ON THIS DAY: January 1, 2019

Welcome to 2019!

January 1st is

Black Eyed Peas Day

Copyright Law Day *

Euro Day *

Bloody Mary Day

Hangover Day

Polar Bear Swim Day


MORE! Ouida, Qi Baishi and Noor Inayat Khan, click



Global – New Year’s Day

Bahamas – Freeport: Junkanoo celebration

Cuba – Triumph of the Revolution Day

Haiti – Independence Day

Lithuania – Flag Day

Saint Kitts and Nevis – Grand Parade of Troupes

Scotland – First Foot Day (first person entering a
house on New Year’s Day, bringer of year’s fortune)

Slovakia –Slovak Republic Day

Sudan – Independence Day

Taiwan – Republic of China Founding Day

United States of America –
Pasadena CA: 130th Rose Parade
Philadelphia PA: 118th Mummer’s Parade


On This Day in HISTORY

45 BC – The Julian calendar takes effect as the civil calendar of the Roman Empire, establishing January 1 as the new first day of the new year

42 BC – The Roman Senate posthumously deifies Julius Caesar

404 – The last gladiator competition to be held in Rome

1449 – Lorenzo de’ Medici is born, Italian Renaissance statesman, leader of the Florentine Republic, patron of the arts who sponsored Botticelli and Michelangelo

1502 – Portuguese explorers, led by Pedro Álvares Cabral, sail into what will be called Guanabara Bay in Brazil, the future location of the city of Rio de Janeiro

1600 – Scotland begins its numbered year on January 1 instead of March 25

1628 – Christoph Bernhard born, German composer and music theorist

1700 – Russia begins using the Anno Domini era instead of the Anno Mundi era of the Byzantine Empire

1739 – Charles Bouvet de Louzier arrives at an uninhabited subantarctic island in the South Atlantic, which is now named after him. Bouvet Island is considered the most remote island in the world

1752 – Betsy Ross, American seamstress, U.S. Flag maker

1768 – Maria Edgeworth born, Anglo-Irish author who wrote Castle Rackrent, often cited as the first historical novel; advocate for equal education for girls and boys, and for a woman only marrying one who suits her “character, temper, and understanding.” Noted for her novel, Helen

1769 – Marie-Louise Lachapelle born, French midwife, the daughter and granddaughter of midwives, who performed her first solo delivery at age 15; became head of obstetrics  at the Hôtel-Dieu, the oldest hospital in Paris, in 1797. She taught beside Professor Jean-Louis Baudelocque at the Hôtel-Dieu, and published textbooks about women’s bodies, gynecology, and obstetrics. Lachapelle argued against forceps deliveries and wrote Pratique des accouchements, long a standard obstetric text, which promoted natural deliveries. Generally regarded as the “Mother of Modern Obstetrics”

1769 – Jane Marcet born, innovative and successful English author of an introductory nonfiction book series “Conversations on” chemistry and botany, and also on political economy, popularizing the ideas of Adam Smith, Mathus and David Ricardo

1772 – The first traveler’s cheques, which can be used in 90 European cities, go on sale in London, England

1773 – The hymn now known as “Amazing Grace” then titled “1 Chronicles 17:16–17” is first used to accompany a sermon led by John Newton, a reformed slave trader who wrote the lyrics, in the town of Olney, England

779 – William Clowes born, English publisher, steam-powered printing press pioneer

1788 – The Times of London, previously The Daily Universal Register, first publishes

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

1801 – Giuseppe Piazzi discovers Ceres, largest and first known Asteroid belt object

1803 – Emperor Gia Long orders all bronze wares of the Tây Sơn dynasty to be collected and melted into nine cannons for the Royal Citadel in Huế, Vietnam

1804 – French rule ends in Haiti, and it becomes the first black republic and second independent country in North America after the U.S.

1806 – The French Republican Calendar is abolished

1808 – The importation of slaves into the United States is banned

1833 – The United Kingdom claims sovereignty over the Falkland Islands

1839 – ‘Ouida’ born Maria Ramé, English novelist and dog rescuer, Under Two Flags, A Dog of Flanders

1847 – The world’s first “Mercy” Hospital is founded in Pittsburgh by the Sisters of Mercy; over 30 major hospitals throughout the world will come to bear the name

1859 – Thibaw Min born, last king of Burma, who reigned from 1878 to 1885, when the British Empire won the Third Anglo-Burmese War

1863 – Pierre de Frédy born, Baron de Coubertin, French historian, founder of the International Olympic Committee; “Father of the Modern Olympic Games”

1863 – The Emancipation Proclamation takes effect in Confederate territory

1864 – Alfred Stieglitz born, American photographer

Grand Central Terminal, NYC – 1929 – Alfred Stieglitz

1864 – Qi Baishi born, Chinese painter, known for the whimsical style of his watercolors

Monkey Contemplating Peach by Qi Baishi

1867 – Mary Acworth Evershed born, British astronomer and Dante scholar; author of  Dante and the Early Astronomers (1914), several star guides and an index of lunar craters

1873 – Japan begins using the Gregorian calendar

1877 – Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom is proclaimed Empress of India

