Anniversaries and commemorations come and go daily. Most of us, even the best historians, miss most occasions. If we think of history as events then we are faced with a continually showering in the grains of sand. Nevertheless, we do pick out certain patterns in the remembrance of historical dates. The blog here reminds us of some dates where the local, state, national, and global perspectives entwine.
On 31, Friday December 1869, Paraguayan War: Triple Alliance forces take Asunción.
On 31, Friday December 1869, Henri Matisse, French painter, born (d. 1954)
On 31, Monday December 1894, Pola Negri, Polish actress, born (d. 1987)
On 31, Wednesday December 1919, Folke Alnevik, Swedish athlete
On 31, Wednesday December 1919, Tommy Byrne, baseball player, born (d. 2007)
On 31, Wednesday December 1919, Recy Taylor, American activist, born (d. 2017)
On 31, Sunday December 1944, WWII: Battle of Leyte: Tens of thousands of Imperial Japanese Army soldiers are killed in action, in a significant Filipino/Allied military victory.
On 31, Sunday December 1944, Jan Widströmer, Swedish artist, born
On 31, Sunday December 1944, Vicente Lim, Filipino general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, died (b. 1889)
On 31, Thursday December 1959, Val Kilmer, American actor, born
On 31, Thursday December 1959, Baron Waqa, Nauruan politician and composer, 14th President of Nauru, born
On 31, Wednesday December 1969, Dominik Diamond, Scottish presenter and newspaper columnist, born
On 31, Wednesday December 1969, Salvatore Baccaloni, Italian opera singer, died (b. 1900)
On 31, Wednesday December 1969, Joseph Yablonski, murdered American labor leader, died (b. 1910)
On 31, Monday December 1979, Bob Bryar, American drummer (My Chemical Romance), born
On 31, Monday December 1979, Elaine Cassidy, Irish actress, born
On 31, Monday December 1979, John A. Powers, American public affairs officer for NASA, died (b. 1922)
On 31, Sunday December 1989, Phase 2 of Aggregation of Television services occurs in Orange & Wagga Wagga, with aggregation occurring in Wollongong & Canberra in March
On 31, Sunday December 1989, Brydan Klein, tennis player, born
On 31, Sunday December 1989, Poland’s president signs the Balcerowicz Plan, ending the state socialist system in Poland in favour of a capitalist system and Polish involvement in the Warsaw Pact.
On 31, Sunday December 1989, Gerhard Schröder, German politician, died (b. 1910)
On 31, Sunday December 1989, Sir Ignatius Kilage, 4th Governor-General of Papua New Guinea, died (b. 1941)
On 31, Saturday December 1994, The day is skipped by the Phoenix Islands to switch from the UTC−11 time zone to UTC+13, and by the Line Islands to switch from UTC−10 to UTC+14. The latter becomes the earliest time zone in the world, one full day ahead of Hawaii.
On 31, Friday December 1999, The U.S. turned over complete administration of the Panama Canal to the Panamanian Government, as stipulated in the Torrijos–Carter Treaties of 1977.
On 31, Friday December 1999, Boris Yeltsin resigned as President of Russia, leaving Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as the acting President.
On 31, Thursday December 2009, Rashidi Kawawa, 1st Prime Minister of Tanzania, died (b. 1926)
On 31, Wednesday December 2014, Australia concludes its two-year term on the United Nations Security Council. Australia decides to vote against a Palestinian-proposed United Nations resolution that demanded the end of Israeli occupation within three years. Australia is one of only two nations, along with the United States, Israel’s closest ally, to vote against the resolution.
On 31, Wednesday December 2014, Edward Herrmann, American television and film actor, died (b. 1943)
On 31, Wednesday December 2014, Valerian Wellesley, 8th Duke of Wellington, died (b. 1915)