On This Day in History January 4th

Happy New Year!

January 1 – Events:

  • 153 BC – Roman consuls begin their year in office.
  • 45 BC – The Julian calendar takes effect for the first time.
  • 404 – The last known gladiatorial competition in Rome takes place.
  • 630 – The Prophet Muhammad sets out toward Mecca with the army that will capture it bloodlessly.
  • 1001 – Grand Prince Stephen I of Hungary is named the first King of Hungary by Pope Silvester II.
  • 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.
  • 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 1 January instead of 25 March.
  • 1651 – Charles II is crowned King of Scotland.
  • 1673 – Regular mail service begins between New York and Boston.
  • 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.
  • 1781 – 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 as part of the Pennsylvania (Continentals; Regiment) Mutiny of 1781.
  • 1788 – First edition of The Times of London, previously The Daily Universal Register, is published.
  • 1797 – Albany replaces Kingston as the capital of New York State.
  • 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 Son Dynasty to be collected and melted into nine cannons for the Royal Citadel in Hu, Vietnam
  • 1804 – French rule ends in Haiti. Haiti becomes the first black republic and first independent country in the West Indies.
  • 1806 – The French Republican Calendar is abolished.
  • 1808 – The importation of slaves into the United States is banned.
  • 1833 – The United Kingdom claims sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.
  • 1845 – The Cobble Hill Tunnel in Brooklyn is completed.
  • 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.
  • 1876 – The Reichsbank opens in Berlin.
  • 1877 – Queen Victoria of Britain is proclaimed Empress of India.
  • 1880 – Ferdinand de Lesseps begins French construction of the Panama Canal.
  • 1890 – Eritrea is consolidated into a colony by the Italian government.
  • 1892 – Ellis Island opens to begin processing immigrants into the United States.
  • 1893 – Japan begins using the Gregorian calendar.
  • 1894 – The Manchester Ship Canal, England, is officially opened to traffic.
  • 1898 – New York City 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.
  • 1906 – British India officially adopts the Indian Standard Time
  • 1908 – For the first time, a ball is dropped in New York City’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 became 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.
  • 1916 – German troops abandon Yaoundé and their Kamerun colony to British forces and begin the long march to Spanish Guinea.
  • 1919 – Edsel Ford succeeds his father, Henry Ford, as president of the Ford Motor Company.
  • 1920 – The Belorussian Communist Organisation is founded as a separate party.
  • 1922 – The Greek Constitution of 1822 is adopted by the First National Assembly of Epidaurus.
  • 1923 – Britain’s Railways are grouped into the Big Four, LNER, GWR, SR, LMSR.
  • 1925 – The American astronomer Edwin Hubble announces the discovery of galaxies outside the Milky Way.
  • 1927 – Turkey adopts the Gregorian calendar: December 18, 1926 (Julian), is immediately followed by January 1, 1927 (Gregorian).
  • 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 Great Britain.
  • 1939 – William Hewlett and David Packard found Hewlett-Packard.
  • 1939 – Sydney, Australia, swelters in 45 °C (113 °F) heat, a record for the city.
  • 1942 – The Declaration by the United Nations is signed by twenty-six nations.
  • 1942 – WWII: The U.S. Office of Production Management prohibits sales of new cars and trucks to civilians.
  • 1945 – WWII: In retaliation for the Malmedy massacre, U.S. troops massacre 30 SSprisoners at Chenogne.
  • 1945 – WWII: The German Luftwaffe launches Unternehmen Bodenplatte, a massive, but failed attempt to knock out Allied air power in northern Europe in a single blow.
  • 1946 – The first civil flight from Heathrow Airport occurs.
  • 1947 – The American and British occupation zones in Germany, after the World War II, merge to form the Bizone, that later became the Federal Republic of Germany.
  • 1948 – British railways are nationalised to form British Rail.
  • 1948 – After partition, India declines to pay the agreed share of Rs.550 million in cash balances to Pakistan.
  • 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.
  • 1950 – The state of Ajaigarh is ceded to the Government of India.
  • 1956 – The Republic of the Sudan achieves independence from the Egyptian Republic and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
  • 1956 – A new year event causes panic and stampedes at Yahiko Shrine, Yahiko, central Niigata, Japan, killing at least 124 people.
  • 1957 – George Town, Penang becomes a city by a royal charter granted by Her Majesty Queen 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 Community is established.
  • 1959 – Cultivars of plants named after this date must be named in a modern language, not in Latin.
  • 1959 – Fulgencio Batista, president of Cuba, is overthrown by Fidel Castro’s forces during the Cuban Revolution.
  • 1960 – The Republic of Cameroon achieves independence from France and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 1971 – Cigarette advertisements are banned on American television.
  • 1972 – Austrian diplomat Kurt Waldheim becomes Secretary General of the United Nations.
  • 1973 – Denmark, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland are admitted into the European Community.
  • 1978 – Air India Flight 855 Boeing 747 crashes into the sea, due to instrument failure and pilot disorientation, off the coast of Bombay, killing 213.
  • 1978 – The Constitution of the Northern Mariana Islands becomes effective.
  • 1979 – Formal diplomatic relations are established between the People’s Republic of China and the United States of America.
  • 1980 – Victoria is crowned princess of Sweden.
  • 1981 – The Republic of Greece is admitted into the European Community.
  • 1981 – The Republic of 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 broken up into  twenty-two independent units as a result of the settlement of the 1974 United States Department of Justice antitrust suit against AT&T.
  • 1984 – The Sultanate of Brunei becomes independent of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
  • 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 Kingdom of the Netherlands.
  • 1986 – The Kingdom of Spain and the Portuguese Republic 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 on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer comes into force.
  • 1990 – David Dinkins is sworn in as New York City’s first black mayor.
  • 1993 – Dissolution of Czechoslovakia: Czechoslovakia is divided into the Slovak Republic 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.
  • 1994 – The European Economic Area comes into effect.
  • 1994 – The International Tropical Timber Agreement comes into effect.
  • 1995 – The World Trade Organization comes into effect.
  • 1995 – The Kingdom of Sweden and the republics of 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.
  • 1995 – Jean-Claude Juncker becomes Prime Minister of Luxembourg.
  • 1996 – Curaçao gains limited self-government, though it remains within free association with the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
  • 1997 – The Republic of Zaïre officially joins the World Trade Organization, as Zaïre.
  • 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.
  • 1999 – The Polish administrative region of Opole Voivodeship is created, out of the former Opole Voivodeship and parts of Czestochowa Voivodeship.
  • 2000 – As the world celebrates, no major crisis arises from the dreaded Y2K computer “millennium bug.”
  • 2000 – Hama Amadou becomes Prime Minister of Niger.
  • 2001 – Tommy Remengesau becomes president of Palau.
  • 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.
  • 2003 – Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva assumes office as the President of Brazil.
  • 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, was “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 – A New Hampshire law legalizing civil unions for same-sex couples comes into effect.
  • 2008 – Malta and Cyprus officially adopt the Euro currency

