What are the important events that happened on January 1? Here are historical events, facts, and some myths about this day.

January 1: Facts & Myths About This Day

January 1 is the 1st day of the year 2016 in the Gregorian calendar. There are 365 days remaining until the end of this year. The day of the week is Friday.

Under the Julian calendar, this day is December 19, 2015 – a Friday. Both day of the week are the same but did you notice the difference with the Gregorian calendar?

When this day started, 1,451,606,400 seconds has elapsed since midnight of January 1, 1970 – the Unix epoch.

Strange as it may, if we name this day after a polygon then it will be called ‘henagon’ day.

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Capricorn is the zodiac sign of a person born on this day. Garnet is the modern birthstone for this month. Emerald is the mystical birthstone from Tibetan origin that dates back over a thousand years.

According to the lunisolar Chinese calendar, there are 38 days remaining before the start of the next Chinese New Year.

The ancient Maya civilization believes that the end of the world will happen on December 21, 2012. There are now 1,106 days since this fabled cataclysmic event.

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January 1: This Day In History

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 records the execution of Charles I occurring in 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:

  • 1522 The Republic of Venice
  • 1544 Holy Roman Empire (Germany)
  • 1556 Spain, Portugal
  • 1559 Prussia, Sweden
  • 1564 France
  • 1576 Southern Netherlands
  • 1579 Lorraine
  • 1583 United Provinces of the Netherlands (northern)
  • 1600 Scotland
  • 1700 Russia
  • 1721 Tuscany
  • 1752 Great Britain (excluding Scotland) and its colonies

January 1 Historical Events

  • 1788
    First edition of The Times of London, previously The Daily Universal Register, is published.
  • 1912
    The Republic of China is established.
  • 1913
    The British Board of Censors is established.
  • 1928
    Boris Bazhanov defects through Iran. He is the only assistant of Joseph Stalin’s secretariat to have defected from the Eastern Bloc.
  • 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.
  • 1948
    The Constitution of Italy comes into force.
  • 1960
    Cameroon achieves independence from France and the United Kingdom.
  • 1981
    Palau achieves self-government though it is not independent from the United States.
  • 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).
  • 2002
    Taiwan officially joins the World Trade Organization, as Chinese Taipei.

Who were born on January 1?

  • 1819
    Arthur Hugh Clough, English poet (d. 1861)
  • 1906
    Giovanni D'Anzi, Italian songwriter (d. 1974)
  • 1911
    Basil Dearden, British film director (d. 1971)
  • 1942
    Dennis Archer, American politician
  • 1955
    LaMarr Hoyt, American baseball player
  • 1956
    Ziad Rahbani, Lebanese composer
  • 1960
    Rayo de Jalisco, Jr., Mexican wrestler
  • 1980
    Elin Nordegren, Swedish model
  • 1984
    Cheung Kin Fung, Hong Kong footballer
  • 1992
    Tim Menzel, German rugby player

Who died on January 1?

  • 1515
    King Louis XII of France (b. 1462)
  • 1559
    Christian III of Denmark and Norway (b. 1503)
  • 1742
    Peregrine Bertie, 2nd Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven, English statesman (b. 1686)
  • 1817
    Martin Heinrich Klaproth, German chemist (b. 1743)
  • 1852
    John George Children, British chemist, mineralogist and zoologist (b. 1777)
  • 1943
    Colonel Andrew Summers Rowan, U.S. military officer who gave “a message to Garcia” (b. 1857)
  • 1944
    Charles Turner, Australian cricketer (b. 1862)
  • 2007
    A. I. Bezzerides, American novelist and screenwriter (b. 1908)
  • 2007
    Del Reeves, American country singer (b. 1932)
  • 2009
    Nizar Rayan, Hamas leader (b. 1962)

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