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

  • 42 BC
    The Roman Senate posthumously deifies Julius Caesar
  • 1527
    Croatian nobles elect Ferdinand I of Austria as king of Croatia in the Parliament on Cetin.
  • 1776
    American Revolutionary War: Norfolk, Virginia is burned by combined Royal Navy and Continental Army action.
  • 1845
    The Cobble Hill Tunnel in Brooklyn is completed.
  • 1863
    The first claim under the Homestead Act is made by Daniel Freeman for a farm in Nebraska.
  • 1885
    Twenty-five nations adopt Sandford Fleming’s proposal for standard time (and also, time zones)
  • 1890
    Eritrea is consolidated into a colony by the Italian government.
  • 1934
    Nazi Germany passes the “Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring”.
  • 1983
    The ARPANET officially changes to using the Internet Protocol, creating the Internet.
  • 1989
    The Montreal Protocol Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer comes into force.

Who were born on January 1?

  • 1823
    Sándor Petőfi, Hungarian poet and revolutionary (d. 1849)
  • 1864
    Qi Baishi, Chinese painter (d. 1957)
  • 1890
    Anton Melik, Slovenian geographer (d. 1966)
  • 1930
    Gaafar al-Nimeiry, Sudanese politician (d. 2009)
  • 1930
    Jean-Pierre Duprey, French poet and sculptor (d. 1959)
  • 1945
    Peter Duncan, Australian politician
  • 1969
    Melissa DiMarco, Canadian actress
  • 1971
    Phoebus, Greek songwriter
  • 1977
    Hasan Salihamidžić, Bosnian footballer
  • 1987
    Devin Setoguchi, Canadian ice hockey player

Who died on January 1?

  • 1204
    King Haakon III of Norway (b. c. 1170)
  • 1560
    Joachim du Bellay, French poet (b. 1522)
  • 1852
    John George Children, British chemist, mineralogist and zoologist (b. 1777)
  • 1953
    Hank Williams, American singer (b. 1923)
  • 1996
    Arleigh Burke, American admiral (b. 1901)
  • 2003
    F. William Free, American advertising executive (b. 1928)
  • 2005
    Shirley Chisholm, American politician (b. 1924)
  • 2006
    Dawn Lake, Australian TV comedienne (b. 1927)
  • 2007
    Julius Hegyi, American conductor (b. 1923)
  • 2011
    Flemming Jørgensen, Danish singer (b. 1947)

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