January 1st in History

This day in historyJanuary 1 is the first day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). The preceding day is December 31 of the previous year.

During the Middle Ages under the influence of the Christian Church, many countries moved the start of the year to one of several important Christian festivals – December 25 (the Nativity of Jesus), March 1, March 25 (the Annunciation), or even Easter. Eastern European countries (most of them with populations showing allegiance to the Orthodox Church) began their numbered year on September 1 from about 988.

In England, January 1 was celebrated as the New Year festival, but from the 12th century to 1752 the year in England began on March 25 (Lady Day). So, for example, the Parliamentary record notes the execution of Charles I as occurring on January 30, 1648, (as the year did not end until March 24), although modern histories adjust the start of the year to January 1 and record the execution as occurring in 1649.

Most western European countries changed the start of the year to January 1 before they adopted the Gregorian calendar. For example, Scotland changed the start of the Scottish New Year to January 1 in 1600. England, Ireland and the British colonies changed the start of the year to January 1 in 1752. Later that year in September, the Gregorian calendar was introduced throughout Britain and the British colonies. These two reforms were implemented by the Calendar (New Style) Act 1750.

January 1 became the official start of the year as follows:


Pre-Julian Roman calendar

In 153 BC,  Roman consuls begin their year in office.

Early Julian calendar (before Augustus’ leap year correction)

In 45 BC,  The Julian calendar takes effect for the first time.

In 42 BC,  The Roman Senate posthumously deifies Julius Caesar

In 69,  The Roman legions in Germania Superior refuse to swear loyalty to Galba. They rebel and proclaim Vitellius as emperor.

Julian calendar

In 193,  The Senate chooses Pertinax against his will to succeed Commodus as Roman emperor.

In 404,  An infuriated Roman mob tears Telemachus, a Christian monk, to pieces for trying to stop a gladiators‘ fight in the public arena held in Rome.

In 414,  Galla Placidia, half-sister of Emperor Honorius, is married to the Visigothic king Ataulf at Narbonne. The wedding is celebrated with Roman festivities and magnificent gifts from the Gothic booty.

In 417,  Emperor Honorius forces Galla Placidia into marriage to Constantius, his famous general (magister militum).

In 1001,  Grand Prince Stephen I of Hungary is named the first King of Hungary by Pope Sylvester II.

In 1068,  Romanos IV Diogenes marries Eudokia Makrembolitissa and is crowned Byzantine Emperor.

In 1259,  Michael VIII Palaiologos is proclaimed co-emperor of the Empire of Nicaea with his ward John IV Laskaris.

Two large groups of late medieval knights approaching each other on footIn 1350, The Battle of Calais took place in the early morning of 1 January 1350, during the Hundred Years’ War. English troops in the occupied French city of Calais ambushed and defeated an unsuspecting French force which was attempting to take the city. Despite a truce being in effect, the French commander Geoffrey de Charny had planned to take the city by subterfuge, and bribed Amerigo of Pavia, an Italian officer of the city garrison, to open a gate for them. The English king, Edward III, became aware of the plot and personally led his household knights and the Calais garrison in a surprise counter-attack. The French were routed by this smaller force, with significant losses and all of their leaders captured or killed. Later that day, Edward dined with the highest-ranking captives, treating them with royal courtesy except for Charny, whom he taunted for having abandoned his chivalric principles by both fighting during a truce and attempting to purchase his way into Calais rather than fight.

In 1438,  Albert II of Habsburg is crowned King of Hungary.

In 1502,  The present-day location of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is first explored by the Portuguese.

In 1515,  King Francis I of France succeeds to the French throne.

In 1527,  Croatian nobles elect Ferdinand I of Austria as King of Croatia in the Parliament on Cetin.

In 1600,  Scotland begins its numbered year on January 1 instead of March 25.

In 1651,  Charles II is crowned King of Scotland.

