January 1 - Events


  • 153 BC – Roman consuls begin their year in office.
  • 45 BC – The Julian calendar takes effect for the first time.
  • 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.
  • 193 – The Senate chooses Pertinax against his will to succeed Commodus as Roman emperor.
  • 404 – An infuriated Roman mob tears Telemachus, a Christian monk, to pieces for trying to stop a gladiators' fight in the public arena held in Rome.
  • 414 – Galla Placidia, half-sister of Emperor Honorius, is married to the Visigothic king Ataulf at Narbonne. The wedding is celebrated with Roman festivities and magnificent gifts from the Gothic booty.
  • 417 – Emperor Honorius forces Galla Placidia into marriage to Constantius, his famous general (magister militum).
  • 1001 – Grand Prince Stephen I of Hungary is named the first King of Hungary by Pope Sylvester II.
  • 1068 – Romanos IV Diogenes marries Eudokia Makrembolitissa and is crowned Byzantine Emperor.
  • 1259 – Michael VIII Palaiologos is proclaimed co-emperor of the Empire of Nicaea with his ward John IV Laskaris.
  • 1438 – Albert II of Habsburg is crowned King of Hungary.
  • 1502 – The present-day location of Rio de Janeiro is first explored by the Portuguese.
  • 1515 – King Francis I of France succeeds to the French throne.
  • 1527 – Croatian nobles elect Ferdinand I of Austria as king of Croatia in the Parliament on Cetin.
  • 1600 – Scotland begins its numbered year on January 1 instead of March 25.
  • 1651 – Charles II is crowned King of Scotland.
  • 1700 – Russia begins using the Anno Domini era and no longer uses the Anno Mundi era of the Byzantine Empire.
  • 1707 – John V is crowned King of Portugal.
  • 1739 – Bouvet Island is discovered by French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier.
  • 1772 – The first traveler's cheques, which can be used in 90 European cities, go on sale in London, England, Great Britain.
  • 1773 – The hymn that became known as "Amazing Grace", then titled "1 Chronicles 17:16–17" is first used to accompany a sermon led by John Newton in the town of Olney, England.
  • 1776 – American Revolutionary War: Norfolk, Virginia is burned by combined Royal Navy and Continental Army action.
  • 1781 – American Revolutionary War: 1,500 soldiers of the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment under General Anthony Wayne's command rebel against the Continental Army's winter camp in Morristown, New Jersey in the Pennsylvania Line Mutiny of 1781.
  • 1788 – First edition of The Times of London, previously The Daily Universal Register, is published.
  • 1800 – The Dutch East India Company is dissolved.
  • 1801 – The legislative union of Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland is completed to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
  • 1801 – The dwarf planet Ceres is discovered by Giuseppe Piazzi.
  • 1803 – Emperor Gia Long orders all bronze wares of the Tây Sơn Dynasty to be collected and melted into nine cannons for the Royal Citadel in Huế, Vietnam.
  • 1804 – French rule ends in Haiti. Haiti becomes the first black republic and second independent country in North America after the United States
  • 1806 – The French Republican Calendar is abolished.
  • 1808 – The importation of slaves into the United States is banned.
  • 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
  • 1822 – The Greek Constitution of 1822 is adopted by the First National Assembly at Epidaurus.
  • 1833 – The United Kingdom claims sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.
  • 1845 – The Cobble Hill Tunnel in Brooklyn is completed.
  • 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.
  • 1860 – First Polish stamp is issued.
  • 1861 – Porfirio Díaz conquers Mexico City.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: The Emancipation Proclamation takes effect in Confederate territory.
  • 1863 – The first claim under the Homestead Act is made by Daniel Freeman for a farm in Nebraska.
  • 1873 – Japan begins using the Gregorian calendar.
  • 1877 – Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom is proclaimed Empress of India.
  • 1880 – Ferdinand de Lesseps begins French construction of the Panama Canal.
  • 1885 – Twenty-five nations adopt Sandford Fleming's proposal for standard time (and also, time zones)
  • 1890 – Eritrea is consolidated into a colony by the Italian government.
  • 1890 – The Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California, is first held.
  • 1892 – Ellis Island opens to begin processing immigrants into the United States.
  • 1894 – The Manchester Ship Canal, England, is officially opened to traffic.
  • 1898 – New York, New York annexes land from surrounding counties, creating the City of Greater New York. The four initial boroughs, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and The Bronx, are joined on January 25 by Staten Island to create the modern city of five boroughs.
  • 1899 – Spanish rule ends in Cuba.
  • 1901 – Nigeria becomes a British protectorate.
  • 1901 – The British colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia federate as the Commonwealth of Australia; Edmund Barton is appointed the first Prime Minister.
  • 1902 – The first American college football bowl game, the Rose Bowl between Michigan and Stanford, is held in Pasadena, California.
  • 1906 – British India officially adopts the Indian Standard Time.
  • 1908 – For the first time, a ball is dropped in New York, New York's Times Square to signify the start of the New Year at midnight.
  • 1909 – Drilling begins on the Lakeview Gusher.
  • 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.
  • 1911 – Northern Territory is separated from South Australia and transferred to Commonwealth control.
  • 1912 – The Republic of China is established.
  • 1913 – The British Board of Censors is established.
  • 1916 – German troops abandon Yaoundé and their Kamerun colony to British forces and begin the long march to Spanish Guinea.
  • 1920 – The Belorussian Communist Organisation is founded as a separate party.
  • 1923 – Britain's Railways are grouped into the Big Four: LNER, GWR, SR, and LMS.
  • 1927 – The Cristero War begins in Mexico.
  • 1927 – Turkey adopts the Gregorian calendar: December 18, 1926 (Julian), is immediately followed by January 1, 1927 (Gregorian).
  • 1928 – Boris Bazhanov defects through Iran. He is the only assistant of Joseph Stalin's secretariat to have defected from the Eastern Bloc.
  • 1929 – The former municipalities of Point Grey, British Columbia and South Vancouver, British Columbia are amalgamated into Vancouver.
  • 1932 – The United States Post Office Department issues a set of 12 stamps commemorating the 200th anniversary of George Washington's birth.
  • 1934 – Alcatraz Island becomes a United States federal prison.
  • 1934 – Nazi Germany passes the "Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring".
  • 1937 – Safety glass in vehicle windscreens becomes mandatory in the United Kingdom.
  • 1939 – Sydney, Australia, swelters in 45 ˚C (113 ˚F) heat, a record for the city.
  • 1942 – The Declaration by United Nations is signed by twenty-six nations.
  • 1945 – World War II: In retaliation for the Malmedy massacre, U.S. troops massacre 30 SS prisoners at Chenogne.
  • 1945 – World War II: The German Luftwaffe launches Operation Bodenplatte, a massive, but failed attempt to knock out Allied air power in northern Europe in a single blow.
  • 1945 – World War II: Operation Nordwind, the last major German offensive on the Western Front begins.
  • 1947 – The American and British occupation zones in Germany, after World War II, merge to form the Bizone, that later became West Germany.
  • 1947 – The Canadian Citizenship Act 1946 comes into effect, converting British subjects into Canadian citizens. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King becomes the first Canadian citizen.
  • 1948 – The British railway network is nationalised to form British Railways.
  • 1948 – The Constitution of Italy comes into force.
  • 1949 – United Nations cease-fire takes effect in Kashmir from one minute before midnight. War between India and Pakistan stops accordingly.
  • 1954 – NBC makes the first coast-to-coast NTSC color broadcast when it telecast the Tournament of Roses Parade, with public demonstrations given across the United States on prototype color receivers.
  • 1956 – Sudan achieves independence from Egypt and the United Kingdom.
  • 1956 – A new year event causes panic and stampedes at Yahiko Shrine, Yahiko, Niigata, Japan, killing at least 124 people.
  • 1957 – George Town, Penang becomes a city by a royal charter granted by Elizabeth II.
  • 1957 – An Irish Republican Army (IRA) unit attacks Brookeborough RUC barracks in one of the most famous incidents of the IRA's Operation Harvest.
  • 1958 – The European Economic Community is established.
  • 1959 – Fulgencio Batista, dictator of Cuba, is overthrown by Fidel Castro's forces during the Cuban Revolution.
  • 1960 – Cameroon achieves independence from France and the United Kingdom.
  • 1962 – Western Samoa achieves independence from New Zealand; its name is changed to the Independent State of Western Samoa.
  • 1962 – United States Navy SEALs established.
  • 1964 – The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland is divided into the independent republics of Zambia and Malawi, and the British-controlled Rhodesia.
  • 1965 – The People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan is founded in Kabul, Afghanistan.
  • 1966 – A twelve-day New York City transit strike begins.
  • 1966 – After a coup, Colonel Jean-Bédel Bokassa assumes power as president of the Central African Republic.
  • 1970 – Unix time begins at 00:00:00 UTC/GMT.
  • 1971 – Cigarette advertisements are banned on American television.
  • 1973 – Denmark, the United Kingdom, and Ireland are admitted into the European Community.
  • 1977 – The Australian state of Queensland abolishes inheritance tax.
  • 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.
  • 1978 – The Constitution of the Northern Mariana Islands becomes effective.
  • 1979 – Formal diplomatic relations are established between the China and the United States.
  • 1980 – Victoria is crowned princess of Sweden.
  • 1981 – Greece is admitted into the European Community.
  • 1981 – Palau achieves self-government though it is not independent from the United States.
  • 1982 – Peruvian Javier Pérez de Cuéllar becomes the first Latin American to hold the title of Secretary-General of the United Nations.
  • 1983 – The ARPANET officially changes to using the Internet Protocol, creating the Internet.
  • 1984 – The original American Telephone & Telegraph Company is divested of its 22 Bell System companies as a result of the settlement of the 1974 United States Department of Justice antitrust suit against AT&T.
  • 1984 – Brunei becomes independent of the United Kingdom.
  • 1985 – The Internet's Domain Name System is created.
  • 1985 – The first British mobile phone call is made by Ernie Wise to Vodafone.
  • 1986 – Aruba becomes independent of Curaçao, though it remains in free association with the Netherlands.
  • 1986 – Spain and Portugal are admitted into the European Community.
  • 1988 – The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America comes into existence, creating the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States.
  • 1989 – The Montreal Protocol Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer comes into force.
  • 1990 – David Dinkins is sworn in as New York City's first black mayor.
  • 1992 – Russia is officially formed.
  • 1993 – Dissolution of Czechoslovakia: Czechoslovakia is divided into Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
  • 1993 – A single market within the European Community is introduced.
  • 1994 – The Zapatista Army of National Liberation initiates twelve days of armed conflict in the Mexican State of Chiapas.
  • 1994 – The North American Free Trade Agreement comes into effect.
  • 1995 – The World Trade Organization goes into effect.
  • 1995 – Sweden, Austria, and Finland are admitted into the European Union.
  • 1995 – The Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe becomes the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
  • 1995 – The Draupner wave in the North Sea in Norway is detected, confirming the existence of freak waves.
  • 1996 – Curaçao gains limited self-government, though it remains within free association with the Netherlands.
  • 1997 – Zaire officially joins the World Trade Organization.
  • 1997 – Ghanaian diplomat Kofi Annan is appointed Secretary-General of the United Nations.
  • 1998 – Russia begins to circulate new rubles to stem inflation and promote confidence.
  • 1998 – The European Central Bank is established.
  • 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).
  • 2002 – Euro banknotes and coins become legal tender in twelve of the European Union's member states.
  • 2002 – Taiwan officially joins the World Trade Organization, as Chinese Taipei.
  • 2002 – The Open Skies mutual surveillance treaty, initially signed in 1992, officially comes into force.
  • 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.
  • 2007 – Bulgaria and Romania officially join the European Union. Also, Bulgarian, Romanian, and Irish become official languages of the European Union, joining 20 other official languages.
  • 2007 – Adam Air Flight 574 disappears over Indonesia with 102 people on board.
  • 2008 – Malta and Cyprus officially adopt the Euro currency and become the fourteenth and fifteenth Eurozone countries.
  • 2009 – 66 die in a nightclub fire in Bangkok, Thailand.
  • 2010 – A suicide car bomber detonates at a volleyball tournament in Lakki Marwat, Pakistan, killing 105 and injuring 100 more.
  • 2011 – Estonia officially adopts the Euro currency and becomes the seventeenth eurozone country.
  • 2012 – Kim Jong-un is officially declared the new Supreme Leader of North Korea.

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Famous quotes containing the word events:

    As I look at the human story I see two stories. They run parallel and never meet. One is of people who live, as they can or must, the events that arrive; the other is of people who live, as they intend, the events they create.
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