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 2017 in the Gregorian calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of this year. The day of the week is Sunday.

Under the Julian calendar, this day is December 19, 2016 – a Sunday. Both day of the week are the same but did you notice the difference with the Gregorian calendar?

When this day started, 412,008 hours 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 27 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 1,472 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

  • 1259
    Michael VIII Palaiologos is proclaimed co-emperor of the Empire of Nicaea with his ward John IV Laskaris.
  • 1739
    Bouvet Island is discovered by French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier.
  • 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.
  • 1810
    Major-General Lachlan Macquarie CB officially becomes Governor of New South Wales
  • 1894
    The Manchester Ship Canal, England, is officially opened to traffic.
  • 1909
    Drilling begins on the Lakeview Gusher.
  • 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.
  • 1962
    United States Navy SEALs established.
  • 1984
    Brunei becomes independent of the United Kingdom.
  • 2012
    Kim Jong-un is officially declared the new Supreme Leader of North Korea.

Who were born on January 1?

  • 1684
    Arnold Drakenborch, Dutch classical scholar (d. 1748)
  • 1892
    Manuel Roxas, Filipino statesman (d. 1948)
  • 1923
    Daniel Gorenstein, American mathematician (d. 1992)
  • 1925
    Matthew “Stymie” Beard, American actor (d. 1981)
  • 1938
    Clay Cole, American television host and producer (d. 2010)
  • 1947
    Jon Corzine, American politician, 54th Governor of New Jersey and former United States Senator from New Jersey
  • 1962
    Ari Up, German musician (The Slits) (d. 2010)
  • 1971
    Fredro Starr, American rapper (Onyx)
  • 1979
    Koichi Domoto, Japanese artist
  • 1992
    Jack Wilshere, English footballer

Who died on January 1?

  • 1559
    Christian III of Denmark and Norway (b. 1503)
  • 1793
    Francesco Guardi, Venetian painter (b. 1712)
  • 1894
    Heinrich Rudolf Hertz, German physicist (b. 1857)
  • 1958
    Edward Weston, American photographer (b. 1886)
  • 1964
    Bechara El Khoury, President of Lebanon (b. 1890)
  • 1995
    Eugene Wigner, Hungarian American physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1902)
  • 1996
    Arleigh Burke, American admiral (b. 1901)
  • 1996
    Arthur Rudolph, German engineer (b. 1906)
  • 2007
    Tillie Olsen, American writer (b. 1912)
  • 2011
    Flemming Jørgensen, Danish singer (b. 1947)

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