Find out what happened on December 31 in this video of This Day in History. On this day, Thomas Edison gave the first demonstration of his newly developed lamp in 1879. President Harry Truman also gave an important message. Truman told the United States that the hostilities of the Second World War had come to an end. On December 31, 2004, the world saw the unveiling of the new tallest building, the Burj Dubai. Most importantly, in 1999 the United States gave control over the Panama Canal to Panama. The construction of the canal cost the United States $350 million and 30,000 lives. However, Panamanian nationalists wanted their nation in control of it. This transaction strengthened the relations between the United States and Latin America.