This Day in History on 31 December

The historical events hold a lot of value for aspirants who are sitting for UPSC competitive exams including the IAS Exam.

On this page, we will list all historical events that occurred on 31 December. The students can refer to them while preparing for all competitive exams and banking exams.

Important Days

Important Events

1492: 100,000 Jews evacuated from the Sicily region of Italy.

1781: The first bank of America ‘Bank of North America’ opened.

1600: Establishment of the British East India Company.

1802: A treaty of Vasai signed between the British and the second Bajirao Peshwa.

1879: Thomas Edison demonstrated the first electric lamp in Menlo Park, New Jersey.

1929: Purna Swaraj (Complete Independence) announced at the Lahore session of the Congress.

1944: In World War II, Hungary declared war on Germany.

1955: General Motors became the first US Company to earn 1 billion a year.

1964: Indonesia was expelled from the United Nations.

1984: Rajiv Gandhi became the Prime Minister of India and Congress President for the first time.

1985: United Kingdom became a member of UNESCO.

1999: Indian Airlines Flight 814 hijacking ended after seven days with the release of 190 survivors at Kandhar Airport, Afghanistan.

2003: Foreign secretaries of India and other SAARC countries began talks before the summit.

2019: The World Health Organization was informed of cases of pneumonia with an unknown cause, detected in Wuhan. This later turned out to be COVID – 19, the cause of the COVID -19 pandemic.

Birth/Birth Anniversary

1869: Henri Émile Benoît Matisse, a French artist.

John Frost

1898: Krishna Ballabh Sahay, an Indian freedom fighter, and politician.

1910: Mallikarjun Mansur, an Indian classical singer from Karnataka.

1912: John Frost, Indian-English general (d. 1993)

1925: Shrilal Shukla, a Hindi writer, notable for his satire.

Sri Lal Sukla
Laxman Sivaramakrishnan

1934: Ameer Muhammad Akram Awan, an Islamic scholar and spiritual leader of the Naqshbandi Owaisiah order of Sufism.

1937: Anthony Hopkins, a Welsh actor, composer, director, and film producer.

1956: Prabhu, an Indian film actor, businessman, and film producer.

1965: Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, Indian cricketer

1977: Psy, a South Korean singer, rapper, songwriter, and record producer.

Death/ Death Anniversary

1953: Albert Plesman, a Dutch pioneer in aviation and the first administrator and later director of the KLM.

Kader Khan

1956: Ravishankar Shukla, a leader of the Indian National Congress, and Indian independence movement activist.

1986: Raj Narain, an Indian freedom fighter and politician.

1993: Zviad Gamsakhurdia, a Georgian politician, and the first democratically elected President of Georgia.

2001: Harshad Mehta, an Indian stockbroker.

2018: Kader Khan, Indian actor (b. 1937)

Further Reading

Month-wise This Day in History