1879 – E. M. Forster born, English author; A Room with a View, Howards End, A Passage to India


1881 – Ferdinand de Lesseps begins French construction of the Panama Canal

1885 – Twenty-five nations adopt Sandford Fleming’s proposal for standard time and time zones

1892 – Mahadev Desai born, Indian writer, independence activist, and Mahatma Gandhi’s personal secretary; two years after meeting Gandhi in 1915, Desai joined Gandhi’s Ashram, He wrote a diary from November 1917 to August 1942, the day before his death, which chronicled his life with Gandhi. When the colonial government arrested Gandhi in 1919, he named Desai his heir. Desai, was much more than a personal secretary, as British anthropologist Verrier Elwin described him, “. . . He was in fact Home and Foreign Secretary combined. He managed everything. He made all the arrangements. He was equally at home in the office, the guest-house and the kitchen. He looked after many guests and must have saved 10 years of Gandhi’s life by diverting from him unwanted visitors”

Mahadev Desai and Gandhi in 1939

1892 – The new inspection station on Ellis Island begins processing immigrants to the United States. By the time it closes in 1954, over 12 million immigrants will have come through its portals

Ellis Island circa 1905

1898 – New York NY annexes land from surrounding counties to create four boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx

1899 – Spanish rule ends in Cuba

1900 – Xavier Cugat born, Spanish-American singer-songwriter-bandleader

1901 – Nigeria becomes a British protectorate; and the British colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and Western Australia  federate as the Commonwealth of Australia

1906 – Dr Benedict Wallet Vilakazi born, South African poet, writer and the first Black South African to receive a doctorate in literature

1908 – The first ball is dropped in New York City’s Times Square at midnight to mark the start of the New Year

1909 – First old-age pension payments made in Britain; people over 70 received five shillings a week

1910 – Koesbini born, Indonesian composer

1911 – Audrey Wurdemann born, American poet; at age 24, she became the youngest winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1935, for her collection, Bright Ambush

1914 – Noor Inayat Khan born in Russia to Indian Muslim parents, British WWII heroine who served in the Special Operations Executive (SOE), the first woman wireless operator sent by the British into occupied France to aid the French Resistance – wireless operator was one of the most dangerous jobs –if stopped and searched, the transmitter would be absolutely damning. In 1943, an operator’s life expectancy was six weeks. Khan arrived in June, 1943, and lasted until she was betrayed by a double agent in mid-October and arrested; she stood up to the interrogation, but her notebooks were discovered, and the Germans were able to send false messages using her codes; London initially ignored a message sent by a local SOE-recruited agent to her fiancé in London that Khan had been captured, costing several other agent’s lives; Khan was caught in an escape attempt, but she never broke down during repeated interrogation, and was later transferred to Dachau, where she was executed; posthumously awarded the George Cross, Britain’s highest award for bravery not in the face of the enemy

1919 – J. D. Salinger, American author; The Catcher in the RyeFranny and Zooey

1923 – Milt Jackson born, American vibraphonist-composer, Modern Jazz Quartet

1925 – Paul Bomani born, Tanzanian politician and statesman; Tanzania’s Ambassador to the U.S. and the Republic of Mexico (1972-1983); The United Republic of Tanzania’s first Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs (1962-1965)

1928 – Boris Bazhanov defects through Iran, the only assistant of Joseph Stalin’s secretariat to defect from the Eastern Bloc

1929 – Former municipalities Point Grey and South Vancouver are amalgamated into Vancouver, British Columbia, in western Canada

1932 – The U.S. Post Office Department issues a set of 12 stamps commemorating the 200th anniversary of George Washington’s birth

1933 – Joseph Koo born, Chinese composer and conductor

1934 – Alcatraz Island becomes a U.S. federal prison

1934 – Nazi Germany’s “Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring” goes into effect, mandating the compulsory sterilization of any citizen found to be suffering from any of a list of ‘genetic disorders’ by a ‘Genetic Health Court’ – the list included:  Congenital Mental Deficiency; Schizophrenia; Manic-Depressive Insanity; Hereditary Epilepsy; Hereditary Chorea (Huntington’s); ‘Hereditary’ Blindness; ‘Hereditary’ Deafness; any severe hereditary deformity; and any person suffering from severe alcoholism could be also rendered incapable of procreation

1935 – The Italian colonies of Tripoli, Cyrenaica and Fezzan are merged into Libya

1937 – Safety glass in vehicle windscreens becomes mandatory in the United Kingdom

1939 – Senfronia Thompson born, American Democratic politician; member of the Texas House of Representatives since 1973; she has served longer than any other African-American woman in the Texas state legislature

Senfronia Thompson opposing a bill to restrict abortion access in Texas

1942 – Joe McDonald born, American songwriter-guitarist, Country Joe and the Fish

1944 – Teresa Torańska born, Polish journalist and author; contributor to Poland’s second-largest daily newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza; noted for her monograph, Oni (Them: Stalin’s Polish Puppets) which could not be published in Poland, and included interviews conducted from 1981 to 1984 about the events in Poland during 1944-1956

1947 – The Canadian Citizenship Act 1946 goes into effect, converting British subjects into Canadian citizens; Prime Minister William Mackenzie King becomes the first Canadian citizen

