On this day: December 31

POSTED: 02:25 AM PST Dec 29, 2012    UPDATED: 11:00 PM PST Dec 30, 2013 

Times Square holds its first New Year's Eve celebration, the board game Monopoly is patented, "Calvin and Hobbes" say goodbye, and the U.S. relinquishes control of the Panama Canal, all on this day.

OTD December 31 - Nicholas Sparks
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Publicity photo

1965: Author Nicholas Sparks, best known for his novels that have been adapted into films, including "Message in a Bottle," "A Walk to Remember," "The Notebook," "Dear John" and "The Last Song," is born in Omaha, Neb.

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