On This Date In 1370 Pope Gregory XI (c. 1336 – March 27, 1378), born Pierre Roger de Beaufort in Maumont, in the modern commune of Rosiers-d'Égletons, Limousin around 1336, was elected Pope, and served from 1370 until his death in 1378. He succeeded Pope Urban V (1362–70) in 1370 as the seventh and last of the Avignon Popes.
On This Date In 1460 At the Battle of Wakefield, in England's Wars of the Roses, the Duke of York was defeated and killed by the Lancastrians.
On This Date In 1803 Francis Lewis (March 21, 1713 – December 30, 1803), a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of New York, died in New York City, and was interred in Trinity Churchyard.
On This Date In 1852 Rutherford B. Hayes married Lucy Webb, a gregarious, devout Methodist from his home state of Ohio. She was 24 and he was 33. She would later campaign for Hayes' successful bid for the White House, and became the first wife of a president to be referred to as “first lady” - a title that grew out of her husband's reference to her as the “first lady of the land.”
On This Date In 1853 James Gadsden, U.S. Minister to Mexico, and General Antonio López de Santa Anna, President of Mexico, signed the Gadsden Purchase in Mexico City. The treaty settled the dispute over the exact location of the Mexican border west of El Paso, Texas, giving the U.S. claim to approximately 29,000 square miles of land in what is now southern New Mexico and Arizona, for the price of $10,000,000.
On This Date In 1862 During the American Civil War, the U.S.S. Monitor sank in a storm off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Just nine months earlier, the ship had been part of a revolution in naval warfare when the ironclad dueled to a standstill with the C.S.S. Virginia (Merrimack) off Hampton Roads, Virginia, in one of the most famous naval battles in American history - the first time two ironclads faced each other in a naval engagement.
On This Date In 1903 The Iroquois Theater Fire in Chicago, Illinois was the deadliest single-building fire in U.S. history. The blaze took 571 lives within 20 minutes, and including those who died in the hospital, the death count climbed to a total of 602.
On This Date In 1905 Targeted for his role in quelling a miners' strike in 1899, former Idaho governor Frank Steunenberg was wounded by a powerful bomb that was triggered when he opened the gate to his home in Caldwell, Idaho. He died shortly afterward in his own bed.
On This Date In 1915 The HMS Natal was lying in the Cromarty Firth with her squadron under the command of Captain Eric Back RN. Shortly after 3.20pm, and without warning, a series of violent explosions tore through the ship. Within 5 short minutes she capsized, a blazing wreck. 390 men, more than half of the ship's company, 11 women and children and two dockyard workers perished either from the explosions or in the freezing water of the Cromarty Firth. http://www.scotsatwar.org.uk/AZ/hmsnatal.htm
On This Date In 1922 In post-revolutionary Russia, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was established, comprising a confederation of Russia, Belorussia, Ukraine, and the Transcaucasian Federation (divided in 1936 into the Georgian, Azerbaijan, and Armenian republics). Also known as the Soviet Union, the new communist state was the successor to the Russian Empire and the first country in the world to be based on Marxist socialism.
On This Date In 1924 American astronomer Edwin Powell Hubble (November 20, 1889 – September 28, 1953) profoundly changed the understanding of the universe by confirming the existence of galaxies other than the Milky Way.
On This Date In 1936 In one of the first sit-down strikes in the United States, autoworkers occupied the General Motors Fisher Body Plant Number One in Flint, Michigan. The autoworkers were striking to win recognition of the United Auto Workers (UAW) as the only bargaining agent for GM's workers; they also wanted to make the company stop sending work to non-union plants and to establish a fair minimum wage scale, a grievance system and a set of procedures that would help protect assembly-line workers from injury. In all, the strike lasted 44 days.
On This Date In 1939 “Of Mice and Men,” a film based on the novel of the same title by American author John Steinbeck, produced by the Hal Roach Studios, adapted by Eugene Solow and directed by Lewis Milestone, was released . It was nominated for four Oscars. The musical score was by noted American composer Aaron Copland. It stars Burgess Meredith, Betty Field, Lon Chaney Jr., Charles Bickford, Roman Bohnen, Bob Steele and Noah Beery, Jr.
On This Date In 1940 James Burrows, who would go on to have a significant impact on television as the co-creator of the mega-hit sitcom Cheers and the director of such popular, sharp-witted TV series as Taxi and Will & Grace, was born in Los Angeles.
On This Date In 1941 The Battle of Kampar was an engagement of World War II between the 11th Indian Infantry Division and the Japanese 5th Division in Kampar, Indonesia. The battle lasted from December 30, 1941 to January 2, 1942. Kampar had a strong natural defensive position, which the Indians occupied on December 27. Their purpose in defending Kampar was to prevent the capture of RAF Kuala Lumpur and, at the same time, to allow enough time for the 9th Indian Infantry Division to withdraw from the east coast.
On This Date In 1947 The High Command Trial (or, officially, The United States of America vs. Wilhelm von Leeb, et al.) was the last of the twelve trials for war crimes the U.S. authorities held in their occupation zone in Germany in Nuremberg after the end of World War II. The indictment was filed on November 28, 1947, and the trial lasted from December 30 until October 28, 1948.
On This Date In 1950 In a fiery statement, Secretary of State Dean Acheson declared that the United States would increase its efforts to contain communist aggression, was willing and able to meet any challenge posed by the communists and that American commitment to Korea would not falter, and called upon the American people for support and sacrifice.
On This Date In 1965 Former Philippines Senate president Ferdinand Marcos was inaugurated president of the Southeast Asian archipelago nation. Marcos' regime would span 20 years and become increasingly authoritarian and corrupt.
