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On January 1st...
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New Year's Day
1431 Pope Alexander VI was born.
1515 King Louis XII of France died.
1651 Charles II was crowned King of Scotland.
1729 Philosopher Edmund Burke was born.
1735 Paul Revere, Revolutionary patriot and silversmith, was born.
1745 Anthony Wayne, Revolutionary War general, was born.
1752 Betsy Ross, American flagmaker, was born.
1797 Albany officially became the capital of New York.
1804 Haiti gained its independence from France.
1818 Mary Shelley's Frankenstein was published.
1854 Cultural anthropologist James George Frazer was born.
Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
1874 New York City annexed The Bronx.
1877 Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom was proclaimed Empress of India.
1886 The first Tournament of Roses* parade was held in Pasadena, California.
1892 Ellis Island became the East Coast reception center for immigrants to the United States.
1895 J. Edgar Hoover, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was born.
1898 Brooklyn merged with New York City.
1900 Musician Xavier Cugat was born.
1901 The Commonwealth of Australia was proclaimed.
1902 The University of Michigan defeated Stanford University 49-0 in the first Rose Bowl game.
1908 The New Year was marked by the dropping of a ball in Times Square for the first time.
1909 U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater was born.
1912 Sun Yat-sen established the Republic of China.
1913 The United States Postal Service inaugurated parcel post service.
Boxer Rocky Graziano was born.
1923 The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was established.
1925 Norway's capital officially changed its name from Christiana to Oslo.
Alcatraz officially became a federal prison.
1943 Businessman Ron Perelman was born.
1944 Wrestler Jimmy Hart was born.
Japanese Emperor Hirohito formally renounced all claims to divinity.
1948 The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade became effective.
1953 Singer Hank Williams, Sr. died.
1957 The Saar region was formally reunited with Germany.
1960 Cameroon became independent of French-administered U.N. trusteeship.
1961 Fulgencio Batista fled Cuba in advance of rebel forces led by Fidel Castro.
1967 Football player Derrick Thomas was born.
1971 The advertising of tobacco products on television became illegal in the United States (effective at 12:01 am January 2).
Western Samoa became the Independent State of Samoa.
1976 The Liberty Bell was moved to a special pavillion behind Independence Hall.
1984 Brunei became independent of the United Kingdom.
1987 A fire at a luxury hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, killed 96 people and injured more than 140 others.
1992 The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic was renamed the Russian Federation.
North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect.
1995 The last "Far Side" cartoon was published.
2002 The Euro became legal tender in twelve of the European Union member nations.
2005 American politician Shirley Chisholm died.
This page was last updated on January 24, 2017.