Local History

50 years ago: Alfred J. Kopetzki retired after 40 years with the New Ulm Post Office.

10 years ago: Barbara Stirling, a New Ulm native, was hired as director of the New Ulm Retail Development Corporation.

5 years ago: The announcement by Kraft Food Groups that it was restructuring its cheese manufacturing, and its impact on New Ulm, was rated the top story in a survey of Journal employees for 2012.

One year ago: The New Ulm Steel pounded the Breezy Point North Stars 8-3.

And elsewhere…

Today is Sunday, Dec. 31, the 365th and final day of 2017.

Today’s Highlight:

On Dec. 31, 1879, Thomas Edison first publicly demonstrated his electric incandescent light by illuminating some 40 bulbs at his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey.

On this date:

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

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

In 1877, President Rutherford B. Hayes and his wife, Lucy, celebrated their silver anniversary a day after the actual date by repeating their wedding vows during a reception in the White House.

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

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

In 1951, the Marshall Plan expired after distributing more than $12 billion in foreign aid.

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

In 1972, Major League baseball player Roberto Clemente, 38, was killed when a plane he chartered and was traveling on to bring relief supplies to earthquake-devastated Nicaragua crashed shortly after takeoff from Puerto Rico.

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.)

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush signed legislation to allow states and local governments to cut investment ties with Sudan because of the violence in Darfur.

Five years ago: Racing the clock, the White House reached a New Year’s Eve accord with Senate Republicans to block across-the-board tax increases and spending cuts in government programs due to take effect at midnight.

One year ago: Mariah Carey ushered in 2017 with a botched performance on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” on ABC; Carey blamed the show’s producers for technical difficulties, while Dick Clark Productions called Carey’s claims “absurd.”

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Sir Anthony Hopkins is 80. Actor Tim Considine (TV: “My Three Sons”) is 77. Actress Sarah Miles is 76. Actor Sir Ben Kingsley is 74. Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg is 71. Actor Tim Matheson is 70. Actress Bebe Neuwirth is 59. Actor Val Kilmer is 58. Actress Gong Li is 52. Author Nicholas Sparks is 52. Actor Lance Reddick is 48. Pop singer Joe McIntyre is 45. Rock musician Mikko Siren (Apocalyptica) is 42. Business executive Donald Trump Jr. is 40. Rapper PSY (Park Jae-sang) is 40. Rock musician Bob Bryar is 38. Actor/singer Erich Bergen is 32. DJ/vocalist Drew Taggart (The Chainsmokers) is 28. Olympic gold medal gymnast Gabby Douglas is 22.

Thought for Today: “Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go.” — Brooks Atkinson, American drama critic (1894-1984).