What Happened This Day In History On January 1st

Historical records show some notable events taking place on January 1st of different years.

Find out what happened on this day in history on January 1st by taking a look at some of the historically significant events mentioned below.

Events On January 1st

  • 1st January, 1962 in UK: The Beatles are turned down when they audition with Decca Records. However, they went on to become one of the legendary music bands in the world.
  • 1st January, 1908 in New York City: For the first time, ball signifying the New Year was dropped in the city.
  • 1st January, 1914 in Florida: St. Petersburg Tampa Airboat Line became the world’s first airline to kick off its operations in St. Petersburg.
  • 1st January, 1948 in the UK: British Railways are nationalized with four largest British rail companies-the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS), Southern Railway (SR) and the Great Western Railway (GWR) being brought into the control and supervision of the government
  • 1st January, 1959 in Cuba: Fulgencio Batista's regime tumbled down on this day with the legendary revolutionary of Cuba- Fidel Castro and his activists taking over the reigns.
  • 1st January, 1966 in Canada: A new social insurance program related to one’s income called the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) was launched.
  • 1st January, 1863 in the US- The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by Abraham Lincoln.
  • 1st January, 1966: The legal body of the United States decided cigarette packs to carry warning notices, making it one of the first countries to put up warning statement on cigarette packets.
  • 1st January, 1973 in the UK: Ireland and Denmark are joined by the United Kingdom to become the initial members of the EEC. With the UK joining the EEC, total strength of member states stood at nine.
  • 1st January, 1974 in the U.S: Top presidential aids such as H. R. Haldeman, John Mitchell, and John Ehrlichman were found to be guilty in an indictment leading to criminal charges that was filed against them for obstruction of justice in the Watergate affair.
  • 1st January, 1984 in the UK: The Sultanate of Brunei becomes free from the rule of Great Britain.
  • 1st January, 1984 in the US: AT&T ame under obligation by the order of the U.S. District Court Judge Harold Greene's ruling to abolish 22 Bell Systems or baby bells as they were popularly known.
  • 1st January, 1985 in the UK: The first mobile phone call in Britain was made by the British comedian Ernie Wise to Vodafone marking a special event on the first day of the year.
  • 1st January, 1989: The Montreal Protocol was introduced with the objective of cutting down on the manufacturing of a number of halogenated hydrocarbons that was responsible for thinning of the ozone layer.
  • 1st January, 1991 in Canada: National sales tax and the Canadian Goods and Services Tax (GST) enters into force throughout the country by which a 5% tax is levied on all products, except essentials like medical services, groceries, food items, financial services and residential rent.
  • 1st January, 1993 in Czechoslovakia: The Czech Republic and Slovakia Split becomes the two new countries to be formed out of the split of Czechoslovakia.
  • 1st January, 1994 in the US: The largest trading bloc in the world is formed with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) coming into effect for the countries of North America. Canada, the United States and Mexico form the largest trading bloc.
  • 1st January, 1995: The (WTO) World Trade Organization succeeds the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) organization and handed the responsibility to oversee and open new avenues in international trade between different nations across the world.
  • 1st January, 1998 in the European Union: The European Central Bank comes into existence to look after the monetary policy covering member States of the Euro zone.
  • 1st January, 1998 in California: Stringent laws pertaining to smoking are passed, making it prohibitive for people to take a puff in bars even.
  • 1st January, 1999 in the Europe: The Euro came to be recognized as the currency for eleven nations. It was a part of the endeavor of the European Union to reunite Europe after World War II and make it an “economic giant”.
  • 1st January, 2000: the New Millennium took place on this day in history.
  • 1st January, 2000 in Panama: The rule of Panama Canal is handed over by the United States to Panama, thereby putting an end to over 100 years of American dominance.
  • 1st January, 2002 in the European Union: The Euro became the currency for twelve out of the 15 countries of the European Union.
  • 1st January, 2005 in Indonesia: Just a week after tsunami played havoc in southern Asia, the death count was estimated to be over 120,000 with approximately 80,000 deaths taking place in Indonesia alone. Nearly 5 – 7 million people were rendered homeless because of the devastating natural calamity.
  • 1st January, 2006 in Australia: Temperature in Sydney hits a shocking 45 degrees Celsius, triggering forest fires and power outages. Australia records the hottest temperature eve in history.
  • 1st January, 2007 in Indonesia: Crash of the Adam Air Flight 574 a Boeing 737-4Q8 was alleged to have taken place over the Java Sea. 102 people on board were assumed dead.
  • 1st January, 2008 in Kenya: Ethnic violence in Kenya takes an evil turn following the election with mob shootings breaking out everywhere in the country.
  • 1st January, 2008 in the US: A law is passed in New Hampshire to legalize civil unions between same sex couples
  • 1st January, 2008 in Europe: Thirteen European countries are joined by Cyprus and Malta to adopt the Euro as their sole currency.
  • 1st January, 2009 in the European Union: Slovakia adopt the Euro as its currency, becoming the sixteenth country in the European Union to do so.
  • 1st January, 2009 in Russia: Talks between Russia and the Ukraine fails, thereby causing apprehension over gas supplies in Europe.
  • 1st January, 2010 in Pakistan: No less than 88 people are feared dead near Lakki Marwat in the troubled north-west of Pakistan following a suicide bomb attack at a volleyball court.
  • 1st January, 2011 in the US: Arkansas and Missouri are hit by Tornadoes on New Year’s Day, killing some and injuring several people. With destruction of several homes and power lines, a crisis struck these two states during the holiday season.
  • 1st January, 2012 in Nigeria: Break out of ethnic clash is alleged to have taken lives of around fifty people in Eastern Nigeria.

