About January 1

January 1, 2020 is the 1st day of the year 2020 in the Gregorian calendar. There are 365 days remaining until the end of this year. The day of the week is Wednesday.

You can browse the full year calendar in case you need it.

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Capricorn is the sun sign of a person born on this day. Garnet is the modern birthstone for this month. Emerald is the mystical birthstone from Tibetan origin that dates back over a thousand years.

According to the lunisolar Chinese calendar, there are 24 days remaining before the start of the next Chinese New Year.

January 1: More About This Day

The preceding day is December 31 of the previous year.

During the Middle Ages under the influence of the Christian Church, many countries moved the start of the year to one of several important Christian festivals — December 25 (the Nativity of Jesus), March 1, March 25 (the Annunciation), or even Easter. Eastern European countries (most of them with populations showing allegiance to the Orthodox Church) began their numbered year on September 1 from about 988.

In England, January 1 was celebrated as the New Year festival, but from the 12th century to 1752 the year in England began on March 25 (Lady Day). So, for example, the Parliamentary record records the execution of Charles I occurring in 1648 (as the year did not end until March 24), although modern histories adjust the start of the year to January 1 and record the execution as occurring in 1649.

Most western European countries changed the start of the year to January 1 before they adopted the Gregorian calendar. For example, Scotland changed the start of the Scottish New Year to January 1 in 1600. England, Ireland and the British colonies changed the start of the year to January 1 in 1752. Later that year in September, the Gregorian calendar was introduced throughout Britain and the British colonies. These two reforms were implemented by the Calendar (New Style) Act 1750.

January 1 became the official start of the year as follows:

  • 1522 The Republic of Venice
  • 1544 Holy Roman Empire (Germany)
  • 1556 Spain, Portugal
  • 1559 Prussia, Sweden
  • 1564 France
  • 1576 Southern Netherlands
  • 1579 Lorraine
  • 1583 United Provinces of the Netherlands (northern)
  • 1600 Scotland
  • 1700 Russia
  • 1721 Tuscany
  • 1752 Great Britain (excluding Scotland) and its colonies

What Happened On January 1

  • 45 BC
    The Julian calendar takes effect for the first time.
  • 153 BC
    Roman consuls begin their year in office.
  • 1001
    Grand Prince Stephen I of Hungary is named the first King of Hungary by Pope Sylvester II.
  • 1600
    Scotland begins its numbered year on January 1 instead of March 25.
  • 1651
    Charles II is crowned King of Scotland.
  • 1781
    American Revolutionary War: 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 in the Pennsylvania Line Mutiny of 1781.
  • 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.
  • 1806
    The French Republican Calendar is abolished.
  • 1810
    Major-General Lachlan Macquarie CB officially becomes Governor of New South Wales
  • 1847
    The world’s first “Mercy” Hospital is founded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by the Sisters of Mercy, the name will go on to grace over 30 major hospitals throughout the world.
  • 1911
    Northern Territory is separated from South Australia and transferred to Commonwealth control.
  • 1912
    The Republic of China is established.
  • 1956
    Sudan achieves independence from Egypt and the United Kingdom.
  • 1960
    Cameroon achieves independence from France and the United Kingdom.
  • 1962
    Western Samoa achieves independence from New Zealand; its name is changed to the Independent State of Western Samoa.
  • 1966
    After a coup, Colonel Jean-Bédel Bokassa assumes power as president of the Central African Republic.
  • 1988
    The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America comes into existence, creating the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States.
  • 1992
    Russia is officially formed.
  • 1997
    Ghanaian diplomat Kofi Annan is appointed Secretary-General of the United Nations.
  • 2009
    66 die in a nightclub fire in Bangkok, Thailand.

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