January 1 – Birthdays:

  • 766 – Ali al-Rida, Shia Imam (d. 818)
  • 1431 – Pope Alexander VI (d. 1503)
  • 1449 – Lorenzo de’ Medici, Italian statesman (d. 1492)
  • 1467 – Sigismund I the Old, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania (d. 1548)
  • 1484 – Huldrych Zwingli, Swiss Protestant leader (d. 1531)
  • 1511 – Henry, Duke of Cornwall (d. 1511)
  • 1516 – Margaret Leijonhufvud, Queen of Gustav I of Sweden (d. 1551)
  • 1557 – István Bocskay, Prince of Transylvania (d. 1606)
  • 1600 – Friedrich Spanheim, Dutch theologian (d. 1649)
  • 1614 – John Wilkins, English Bishop of Chester (d. 1672)
  • 1638 – Emperor Go-Sai of Japan (d. 1685)
  • 1648 – Elkanah Settle, English writer (d. 1724)
  • 1655 – Christian Thomasius, German jurist (d. 1728)
  • 1684 – Arnold Drakenborch, Dutch classical scholar (d. 1748)
  • 1704 – Soame Jenyns, English writer (d. 1787)
  • 1711 – Franz Freiherr von der Trenck, Austrian soldier (d. 1749)
  • 1714 – Kristijonas Donelaitis, Lithuanian poet (d. 1780)
  • 1735 – Paul Revere, American patriot (d. 1818)
  • 1745 – Anthony Wayne, American general and statesman (d. 1796)
  • 1750 – Frederick Muhlenberg, American statesman (d. 1801)
  • 1752 – Betsy Ross, American seamstress (d. 1836)
  • 1767 – Maria Edgeworth, Anglo-Irish novelist (d. 1849)
  • 1774 – André Marie Constant Duméril, French zoologist (d. 1860)
  • 1779 – William Clowes, English printer (d. 1847)
  • 1803 – Guglielmo Libri Carucci dalla Sommaja, Italian mathematician (d. 1869)
  • 1814 – Hong Xiuquan, Chinese rebel (d. 1864)
  • 1819 – Arthur Hugh Clough, English poet (d. 1861)
  • 1823 – Sándor Petofi, Hungarian poet and revolutionary (d. 1849)
  • 1833 – Robert Lawson, New Zealand architect (d. 1902)
  • 1834 – Ludovic Halévy, French playwright (d. 1908)
  • 1848 – John Goff, Irish lawyer (d. 1924)
  • 1852 – Eugène-Anatole Demarçay, French chemist (d. 1904)
  • 1854 – Sir James George Frazer, Scottish anthropologist (d. 1941)
  • 1863 – Pierre de Coubertin, French Olympic Games initiator (d. 1937)
  • 1864 – Alfred Stieglitz, American photographer (d. 1946)
  • 1864 – Qi Baishi, Chinese painter (d. 1957)
  • 1868 – Snitz Edwards, American actor (d. 1937)
  • 1873 – Mariano Azuela, Mexican novelist (d. 1952)
  • 1874 – Gustave Whitehead, German-born inventor (d. 1927)
  • 1874 – Frank Knox, American Secretary of the Navy (d. 1944)
  • 1876 – Harriet Brooks, Canadian physicist (d. 1933)
  • 1878 – Agner Krarup Erlang, Danish scientist and engineer (d. 1929)
  • 1879 – William Fox, Hungarian-U.S. film producer (d. 1952)
  • 1879 – E. M. Forster, English novelist (d. 1970)
  • 1881 – Vajiravudh, King of Thailand (d. 1925)
  • 1887 – Wilhelm Canaris, German admiral and military intelligence officer (d. 1945, by execution)
  • 1888 – John Garand, American inventor (d. 1974)
  • 1889 – Charles Bickford, U.S. film actor (d. 1967)
  • 1890 – Anton Melik, Slovenian geographer (d. 1966)
  • 1892 – Manuel Roxas, inaugural Philippines President (d. 1948)
  • 1892 – Artur Rodzinski, Croatian conductor (d. 1958)
  • 1894 – Satyendra Nath Bose, Bengali mathematician (d. 1974)
  • 1894 – Shitsu Nakano, Japan’s oldest person (d. 2007)
  • 1895 – J. Edgar Hoover, American FBI director (d. 1972)
  • 1900 – Chiune Sugihara, Japanese diplomat (d. 1986)
  • 1900 – Xavier Cugat, Spanish musician (d. 1990)
  • 1902 – Buster Nupen, South African cricketer (d. 1977)
  • 1904 – Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry, Pakistani politician (d. 1982)
  • 1904 – Ethan Allen, American baseball player (d. 1993)
