On this day - January 1st

🗓️ On This Day - January 1st

Happy New Year! January 1st is, of course, the start of a whole new year of prospects and possibilities. Historically, it’s also really interesting to dive into! Once you’ve finished singing Auld Lang Syne, here are some fun facts about January 1st you’ll want to remember.

On this day

Facts about Slavery

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.

Facts about the United Nations

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!

Facts about 1st January

Cash took his prison tour on the road

In 1960, legendary musician Johnny Cash started the first of his first San Quentin Prison concerts.

facts about money

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!

Facts about January 1st

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 1st

January 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…
a Bloody Mary

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!

World Foot Day, celebrated on 1st January

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 - January 1st

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.

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This page was last modified on July 29, 2023. Suggest an edit

This month in history

In 1981, the US welcomed a new President - Ronald Reagan - who was officially inaugurated in late January. Reagan would become a divisive figure, though one who would serve two full terms across the 1980s. His leadership is still synonymous with the Cold War Crisis of the decade - with George HW Bush succeeding him in 1989.

Famous Birthdays on January 1st

Betsy Ross, seamstress of the first US flag, born 1752

EM Forster, author of “Passage to India,” born 1879

J Edgar Hoover, FBI Director, born 1924

Grandmaster Flash, rapper and DJ (“The Message”), born 1958

Poppy, singer-songwriter (“Bloodmoney”), born 1995

facts about Capricorn

If you were born on January 1st…

…you’re a Capricorn! You’re super-practical, which means you probably get called upon for a few favors every now and again! Why not take a look at our Capricorn facts?

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