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, 1,483,228,800 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 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
  • 69
    The Roman legions in Germania Superior refuse to swear loyalty to Galba. They rebel and proclaim Vitellius as emperor.
  • 1801
    The dwarf planet Ceres is discovered by Giuseppe Piazzi.
  • 1890
    Eritrea is consolidated into a colony by the Italian government.
  • 1934
    Alcatraz Island becomes a United States federal prison.
  • 1957
    An Irish Republican Army (IRA) unit attacks Brookeborough RUC barracks in one of the most famous incidents of the IRA’s Operation Harvest.
  • 1965
    The People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan is founded in Kabul, Afghanistan.
  • 1978
    The Constitution of the Northern Mariana Islands becomes effective.
  • 1995
    The World Trade Organization goes into effect.
  • 2002
    Taiwan officially joins the World Trade Organization, as Chinese Taipei.

Who were born on January 1?

  • 1918
    Patrick Anthony Porteous, Scottish Victoria Cross recipient (d. 2000)
  • 1927
    Doak Walker, American football star (d. 1998)
  • 1933
    Frederick Lowy, Canadian educator
  • 1944
    Jimmy Hart, American wrestling manager
  • 1956
    Mike Mitchell, American basketball player
  • 1959
    Azali Assoumani, Comorian president
  • 1968
    Davor Šuker, Croatian footballer
  • 1977
    Robert Roode, Canadian professional wrestler
  • 1980
    Lazaros Agadakos, Greek basketball player
  • 1983
    Calum Davenport, English footballer

Who died on January 1?

  • 1515
    King Louis XII of France (b. 1462)
  • 1730
    Samuel Sewall, English judge (b. 1652)
  • 1766
    James Francis Edward Stuart, “The Old Pretender” (b. 1688)
  • 1796
    Alexandre-Théophile Vandermonde, French mathematician (b. 1735)
  • 1922
    István Kühár, Slovene (Prekmurian) writer and politician (b. 1887)
  • 1985
    Kamatari Fujiwara, Japanese actor (b. 1905)
  • 1991
    Buck Ram, American songwriter and businessman (The Platters) (b. 1907)
  • 1997
    Townes Van Zandt, American country musician (b. 1944)
  • 2007
    Del Reeves, American country singer (b. 1932)
  • 2007
    Julius Hegyi, American conductor (b. 1923)

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