  • 1905 – Stanislaw Mazur, Polish mathematician (d. 1981)
  • 1905 – Kamatari Fujiwara, Japanese actor (d. 1985)
  • 1906 – Giovanni D’Anzi, Italian songwriter (d. 1974)
  • 1909 – Stepan Bandera, Ukrainian nationalist leader (d. 1959)
  • 1909 – Dana Andrews, American actor (d. 1992)
  • 1909 – Barry M. Goldwater, American politician (d. 1998)
  • 1911 – Basil Dearden, UK film director (d. 1971)
  • 1911 – Hank Greenberg, American baseball player (d. 1986)
  • 1912 – Kim Philby, British spy (d. 1988)
  • 1912 – Boris Vladimirovich Gnedenko, Russian mathematician (d. 1995)
  • 1914 – Noor Inayat Khan, Indian princess and SOE agent; awarded the George Cross (d. 1944)
  • 1917 – Jule Gregory Charney, American meteorologist (d. 1981)
  • 1917 – Albert Mol, Dutch actor (d. 2004)
  • 1918 – Patrick Anthony Porteous, Scottish Victoria Cross recipient (d. 2000)
  • 1919 – Carole Landis, U.S. film actress (d. 1948)
  • 1919 – J. D. Salinger, American novelist
  • 1920 – Virgilio Savona, Italian singer (Quartetto Cetra)
  • 1921 – Ismail al-Faruqi, Palestinian-born philosopher (d. 1986)
  • 1922 – Rocky Graziano, American boxer (d. 1990)
  • 1922 – Ernest Hollings, American politician
  • 1923 – Daniel Gorenstein, American mathematician (d. 1992)
  • 1923 – Milt Jackson, American jazz vibraphonist (d. 1999)
  • 1925 – Matthew “Stymie” Beard, American actor (d. 1981)
  • 1925 – Denyse Tontz, belly dancer/actor
  • 1925 – Valentina Cortese, Italian actress
  • 1925 – Raymond Pellegrin, French actor
  • 1926 – Richard Verreau, French Canadian tenor (d. 2005)
  • 1927 – Doak Walker, American football star (d. 1998)
  • 1927 – Calum MacKay, Canadian hockey player (d. 2001)
  • 1927 – Maurice Béjart, French choreographer (d. 2007)
  • 1927 – Pat Heywood, Scottish born actress
  • 1927 – Vernon L. Smith, American economist, winner
  • 1928 – Ernest Tidyman, American writer (d. 1984)
  • 1930 – Ty Hardin, U.S. film actor
  • 1930 – Gaafar al-Nimeiry, President of Sudan 1971–85
  • 1932 – Giuseppe Patanè, Italian opera conductor (d. 1989)
  • 1932 – Jackie Parker, American football player (d. 2006)
  • 1933 – Joe Orton, English writer (d. 1967)
  • 1933 – Frederick Lowy, Canadian educator
  • 1933 – Norman Yemm, Australian actor
  • 1935 – B. Kliban, American cartoonist (d. 1990)
  • 1937 – Adam Wisniewski-Snerg, Polish author (d. 1995)
  • 1938 – Robert Jankel, British coachbuilder (d. 2005)
  • 1938 – Clay Cole, Television Host and Producer
  • 1939 – Michèle Mercier, French actress
  • 1940 – Frank Langella, American actor
  • 1942 – Gennadi Sarafanov, Soviet cosmonaut (d. 2005)
  • 1942 – Country Joe McDonald, American musician (Country Joe and the Fish)
  • 1942 – Martin Frost, American politician
  • 1942 – Alassane Ouattara, Former Prime Minister of Ivory Coast
  • 1942 – Judy Stone, Australian pop singer
  • 1943 – Jimmy Hart, wrestling manager
  • 1943 – Raghunath Anant Mashelkar, Indian scientist
  • 1943 – Don Novello, American actor
  • 1943 – Larry Clark, American director
  • 1944 – Zafarullah Khan Jamali, Pakistani politician
  • 1945 – Peter Duncan, Australian politician
  • 1945 – Jacky Ickx, Belgian race car driver
  • 1946 – Carl B. Hamilton, Swedish economist and politician
  • 1946 – Rick Hurst, American actor
  • 1946 – Rivelino, Brazilian football player
  • 1947 – Jon Corzine, American politician
  • 1947 – Paula Tsui, Hong Kong singer
  • 1948 – Pavel Grachev, Russian general
  • 1950 – Morgan Fisher, English musician (Mott the Hoople)
  • 1951 – Ashfaq Hussain, Urdu poet
  • 1951 – Nana Patekar, Indian film and stage actor
