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1660–British writer, Samuel Pepys, begins his famous diary, a 10-year, day-by-day account of his life which would become one of the most important chronicles of the Great Fire of London in 1666, the British Restoration, and the Bubonic Plague that struck London in 1665, killing more than 100,000 people. Pepys wrote the whole diary in code, presumably to protect the secrecy of some of its more banal details about his personal life, and the work would not be deciphered until the 19th century.

BC 153–Roman consuls begin their year in office.

BC 45–The Julian calendar takes effect for the first time as the civil calendar of the Roman Empire, establishing January 1st as the new date of the new year.

BC 42–The Roman Senate posthumously deifies Julius Caesar.

1–The origin (or beginning) of the Christian Era.

69–The Roman legions in Germania Superior refuse to swear loyalty to Galba. They rebel and proclaim Vitellius as emperor.

193–The Senate chooses Pertinax, against his will, to succeed Commodus as Roman Emperor.

377–Byzantine Emperor, Arcadius, is born in Spain.

404–An infuriated Roman mob tears Telemachus, a Christian monk, to pieces for trying to stop a gladiator fight in the public arena. It will be the last gladiator competition held in Rome, Italy.

414–Galla Placidia, half-sister of Emperor Honorius, is married to Visigothic King Ataulf, at Narbonne. The wedding is celebrated with Roman festivities and magnificent gifts from the Gothics.

417–Emperor Honorius forces Galla Placidia into marriage to Constantius, his famous general (magister militum).

466–Emperor Qianfei of the Liu Song dynasty is assassinated at age 16. His brief reign was known for his violent and impulsive acts, including the slaughter of many high-level officials and his sexually immoral behavior. He died just a year after becoming emperor.

554–Empress Suiko of Japan is born Mikekashiya-hime-no-mikoto in Japan. In the history of Japan, Suiko was the first of eight women to take on the role of empress regnant.

630–The Prophet Muhammad sets out toward Mecca, capturing it with an army that spills no blood.

766–Ali al-Ridha, Saudi Arabian 8th of The Twelve Imams, is born in Medina, Abbasid Empire (present-day Saudi Arabia). He was an Imam of knowledge, according to the Zaydi (Fiver) Shia school and Sufis.

990–Russia adopts the Julian calendar.

1001–Grand Prince Stephen I of Hungary is named the first King of Hungary by Pope Sylvester II.

1068–Romanos IV Diogenes marries Eudokia Makrembolitissa and is crowned Byzantine Emperor.

1259–Michael VIII Palaiologos is proclaimed co-emperor of the Empire of Nicaea, with his ward, John IV Laskaris.

1431–Pope Alexander VI is born Roderic Llançol i de Borja in Xàtiva, Kingdom of Valencia, Crown of Aragon.

1438–Albert II of Habsburg is crowned King of Hungary.

1449–Italian ruler, Lorenzo de' Medici, is born Lorenzo di Piero de' Medici in Florence, Republic of Florence. Also known as Lorenzo the Magnificent by contemporary Florentines, he was a magnate, diplomat, politician, and patron of scholars, artists and poets. He is well known for his contribution to the art world by sponsoring artists such as Botticelli and Michelangelo.

1467–Polish King, Sigismund I the Old, is born in Kozienice, Poland. He was a member of the Order of the Golden Fleece.

1502–Portuguese navigators discover Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

1515–Jews are expelled from Laibach, Austria.

1515–Louis XII, King of France (1498-1515), dies at Hôtel des Tournelles in Paris, France, at age 52. King Francis I succeeds to the French throne.

1527–Croatian nobles elect Ferdinand I of Austria as King of Croatia in the Parliament on Cetin.

1559–Christian III of Denmark dies at Koldinghus Castle in Kolding on the south central part of the Jutland peninsula, at age 55. During his reign, he established Lutheranism as the state religion within his realms as part of the Protestant Reformation.

1600–Scotland now begins its year on January 1st instead of March 25th.

1638–Emperor Go-Sai of Japan is born.

1651–Charles II is crowned King of Scotland.

