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On this day: December 31

Published On: Dec 29 2012 04:25:41 AM CST   Updated On: Dec 31 2013 01:00:00 AM CST

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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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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