1948 – U.K. railway network is nationalized to form British Railways

1948 – Zakes Mda born, South African novelist, playwright, poet and academic; a founding member of the African Writers Trust; noted for his novels, Ways of Dying, and The Heart of Redness, winner in 2001 of the Sunday Times Fiction Prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Africa

1949 – Olivia Goldsmith born, American author; best known for her novel The First Wives Club, which was made into the 1996 film of the same name

1949 – United Nations cease-fire takes effect in Kashmir from one minute before midnight; war between India and Pakistan stops

1950 – Date used for Before Present (BP) years, time scale in geology and other  scientific disciplines to specify when past events occurred. Because “present” time changes, 1 January 1950 became the commencement date of the age scale, as radiocarbon dating first became practical in the 1950s. “BP”abbreviation, with the same meaning, also interpreted as “Before Physics” (before nuclear weapons testing artificially altered proportion of carbon isotopes in the atmosphere, making dating after that time likely unreliable)

1951 – Martha P. Haynes born, American astronomer specializing in radio astronomy and extragalactic astronomy; co-winner of the 1989 Henry Draper Medal

1951 – Radia Perlman born, American software designer and network engineer; inventor of the spanning-tree protocol (STP), fundamental to network bridges operation; inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2016

1955 – Mary Beard born, British scholar and classicist;  Professor of Classics at Cambridge; specialist in life in Ancient Rome, author of Rome in the Late Republic

1956 – Sudan achieves independence from Egypt and the U. K.

1956 – Christine Lagarde born, noted French anti-trust and labor lawyer; Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund since 2011

1958 – European Economic Community established

1959 – Fulgencio Batista, dictator of Cuba, is overthrown by Fidel Castro’s forces during the Cuban Revolution

1960 – Cameroon declares its independence from France

1962 – Rwanda becomes self-governing, and will become independent from Belgium in July of 1962

1964 – The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland is divided into the independent republics of Zambia and Malawi, and the British-controlled Rhodesia

1964 – The Beach Boys record “Fun Fun Fun”

1966 – Anna Burke born, Australian Labor politician; Member of the General, Freedom of Information, and Veterans’ Appeals Divisions of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal since 2017; Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives (2012-2013); Deputy Speaker of the House (2011-2012); Member of the Australian Parliament for Chisholm (1998-2016)

1968 – The Blue Velvets become Creedence Clearwater Revival

1971 – Cigarette advertisements are banned on American television and radio

1973 – Denmark, the United Kingdom, and Ireland are admitted into the European Economic Community

1976 – Copyright Law Day * The Copyright Act of 1976 amends federal statutory protection for works created on or after January 1, 1978. The law automatically protects a work from that date forward, from the moment of its creation for a term lasting the author’s life plus an additional 70 years. For works made for hire and anonymous or pseudonymous works, the duration of copyright is 95 years from first publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter

1976 – The Centre against Apartheid is established in the United Nations Secretariat, with E. S. Reddy, Chief of Section for African Affairs, as its director

1979 – China and the U.S. establish formal diplomatic relations

1981 – Greece is admitted into the European Community

1982 – Peruvian Javier Pérez de Cuéllar becomes the first Latin American U.N. Secretary-General

1983 – The ARPANET switching network becomes the first network to use the protocol suite TCP/IP; this implementation becomes the foundation of the Internet

1984 – The original American Telephone & Telegraph Company is divested of its 22 Bell System companies on a settlement of the 1974 U.S. Department of Justice antitrust suit

1985 – The first British mobile phone call is made by Michael Harrison to his father Sir Ernest Harrison, chairman of Vodafone

1987 – A Chinese pro-democracy rally takes place in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square

1989 – The Montreal Protocol comes into force, to protect the ozone layer from further depletion by phasing out use of substances found to contribute to the problem.

1990 – David Dinkins sworn in as New York City’s first black mayor

1993 – Czechoslovakia splits into the Czech Republic and Slovakia

1994 – The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) comes into effect

1995 – The World Trade Organization commences, an intergovernmental organization to regulate international trade

1995 – The Draupner wave in the North Sea in Norway is detected, confirming the existence of freak waves

1997 – Ghanaian Kofi Annan is appointed Secretary-General of the United Nations

1998 – Russia circulates new rubles to stem inflation and promote confidence

1999 – Euro Day * Euro currency is born virtually in 11 countries – actual notes and coins do not begin circulating until 2002

2002 – Euro banknotes and coins become legal tender in twelve of the European Union’s member states

2002 – Taiwan officially joins the World Trade Organization, as Chinese Taipei

2002 – The Open Skies mutual surveillance treaty, initially signed in 1992, officially comes into force

2014 – Asteroid 2014 AA impacts the Earth over the Atlantic Ocean

2017 – Portuguese diplomat António Guterres is elected as U.S. Secretary-General


About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for over 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
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1 Response to ON THIS DAY: January 1, 2019

  1. Malisha says:

    My favorite J.D. Salinger work was “Perfect Day for Bananafish.”
    I thinkn second favorite was “For Esme with Love and Squalor.”

Comments are closed.