This day in history. Read about what happened today. A short and interesting account of historical events and facts about this day as well as any other day of the year. Find historical birthdays, deaths, tragedies, war events, disasters and sports events.

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On December the 31st
Russian president, Boris Yeltsin, resigned from office leaving then Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as the acting President.
The United States handed control of the Panama Canal over to Panamanian government.
American actor, Val Kilmer, was born in Los Angeles, California. He is a highly successful actor who became a star when he was cast as the lead of the spoof comedy, Top Secret, in 1984.
After a proclamation by United States president, Harry Truman, World War II officially came to an end.
Hungary declared war on Germany.
British actor, Ben Kingsley, was born in Scarborough, Yorkshire. His birth name is, Krishna Bhanji. He was awarded knighthood in the 2001for his contribution to film and theatre.
British actor, Anthony Hopkins, was born in Margam, Wales. He is an Academy Award winning film and stage actors, who is widely acknowledged as one of the best actors of his generation.
French painter, Henri Matisse, was born in Le Cateau-Cambresis, France. He is one of the best-known artists of the twentieth century.
In Britain a tax was imposed on glass windows of shops. It had the effect causing many shopkeepers to brick up their windows.
British East India Company was founded. It was one of the most powerful companies in history, which enjoyed the protection and promotion of the British royal family in trading with India and the rest of the British colonies around the world.
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