On This Date In 1968 The Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Washington, ran an advertisement for a concert at Gonzaga University featuring “The Vanilla Fudge, with Len Zefflin” - a concert of which a bootleg recording would later emerge that represents the first-ever live Led Zeppelin performance captured on tape.
On This Date In 1970 The South Vietnamese Navy received 125 U.S. vessels in a ceremony marking the end of the U.S. Navy's four-year role in inland waterway combat. This brought the total number of vessels turned over to the South Vietnamese Navy to 650. About 17,000 Americans remained with the South Vietnamese Navy in shore positions and as advisers aboard South Vietnamese vessels. The transfer of inland waterway combat responsibility was part of President Nixon's Vietnamization program, in which the war effort was transferred to the South Vietnam so U.S. troops could be withdrawn.
On This Date In 1972 Officials in Washington, D.C., announced that the peace talks in Paris between National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger and North Vietnamese negotiator Le Duc Tho would resume on January 2, 1973.
On This Date In 1980 “The Wonderful World of Disney” was cancelled by NBC after more than 25 years on the TV. It was the longest-running series in prime-time television history.
On This Date In 1993 A year and a half of complicated negotiations culminated with the signing of the Fundamental Agreement between the Holy See and the State of Israel. http://www.mfa.gov.il/PopeinIsrael/Israel-Vatican/Israel-Vatican_Di... ; http://www.mfa.gov.il/PopeinIsrael/Israel-Vatican/Fundamental+Agree...
On This Date In 1998 “Affliction,” a film written and directed by Paul Schrader from the novel by Russell Banks, was released. It stars Nick Nolte, Sissy Spacek, James Coburn, Willem Dafoe, Mary Beth Hurt and Jim True. James Coburn won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Nick Nolte was nominated for both the Academy Award and Golden Globe for best actor.
On This Date In 1999 The FTSE 100 Index is a share index of the 100 most highly capitalized UK companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. The index began on 3 January 1984 with a base level of 1000. It reached the highest value to date – 6950.6 – on December 30, 1999.
On This Date In 2000 The Rizal Day bombings were a series of bombings that occurred around Metro Manila in the Philippines. The explosions occurred in close succession within a span of a few hours. Twenty-two fatalities were reported and around a hundred more suffered non-fatal injuries. The blasts occurred during a national holiday in the Philippines, where December 30 is known as Rizal Day, commemorating the martyrdom of the country's national hero, José Rizal. Various Islamic groups were implicated in the bombings, including the Jemaah Islamiyah, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and the Moro National Liberation Front.
On This Date In 2004 A fire broke out at the República Cromañón, a nightclub in Buenos Aires, killing 194 people and injuring 714 others. The venue was playing host to rock group Callejeros and around 3,000 people were in attendance. The blaze was started when a pyrotechnic flare was set off and ignited foam in the ceiling. The owner and the band's lead singer had told the patrons not to use flares inside the building. …
On This Date In 2006 Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was hanged on the first day of Eid ul-Adha, despite his wish to be shot (which he felt would be more dignified). The execution was carried out at Camp Justice, an Iraqi army base in Kadhimiya, a neighborhood of northeast Baghdad. He was found guilty and convicted of crimes against humanity by the Iraqi Special Tribunal for the murder of 148 Iraqi Shi'ite in the town of Dujail in 1982, in retaliation for an assassination attempt against him. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYXczlVlLyY
On This Date In 2008 Governor Rod Blagojevich named former Illinois attorney general and frequent candidate Roland Burris to fill Obama's Senate Seat. http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/12/30/us-blagojevich-senate-idU...
On This Date In 2009 The major international airport of the Netherlands would begin using full-body scanners on passengers flying to the United States to prevent a recurrence of the security breach that allowed a would-be bomber to smuggle explosives onto a flight to Detroit from Amsterdam on Christmas Day 2009. The new measures were announced as the Dutch interior minister discussed the government's early investigation into the thwarted bombing. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/31/world/europe/31terror.html
Hat tip to any included contributing sources, along with:
Happy Birthday Robert Hossein (1927), Russ Tamblyn (1934), Paul Stookey (1937), Patti Smith (1946), Jeff Lynne (1947), Meredith Vieira (1953), Patricia Kalember (1957), Matt Lauer (1957), Sean Hannity (1961), Alessandra Mussolini (1962), Heidi Fleiss (1965), Meredith Monroe (1968), Maureen Flannigan (1973), Jason Behr (1973), Tiger Woods (1975), Laila Ali (1977), Kenyon Martin (1977), Paul Soliai (1983), LeBron James (1984), and Sean Gallagher (1985).
RIP Rudyard Kipling (1865 1936), Jack Lord (1920 – 1998), Barbara Nichols (1928 – 1976), Skeeter Davis (1931 – 2004), and Del Shannon (1934 – 1990).
What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That's not been said a thousand times?
The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.
We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.
We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.
We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our prides, we sheet our dead.
We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that's the burden of a year. Ella Wheeler Wilcox
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness...it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair...in short, the period was so far like the present period. … Charles Dickens
Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go. Brooks Atkinson
Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning, but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. Hal Borland
Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man. Benjamin Franklin
And ye, who have met with Adversity's blast, And been bow'd to the earth by its fury; To whom the Twelve Months, that have recently pass'd Were as harsh as a prejudiced jury - Still, fill to the Future! and join in our chime, The regrets of remembrance to cozen, And having obtained a New Trial of Time, Shout in hopes of a kindlier dozen. Thomas Hood
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Have an happy and peaceful 2012
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“Happy New Year” sung by ABBA:
the style of direct drawing
music info: "wonderful piece" by Denys Rybkin (arttunetech)
Cody Jackson is too young to join the military, but that's not stopping him from saluting service members returning from deployment.
Another fresh new year is here . . .
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!
This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!
I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs! William Arthur Ward