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

  • 1932
    The United States Post Office Department issues a set of 12 stamps commemorating the 200th anniversary of George Washington’s birth.
  • 1942
    The Declaration by United Nations is signed by twenty-six nations.
  • 1947
    The American and British occupation zones in Germany, after World War II, merge to form the Bizone, that later became West Germany.
  • 1958
    The European Economic Community is established.
  • 1971
    Cigarette advertisements are banned on American television.
  • 1986
    Aruba becomes independent of Curaçao, though it remains in free association with the Netherlands.
  • 1993
    Dissolution of Czechoslovakia: Czechoslovakia is divided into Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
  • 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).
  • 2007
    Adam Air Flight 574 disappears over Indonesia with 102 people on board.
  • 2011
    Estonia officially adopts the Euro currency and becomes the seventeenth eurozone country.

Who were born on January 1?

  • 1911
    Audrey Wurdemann, American poet (d.1960)
  • 1937
    Petros Markaris, Greek writer
  • 1946
    Rivelino, Brazilian football player
  • 1947
    Paula Tsui, Hong Kong singer
  • 1953
    Gary Johnson, American politician and 29th Governor of New Mexico
  • 1958
    Dave Silk, American ice hockey player
  • 1967
    Derrick Thomas, American football player (d. 2000)
  • 1969
    Paul Lawrie, Scottish golfer
  • 1975
    Eiichiro Oda, Japanese manga artist
  • 1992
    Tim Menzel, German rugby player

Who died on January 1?

  • 1716
    William Wycherley, English dramatist (b. 1640)
  • 1817
    Martin Heinrich Klaproth, German chemist (b. 1743)
  • 1896
    Alfred Ely Beach, American inventor (b. 1826)
  • 1919
    Mikhail Drozdovsky, Russian general (b. 1881)
  • 1964
    Bechara El Khoury, President of Lebanon (b. 1890)
  • 1969
    Bruno Söderström, Swedish athlete (b. 1888)
  • 1997
    Hagood Hardy, Canadian composer and musician (b. 1937)
  • 2003
    Joe Foss, American politician, fighter pilot, Medal of Honor recipient and AFL Commissioner (b. 1915)
  • 2005
    Eugene J. Martin, American painter, artist (b. 1938)
  • 2010
    Lhasa de Sela, Mexican-American singer (b. 1972)

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