  • 1951 – Hans-Joachim Stuck, German-born race car driver
  • 1953 – Greg Carmichael, British guitarist (Acoustic Alchemy)
  • 1954 – Bob Menendez, American politician
  • 1956 – Mark R. Hughes, American entrepreneur (d. 2000)
  • 1956 – Sergei Avdeyev, Russian cosmonaut
  • 1956 – Mike Mitchell, American basketball player
  • 1956 – Kôji Yakusho, Japanese actor
  • 1957 – Ewa Kasprzyk, Polish actress
  • 1957 – Evangelos Venizelos, Greek lawyer, professor and politician
  • 1958 – Grandmaster Flash, Barbados-born musician
  • 1959 – Azali Assoumani, Comorian president
  • 1959 – Jennifer Edwards, American actress
  • 1959 – Panagiotis Giannakis, Greek basketball player and coach
  • 1961 – Fiona Phillips, British television presenter
  • 1961 – Mark Wingett, British actor
  • 1962 – Sophie Thompson, British actress
  • 1962 – Ari Up, German musician (The Slits)
  • 1964 – Juliana Donald, American actress
  • 1964 – Dedee Pfeiffer, American actress
  • 1966 – Anna Burke, Australian politician
  • 1967 – Derrick Thomas, American football player (d. 2000)
  • 1967 – Juanma Bajo Ulloa, Spanish film director
  • 1967 – John Digweed, English DJ
  • 1967 – Tim Dog, American rapper1968 – Joey Stefano, American adult actor (d. 1994)
  • 1968 – Miki Higashino, Japanese composer
  • 1968 – Davor Šuker, Croatian footballer
  • 1969 – Sophie Okonedo, Academy Award nominated British actress
  • 1969 – Christi Paul, American news anchor
  • 1969 – Verne Troyer, American actor
  • 1970 – Gabriel Jarret, American actor
  • 1970 – Shelley O’Donnell, Australian netballer
  • 1970 – Kimberly Page, American actress
  • 1971 – Bobby Holik, Czech hockey player
  • 1971 – Sammie Henson, American World Champion Wrestler, Olympic silver medalist
  • 1972 – Neve McIntosh, Scottish actress
  • 1972 – Lilian Thuram, French footballer
  • 1974 – Catalina Guirado, English model and TV personality
  • 1975 – Sonali Bendre, Indian model and actress
  • 1975 – Joe Cannon, American soccer player
  • 1975 – Eiichiro Oda, Japanese Manga artist
  • 1976 – Caleb Wyatt, American motocross rider
  • 1976 – Georgina Chapman, British fashion designer and actress
  • 1977 – Keeley Hawes, British actress
  • 1977 – Hasan Salihamidžic, Bosnian footballer
  • 1978 – Vidya Balan, Indian actress
  • 1978 – Nina Bott, German actress
  • 1978 – Phillip Mulryne, Northern Irish footballer
  • 1978 – Paramahamsa Sri Nithyananda, Indian spiritualist
  • 1978 – Tarik O’Regan, British composer
  • 1979 – Brody Dalle, Australian singer (The Distillers)
  • 1979 – Koichi Domoto, Japanese artist
  • 1980 – Elin Nordegren, Swedish model
  • 1981 – Jonas Armstrong, Irish actor
  • 1981 – Zsolt Baumgartner, Hungarian race car driver
  • 1981 – Abdülkadir Koçak, Turkish boxer
  • 1981 – Eden Riegel, American actress
  • 1982 – David Nalbandian, Argentinian tennis player
  • 1983 – Ali Bastian, English actress and model
  • 1983 – Calum Davenport, English footballer
  • 1983 – Emi Kobayashi, Japanese model
  • 1984 – José Paolo Guerrero, Peruvian footballer
  • 1984 – Alok Kapali, Bangladeshi cricketer
  • 1984 – Shareefa, American singer
  • 1984 – Michael Witt, Australian rugby league footballer
  • 1985 – Steven Davis, Northern Irish footballer
  • 1986 – Glen Davis, American basketball player
  • 1987 – Gilbert Brule, professional hockey player
  • 1987 – Meryl Davis, American ice dancer
  • 1987 – Devin Setoguchi, Professional hockey player
  • 1991 – Kathleen Herles, American Voice actor
  • 1998 – Marlene Lawston, American child actress