In 1700,  Russia begins using the Anno Domini era and no longer uses the Anno Mundi era of the Byzantine Empire.

For 1701 to 1800 – see January 12

For 1801 to 1900 – see January 13

For 1901 to 2100 – see January 14

Gregorian calendar

In 1707,  John V is crowned King of Portugal.

In 1739,  Bouvet Island is discovered by French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier.

In 1772,  The first traveler’s cheques, which can be used in 90 European cities, go on sale in London, England, Great Britain.

In 1773,  The hymn that became known as “Amazing Grace“, then titled “1 Chronicles 17:16–17” is first used to accompany a sermon led by John Newton in the town of Olney, England.

In 1776,  American Revolutionary War: Norfolk, Virginia is burned by combined Royal Navy and Continental Army action.

In 1781,  American Revolutionary War: 1,500 soldiers of the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment under General Anthony Wayne‘s command rebel against the Continental Army’s winter camp in Morristown, New Jersey in the Pennsylvania Line Mutiny of 1781.

In 1788,  First edition of The Times of London, previously The Daily Universal Register, is published.

In 1800,  The Dutch East India Company is dissolved.

In 1801,  The legislative union of Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland is completed to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

In 1801,  The dwarf planet Ceres is discovered by Giuseppe Piazzi.

In 1803,  Emperor Gia Long orders all bronze wares of the Tây Sơn Dynasty to be collected and melted into nine cannons for the Royal Citadel in Huế, Vietnam.

In 1804,  French rule ends in Haiti. Haiti becomes the first black republic and second independent country in North America after the United States

In 1806,  The French Republican Calendar is abolished.

In 1808,  The importation of slaves into the United States is banned.

In 1810,  Major-General Lachlan Macquarie CB officially becomes Governor of New South Wales

In 1812,  The Bishop of Durham, Shute Barrington, orders troops from Durham Castle to break up a miners strike in Chester-le-Street, Co. Durham

In 1822, The Greek Constitution of 1822 is adopted by the First National Assembly at Epidaurus.

In 1833,  The United Kingdom claims sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.

In 1845,  The Cobble Hill Tunnel in Brooklyn, New York, New York is completed.

Johann Bernoulli2.jpgIn 1748,  Johann Bernoulli, Swiss mathematician (b. 1667) dies. He was a Swiss mathematician and was one of the many prominent mathematicians in the Bernoulli family. He is known for his contributions to infinitesimal calculus and educating Leonhard Euler in the pupil’s youth. Johann was born in Basel, the son of Nicolaus Bernoulli, an apothecary, and his wife, Margaretha Schonauer and began studying medicine at Basel University. His father desired that he study business so that he might take over the family spice trade, but Johann Bernoulli did not like business and convinced his father to allow him to study medicine instead. However, Johann Bernoulli did not enjoy medicine either and began studying mathematics on the side with his older brother Jacob. Throughout Johann Bernoulli’s education at Basel University the Bernoulli brothers worked together spending much of their time studying the newly discovered infinitesimal calculus. They were among the first mathematicians to not only study and understand calculus but to apply it to various problems.

In 1847,  The world’s first “Mercy” Hospital is founded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by the Sisters of Mercy, the name will go on to grace over 30 major hospitals throughout the world.

In 1860,  First Polish stamp is issued.

In 1861,  Porfirio Díaz conquers Mexico City, Mexico.

In 1863,  American Civil War: The Emancipation Proclamation takes effect in Confederate territory.

In 1863,  The first claim under the Homestead Act is made by Daniel Freeman for a farm in Nebraska.

In 1870,  Adolf Loos, architect, co-founder of modern architecture, baptized in St. Thomas church, Brno, Moravia

In 1873,  Japan begins using the Gregorian calendar.

In 1877,  Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom is proclaimed Empress of India.

In 1880,  Ferdinand de Lesseps begins French construction of the Panama Canal.

