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, 403,224 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 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

  • 1527
    Croatian nobles elect Ferdinand I of Austria as king of Croatia in the Parliament on Cetin.
  • 1776
    American Revolutionary War: Norfolk, Virginia is burned by combined Royal Navy and Continental Army action.
  • 1845
    The Cobble Hill Tunnel in Brooklyn is completed.
  • 1877
    Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom is proclaimed Empress of India.
  • 1910
    Captain David Beatty is promoted to Rear Admiral, and becomes the youngest admiral in the Royal Navy (except for Royal family members), since Horatio Nelson.
  • 1934
    Alcatraz Island becomes a United States federal prison.
  • 1939
    Sydney, Australia, swelters in 45 ˚C (113 ˚F) heat, a record for the city.
  • 1947
    The American and British occupation zones in Germany, after World War II, merge to form the Bizone, that later became West Germany.
  • 1995
    The Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe becomes the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
  • 1997
    Ghanaian diplomat Kofi Annan is appointed Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Who were born on January 1?

  • 1467
    King Sigismund I the Old of Poland (d. 1548)
  • 1833
    Robert Lawson, New Zealand architect (d. 1902)
  • 1902
    Buster Nupen, South African cricketer (d. 1977)
  • 1925
    Matthew “Stymie” Beard, American actor (d. 1981)
  • 1929
    Haruo Nakajima, Japanese actor
  • 1942
    Martin Frost, American politician
  • 1943
    Don Novello, American actor
  • 1946
    Shelby Steele, American author and filmmaker
  • 1971
    Fredro Starr, American rapper (Onyx)
  • 1972
    Catherine McCormack, British actress

Who died on January 1?

  • 379
    Saint Basil of Caesarea (b. 330)
  • 1559
    Christian III of Denmark and Norway (b. 1503)
  • 1759
    Jacques-Joachim Trotti, marquis de La Chétardie, French adventurer (b. 1705)
  • 1796
    Alexandre-Théophile Vandermonde, French mathematician (b. 1735)
  • 1892
    Roswell B. Mason, Mayor of Chicago (b. 1805)
  • 1954
    Duff Cooper, British diplomat and writer (b. 1890)
  • 1985
    Sigerson Clifford, Irish poet and writer (b. 1913)
  • 2006
    Harry Magdoff, American magazine editor (b. 1913)
  • 2008
    Peter Caffrey, Irish actor (b. 1949)
  • 2009
    Claiborne Pell, U.S. senator (b. 1918)

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