January 1 – Deaths:

  • 379 – Saint Basil of Caesarea (b. 330)
  • 404 – Saint Telemachus
  • 874 – Hasan al-Askari, eleventh Shia Imam (b. 846)
  • 898 – Odo, Count of Paris (b. 860)
  • 962 – Baldwin III, Count of Flanders (c. 940)
  • 1204 – King Haakon III of Norway (c. 1170)
  • 1387 – King Charles II of Navarre (b. 1332)
  • 1515 – King Louis XII of France (b. 1462)
  • 1554 – Pedro de Valdivia, Spanish conquistador (b. 1500)
  • 1559 – Christian III of Denmark and Norway (b. 1503)
  • 1560 – Joachim du Bellay, French poet (b. 1522)
  • 1617 – Hendrik Goltzius, Dutch painter (b. 1558)
  • 1631 – Thomas Hobson, the “Cambridge Carrier”, eponym of Hobson’s Choice (b. 1544)
  • 1697 – Filippo Baldinucci, Florentine biographer/historian (b. 1624)
  • 1716 – William Wycherley, English dramatist (b. 1640)
  • 1730 – Samuel Sewall, English-born judge (b. 1652)
  • 1742 – Peregrine Bertie, 2nd Duke of Ancaster and Kesteven, English statesman (b. 1686)
  • 1748 – Johann Bernoulli, Swiss mathematician (b. 1667)
  • 1759 – Jacques-Joachim Trotti, marquis de La Chétardie, French adventurer (b. 1705)
  • 1766 – James Francis Edward Stuart, “The Old Pretender” (b. 1688)
  • 1782 – Johann Christian Bach, German composer (b. 1735)
  • 1789 – Fletcher Norton, 1st Baron Grantley, English politician (b. 1716)
  • 1793 – Francesco Guardi, Venetian painter (b. 1712)
  • 1796 – Alexandre-Théophile Vandermonde, French mathematician (b. 1735)
  • 1800 – Louis-Jean-Marie Daubenton, French naturalist (b. 1716)
  • 1817 – Martin Heinrich Klaproth, German chemist (b. 1743)
  • 1853 – Gregory Blaxland, Australian explorer (b. 1778)
  • 1862 – Mikhail Vasilievich Ostrogradsky, Russian physicist (b. 1801)
  • 1869 – Martin W. Bates, American politician (b. 1786)
  • 1881 – Louis Auguste Blanqui, French political activist (b. 1805)
  • 1892 – Roswell B. Mason, Mayor of Chicago (b. 1805)
  • 1894 – Heinrich Rudolf Hertz, German physicist (b. 1857)
  • 1896 – Alfred Ely Beach, U.S. inventor (b. 1826)
  • 1906 – Sir Hugh Nelson, Premier of Queensland (b. 1835)
  • 1919 – Mikhail Drozdovsky, Russian general (b. 1881)
  • 1921 – Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg, Chancellor of Germany (b. 1856)
  • 1931 – Martinus Beijerinck, Dutch microbiologist and botanist (b. 1851)
  • 1932 – C P Scott, British journalist, publisher and politician (b. 1846)
  • 1940 – Panuganti Lakshminarasimha Rao, Indian writer and essayist (b. 1865)
  • 1943 – Colonel Andrew Summers Rowan, U.S. military officer who gave “a message to Garcia” (b. 1857)
  • 1944 – Sir Edward Lutyens, British architect who designed New Delhi (b. 1869)
  • 1944 – Charles Turner, Australian cricketer (b. 1862)
  • 1953 – Hank Williams, American singer (b. 1923)
  • 1954 – Duff Cooper, British diplomat and writer (b. 1890)
  • 1957 – Seán South and Fergal O’Hanlon are killed in the Brookeborough Raid.
  • 1958 – Edward Weston, American photographer (b. 1886)
  • 1960 – Margaret Sullavan, American actress (b. 1909)
  • 1963 – Dr. Gilbert Bogle and Mrs. Margaret Chandler, Australian victims of an unsolved murder or possibly accidental death
  • 1964 – Bechara El Khoury, President of Lebanon (b. 1890)
  • 1966 – Vincent Auriol, French politician (b. 1884)
