Today in History: December 31

Today in History: December 31

Pick a day:

December 30 January 1

1775

George Washington orders recruiting officers to accept free blacks into the army.

1852

The richest year of the gold rush ends with $81.3 million in gold produced.

1862

Union General William Rosecrans' army repels two Confederate attacks at the Battle of Murfreesboro (Stone's River).

1910

John B. Moisant and Arch Hoxsey, two of America's foremost aviators, die in separate plane crashes.

1911

Helene Dutrieu wins the Femina aviation cup in Etampes. She sets a distance record for women at 158 miles.

1915

The Germans torpedo the British liner Persia without any warning killing 335 passengers.

1923

The Sahara is crossed by an automobile for the first time.

1930

Brewery heir Adolphus Busch is kidnapped.

1941

General MacArthur reports that U.S. lines in Manila have been pushed back by the Japanese.

1942

After five months of battle, Emperor Hirohito allows the Japanese commanders at Guadalcanal to retreat.

1944

Hungary declares war on Germany.

1965

California becomes the largest state in population.

1977

Cambodia breaks relations with Vietnam.