Here’s a look at some interesting events that took place on this day in history:

1879: Thomas Edison demonstrates incandescent lighting to the public for the first time (more info)

1907: The first New Year's Eve celebration is held in Times Square -- then known as Longacre Square -- in New York City (more info)

1938: The "drunkometer," the precursor to the modern-day breathalyzer, is introduced in Indianapolis (more info)

1946: President Harry Truman officially proclaims the end of hostilities in World War II (more info)

1999: In accordance with the Torrijos-Carter Treaties, the United States officially hands over control of the Panama Canal, putting the strategic waterway into Panamanian hands for the first time (more info)

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