Today in History: December 31, MLB player Roberto Clemente died on air flight, New York saw its first New Year’s Eve celebration

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

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

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, the shy German theologian who attempted to revive Christianity in a secularized Europe but will forever be remembered as the first pope to resign from office in 600 years, died at the age of 95 .

Today’s highlight in history:

On December 31, 2019, the Health Commission in the central Chinese city of Wuhan said experts were investigating an outbreak of a respiratory illness and that most of the victims had visited a fish market in the city; The statement said 27 people had contracted viral pneumonia and seven were in serious condition.

On this date:

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

In 1904, the first New Year’s Eve celebration was held in New York’s Times Square, attended by an estimated 200,000 people.

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

In 1972, major league baseball player Roberto Clemente, 38, was killed when a plane he chartered, which was flying on to deliver relief supplies to earthquake-devastated 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 last displayed their flag on the flagpole of the embassy 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 taking the group to a New Year’s Eve show in Dallas.

In 1986, nearly 100 people died 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 acting President.

In 1995, Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes syndicated comic ended after a ten-year run.

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

In 2020, authorities arrested a suburban Milwaukee pharmacist suspected of intentionally ruining hundreds of cans of the coronavirus vaccine by removing them from the refrigerator. (Steven Brandenburg, a well-known conspiracy theorist who believed vaccines were the product of the devil, would be sentenced to three years in prison.) Britain ended its economic split from the European Union.

Ten years ago: In a race against the clock, the White House reached a New Year’s Eve deal with Senate Republicans to block broader tax increases and spending cuts on government programs scheduled to take effect at midnight. Private recreational marijuana clubs opened in Colorado less than a month after Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a constitutional amendment allowing recreational marijuana use.

Five years ago: New Yorkers experienced the second coldest New Year’s celebration ever; The temperature in the city was 10 degrees Fahrenheit when a glittering crystal ball filled with confetti and a dazzling fireworks display fell on Times Square. Bitterly cold temperatures spread in the deep south; the dangerous temperatures would sweep across much of the US from Texas to New England for days. The Cleveland Browns joined the Detroit Lions in 2008 as the only teams in NFL history to go 0-16, 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 like ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’ and ‘The Golden Girls,’ died less than three weeks before she would have turned 100. On the last day of 2021, flight cancellations increased again, with airlines attributing this to crew shortages linked to the rise in COVID-19 infections. A crowd, limited to about 15,000 because of the coronavirus pandemic, cheered the annual New Year’s Eve ball drop in New York’s Times Square. Although stocks fell on the last day of the year, they still ended 2021 with some big gains; this&P 500 was up 26.9% for the year.

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

Copyright © 2023 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Today in History: December 31, MLB player Roberto Clemente died on air flight, New York saw its first New Year’s Eve celebration

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