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, 24,193,440 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 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

  • 42 BC
    The Roman Senate posthumously deifies Julius Caesar
  • 1707
    John V is crowned King of Portugal.
  • 1804
    French rule ends in Haiti. Haiti becomes the first black republic and second independent country in North America after the United States
  • 1847
    The world’s first “Mercy” Hospital is founded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by the Sisters of Mercy, the name will go on to grace over 30 major hospitals throughout the world.
  • 1863
    The first claim under the Homestead Act is made by Daniel Freeman for a farm in Nebraska.
  • 1937
    Safety glass in vehicle windscreens becomes mandatory in the United Kingdom.
  • 1945
    World War II: In retaliation for the Malmedy massacre, U.S. troops massacre 30 SS prisoners at Chenogne.
  • 1995
    The Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe becomes the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
  • 1998
    The European Central Bank is established.
  • 2011
    Estonia officially adopts the Euro currency and becomes the seventeenth eurozone country.

Who were born on January 1?

  • 1511
    Henry, Duke of Cornwall (d. 1511)
  • 1933
    Frederick Lowy, Canadian educator
  • 1933
    James Hormel, American philanthropist and diplomat
  • 1933
    Norman Yemm, Australian actor
  • 1946
    Susannah McCorkle, American writer and singer (d. 2001)
  • 1956
    Mark R. Hughes, American entrepreneur (d. 2000)
  • 1962
    Ari Up, German musician (The Slits) (d. 2010)
  • 1963
    Lina Kačiušytė, Lithuanian swimmer
  • 1975
    Eiichiro Oda, Japanese manga artist
  • 1977
    Robert Roode, Canadian professional wrestler

Who died on January 1?

  • 1748
    Johann Bernoulli, Swiss mathematician (b. 1667)
  • 1892
    Roswell B. Mason, Mayor of Chicago (b. 1805)
  • 1932
    C P Scott, British journalist, publisher and politician (b. 1846)
  • 1943
    Colonel Andrew Summers Rowan, U.S. military officer who gave “a message to Garcia” (b. 1857)
  • 1964
    Bechara El Khoury, President of Lebanon (b. 1890)
  • 1973
    Sergei Kourdakov, former KGB agent (b. 1951)
  • 1981
    Hephzibah Menuhin, American-Jewish concert pianist (b. 1920)
  • 1985
    Kamatari Fujiwara, Japanese actor (b. 1905)
  • 1991
    Buck Ram, American songwriter and businessman (The Platters) (b. 1907)
  • 2007
    Roland Levinsky, South African medical scientist (b. 1943)

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