UPI Almanac for Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016

On Dec. 31, 1999, Panama assumed full control of the Panama Canal.

By United Press International
UPI Almanac for Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016
Construction of the Panama Canal, looking north at Gold Hill, from the Cucaracha Slide ca. 1912. File Photo by Library of Congress/UPI

Today is Saturday, Dec. 31, the 366th and final day of 2016.

Tonight is New Year's Eve.


The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Jupiter and Saturn. The evening stars are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Neptune, and Uranus.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Capricorn. They include French explorer Jacques Cartier in 1491; Charles Edward Stuart, Scotland's "Bonnie Prince Charlie," in 1720; French painter Henri Matisse in 1869; U.S. Army Gen. George Marshall, formulator of the Marshall Aid Plan for Europe following World War II and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, in 1880; songwriter Jule Styne ("Three Coins In the Fountain, "Let It Snow") in 1905; cowboy actor/singer Rex Allen in 1920; folk-blues singer Odetta (Holmes) in 1930; actors Anthony Hopkins in 1937 (age 79), Sarah Miles in 1941 (age 75) and Ben Kingsley in 1943 (age 73); Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Andy Summers (The Police) in 1942 (age 74); singer/songwriter John Denver and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Pete Quaife (The Kinks), both in 1943; fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg in 1946 (age 70); rock singer Burton Cummings in 1947 (age 69); Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Donna Summer in 1948; actors Tim Matheson in 1947 (age 69), Bebe Neuwirth in 1958 (age 58) and Val Kilmer in 1959 (age 57); writer Nicholas Sparks in 1965 (age 51); singer/dancer Psy, born Park Jae-sang, in 1977 (age 39); and Olympic gold medal winning gymnast Gabby Douglas in 1995 (age 21).

RELATED UPI Archives: Albright defends Panama Canal handover

On this date in history:

In 1879, Thomas Edison gave the first public demonstration of his incandescent lamp -- in Menlo Park, N.J.

In 1929, Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians did their first New Year's Eve broadcast from the Roosevelt Grill in New York City.

RELATED UPI Archives: O'Connor refuses to block canal transfer

In 1947, America's favorite Western movie couple, singing cowboy Roy Rogers and co-star Dale Evans, were married.

In 1983, the court-ordered breakup of the American Telephone and Telegraph Co. took effect.

In 1985, fire broke out on a chartered DC-3 aircraft and it crashed in northeastern Texas, killing rock singer Rick Nelson, his fiancee and five band members.

In 1994, Russian forces launched a full air and ground attack on Grozny, the capital city of the rebel republic of Chechnya.

In 1997, the Algerian government announced that more than 400 people had been massacred by Islamic extremists during the last nine days of December.

In 1999, Panama assumed full control of the Panama Canal.

In 2004, authorities in Buenos Aires reported at least 175 deaths and hundreds of injuries in a fire at a crowded nightclub. A government official said, "Only two exits were open; the others were tied up with wire. These young people were doomed in a death trap."


In 2006, Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union, increasing its membership to 27 countries. Croatia became the 28th EU member in 2013.

In 2013, the Dow Jones industrial average closed at 16,576.66, up 26.5 percent for the year, the biggest gain in nearly two decades.

A thought for the day: "Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one." -- Brad Paisley

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