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Today in history: December 31, MLB player Roberto Clemente died during an airline flight, New York saw its first New Year's celebration

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Today is Saturday, December 31, the 365th and last day of 2022.

The video above shows what Houston TV looked like in 1959.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the timid German theologian who tried to reawaken Christianity in a secularized Europe but who will forever be remembered as the first pontiff in 600 years to step down from his post, has died aged 95.

Today’s highlight in the story:

On December 31, 2019, the health commission of the city of Wuhan in central China announced that experts were investigating an outbreak of respiratory disease and that most of the victims had visited a seafood market in the city ; the statement said 27 people fell ill with a strain of viral pneumonia and seven were in serious condition.

To this date :

In 1879, Thomas Edison first publicly demonstrated his electric incandescent lamp by lighting about 40 light bulbs in his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey.

In 1904, Times Square in New York saw its first New Year’s Eve celebration, with an estimated 200,000 people in attendance.

In 1951, the Marshall Plan expired after distributing over $12 billion in foreign aid.

In 1972, Major League Baseball player Roberto Clemente, 38, was killed when a plane he had chartered and was traveling to bring relief to earthquake-stricken Nicaragua crashed shortly after taking off from Puerto Rico.

In 1974, private US citizens were allowed to buy and own gold for the first time in over 40 years.

In 1978, Taiwanese diplomats waved their colors for the last time from the embassy flagpole in Washington, DC, marking the end of diplomatic relations with the United States.

In 1985, singer Rick Nelson, 45, and six others were killed when a fire broke out aboard a DC-3 that was taking the band to a New Year’s Eve show in Dallas.

In 1986, nearly 100 people were killed when a fire broke out at the Dupont Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Three hotel employees later pleaded guilty in connection with the fire.)

In 1987, Robert Mugabe (moo-GAH’-bay) was sworn in as Zimbabwe’s first executive president.

In 1995, the syndicated comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes”, created by Bill Watterson, came to an end after a 10-year run.

In 1999, Russian President Boris Yeltsin announced his resignation (he was replaced by Vladimir Putin).

In 2020, authorities arrested a suburban Milwaukee pharmacist suspected of deliberately ruining hundreds of coronavirus vaccine doses by removing them from the refrigerator. (Steven Brandenburg, a noted conspiracy theorist who believed vaccines were the product of the devil, would be sentenced to three years in prison.) Britain has completed its economic break with the European Union.

A decade ago: Racing against time, the White House struck a New Year’s Eve deal with Senate Republicans to block sweeping tax increases and spending cuts to government programs that were to come into effect. effective at midnight. Private recreational marijuana clubs have opened in Colorado, less than a month after Governor John Hickenlooper signed into law a constitutional amendment allowing the recreational use of pot.

Five years ago: New Yorkers endured the second coldest New Year’s Eve celebration on record; the temperature in the city was 10 degrees Fahrenheit when a shimmering crystal ball fell with an explosion of confetti and dazzling fireworks in Times Square. Extremely cold temperatures have spread across the Deep South; the dangerous temperatures would grip large areas of the United States, from Texas to New England, for days. The Cleveland Browns joined the Detroit Lions in 2008 as the only teams in NFL history to have 0 and 16, losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers 28-24.

A year ago: Betty White, a television mainstay for more than 60 years who brought a combination of sweetness and edginess to shows such as ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ and ‘The Golden Girls’, died less than three weeks before she turns 100. Flight cancellations spiked again on the last day of 2021, with airlines blaming her for crew shortages linked to surging COVID-19 infections. A crowd limited to around 15,000 people due to the coronavirus pandemic cheered the annual New Year’s Eve ball in Times Square in New York. Although stocks slid on the last day of the year, they still ended 2021 with big gains; them&P 500 rose 26.9% for the year.

Today’s birthdays: TV producer George Schlatter turns 93. Actor Sir Anthony Hopkins is 85. Actress Sarah Miles is 81 years old. Actress Barbara Carrera is 81 years old. Rock musician Andy Summers is 80 years old. Actor Sir Ben Kingsley is 79. Producer-director Taylor Hackford is 78 years old. Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg is 76 years old. Actor Tim Matheson is 75 years old. Pop singer Burton Cummings is 75. Actor Joe Dallesandro is 74 years old. Rock musician Tom Hamilton (Aerosmith) is 71 years old. Actor James Remar is 69 years old. Actor Bebe Neuwirth is 64 years old. Actor Val Kilmer is 63 years old. Singer Paul Westerberg is 63 years old. Actor Don Diamont is 60 years old. Rock musician Ric Ivanisevich (Oleander) is 60 years old. Rock musician Scott Ian (Anthrax) is 59 years old. Actor Gong Li is 57 years old. Author Nicholas Sparks is 57 years old. Actor Lance Reddick is 53 years old. Pop singer Joe McIntyre is 50 years old. Rock musician Mikko Siren (Apocalyptica) is 47 years old. Donald Trump Jr. is 45 years old. Rapper PSY (Park Jae-sang) is 45 years old. Rock musician Bob Bryar is 43 years old. Rock musician Jason Sechrist (Portugal. The man) is 43 years old. Actor Ricky Whittle is 43 years old. Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri is 43 years old. Actor/singer Erich Bergen is 37 years old. DJ/singer Drew Taggart (The Chainsmokers) is 33. US Olympic beach volleyball gold medalist Alix Klineman is 33 years old. US Olympic gold medalist gymnast Gabby Douglas is 27.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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