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 2015 in the Gregorian calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of this year. The day of the week is Thursday.

Under the Julian calendar, this day is December 19, 2014 – a Thursday. Both day of the week are the same but did you notice the difference with the Gregorian calendar?

When this day started, 394,464 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 49 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 741 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.
  • 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.
  • 1937
    Safety glass in vehicle windscreens becomes mandatory in the United Kingdom.
  • 1970
    Unix time begins at 00:00:00 UTC/GMT.
  • 1981
    Palau achieves self-government though it is not independent from the United States.
  • 1986
    Spain and Portugal are admitted into the European Community.
  • 1993
    Dissolution of Czechoslovakia: Czechoslovakia is divided into Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
  • 1997
    Ghanaian diplomat Kofi Annan is appointed Secretary-General of the United Nations.
  • 2002
    The Open Skies mutual surveillance treaty, initially signed in 1992, officially comes into force.

Who were born on January 1?

  • 1449
    Lorenzo de' Medici (d. 1492)
  • 1711
    Franz Freiherr von der Trenck, Austrian soldier (d. 1749)
  • 1925
    Raymond Pellegrin, French actor (d. 2007)
  • 1944
    Jimmy Hart, American wrestling manager
  • 1946
    Rivelino, Brazilian football player
  • 1953
    Alpha Blondy, Ivorian reggae singer
  • 1956
    Ziad Rahbani, Lebanese composer
  • 1959
    Abdul Ahad Momand, Afghan cosmonaut
  • 1963
    Alberigo Evani, Italian footballer
  • 1984
    Michael Witt, Australian rugby league footballer

Who died on January 1?

  • 962
    Baldwin III, Count of Flanders (b. c. 940)
  • 1896
    Alfred Ely Beach, American inventor (b. 1826)
  • 1957
    Seán South and Fergal O'Hanlon are killed in the Brookeborough Raid
  • 1972
    Maurice Chevalier, French actor and singer (b. 1888)
  • 1985
    Sigerson Clifford, Irish poet and writer (b. 1913)
  • 1994
    Cesar Romero, American actor (b. 1907)
  • 1994
    Lord Arthur Porritt, Governor-General of New Zealand (b. 1900)
  • 2002
    Julia Phillips, American film producer (b. 1944)
  • 2011
    Flemming Jørgensen, Danish singer (b. 1947)
  • 2012
    Gary Ablett, English footballer (b. 1965)

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