31 December 2022: Know what happened on this day and its significance

Representational image. ANI

Today, 31 December, is the year’s last day as the world gears up to enter 2023. While people in every corner of the world are ready to welcome the upcoming year with great pomp and joy, not many know that the date of 31 December is not just limited to the celebrations of the New Year. There are several major events and happenings that are significant to world history and took place on today’s date. From the World Health Organization learning about the deadly COVID-19 virus to the handing over of the Panama canal by the United States to Panama, 31 December is the date for many major events. Let’s read in detail to know further.

31 December: Historical events

1857 – Ottawa was made the capital of Canada

Acting on the advice of her Governor General Edmund Head, Queen Victoria selected Ottawa (in Ontario) as the capital of Canada.

1972 – Roberto Clemente’s death

On this date back in 1972, the star baseball player for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Roberto Clemente passed away in a major airplane crash while travelling to Nicaragua with relief supplies for earthquake survivors. While it has been exactly 50 years since he passed away, Clemente still remains to be one of the most revered figures in Puerto Rico and Latin America.

1991- The Soviet Union ceased to exist

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) ceased to exist as an entity after Russia and the other republics declared themselves independent states.

1999 – Boris Yeltsin resigned

Bringing an end to his tumultuous political career, then Russian President Boris Yeltsin submitted his resignation and chose Vladimir Putin as his successor. Following an election held in March 2000, Putin was elected to the post with immediate effect.

1999 – Panama Canal was officially handed over by the US

In accordance with the Torrijos-Carter Treaties signed in September 1977, the United States on 31 December 1999 officially handed over the control of the Panama Canal to Panama.

2019 – WHO learned about the COVID-19 pandemic

The World Health Organization, on 31 December 2019 had first learned of ‘viral pneumonia’ cases in Wuhan, China, which later turned out to be the coronavirus. A month later it declared the virus Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

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