Day in History: December 31

Telephone line Moscow – Petersburg

On December 31, 1888, the first long—distance telephone line Moscow – Petersburg was opened. At that time, it was the longest in Europe, its length was 660 km.

Even before the opening of this telephone line, the Conditions for the use of long-distance telephone communication were developed and announced. They said that the long-distance telephone line was intended for general use, and all residents of one capital, without exception, would be able to communicate by phone with any of the residents of the other. And in Moscow, and in Special Central long-distance telephone exchanges were set up in St. Petersburg, connected to the centers of urban telephone networks, with exchanges and with telephone exchange stations.

The first supersonic flight

On December 31, 1968, the world’s first flight of the Tu-144 supersonic passenger aircraft took place. It was the first aircraft fully designed by Alexey Tupolev, the son of the famous designer Andrey Tupolev.

The flight became an event in world aviation, the European Concorde took off two months later – on March 2, 1969.

On June 3, 1973, a Tu-144 crashed during a demonstration flight in Le Bourget, killing six crew members with commander M. Kozlov. This disaster caused the suspension, and then the complete cessation of operation of the Tu-144 on passenger flights.

Resignation of Boris Yeltsin

On December 31, 1999, Boris Yeltsin resigned from the post of President of the Russian Federation. Vladimir Putin was appointed Acting President.

Dear friends! My dear ones! Today I am addressing you for the last time with a New Year greeting. But that’s not all. Today I am addressing you for the last time as the President of Russia. I’ve made a decision. I thought about it for a long time and painfully. Today, on the last day of the passing century, I am resigning.Boris Yeltsin

Yeltsin explained that he was leaving “not for health reasons, but for the totality of all problems,” and asked for forgiveness from the citizens of Russia.

As can be seen from the above text of the address, Yeltsin did not utter the words “I’m tired, I’m leaving”; nevertheless, these words are often attributed to him.


Explosion in Magnitogorsk

On December 31, 2018, an explosion occurred in a residential building in Magnitogorsk. As a result of the collapse, 39 people were killed. During the disaster, 35 apartments were completely destroyed, and another 10 were partially destroyed.

On December 31, President Vladimir Putin urgently flew out of Sochi to Magnitogorsk, where he examined the scene of the tragedy, held a meeting at the operational headquarters with the participation of the leadership of the Chelyabinsk region, and also visited the hospital where the victims were.

According to the fact of the explosion, the regional FSB considered an explosion of household gas as the main version of the collapse of the house, but on January 17, responsibility for the explosion was assumed by the banned in many countries, including in Russia, the terrorist organization “Islamic State”. Later, the official representative of the Russian IC, Svetlana Petrenko, urged not to trust the statements of terrorist organizations, which often attribute themselves to high-profile incidents in different countries of the world.



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