Ethiopian New Year Celebrations

According to the Western or Gregorian calendar, the Ethiopian New year or Enkutatash is celebrated on September 12th.

The country still follows the orthodox Julian Calendar which consists of an equal division of the twelve months into 30 days each and the creation of a 13th month known as Pagume, which contains within is 5 or 6 days which is generally dependent on whether the year is a leap year or not.

By a calculation the Ethiopian calendar is currently seven years and eight months behind the global Gregorian calendar that is followed.

2019 New Year in Ethopia:

Enkutatash is an important festival for the Ethiopians as it also symbolizes the advent of good harvest weather. After months of torrential pour, the month of September sees clear skies and fresh, clear, beautiful atmosphere. The highlands all teeming with flowers and the land looks like it is made of clear gold as the Meskal daisies bear flowers in the season.

The Origins of the “Enkutatash”:

Tracing the origins of the Enkutatash tradition, as historians site it, is biblical as the Queen of Sheba Makeda came back from her visit to the fabled King Solomon, the elders (the chides) of the tribes as a welcome gesture offered her Jewels known as “enku”. Hence ‘”Enkutatash” translates to the “Gift of Jewels” and has been celebrated henceforth in the season of spring. Meskerem hence is the month which sees the transition period of the transformation from the old to the new and hence is the month that nestles within it the hopes for a brighter and better future.

Orthodox ‘Enkutatash’ Celebrations:

The largest celebration of Enkutatash is held in Kostete Yohannes church which is a 14th century church located in the city of Gaynt in the Gondar Region. For almost a period of three days the sounds of the Psalms, prayers, hymns and sermons resound through the city as parades and processions are readied for the celebration of New Year. Celebrations at a massive scale are also made in regions nearer to Addis Ababa, the capital of the nation at the Ragual Church on Entoto Mountain.

‘Enkutatash’ Customs:

On New Year’s Eve, torches are made out of dry leaves and wood, and lit alight in front of the houses. This lighting of the torches is then accompanied by the singing of songs by the young and the old. At wee hours of the morning, people dress themselves in traditional Ethiopian clothing as they pay a visit to the church which is followed by a family Mel comprising of Injera which is basically a form of flat Bread and Wat , which can be identified with a stew.

The girls in Ethiopia on this occasion go singing New Year Songs from door to door and receive money for it, much like the tradition of Christmas choirs and carol singing children, the boys of Ethiopia on the other hand sell pictures that have been drawn by them. With the advent of the evening people go and visit their family and friends as they drink Tella which is the locally brewed traditional Ethiopian beer. Also as the elder sit together and discuss about things that concern them like, the hopes for a New Year, the children roam around freely and try to spend the money that they managed to earn on the occasion.

Embracing the modern spirit the city dwellers in more recent times have adopted the more western way of sending out greeting cards etc. instead of the traditional bunches of flowers that have been a part of the Ethiopian customs for ages.