The large-scale New Year’s Eve fireworks display in London didn’t begin until 1999, but the extravaganza has been going strong ever since. Our photo today shows the celebration in 2017, as fireworks over the London Eye (the large Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the Thames) explode with color. And even though Big Ben’s chime has been silenced until maintenance on the tower is completed in 2021, the bell will ring for the New Year. Whether you’re out on the streets of a major urban area, or quietly celebrating at home, we hope you have a fun New Year’s Eve.
View of Parliament Hill and Chaudière Falls, Ottawa, ca. 1859. The hill is the second high landmass jutting into the Ottawa River on the right. It still contains barracks here, its last year with them, for construction of the Parliament Builds is about to begin. The Union Bridge is in the foreground, but its main span has been replaced, after many years of ferry service only, with a steel suspension bridge.
Also on this day,
1879 | Thomas Edison lights a street with his incandescent bulbs
On New Year’s Eve, American inventor Thomas Edison demonstrates his incandescent light bulbs in Menlo Park, New Jersey, by lighting a street in front of about 3,000 spectators. Edison isn’t the first to design such a light bulb, though his is the first to burn steadily for hours.1946 | US President Truman officially ends hostilities in World War II
Truman signs the Presidential Proclamation 2714 to officially cease all hostilities in World War II, more than a year after combat ended in Europe and the Pacific. But the state of war against Germany and Japan will continue until 1951 so that Allies can keep troops in these countries.1985 | Singer Ricky Nelson dies in plane crash
Traveling to Dallas, Texas, to perform in New Year’s Eve concert, the 45-year-old singer, actor, ex-teen idol, and son of Ozzie and Harriet, is on a chartered DC-3 when the cockpit fills with smoke. All seven passengers will die in the emergency landing, though the pilots will survive.
Presidential Proclamation 2714 was signed by President Harry S. Truman on December 31, 1946, to officially declare the cessation of all hostilities in World War II. Even though the actual combat of the war ended May 8, 1945, in Europe and September 2, 1945, in the Pacific, the state of war was not lifted off of Japan and Germany in order to give a reason for the necessity of occupation troops in these countries. Once the War Crimes Trials were over, the hostilities were seen as over. The signing of Proclamation 2714 is the reason why the U.S. recognizes its World War II veterans as anyone who has served between the dates of December 7, 1941, and December 31, 1946.
The declarations of war against Japan and Germany in 1941 were officially lifted as follows: