On this day in history, December 31

No new slaves!

No new slaves!

Published Dec 31, 2023


Real people, real stories – more than just dates and boring facts

Don’t want to pay the taxman? It’s simple – reduce the amount of windows you have!

1695 A window tax is imposed in England, causing many shopkeepers and homeowners to brick up their windows just to make ends met.

1783 The import of African slaves is banned by all of the northern US states. However, slavery, which was the root cause of the Civil war, lasted in about half of the US states until abolition in 1865.

1897 It is Brooklyn’s last day as an independent city before being swallowed up by its expanding neighbour, New York, which it becomes a suburb of.

1911 Marie Curie receives her second Nobel Prize, this time in Chemistry, for her work with radioactivity. Her first was in Physics. She is largely remembered for her discovery of radium and polonium, as well as her huge contribution to finding treatments for cancer. She is also remembered for having boldly broken many gender barriers.

1935 Charles Darrow patents the board game Monopoly, and goes on to be the first millionaire game designer.

The United Nations in New York.

1945 Ratification of the UN Charter, which South African premier and statesman Jan Smuts, below, had a hand in drawing up, is completed.

One of the architects of the United Nations, South Africa’s Jan Smuts.

Mr Showman, Evel Knievel

1967 Motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel fails in his attempt to jump the Caesar’s Palace Fountain, in Las Vegas, in the process breaking his pelvis, femur, wrist, hip and both ankles.

Daily Dispatch Editor Donald Woods – the government didn’t take kindly to his anti-apartheid stance.

1977 Donald Woods, the banned editor of East London’s Daily Dispatch newspaper, above, flees to Lesotho from South Africa because of his dogged anti-apartheid stance.

1980 After being struck by an orange thrown from the crowd, fiery West Indian fast bowler Sylvester Clarke knocks out a spectator with a brick during the 4th Test against Pakistan in Multan.

1997 South African & US surgeons separate Zambian Siamese twins joined at the head.

1999 Boris Yeltsin resigns as president of Russia, leaving Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as acting president. Putin’s still there.

2017 A ban on ivory trade in China comes into effect.

2017 A bus crash at Migaa, near Molo in central Kenya, kills at least 30 people.

2019 Iraqi militiamen and protesters breach the outer wall of the US embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, following US airstrikes against Kataib Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Iraqi militia, on December 29.