1903 Poor's Mobile and Ohio Railroad.jpgIn 1880,  The party starts with a banquet and ball to celebrate the opening of the Mobile and Ohio railroad shops in Jackson, TN. The Mobile and Ohio Railroad was a railroad in the Southern U.S. The M&O was chartered in January and February 1848 by the states of Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee. It was planned to span the distance between the seaport of Mobile, Alabama and the Ohio River near Cairo, Illinois. On September 13, 1940 it was merged with the Gulf, Mobile and Northern Railroad to form the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad. At the end of 1925 M&O operated 1161 miles of road and 1536 miles of track; that year it reported 1785 million ton-miles of revenue freight and 49 million passenger-miles.

In 1885,  Twenty-five nations adopt Sandford Fleming‘s proposal for standard time (and also, time zones)

In 1890,  Eritrea is consolidated into a colony by the Italian government.

In 1890,  The Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, is first held.

In 1892,  Ellis Island opens to begin processing immigrants into the United States.

In 1894,  The Manchester Ship Canal, England, is officially opened to traffic.

Heinrich Rudolf HertzIn 1894,  Heinrich Hertz, German physicist (b. 1857) was diagnosed with an infection (after a bout of severe migraines) and underwent operations to treat the illness. He died of Wegener’s granulomatosis at the age of 36 in Bonn, Germany in 1894, and was buried in the Ohlsdorf Cemetery in Hamburg. He was a German physicist who first conclusively proved the existence of electromagnetic waves theorized by James Clerk Maxwell‘s electromagnetic theory of light. Hertz proved the theory by engineering instruments to transmit and receive radio pulses using experimental procedures that ruled out all other known wireless phenomena. The scientific unit of frequency – cycles per second – was named the “hertz” in his honor.

In 1898,  New York, New York annexes land from surrounding counties, creating the City of Greater New York. The four initial boroughs, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and The Bronx, are joined on January 25 by Staten Island to create the modern city of five boroughs.

In 1899,  Spanish rule ends in Cuba.

In 1901,  Nigeria becomes a British protectorate.

In 1901,  The British colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia federate as the Commonwealth of Australia; Edmund Barton is appointed the first Prime Minister.

In 1902,  The first American college football bowl game, the Rose Bowl between Michigan and Stanford, is held in Pasadena, California.

In 1906,  British India officially adopts the Indian Standard Time.

In 1908,  For the first time, a ball is dropped in New York, New York’s Times Square to signify the start of the New Year at midnight.

In 1909,  Drilling begins on the Lakeview Gusher.

In 1910,  Captain David Beatty is promoted to Rear admiral, and becomes the youngest admiral in the Royal Navy (except for Royal family members), since Horatio Nelson.

In 1911,  Northern Territory is separated from South Australia and transferred to Commonwealth control.

In 1912,  The Republic of China is established.

In 1913,  The British Board of Censors is established.

In 1916,  German troops abandon Yaoundé and their Kamerun colony to British forces and begin the long march to Spanish Guinea.

In 1920,  The Belorussian Communist Organisation is founded as a separate party.

In 1923,  Britain’s Railways are grouped into the Big Four: LNER, GWR, SR, and LMS.

In 1927,  The Cristero War begins in Mexico.

In 1927,  Turkey adopts the Gregorian calendar: December 18, 1926 (Julian), is immediately followed by January 1, 1927 (Gregorian).

In 1928,  Boris Bazhanov defects through Iran. He is the only assistant of Joseph Stalin‘s secretariat to have defected from the Eastern Bloc.

In 1929,  The former municipalities of Point Grey, British Columbia and South Vancouver, British Columbia are amalgamated into Vancouver.

In 1932,  The United States Post Office Department issues a set of 12 stamps commemorating the 200th anniversary of George Washington’s birth.

In 1934,  Alcatraz Island becomes a United States federal prison.

In 1934,  Nazi Germany passes the “Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring“.

In 1937,  Safety glass in vehicle windscreens becomes mandatory in the United Kingdom.

