December 31, 1890 - Ellis Island opened on this date in New York City, where millions of immigrants to the United States first set foot in the land of the free. (From Workday Minnesota)
December 31, 1931 – 60,000 unemployed workers rallied at Pitt Stadium in Pittsburgh, near Father Cox's Shantytown. The shantytown lasted from 1929 to 1932 and was the staging base for the Reverend James Cox's unemployed army. (From the Daily Bleed)
December 31, 1982--Martial law was declared in Poland in 1981 in an attempt to suppress the anti-communist Solidarnosc labor movement. It was suspended on this date in 1982 and officially ended July 22, 1983.