Home   On This Day   On This Day in History, December 31

On This Day in History, December 31

What Happened On This Day – December 31

  • 2009 Both a Blue Moon and lunar eclipse occured on the same day

    The next such event to happen on New Year's eve will be in 2028.

  • 1994 Date skipped in Kiribati

    The Phoenix Islands and the Line Islands in Kiribati skip December 31st due to a change in their time zone from UTC−11:00 to UTC+13:00 and UTC−10:00 to UTC+14:00, respectively.

  • 1983 Coup in Nigeria

    A military coup in Nigeria overthrew the civilian government of Shehu Shagari and installed Maj-Gen Muhammadu Buhari.

  • 1909 Manhattan Bridge opens for traffic

    The Manhattan Bridge, one of the first suspension bridges ever constructed, was opened to traffic on this day. The bridge was designed by Leon Moisseiff and crosses the East River in New York City.

  • 1907 The first annual ball drop at Times Square

    The annual tradition of dropping a ball at 11:59 pm to mark the start of the New Year was organized for the first time by Adolph Ochs, the owner of the New York Times.

Births On This Day – December 31

  • 1990 Patrick Chan

    Canadian figure skater

  • 1980 Richie McCaw

    New Zealand rugby union footballer

  • 1977 Psy

    South Korean singer-songwriter, rapper, producer, dancer

  • 1941 Alex Ferguson

    Scottish footballer, manager

  • 1869 Henri Matisse

    French painter

Deaths On This Day – December 31

  • 2015 Natalie Cole

    American singer-songwriter, actress

  • 1985 Ricky Nelson

    American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor

  • 1980 Marshall McLuhan

    Canadian author, theorist

  • 1972 Roberto Clemente

    Puerto Rican baseball player

  • 1889 Ion Creangă

    Romanian author, educator

You might also like

Lunar Eclipse 16–17 July

Lunar Eclipse 16–17 July

This partial lunar eclipse, the last lunar eclipse of 2019, is visible from Australia, Africa, South America, most of Europe and Asia. more

Commuters and tourists in Canary Wharf, London, United Kingdom.

Daylight Saving Time (DST)

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is the practice of setting the clocks forward one hour from standard time during the summer months, and back again in the fall, in order to make better use of natural daylight. more

Calendar with 12 months

12 Months of the Year

The 12 months of the year are linked to the Moon's orbit around Earth. Why are there 12 months? What do the month names mean? more

LIVE PARTIAL LUNAR ECLIPSE – Watch the eclipse as it happens