Today is the Winter Solstice.

The Winter Solstice occurs when the Earth’s axial tilt is farthest away from the sun. In the northern hemisphere, it is the shortest day, and longest night. After today, the days gradually start getting longer again.

This day has been hailed as “The End of the World” many times over. And so far, the pronosticators have all been wrong…. Or have they?

Today I invite you to carefully consider these December 21 events, all absolutely qualifying as the end of the world, as somebody knew it:

In 1620, the Mayflower Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. That was the end of the world as the Native Americans knew it.

In 1941, the German U-567 submarine sank. Certainly the death of the sailors aboard was the end of their world, and an impact on all their families, but it also might qualify as the beginning of the end of the Third Reich.

In 1951, Joe DiMaggio announced his retirement. The end of the world? Well, for baseball fanatics, maybe.

Diana Ross made her final appearance as a Supreme on the Ed Sullivan Show on this date in 1969. The end of the Supremes!

Also on this date in 1969, Vince Lombardi coached his last football game. The end of an era, absolutely! (And he lost!)

In 1975, “Hello Dolly” closed at the Minskoff Theater in New York City after 51 performances. “Closed” is the ultimate “End.”

In 1980, Harold Carmichael ended his NFL streak of 127 consecutive game receptions. Dropping the ball was definitely the end of a record which still stands.

In 1989, Vice President Quayle sent out 30,000 Christmas cards with “beacon” spelled “beakon.” Perhaps it hastened the end of his political career.

The city of Bethlehem passed from Israeli to Palestinian control in 1995. While some might argue that this was a beginning, it was most certainly an end as well.

And in 2012, not only did the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar reached the date, but the “Gangnam Style” YouTube video became the first such posting to receive one billion views!  (I’ll let you draw your own conclusions on this one!)

Which brings us to today, December 21, 2013. Longer days are heading our way, and we’ll start seeing the E-N-D of these dastardly dark and short days. Hip-hip-hooray!