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

  • 45 BC
    The Julian calendar takes effect for the first time.
  • 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.
  • 1806
    The French Republican Calendar is abolished.
  • 1861
    Porfirio Díaz conquers Mexico City.
  • 1890
    Eritrea is consolidated into a colony by the Italian government.
  • 1906
    British India officially adopts the Indian Standard Time.
  • 1934
    Nazi Germany passes the “Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring”.
  • 1948
    The British railway network is nationalised to form British Railways.
  • 1964
    The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland is divided into the independent republics of Zambia and Malawi, and the British-controlled Rhodesia.
  • 1981
    Greece is admitted into the European Community.

Who were born on January 1?

  • 1852
    Eugène-Anatole Demarçay, French chemist (d. 1904)
  • 1895
    J. Edgar Hoover, American FBI director (d. 1972)
  • 1919
    Yoshio Tabata, Japanese singer
  • 1922
    Jerry Robinson, American comic book artist (d. 2011)
  • 1925
    Matthew “Stymie” Beard, American actor (d. 1981)
  • 1930
    Frederick Wiseman, American documentary filmmaker
  • 1959
    Azali Assoumani, Comorian president
  • 1965
    Andrew Valmon, American athlete
  • 1984
    Michael Witt, Australian rugby league footballer
  • 1992
    Tim Menzel, German rugby player

Who died on January 1?

  • 1560
    Joachim du Bellay, French poet (b. 1522)
  • 1631
    Thomas Hobson, the “Cambridge Carrier”, eponym of Hobson’s Choice (b. 1544)
  • 1994
    Lord Arthur Porritt, Governor-General of New Zealand (b. 1900)
  • 1998
    Helen Wills Moody, American tennis player (b. 1905)
  • 2003
    F. William Free, American advertising executive (b. 1928)
  • 2005
    Bob Matsui, American politician (b. 1941)
  • 2005
    Eugene J. Martin, American painter, artist (b. 1938)
  • 2006
    Bryan Harvey, American musician (House of Freaks) (b. 1956)
  • 2007
    Leon Davidson, American scientist known for studying UFOs (b. 1922)
  • 2011
    Marin Constantin, Romanian composer and conductor (b. 1925)

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