Truman proclaims end of World War II hostilities in 1946

The Associated Press /

Today is Friday, Dec. 31, the 365th and final day of 2010.

Today’s Highlight in History

On Dec. 31, 1775, during the Revolutionary War, the British repulsed an attack by Continental Army generals Richard Montgomery and Benedict Arnold at Quebec; Montgomery was killed.

On this date

In 1857, Britain’s Queen Victoria decided to make Ottawa the capital of Canada.

In 1879, Thomas Edison first publicly demonstrated his electric incandescent light in Menlo Park, N.J.

In 1909, the Manhattan Bridge, spanning the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn, was officially opened to vehicular traffic.

In 1946, President Harry S. Truman officially proclaimed the end of hostilities in World War II.

In 1969, Joseph Yablonski, an unsuccessful candidate for the presidency of the United Mine Workers of America, was shot to death along with his wife and daughter in their Clarksville, Pa., home by hit men acting under the orders of UMWA President Tony Boyle.

In 1970, Paul McCartney filed a lawsuit in London’s High Court against his fellow Beatles to officially dissolve their partnership.

In 1985, singer Rick Nelson, 45, and six other people were killed when fire broke out aboard a DC-3 that was taking the group to a New Year’s Eve performance in Dallas.

In 1986, 97 people were killed when fire broke out in the Dupont Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Three hotel workers later pleaded guilty in connection with the blaze.)

In 1997, Michael Kennedy, the 39-year-old son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, was killed in a skiing accident on Aspen Mountain in Colorado.

Ten years ago

President Bill Clinton authorized the United States to sign a treaty creating the world’s first permanent international war crimes tribunal to bring to justice people accused of crimes against humanity. Former U.S. Sen. Alan Cranston died in Los Altos, Calif., at age 86. Flamenco dancer Jose Greco died in Lancaster, Pa., at age 82.

Five years ago

In central Indonesia, suspected Islamic militants set off a powerful bomb at a busy market frequented by Christians, killing seven people.

Today’s Birthdays

TV producer George Schlatter is 81. Actor Sir Anthony Hopkins is 73. Actor Tim Considine (“My Three Sons”) is 70. Actress Sarah Miles is 69. Rock musician Andy Summers is 68. Actor Sir Ben Kingsley is 67. Actor Tim Matheson is 63. Pop singer Burton Cummings (The Guess Who) is 63. Singer Donna Summer is 62. Actor Joe Dallesandro is 62. Rock musician Tom Hamilton (Aerosmith) is 59. Actress Bebe Neuwirth is 52. Actor Val Kilmer is 51. Singer Paul Westerberg is 51. Actor Don Diamont is 48. Actress Gong Li is 45. Author Nicholas Sparks is 45. Actor Lance Reddick is 41. Pop singer Joe McIntyre is 38. Rock musician Bob Bryar (My Chemical Romance) is 31.

Thought for Today

“Though the past haunt me as a spirit, I do not ask to forget.”

— Felicia Dorothea Browne Hemans, English poet (1793-1835)