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, 24,720,480 minutes 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

  • 1600
    Scotland begins its numbered year on January 1 instead of March 25.
  • 1700
    Russia begins using the Anno Domini era and no longer uses the Anno Mundi era of the Byzantine Empire.
  • 1739
    Bouvet Island is discovered by French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier.
  • 1833
    The United Kingdom claims sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.
  • 1863
    The first claim under the Homestead Act is made by Daniel Freeman for a farm in Nebraska.
  • 1906
    British India officially adopts the Indian Standard Time.
  • 1913
    The British Board of Censors is established.
  • 1984
    Brunei becomes independent of the United Kingdom.
  • 1994
    The North American Free Trade Agreement comes into effect.
  • 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?

  • 1648
    Elkanah Settle, English writer (d. 1724)
  • 1911
    Basil Dearden, British film director (d. 1971)
  • 1941
    Asrani, Indian actor and comedian
  • 1942
    Martin Frost, American politician
  • 1944
    Zafarullah Khan Jamali, Pakistani politician
  • 1958
    Dave Silk, American ice hockey player
  • 1960
    Michael Seibert, American ice dancer
  • 1960
    Rayo de Jalisco, Jr., Mexican wrestler
  • 1967
    Spencer Tunick, American artist
  • 1984
    Mohammed Ghaddar, Lebanese footballer

Who died on January 1?

  • 379
    Saint Basil of Caesarea (b. 330)
  • 1919
    Mikhail Drozdovsky, Russian general (b. 1881)
  • 1958
    Edward Weston, American photographer (b. 1886)
  • 1969
    Barton MacLane, American actor (b. 1902)
  • 1994
    Edward Arthur Thompson, British historian (b. 1914)
  • 2007
    Del Reeves, American country singer (b. 1932)
  • 2007
    Leon Davidson, American scientist known for studying UFOs (b. 1922)
  • 2008
    Peter Caffrey, Irish actor (b. 1949)
  • 2008
    Pratap Chandra Chunder, Union minister of India (b. 1919)
  • 2010
    Lhasa de Sela, Mexican-American singer (b. 1972)

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