  • 1969 – Bruno Söderström, Swedish athlete (b. 1888)
  • 1969 – Barton MacLane, American actor (b. 1902)
  • 1971 – Saint Amphilochius of Pochayiv, Ukrainian Orthodox Christian Saint (b. 1894)
  • 1972 – Maurice Chevalier, French actor and singer (b. 1888)
  • 1980 – Pietro Nenni, Italian socialist politician (b. 1891)
  • 1980 – Adolph Deutsch, U.S. composer and arranger (b. 1897)
  • 1981 – Hephzibah Menuhin, American-Jewish concert pianist (b. 1920)
  • 1982 – Victor Buono, American actor (b. 1938)
  • 1984 – Alexis Korner, British blues musician (b. 1928)
  • 1985 – Kamatari Fujiwara, Japanese actor (b. 1905)
  • 1986 – Alfredo Binda, Italian cyclist (b. 1902)
  • 1986 – Bruce Norris, American hockey executive (Detroit Red Wings) (b. 1924)
  • 1991 – Buck Ram, American songwriter and businessman (The Platters) (b. 1907)
  • 1992 – Grace Hopper, American computer pioneer (b. 1906)
  • 1994 – Lord Arthur Espie Porritt, Governor-General of New Zealand (b. 1900)
  • 1994 – Cesar Romero, American actor (b. 1907)
  • 1995 – Eugene Wigner, Hungarian physicist, Nobel laureate (b. 1902)
  • 1995 – Fred West, British serial killer (suicide) (b. 1941)
  • 1996 – Arleigh Burke, American admiral (b. 1901)
  • 1996 – Arthur Rudolph, German engineer (b. 1906)
  • 1997 – Hagood Hardy, Canadian composer and musician (b. 1937)
  • 1997 – Townes Van Zandt, American musician (b. 1944)
  • 1998 – Helen Wills Moody, American tennis player (b. 1905)
  • 2000 – Colin Vaughan, Australian-born political journalist (b. 1931)
  • 2001 – Ray Walston, American actor (b. 1914)
  • 2002 – Julia Phillips, American film producer (b. 1944)
  • 2003 – Joe Foss, American politician, fighter pilot and AFL Commissioner (b. 1915)
  • 2003 – F. William Free, American advertising executive (b. 1928)
  • 2003 – Cyril Shaps, English actor (b. 1923)
  • 2005 – Shirley Chisholm, American politician (b. 1924)
  • 2005 – Hugh Lawson, 6th Baron Burnham, British newspaperman (b. 1931)
  • 2005 – Eugene J. Martin, American painter, artist (b. 1938)
  • 2005 – Bob Matsui, American politician (b. 1941)
  • 2006 – Harry Magdoff, American magazine editor (b. 1913)
  • 2006 – Hugh McLaughlin, Irish publisher and inventor (b. 1918)
  • 2006 – Dawn Lake, Australian TV comedienne (b. 1927)
  • 2006 – Bryan Harvey, American musician (House of Freaks) (b. 1956)
  • 2007 – A. I. Bezzerides, American novelist and screenwriter (b. 1908)
  • 2007 – Ernie Koy, American baseball player (b. 1909)
  • 2007 – Tillie Olsen, American writer (b. 1912)
  • 2007 – Leon Davidson, American scientist known for studying UFOs (b. 1922)
  • 2007 – Julius Hegyi, American conductor (b. 1923)
  • 2007 – Del Reeves, American country singer (b. 1932)
  • 2007 – Roland Levinsky, South African medical scientist (b. 1943)
  • 2007 – Leonard Fraser, Australian serial killer (b. 1951)
  • 2007 – Tad Jones, American jazz music historian (b. 1952)
  • 2007 – Darrent Williams, American football player (b. 1982)
  • 2008 – Salvatore Bonanno, son of Joseph Bonnano (b. 1932)
  • 2008 – Peter Caffrey, Irish actor (b. 1949)
  • 2008 – Pratap Chandra Chunder, union minister of India (b. 1919)
  • 2008 – Harold Corsini, American photographer (b. 1919)