In 1939,  Sydney, Australia, swelters in 45 ˚C (113 ˚F) heat, a record for the city.

In 1942,  The Declaration by United Nations is signed by twenty-six nations.

In 1945,  World War II: In retaliation for the Malmedy massacre, U.S. troops massacre 30 SS prisoners at Chenogne.

In 1945,  World War II: The German Luftwaffe launches Operation Bodenplatte, a massive, but failed attempt to knock out Allied air power in northern Europe in a single blow.

In 1947,  The American and British occupation zones in Germany, after World War II, merge to form the Bizone, that later became West Germany.

In 1947,  The Canadian Citizenship Act 1946 comes into effect, converting British subjects into Canadian citizens. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King becomes the first Canadian citizen.

In 1948,  The British railway network is nationalized to form British Railways.

In 1948,  The Constitution of Italy comes into force.

In 1949,  United Nations cease-fire takes effect in Kashmir from one minute before midnight. War between India and Pakistan stops accordingly.

In 1950,  Standard practice uses this day as the origin of the age scale Before Present

Hank Williams Promotional Photo.jpgIn 1953, Hank Williams, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (Drifting Cowboys) (b. 1923) dies. He was an American singer-songwriter and musician. Regarded as one of the most significant and influential American singers and songwriters of the 20th century, Williams recorded 35 singles (five released posthumously) that would place in the Top 10 of the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart, including 11 that ranked number one.

Born in Mount Olive, Butler County, Alabama, Williams moved to Georgiana, where he met Rufus Payne, a black street performer who gave him guitar lessons in exchange for meals or money. Payne had a major influence on Williams’ later musical style, along with Roy Acuff and Ernest Tubb. During this time, Williams informally changed his name to Hank, believing it to be a better name for country music. He moved to Montgomery and his music career began there in 1937, when WSFA radio station producers hired him to perform and host a 15-minute program. He formed as backup the Drifting Cowboys band, which was managed by his mother, and dropped out of school to devote his time to his career.

When several of his band members were conscripted into military service during World War II, Williams had trouble with their replacements and was dismissed by WSFA due to his alcoholism. Williams eventually married Audrey Sheppard, who managed him for nearly a decade. After recording “Never Again” and “Honky Tonkin'” with Sterling Records, he signed a contract with MGM Records. In 1948 he released “Move It on Over“, which became a hit, and also joined the Louisiana Hayride radio program. One year later, he released a cover of “Lovesick Blues“, which carried him into the mainstream of music. After an initial rejection, Williams joined the Grand Ole Opry. He was unable to read or notate music to any significant degree. Among the hits he wrote were “Your Cheatin’ Heart“, “Hey, Good Lookin’“, and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry“.

Several years of back pain, alcoholism, and prescription drug abuse severely damaged Williams’ health; he divorced Sheppard and was dismissed by the Grand Ole Opry, which cited unreliability and frequent intoxication. Williams died in the early morning hours of January 1, 1953, at the age of 29, from heart failure exacerbated by pills and alcohol. Despite his short life, Williams has had a major influence on 20th century popular music, especially country music. The songs he wrote and recorded have been covered by numerous artists, and have been hits in various genres. He has been inducted into multiple music halls of fame, such as the Country Music Hall of Fame (1961), the Songwriters Hall of Fame (1970), and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1987). His son, Hank Williams, Jr., daughter Jett Williams, grandson Hank Williams III, and granddaughters Holly Williams and Hilary Williams are also country musicians.

In 1954,  NBC makes the first coast-to-coast NTSC color broadcast when it telecast the Tournament of Roses Parade, with public demonstrations given across the United States on prototype color receivers.

In 1956,  Sudan achieves independence from Egypt and the United Kingdom.

In 1956,  A new year event causes panic and stampedes at Yahiko Shrine, Yahiko, Niigata, Japan, killing at least 124 people.

