Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The End Is Here, Finally!

Today is Wednesday, Dec. 31, the 366th and final day of 2008. [Hoo-ray!! — Ed.] Today's Highlight in History: In 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. [Now we're told that WWII lasted more than a yr. longer than we'd been told? Doesn't bode well for any 16-mo. out-of-Iraq plan, does it? — Ed.] In 1974, private U.S. citizens were allowed to buy and own gold for the first time in more than 40 years. [Leading directly to the current spate of Pat Boone adverts wherein the old bastard tries to sucker you into getting gold due to the imminent fall of capitalism. — Ed.] 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. 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). — The Associated Press

No comments: