Noelle Locklear

Noelle Locklear

Modified & Updated: 08 Sep 2023


December 31st is a date that holds significant historical importance, with various events taking place on this momentous day throughout history. From groundbreaking discoveries and scientific advancements to political milestones and cultural phenomena, December 31st has seen it all. Today, we will delve into the depths of history to explore the fascinating facts and events that have occurred on this memorable day. From the birth of influential figures to the signing of significant treaties, December 31st serves as a reminder of the transformative power of time. So, let us embark on a journey to uncover the intriguing events and remarkable achievements that have shaped our world on December 31st.

Table of Contents


  • 1999: The United States hands over control of the Panama Canal to Panama.
  • 1879: Thomas Edison demonstrates his electric incandescent light bulb for the first time.
  • 1946: President Harry S. Truman officially proclaims the end of World War II.
  • 1907: The first New Year’s Eve celebration is held in Times Square, New York City.
  • 1923: The chimes of Big Ben in London are broadcasted for the first time on radio.


  • 1993: The Hubble Space Telescope observes Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 collide with Jupiter.
  • 1990: The Human Genome Project is officially launched.
  • 1968: The first successful heart transplant takes place in Cape Town, South Africa.
  • 1995: The discovery of the first exoplanet, 51 Pegasi b, is announced.
  • 1672: Isaac Newton presents his theory of light and color.


  • 1991: The Soviet Union officially ceases to exist, marking the end of the Cold War.
  • 1978: The United States reestablishes diplomatic relations with China.
  • 1948: The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) is established.
  • 1961: The Marshall Plan, a U.S. initiative to aid in the economic recovery of Western Europe after World War II, officially ends.
  • 1958: The European Economic Community (EEC) is established, which later becomes the European Union (EU).


  • 1879: Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera “The Pirates of Penzance” debuts in New York City.
  • 1983: “Return of the Jedi,” the third installment of the original “Star Wars” trilogy, premieres.
  • 1999: The film “The Matrix” is released, becoming a major cultural phenomenon.
  • 1977: Punk rock band The Sex Pistols play their last live performance before breaking up.
  • 1967: The Beatles’ song “Hello, Goodbye” reaches number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.


  • 1973: Jude Law, English actor.
  • 1880: George Marshall, American military leader and Nobel laureate.
  • 1943: John Denver, American singer-songwriter and actor.
  • 1977: Psy, South Korean singer, rapper, and record producer.
  • 1965: Nicholas Sparks, American author.


  • 1999: Curtis Mayfield, American singer-songwriter and producer.
  • 1936: Romain Rolland, French author and Nobel laureate.
  • 1921: Francis Hodgson Burnett, English-American author.
  • 1983: Brandon Lee, American actor and martial artist.
  • 1900: Stephen Crane, American author and poet.


December 31st has witnessed significant historical events, scientific breakthroughs, political milestones, cultural events, and the births and deaths of notable individuals throughout history. It is a day that marks the end of various eras, the innovation of groundbreaking ideas, and the celebration of cultural achievements. From the transfer of the Panama Canal to the establishment of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, December 31st has left an indelible mark on history. Additionally, this date has witnessed scientific milestones such as the launch of the Human Genome Project and the discovery of exoplanets. It is a day of reflection and remembrance, marking the passage of time and the impact of human progress.


Q: What events are associated with December 31st?

A: Some notable events associated with December 31st include the transfer of the Panama Canal, scientific breakthroughs like the first successful heart transplant, and cultural events such as the release of the film “The Matrix.”

Q: Who was born on December 31st?

A: Individuals born on December 31st include Jude Law, John Denver, and Nicholas Sparks.

Q: What political milestones occurred on December 31st?

A: Political milestones associated with December 31st include the official end of the Soviet Union and the establishment of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea).

Q: Which scientific breakthroughs are linked to December 31st?

A: Significant scientific breakthroughs on December 31st include the launch of the Human Genome Project and the observation of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 colliding with Jupiter.

Q: Who are some notable figures who passed away on December 31st?

A: Notable individuals who have passed away on December 31st include Curtis Mayfield, Romain Rolland, and Stephen Crane.