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

  • 1861
    Porfirio Díaz conquers Mexico City.
  • 1890
    The Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California, is first held.
  • 1901
    The British colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia federate as the Commonwealth of Australia; Edmund Barton is appointed the first Prime Minister.
  • 1906
    British India officially adopts the Indian Standard Time.
  • 1913
    The British Board of Censors is established.
  • 1984
    The original American Telephone & Telegraph Company is divested of its 22 Bell System companies as a result of the settlement of the 1974 United States Department of Justice antitrust suit against AT&T.
  • 1988
    The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America comes into existence, creating the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States.
  • 1994
    The North American Free Trade Agreement comes into effect.
  • 1998
    Russia begins to circulate new rubles to stem inflation and promote confidence.
  • 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).

Who were born on January 1?

  • 1834
    Ludovic Halévy, French playwright (d. 1908)
  • 1868
    Snitz Edwards, American actor (d. 1937)
  • 1894
    Satyendra Nath Bose, Indian mathematician (d. 1974)
  • 1912
    Kim Philby, British spy (d. 1988)
  • 1924
    Roberts Blossom, American actor and poet
  • 1937
    Matt Robinson, American actor (d. 2002)
  • 1958
    Ren Woods, American actress and singer
  • 1959
    Panagiotis Giannakis, Greek basketball player and coach
  • 1961
    Mark Wingett, British actor
  • 1985
    Tiago Splitter, Brazilian basketball player

Who died on January 1?

  • 1766
    James Francis Edward Stuart, “The Old Pretender” (b. 1688)
  • 1853
    Gregory Blaxland, Australian explorer (b. 1778)
  • 1869
    Martin W. Bates, American politician (b. 1786)
  • 1944
    Sir Edward Lutyens, British architect who designed New Delhi (b. 1869)
  • 1980
    Pietro Nenni, Italian socialist politician (b. 1891)
  • 1985
    Kamatari Fujiwara, Japanese actor (b. 1905)
  • 1985
    Sigerson Clifford, Irish poet and writer (b. 1913)
  • 1995
    Fred West, British serial killer (suicide) (b. 1941)
  • 2000
    Colin Vaughan, Australian political journalist (b. 1931)
  • 2006
    Bryan Harvey, American musician (House of Freaks) (b. 1956)

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