1687 - The first Huguenots set sail from France for the Cape of Good Hope. The vines they took with them were to form the basis of the South African wine industry.
1695 - The window tax was introduced and windows all over Britain were bricked up. Despite its unpopularity, the tax wasn’t abolished until 1851.
1759 - Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum and started brewing Guinness.
1857 - Queen Victoria chose Ottawa, then a small logging town, as the capital of Canada.
1907 The first New Year’s Eve celebration was held in Times Square (then known as Longacre Square) in New York.
1911 - Marie Curie received her second Nobel prize for her work on radioactive elements.
1923 - The chimes of Big Ben were broadcast for the first time on the BBC.
1927 - Food supplies were air-dropped into British villages cuts off by snow.
1935 - Monopoly was patented by Charles Darrow.
1938 - The first breathalyser, known as a ‘drunkometer’, was used in Indianapolis.
1953 - A British-led expedition to search for the ‘Abominable Snowman’ set off.
1960 - The farthing coin ceased to be legal tender.
1964 - Donald Campbell broke the world water speed record, becoming the first man to break the world land and water speed records in the same year.
1973 - A three-day working week was introduced in Britain to conserve energy during the miners strike.
1992 - Czechoslovakia was peacefully dissolved in what was dubbed by media as the Velvet Divorce, resulting in the creation of the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
1998 - The last minute of 1998 was 61 seconds long, to keep pace with the slowing revolution of the earth.
1999 - The Millennium Dome opened with a gala show attended by the Queen.
2000 - The Millennium Dome closed - after having received 6.5 million visitors and costing £763 million.
2003 - A large part of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations were cancelled due to bad weather.