January 1 – Holidays:

By observance:

  • New Year’s Day for many countries around the world using the Gregorian calendar; often celebrated at midnight with fireworks.
  • Last day of Kwanzaa
  • January 1 is also the given “birthday” to many refugees who come to safe countries but are unable to give a documented date of birth.

By faith:

  • Christian celebrations:
    • The seventh day of Christmas (and eighth night of the same) in Western Christianity.
    • Anglican and Episcopalian churches – Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus
    • Roman Catholicism – Feast of the Circumcision (Old calendar).
    • Roman Catholicism – Holy Day of Obligation in many countries.
    • Final Day of Octave of Christmas, Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (New calendar).
  • Feast days of the following:
    • Fulgentius of Ruspe
    • Odilo of Cluny
    • Telemachus
    • Orthodox Christian Churches – Feast Day of the Circumcision of the Lord in the Flesh; also the feast day of St. Basil, Bishop of Caesaria.
    • January 1 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)

By country:

  • Cuba Liberation Day.
  • Czech Republic: Establishment of the Czech Republic.
  • Haiti Independence Day.
  • Scotland: Ne’erday.
  • Slovakia: Establishment of the Slovak Republic.
  • Sudan Independence Day.

By city:

  • New Year’s Day Parade in London, United Kingdom.
  • Vienna New Year’s Concert
  • Pasadena, California – the Tournament of Roses Parade.
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