335: Death of St. Sylvester I, Pope
406: Vandals, Alans and Sueves invade Roman Gaul
1775: The British repulsed an attack by Continental Army generals Richard Montgomery and Benedict Arnold at Quebec; Montgomery was killed.
1775: George Washington orders recruiting officers to accept free blacks into the army.
1862: President Lincoln signed an act admitting West Virginia to the Union.
1862: The USS Monitor sinks off Cape Hatteras, NC., losing sixteen.
1877: President Rutherford B. Hayes became the first U.S. President to celebrate his 25th silver wedding anniversary in the White House. The President and his wife reenacted their marriage ceremony
1879: Thomas Edison first publicly demonstrated his electric incandescent light in Menlo Park, New Jersey.
1889: George Catlett Marshall, Chief of Staff who led the U.S. Army to victory in World War II and later became Secretary of State for President Harry Truman born. Won Nobel Peace Prize for the Marshall Plan.
1890: Ellis Island (NYC) opens as a US immigration depot
1897: Brooklyn, New York, spent its last day as a separate entity before becoming part of New York City.
1946: President Truman officially proclaimed the end of hostilities in World War Two.
1955: General Motors became the first U.S. corporation to earn more than one billion dollars in a single year. The company’s annual report to stockholders listed a net income of $1,189,477,082 in revenues
1961: The Marshall Plan expired after distributing more than $12 billion in foreign aid.
1962: Governor Edmund G. Brown, of California, announced that his state was now the most populous of the 50 United States. New York’s governor, Nelson Rockefeller, disagreed and refused to concede.
1965: California becomes the largest state in population
1974: Private US citizens were allowed to buy and own gold for the first time in more than 40 years
1983: The court-ordered breakup of the American Telephone and Telegraph company took effect at midnight.
1986: The State of Florida passed Illinois to become the fifth most populous state in the country. In the lead California, New York, Texas, and Pennsylvania.
1987: Robert Mugabe was sworn in as Zimbabwe’s first executive president.
1987: One second is added to the year to compensate for precession of earth’s axis.
1988: President Reagan and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev exchanged New Year’s messages in which both leaders expressed optimism about future superpower relations.
1998: Europe’s leaders proclaimed a new era as eleven nations merged currencies to create the euro, a shared money they said would boost business, underpin unity and strengthen their role in world affairs.
1999: Russian President Boris Yeltsin announced his resignation.
1999: The United States prepared to hand over the Panama Canal to Panama at the stroke of midnight.