In 1957,  George Town, Penang becomes a city by a royal charter granted by Elizabeth II.

In 1957,  An Irish Republican Army (IRA) unit attacks Brookeborough RUC barracks during Operation Harvest; two IRA volunteers killed.

In 1958,  The European Economic Community is established.

In 1959,  Fulgencio Batista, dictator of Cuba, is overthrown by Fidel Castro‘s forces during the Cuban Revolution.

In 1960,  Cameroon achieves independence from France and the United Kingdom.

In 1962,  Western Samoa achieves independence from New Zealand; its name is changed to the Independent State of Western Samoa.

In 1962,  United States Navy SEALs established.

In 1964,  The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland is divided into the independent republics of Zambia and Malawi, and the British-controlled Rhodesia.

In 1965,  The People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan is founded in Kabul, Afghanistan.

In 1966,  A twelve-day New York City transit strike begins.

In 1966,  After a coup, Colonel Jean-Bédel Bokassa assumes power as president of the Central African Republic.

In 1970,  Unix time begins at 00:00:00 UTC/GMT.

In 1971,  Cigarette advertisements are banned on American television.

In 1973,  Denmark, the United Kingdom, and Ireland are admitted into the European Economic Community.

In 1977,  Charter 77 published its first document.

In 1978,  Air India Flight 855 Boeing 747 crashes into the sea, due to instrument failure and pilot disorientation, off the coast of Bombay, India, killing 213.

In 1978,  The Constitution of the Northern Mariana Islands becomes effective.

In 1979,  Formal diplomatic relations are established between China and the United States.

In 1980,  Victoria is crowned princess of Sweden.

In 1981,  Greece is admitted into the European Community.

In 1981,  Palau achieves self-government though it is not independent from the United States.

In 1982,  Peruvian Javier Pérez de Cuéllar becomes the first Latin American to hold the title of Secretary-General of the United Nations.

In 1982,  ITV franchise ATV gets replaced by Central

In 1983,  The ARPANET officially changes to using the Internet Protocol, creating the Internet.

In 1984,  The original American Telephone & Telegraph Company is divested of its 22 Bell System companies as a result of the settlement of the 1974 United States Department of Justice antitrust suit against AT&T.

In 1984,  Brunei becomes independent of the United Kingdom.

In 1985,  The Internet’s Domain Name System is created.

In 1985,  The first British mobile phone call is made by Ernie Wise to Vodafone.

In 1986,  Aruba becomes independent of Curaçao, though it remains in free association with the Netherlands.

In 1986,  Spain and Portugal are admitted into the European Community.

In 1988,  The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America comes into existence, creating the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States.

In 1989,  The Montreal Protocol Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer comes into force.

In 1990,  David Dinkins is sworn in as New York City’s first black mayor.

In 1992,  Russia is officially formed.

Commodore Grace M. Hopper, USN (covered).jpg

Commodore Grace M. Hopper, USN

In 1992, Grace Hopper, American computer scientist and admiral, co-developed COBOL (b. 1906) dies at age 85. She was an American computer scientist and United States Navy Rear Admiral. She was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer in 1944, invented the first compiler for a computer programming language, and was one of those who popularized the idea of machine-independent programming languages which led to the development of COBOL, one of the first high-level programming languages. She is credited with popularizing the term “debugging” for fixing computer glitches (in one instance, removing a moth from a computer).

Owing to her accomplishments and her naval rank, she is sometimes referred to as “Amazing Grace“. The U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG-70) is named for her, as is the Cray XE6 “Hopper” supercomputer at NERSC.

In 1993,  Dissolution of Czechoslovakia: Czechoslovakia is divided into Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

In 1993,  A single market within the European Community is introduced.

In 1994,  The Zapatista Army of National Liberation initiates twelve days of armed conflict in the Mexican State of Chiapas.

In 1994,  The North American Free Trade Agreement comes into effect.

In 1995,  The World Trade Organization goes into effect.

