Kihei, Hawaii Whitefish, Montana Bloomington, Minnesota Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria UTC/GMT Iraq Afghanistan Republic of Korea Ocean Grove, Victoria
Optimized for 1280x1024 resolution

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Today is Wednesday, Dec. 31, the 366th and final day of 2008.

Today's Highlight in History:

  • On Dec. 31, 1879, Thomas Edison first publicly demonstrated his electric incandescent light in Menlo Park, N.J.
  • On this date:
  • In 1775, the British repulsed an attack by Continental Army generals Richard Montgomery and Benedict Arnold at Quebec; Montgomery was killed.
  • In 1857, Britain's Queen Victoria decided to make Ottawa the capital of Canada.
  • In 1877, President Rutherford B. Hayes and his wife, Lucy, celebrated their silver anniversary (actually, a day late) by re-enacting their wedding ceremony in the White House.
  • In 1908, Holocaust survivor and Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal was born in Buczacs in what was then Austria-Hungary.
  • In 1946, President Harry S. Truman officially proclaimed the end of hostilities in World War II.
  • In 1974, private U.S. citizens were allowed to buy and own gold for the first time in more than 40 years.
  • In 1978, Taiwanese diplomats struck their colors for the final time from the embassy flagpole in Washington, marking the end of diplomatic relations with the U.S.
  • In 1985, 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.
  • In 1986, 97 people were killed when fire broke out in the Dupont Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Three hotel workers later pleaded guilty in connection with the blaze.)
  • In 1997, Michael Kennedy, the 39-year-old son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, was killed in a skiing accident on Aspen Mountain in Colorado.

Ten years ago:
  • Europe's leaders proclaimed a new era as 11 nations merged currencies to create the euro, a shared money they said would boost business, underpin unity and strengthen their role in world affairs.

Five years ago:
  • A car bomb ripped through a crowded restaurant hosting a New Year's Eve party in Baghdad, killing eight Iraqis.

One year ago:
  • President George W. Bush signed legislation to allow state and local governments to cut investment ties with Sudan because of the violence in Darfur.
  • Sara Jane Moore, who took a shot at President Gerald R. Ford in San Francisco in 1975, was paroled after 32 years behind bars.

Today's Birthdays:
  • TV producer George Schlatter is 79.
  • Actor Sir Anthony Hopkins is 71.
  • Actor Tim Considine ("My Three Sons") is 68.
  • Actress Sarah Miles is 67.
  • Rock musician Andy Summers is 66.
  • Actor Ben Kingsley is 65.
  • Rock musician Peter Quaife (The Kinks) is 65.
  • Producer-director Taylor Hackford is 64.
  • Actor Tim Matheson is 61.
  • Pop singer Burton Cummings (The Guess Who) is 61.
  • Singer Donna Summer is 60.
  • Actor Joe Dallesandro is 60.
  • Rock musician Tom Hamilton (Aerosmith) is 57.
  • Actor James Remar is 55.
  • Actress Bebe Neuwirth is 50.
  • Actor Val Kilmer is 49.
  • Singer Paul Westerberg is 49.
  • Actor Don Diamont is 46.
  • Rock musician Ric Ivanisevich (Oleander) is 46.
  • Rock musician Scott Ian (Anthrax) is 45.
  • Actress Gong Li is 43.
  • Author Nicholas Sparks is 43.
  • Pop singer Joe McIntyre is 36.
  • Rock musician Mikko Siren (Apocalyptica) is 33.
  • Rock musician Bob Bryar (My Chemical Romance) is 29.

Thought for Today:
"In masks outrageous and austere The years go by in single file; But none has merited my fear, And none has quite escaped my smile."
Elinor Wylie, American author (1885-1928).

"Let's all be careful out there!"


"Let's all be careful out there!"