Birthdays: Henri Matisse, General George C. Marshall, Odetta (real name Holmes Felicious Gordon), Simon Weisenthal, Virginia Davis, Pola Negri, Jules Styne, Sarah Miles, Donna Summer, Patti Smith, Elizabeth Arden, Tim Matheson, John Denver, Dianne Von Furstenberg, Ben Kingsley-born Khrishna Banji is 71, Anthony Hopkins is 77, Val Kilmer is 55, Gong Li is 49, Psy is 36
1923-24-BBC overseas radio service first broadcast the Chimes of Big Ben around the world.
1929- Guy Lombardo and his big band the Royal Canadians first played Auld Lang Syne at midnight for New Years. Lombardo and his band became synonymous with New Years until his death in the 1980s.
1940-41- Avant Garde artists John Sloan and Marcel Duchamp break into the Washington Square Arch in and declare Greenwich Village the Republic of New Bohemia. Like coool, daddy.
1943- Four hundred policemen are called out to control frenzied crowds of bobbysoxers as Frank Sinatra played the Paramount Theater in Times Square.
1946- The first Pismo Beach Clam Festival.
1947- Roy Rogers married Dale Evans.
1962- Romanoffs closed. One of the premier hot spots on the Sunset Strip, it was the preferred hangout of Humphrey Bogart, who liked to play chess in the afternoon with Nick Romanoff when he was between films.
1985- Singer Ricky Nelson died when his band's converted old DC-9 airplane crashed near DeKalb, Texas. Nelson it was said had been living on a steady diet of cheeseburgers and Snicker's bars.
1995- The last Calvin and Hobbes comic strip by Bill Waterston
1999-2000 - The Y2K MANIA. While the world prepared to celebrate the new century and the Third Millenium the American media whipped up paranoia over a theory that the change from 1999-2000 would cause most computers to crash. Planes would fall out of the sky, nuclear missiles would launch themselves and marauders would rule the streets like something out of Mad Max. The US Government spent $65 million to prepare for the crisis. But at midnight absolutely nothing of the kind happened. Even older less sophisticated computers in Russia and China were unaffected and everything ran normally. Meanwhile many of the US public stayed home and watched the rest of the world have fun on television.
2001-2002- The European Union currency exchange went into effect. Adieu, Adios and Ciao to the French Franc, Belgian Franc, Italian Lire, German Deutchmark, Austrian Schilling, Dutch Guldin, Greek Drachma, Irish Pound, Portuguese Escudo and Spanish Peseta. Welcome the Euro.