Looking backward

The north

10 years ago

Dec. 31, 2010: As sure as the coming of the New Year, Time Warner Cable customers will see increased rates Feb. 1. In St. Lawrence County, customers will pay $13.25 per month for basic cable, up from $11.73. In Jefferson and Lewis counties, basic cable service customers will see rates increase from $9.41 to $10.75 per month. Digital cable charges in all three counties will increase from $67.75 to $72.95 per month. The cable provider raised rates in the north country in February and in March 2009.

25 years ago

Dec. 31, 1995: Some furniture buyers will have their fingers crossed for an extremely heavy snowfall in Watertown on Monday, but the odds are stacked against them. Furniture Depot, formerly Household Merit, 150 Court St., advertised an “If it snows, it’s free!” sale. In smaller print, the store stated in its ads that buyers of certain brands of beds in the promotion would receive a full refund if more than 10 inches of snow fell in the first 12 hours of New Year’s Day.

50 years ago

Dec. 31, 1970: Jefferson County Board of Elections in the County Office Building will begin registering county residents between the ages of 18 and 20 on Monday. Persons between those ages will be able to vote in the 1972 federal elections, according to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling earlier this month.

75 years ago

Dec. 31, 1945: It was ironic but City Manager C. Leland Wood today discovered that he had five vacation days left in 1945 with only today available. So he took the rest of the day off. During the year, the city manager made a regulation, among others, that city officials and employees would have to take vacations during the calendar year.

100 years ago

Dec. 31, 1920: With officials insisting upon a rigid enforcement of the Volstead Act, it is generally admitted that no “proper” celebration of the birth of the New Year is possible, but the numerous dances and midnight dinners planned for this evening will in some measure represent an observance of the passing of Old Man 1920, and the ushering in of Baby 1921.

125 years ago

Dec. 31, 1895: W.C. Johnson is sending to friends in Watertown, copies of a bicycle catalogue issued by the Davis Sewing Machine Co., of Dayton, O., for the new bicycle manufactured by that company and called the Dayton. The catalogue is handsome and so are the bicycles and so are the pictures of the girls and young men riding on the bicycles.

150 years ago

Dec. 31, 1870: Dr. Huntington, of No. 1 Washington Hall, has just retuned from New York, where he has been making himself thoroughly acquainted with the manufacture and administration of Nitrous Oxide (or laughing) Gas for the painless extraction of teeth. Those affected with aching teeth have but to inhale a few breaths of this tasteless, odorless, harmless gas, and they are in dream land — presto , change — they awake minus the offending member, with none of that unpleasant sensation accompanying the use of chloroform or ether.

The world

1775: George Washington orders recruiting officers to accept free blacks into the army.

1852: The richest year of the gold rush ends with $81.3 million in gold produced.

1862: Union General William Rosecrans’ army repels two Confederate attacks at the Battle of Murfreesboro (Stone’s River).

1910: John B. Moisant and Arch Hoxsey, two of America’s foremost aviators, die in separate plane crashes.

1911: Helene Dutrieu wins the Femina aviation cup in Etampes. She sets a distance record for women at 158 miles.

1915: The Germans torpedo the British liner Persia without any warning killing 335 passengers.

1923: The Sahara is crossed by an automobile for the first time.

1930: Brewery heir Adolphus Busch is kidnapped.

1941: General MacArthur reports that U.S. lines in Manila have been pushed back by the Japanese.

1942: After five months of battle, Emperor Hirohito allows the Japanese commanders at Guadalcanal to retreat.

1944: Hungary declares war on Germany.

1965: California becomes the largest state in population.

1977: Cambodia breaks relations with Vietnam.

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