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

  • 1810
    Major-General Lachlan Macquarie CB officially becomes Governor of New South Wales
  • 1812
    The Bishop of Durham, Shute Barrington, orders troops from Durham Castle to break up a miners strike in Chester-le-Street, Co. Durham
  • 1978
    Air India Flight 855 Boeing 747 crashes into the sea, due to instrument failure and pilot disorientation, off the coast of Bombay, India, killing 213.
  • 1979
    Formal diplomatic relations are established between the China and the United States.
  • 1986
    Aruba becomes independent of Curaçao, though it remains in free association with the Netherlands.
  • 1993
    Dissolution of Czechoslovakia: Czechoslovakia is divided into Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
  • 1994
    The Zapatista Army of National Liberation initiates twelve days of armed conflict in the Mexican State of Chiapas.
  • 1998
    Russia begins to circulate new rubles to stem inflation and promote confidence.
  • 1998
    The European Central Bank is established.
  • 2004
    In a vote of confidence, General Pervez Musharraf wins 658 out of 1,170 votes in the Electoral College of Pakistan, and according to Article 41(8) of the Constitution of Pakistan, is “deemed to be elected” to the office of President until October 2007.

Who were born on January 1?

  • 1814
    Hong Xiuquan, Chinese rebel (d. 1864)
  • 1860
    Jan Vilímek, Czech illustrator and painter (d. 1938)
  • 1874
    Frank Knox, American journalist and 46th United States Secretary of the Navy (d. 1944)
  • 1959
    Panagiotis Giannakis, Greek basketball player and coach
  • 1963
    Alberigo Evani, Italian footballer
  • 1975
    Fernando Tatis, Dominican baseball player
  • 1977
    Andrei Stoliarov, Russian tennis player
  • 1977
    Leoš Friedl, Czech tennis player
  • 1985
    Steven Davis, Northern Irish footballer
  • 1992
    He Kexin, Chinese gymnast

Who died on January 1?

  • 1515
    King Louis XII of France (b. 1462)
  • 1631
    Thomas Hobson, the “Cambridge Carrier”, eponym of Hobson’s Choice (b. 1544)
  • 1817
    Martin Heinrich Klaproth, German chemist (b. 1743)
  • 1862
    Mikhail Vasilievich Ostrogradsky, Russian physicist (b. 1801)
  • 1969
    Barton MacLane, American actor (b. 1902)
  • 1973
    Sergei Kourdakov, former KGB agent (b. 1951)
  • 1980
    Adolph Deutsch, American composer and arranger (b. 1897)
  • 1997
    Hagood Hardy, Canadian composer and musician (b. 1937)
  • 2008
    Peter Caffrey, Irish actor (b. 1949)
  • 2011
    Reynaldo Dagsa, Filipino politician

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