By The Associated Press
Today in History
Today is Thursday, Dec. 31, the 366th and final day of 2020.
Todayís Highlight in History:
On Dec. 31, 2019, the health commission in the central Chinese city of Wuhan announced that experts were investigating an outbreak of respiratory illness and that most of the victims had visited a seafood market in the city; the statement said 27 people had become ill with a strain of viral pneumonia and that seven were in serious condition.
On this date:
In 1775, during the Revolutionary War, the British repulsed an attack by Continental Army generals Richard Montgomery and Benedict Arnold at Quebec; Montgomery was killed.
In 1857, Britainís Queen Victoria decided to make Ottawa the capital of Canada.
In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed an enabling act paving the way for Virginiaís western counties to become the state of West Virginia, which took place in June 1863.
In 1879, Thomas Edison first publicly demonstrated his electric incandescent light by illuminating some 40 bulbs at his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey.
In 1904, New Yorkís Times Square saw its first New Yearís Eve celebration, with an estimated 200,000 people in attendance.
In 1951, the Marshall Plan expired after distributing more than $12 billion in foreign aid.
In 1972, Major League baseball player Roberto Clemente, 38, was killed when a plane he chartered and was traveling on to bring relief supplies to earthquake-devastated Nicaragua crashed shortly after takeoff from Puerto Rico.
In 1974, private U.S. citizens were allowed to buy and own gold for the first time in more than 40 years.
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