In 1995,  Sweden, Austria, and Finland are admitted into the European Union.

In 1995,  The Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe becomes the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

In 1995,  The Draupner wave in the North Sea in Norway is detected, confirming the existence of freak waves.

In 1996,  Curaçao gains limited self-government, though it remains within free association with the Netherlands.

In 1997,  Zaire officially joins the World Trade Organization.

In 1997,  Ghanaian diplomat Kofi Annan is appointed Secretary-General of the United Nations.

In 1998,  Russia begins to circulate new rubles to stem inflation and promote confidence.

In 1998,  The European Central Bank is established.

In 1999,  The Euro currency is introduced in 11 countries – members of the European Union (with the exception of the United Kingdom, Denmark, Greece and Sweden).

Ray Walston

In 2001,  Ray Walston, dies of lupus in his Beverly Hills, California home at age 86.  (Born November 2, 1914) He was an American stage, television and film actor best known as the title character on the 1960s CBS situation comedy My Favorite Martian. He is also remembered for such iconic stage, film and television roles as Luther Billis (South Pacific); Mr. Applegate (Damn Yankees); J.J. Singleton (The Sting), Mr. Hand (Fast Times at Ridgemont High) and Judge Henry Bone (Picket Fences).

In 2002,  Euro banknotes and coins become legal tender in twelve of the European Union’s member states.

In 2002,Taiwan officially joins the World Trade Organization, as Chinese Taipei.

In 2002,  The Open Skies mutual surveillance treaty, initially signed in 1992, officially comes into force.

In 2004,  In a vote of confidence, General Pervez Musharraf wins 658 out of 1,170 votes in the Electoral College of Pakistan, and according to Article 41(8) of the Constitution of Pakistan, is “deemed to be elected” to the office of President until October 2007. Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Cyprus, Malta and the Czech Republic join the European Union.

In 2007,  Bulgaria and Romania officially join the European Union.Slovenia joins Eurozone.

In 2007,  Adam Air Flight 574 disappears over Indonesia with 102 people on board.

In 2009,  Sixty-six people die in a nightclub fire in Bangkok, Thailand.

In 2010,  A suicide car bomber detonates at a volleyball tournament in Lakki Marwat, Pakistan, killing 105 and injuring 100 more.

In 2011,  A bomb explodes as Coptic Christians in Alexandria, Egypt, leave a new year service, killing 23 people.

In 2011, Eleven Utah cities have banded together to provide taxpayer-backed telecom services through a fiber-optic network they call UTOPIA. Unfortunately, UTOPIA has put these cities in a debt dystopia as their leaders learn commercial success is a much more elusive target than they imagined. Gee… that’s news.

In 2011, As usual the Jackson Sun’s comment is the City should approve charter school land donation, therefore contribute $375,000.00 of taxpayer funds to private board in a risky exercise even before this same group has failed to file an application with the School System. This would include the instant removal of $1,000,000 of annual funding from the existing as well as $10,000,000.00 for a new facility, again at taxpayer expense, that would put public funds in the hands of private individuals.

In 2012,  A Moldovan civilian is fatally wounded by a Russian peacekeeper in the Transnistrian security zone, leading to demonstrations against Russia.

In 2013,  At least 60 people are killed and 200 injured in a stampede after celebrations at Félix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

In 2014,  Latvia joins the Eurozone.

In 2014, Asteroid 2014 AA impacts the Earth over the Atlantic Ocean.

In 2015,  The Eurasian Economic Union comes into effect, creating a political and economic union between Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

In 2015, Lithuania becomes the 19th member of the Eurozone.

In 2016, The Address Downtown Dubai burns over midnight as the New Year is rung in. The blaze started on the night of New Year’s Eve 2015, by currently unknown causes. There was one fatality.

In 2017, A nightclub in Istanbul, the most populous city in Turkey was attacked by gunmen. At least 39 people died from the shooting while attackers’ motives are still unknown.

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