McIntyre (New Kids on the Block) born
Private US citizens were allowed to buy and own gold for the first time in more than 40 years.
Ted Bundy escapes from jail in Colorado
Taiwanese diplomats struck their colors for the final time from the embassy flagpole in Washington, marking the end of diplomatic relations with the US.
The court-ordered breakup of the American Telephone and Telegraph company took effect at midnight.
Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen loses left arm in auto accident
The nation's first mandatory seat belt law went into effect in New York state at midnight.
Singer Rick Nelson, 45, and six other people were killed when fire broke out aboard a DC-3 that was taking the group to a New Year's Eve performance in Dallas.
Ninety-seven people were killed, more than 140 injured, when fire broke out in the Dupont Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Three hotel workers later pleaded guilty to charges in connection with the blaze.)
The State of Florida passed Illinois to become the fifth most populous state in the country. In the lead: California, New York, Texas, and Pennsylvania.
Robert Mugabe was sworn in as Zimbabwe's first executive president.
One second is added to the year to compensate for precession of earth's axis.
President Reagan and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev exchanged New Year's messages in which both leaders expressed optimism about future superpower relations.
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir fired Science Minister Ezer Weizman, accusing him of meeting with officials of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
The Sci-Fi Channel on cable TV begins transmitting.
Vice President Dan Quayle, visiting US troops in the Persian Gulf region, told them he shared their frustration with Saddam Hussein's refusal to withdraw from Kuwait.
Football coach George Allen died in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, at age 72.
President Bush visited Somalia, where he saw firsthand the famine racking the east African nation, and praised US troops who were providing relief to the starving population.
UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali was jeered by Bosnians during a visit to Sarajevo.
Entertainer Barbra Streisand performed her first paid concert in 22 years, singing to a sellout crowd at the M-G-M Grand Garden in Las Vegas.
Joshua Bell recorded the two Prokofiev violin concertos for Decca. He's backed up by Charles Dutoit and the Montreal Symphony.
Former IBM chairman Thomas J. Watson died in Greenwich, Connecticut, at age 79.
Bosnian government officials and Bosnian Serb leaders signed a UN-brokered cease-fire agreement. Russian ground forces launched a ferocious assault on the Chechen capital of Grozny.
US tank platoons crossed a just-completed pontoon bridge from Croatia to their peacekeeping mission in Bosnia.
Leftist rebels in Peru released two diplomats, leaving 81 hostages in the besieged Japanese embassy residence in Lima.
In Sorocaba, Brazil, riot troops stormed a prison where inmates were holding hundreds of hostages, quickly ending a three-day rebellion without any deaths.
Michael Kennedy, son of the late Sen. Robert Kennedy, died from massive injuries to the head and neck in a New Year's Eve skiing accident. Kennedy, 39, died on Aspen Mountain in Colorado after he hit a tree while skiing on the last run of the day. Kennedy, the focus of controversy in 1997 over an alleged affair with his children's teen-age baby-sitter, was skiing with family members, including his three children, when the accident occurred.
Bulldozers went to work in Florida's Everglades in a bid to save the Cape Sable seaside sparrow, one of the endangered species that calls the river of grass home. Heavy equipment crews began to carve a 1,000-foot gap in an embankment in the Everglades west of Miami, part of an effort to lower water levels and save an important nesting spot for the seaside sparrow. It is believed there are only a few thousand of the sparrows left in the world, almost all of them nesting in the Everglades.
Pianist Floyd Cramer died in Nashville, Tennessee, at age 64.
Europe's leaders proclaimed a new era as eleven nations merged currencies to create the euro, a shared money they said would boost business, underpin unity and strengthen their role in world affairs.
People around the world celebrated the arrival of the year 2000, mistakenly thinking that it was the end of the millennium.
Russian President Boris Yeltsin announced his resignation.
The eight-day hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane in Afghanistan ended peacefully.
The United States prepared to hand over the Panama Canal to Panama at the stroke of midnight.
Former Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson died in Boston at age 79.
Abducted German family freed in Yemen
Rapper Obie Trice shot on Detroit freeway
Bombings reported in Bangkok
French agency CNES to release UFO archives on the Internet
Belgian peacekeepers wounded in Lebanon
American military deaths in Iraq reach 3000
Iowa falls to Texas in Alamo Bowl
Netscape navigating the World Wide Web no more
Pakistani general election likely to be postponed
World's oldest orangutan dies
Moldovan government proposes awareness-raising strategy on EU integration
Egyptian woman becomes third to die of bird flu in a week
Sara Jane Moore, who tried to assassinate Gerald Ford, out of jail
Sperm whale stranded off coast of Florida in the US
Grandfather held in Guantanamo dies of cancer
âDr Deathâ Steve Williams, American professional wrestler, dies aged 49
Icelandic government passes Icesave deal; â¬12,000 debt per citizen
Shooting in Finnish mall leaves four dead
Afghanistan suicide bomb leaves seven Americans dead
Afghan attack kills five Canadians
5.8 magnitude earthquake rocks San Diego and northern Mexico
New Yearâs Eve tornado slams northwest Arkansas, killing three
Memorial service held for model found dead in Missouri mansion
Iranian Navy conducts drills in Strait of Hormuz
Expected U.S. Senate special election taking shape in Massachusetts