This Day in History: Dec. 31

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

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

1879: Thomas Edison first publicly demonstrated his electric incandescent light in Menlo Park, New Jersey.

1904: New York's Times Square saw its first New Year's Eve celebration, with an estimated 200,000 people in attendance.

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

1951: The Marshall Plan expired after distributing more than $12 billion in foreign aid.

1974: Private U.S. citizens were allowed to buy and own gold for the first time in more than 40 years.

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