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This Day in History for December 31 – Times Square Celebrates and More

Joe Corrigan, Getty Images

Here’s a look at some interesting events that took place on this day in history:

1879 – Thomas Edison demonstrates incandescent lighting to the public for the first time (More info)

1907 – The first New Year’s Eve celebration is held in Times Square — then known as Longacre Square — in New York City (More info)

1938 – The “drunkometer,” the precursor to the modern-day breathalyzer, is introduced in Indianapolis (More info)

1946 – President Harry Truman officially proclaims the end of hostilities in World War II (More info)

1999 – In accordance with the Torrijos-Carter Treaties, the United States officially hands over control of the Panama Canal, putting the strategic waterway into Panamanian hands for the first time (More info)

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