Today in History: 31st December


Historical Events:

• 1841: Alabama becomes 1st state to license dental surgeons.
• 1904: The first New Year’s Eve celebration is held in Times Square, then known as Longacre Square, in New York, New York.
• 1911: Marie Curie, a physicist receives her 2nd Nobel Prize.
• 1942: 60 U boats sunk this month (330,000 ton).
• 1951: 1st battery to convert radioactive energy to electrical announced.
• 1997: Microsoft buys Hotmail E-mail service
• 2000: There are 194 infants with their mothers in prison in South Africa.

Arts, Music, TV:

• 1851: Frederick Courteney Selous, traveller, hunter, writer and naturalist is born in London. He came to Southern Africa in 1871. The village of Selous in Rhodesia is named after him.
• 1860: Sidney Mendelssohn, compiler of the South African Bibliography and collector of Africana, is born in Exeter, England.
• 1913: Anna Margaretha Louw, Afrikaans author and recipient of various wards, is born in the district of Calvinia.
• 1941: Senator F.S. Malan (69), editor of the early Afrikaans publications Die Afrikaanse Patriot and Ons Land, dies.
• 1943: NYC’s Times Square greets Frank Sinatra at Paramount Theater.
• 1971: Dr Albertus J.R. van Rhijn (81), newspaper editor, member of parliament and minister of Economic Affairs, dies.


• 1892: James Manuel Blanckenberg, SA cricket player in eighteen tests (1913-1924), is born in Claremont, Cape Town.
• 1950: Jockeys W Shoemaker & Joe Culmone set record of 388 wins in a year.
• 1966: Test Cricket debut of Bishen Singh Bedi, India v WI Calcutta, 2-92.
• 1967: "The Ice Bowl", Packers beat Cowboys 21-17 in NFL championship game (-13°F).
• 1995: Matthew Elliott scores separate cricket century same day for Victoria.
• 1987: Javaris Crittenton, American basketball player is born.

Source: &
Compiled by: Thandi Xaba