On this day
Lincoln freed the slaves
On January 1st, 1863, US President Abraham Lincoln brought the Emancipation Proclamation, effectively freeing millions of slaves from the inhuman trade under the Confederacy.
Ford stepped down
On January 1st, 1919, Henry Ford stood down as the Ford Motor Company President, passing the role onto Edsel Ford, his son.
The UN first launched
On New Year’s Day in 1942, the United Nations (UN) was first established! The UN first formed with 26 different nations, all signing to declare that they would enforce peacekeeping. Both Winston Churchill and Franklin D Roosevelt were present for this establishment!
Cash took his prison tour on the road
In 1960, legendary musician Johnny Cash started the first of his first San Quentin Prison concerts.
The Euro took shape in 11 countries
New Year’s Day in 1999 saw the launch of the Euro, a brand new currency that brought together eleven countries across the continent. Now, you can use the Euro in 20 different countries - including France, Croatia, Spain, Ireland and Italy!
Y2K was a bit of a washout
On New Year’s Day in 2000… the Y2K meltdown never actually happened. The threat of the much-publicized “Millennium Bug” threatened to derail technology all over the world. However, New Year’s Day and a New Millennium arrived… and computers didn’t go completely kaput!
Special Days Falling on January 1stJanuary 1st isn’t just New Year’s Day, depending on where you are in the world! You might be celebrating any of the following events…
National Bloody Mary Day
Given that many people will have been reveling the night before, it’s not surprising that there’s a whole day dedicated to the hangover cure - a Bloody Mary cocktail - on January 1st!
The Bloody Mary has roots in France but has been adapted many times the world over. It's traditionally made with tomato juice and vodka - but some people enjoy it with celery, bacon, and pickles!
First Foot Day
In Scotland (and the northern reaches of England), many people celebrate their 'First Foot'. It's part of traditional Scottish Hogmanay celebrations - and it centers around the first person setting foot in a household bringing good luck.
If you really want to dig deep into what a perfect First Footing entails, you should ideally welcome a dark-haired stranger into your home on January 1st. If they can bring whiskey, gold coins and a fruit cake with them, you’ll be even luckier!
World Peace Day
Sadly, the world is still facing conflicts even after some of the grand wars that have taken place - which is why, on January 1st each year, people are globally invited to reflect on what peace means, and how we can achieve it in our time.
World Peace Day is marked, too, by the Pope, who will give a special message from the Vatican. It's an important day for self-reflection and to consider how we can all work towards a goal of peace moving forward.