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This Day in History: Dec. 31

edison-patent-light-bulb.jpgOn this last day of the year in 1879, Thomas Edison gave the first public demonstration of his incandescent light in Menlo Park, NJ.

Also celebrating milestones of their own today are a surprising number of well-known actors (Anthony Hopkins, b. 1937; Ben Kingsley, b. 1943; Bebe Neuwirth, b. 1958; Val Kilmer, b. 1959) and musicians (Donna Summer, b. 1948; Patti Smith, b. 1946; and Odetta, b. 1930).

Born This Day

1720: Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie), claimant to the British throne (Rome, Italy; died 1788)
1738: Charles Cornwallis, British general and statesman (London, England; died 1805)
1869: Henri Matisse, painter (Le Cateau, Picardy, France; died 1954)
1880: George Marshall, general/secretary of state and developer of the Marshall Plan (Uniontown, PA; died 1959)
1884: Stanley Forman Reed, American jurist, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (Mason Co., KY; died 1980)
1894: Pola Negri, actress (Poland; died 1987)
1905: Jule Styne, songwriter (London, England; died 1994)
1908: Simon Wiesenthal, Nazi Hunter (Buchach, Ukraine; died 2005)
1930: Odetta, singer/musician (Birmingham, AL)
1937: Anthony Hopkins, actor (Port Talbot, South Wales)
1941: Sarah Miles, actress (Ingatestone, England)
1943: John Denver, singer/songwriter (Roswell, NM; died 1997); Ben Kingsley, actor (Yorkshire, England)
1946: Patti Smith, singer (Chicago, IL)
1947: Tim Matheson, actor (Glendale, CA)
1948: Donna Summer, singer (Boston, MA)
1958: Bebe Neuwirth, actress (Princeton, NJ)
1959: Val Kilmer, actor (Los Angeles, CA)

This Day In History

1600: The English East India Company is granted a charter by Queen Elizabeth I.
1879: Thomas Edison publicly demonstrates his electric incandescent light for the first time, in Menlo Park, NJ.
1961: The Marshall Plan, a U.S. aid program for post-World War II Europe, ends after distributing foreign aid worth some $12 billion.
1974: For the first time in more than 40 years, private citizens in the United States are allowed to buy and own gold.
1984: The United States leaves UNESCO.
1999: Boris Yeltsin officially resigns as Russia's president, handing over power to Vladimir Putin as acting president. The U.S. surrenders control over the Panama Canal to Panama, in accordance with a treaty signed in 1977. The zone surrounding the canal had already been handed back in 1979.


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 31, 2006 7:30 AM.

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