1660–British writer, Samuel Pepys, begins his famous diary, a 10-year, day-by-day account of his life which would become one of the most important chronicles of the Great Fire of London in 1666, the British Restoration, and the Bubonic Plague that struck London in 1665, killing more than 100,000 people. Pepys wrote the whole diary in code, presumably to protect the secrecy of some of its more banal details about his personal life, and the work would not be deciphered until the 19th century.

1700–Protestant Western Europe, with the exception of England, adopts the Gregorian calendar.

1700–Russia begins using the Anno Domini era, replacing the Anno Mundi era of the Byzantine Empire.

1707–John V is crowned King of Portugal.

1735–Paul Revere, silversmith and U.S. patriot, is born in North End, Boston, Massachusetts Bay, British America. He is known most widely for being the brave fellow who rode far and wide to deliver the message, “the British are coming!” to the colonists of the New World.

1739–Bouvet Island is discovered by French explorer, Jean-Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier.

1750–Minister and politician, Frederick Muhlenberg, is born Frederick Augustus Conrad Muhlenberg in Trappe, Pennsylvania. He was the first Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. According to legend, Muhlenberg suggested that the title of the President of the United States should be "Mr. President," instead of "His High Mightiness" or "His Elected Majesty," as John Adams had suggested.

1752–Betsy Ross, the seamstress who created the first American flag, is born Elizabeth Griscom in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Since there is no archival evidence, there is some question today whether or not the Betsy Ross story is true.

1764–In a stunning demonstration of prodigious talent, the Royal Family are treated to a brilliant recital by eight-year-old musician, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, in Versailles, France.

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

1772–Founding Father, Thomas Jefferson, marries Martha Wayles Skelton.

1773–The hymn that will become known as Amazing Grace, is first used to accompany a sermon led by John Newton in the town of Olney, England.

1776–In the American Revolutionary War, Norfolk, Virginia, is burned by combined Royal Navy and Continental Army action.

1781–In the 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, during the Pennsylvania Line Mutiny.

1782–The supporters of the British cause, the Loyalists, begin to leave America, mainly for Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Canada. Among the first to leave are those from the New England states and New York.

1785–The Daily Universal Register publishes its first issue in London, England. It will later become The Times of London.

1787–Farmer, Arthur Middleton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, dies at age 44.

1788–The Pennsylvania Quakers free their slaves.

1788–The first edition of The Times of London, previously The Daily Universal Register, is published.

1801–The Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland takes effect, creating the United Kingdom.

1801–The dwarf planet (or asteroid), Ceres, is discovered by Giuseppe Piazzi.

1803–Emperor Gia Long orders all bronze wares of the Tay Son dynasty to be collected and melted into nine cannons for the Royal Citadel in Hue, Vietnam.

1804–French rule ends in Haiti. Haiti becomes the first black republic and second independent country in North America.

1806–The French Republican Calendar is abolished.

1808–The U.S. Congress prohibits the continued importation of slaves.

1810–Major-General Lachlan Macquarie officially becomes Governor of New South Wales.

1812–The Bishop of Durham, Shute Barrington, orders troops from Durham Castle to break up a miners' strike in Chester-le-Street, County Durham.

1818–The White House is officially reopened. In 1814, during the War of 1812, the mansion was set ablaze by the British Army during the burning of Washington, destroying the interior and charring much of the exterior. Reconstruction began almost immediately, and President James Monroe moved into the partially reconstructed Executive Residence in October 1817.

1822–The Greek Constitution of 1822 is adopted by the First National Assembly at Epidaurus.

1833–The United Kingdom claims sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.

1845–The Cobble Hill Tunnel in Brooklyn, New York, is completed.

1846–Yucatan declares its independence from Mexico.

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 around the globe.

1850–John Barclay Armstrong, Texas Ranger and U.S. Marshal, is born in McMinnville, Tennessee. He is best known for his role in the pursuit and capture of the famous gunfighter, John Wesley Hardin.

1854–Sir James Frazer is born in Glasgow, Scotland. He was an early anthropologist and author of The Golden Bough, the masterpiece which traces the genesis of mythological archetypes.

1860–The first Polish stamp is issued.

1861–President Abraham Lincoln declares that slavery in the Confederate states is against the law.

1861–Porfirio Díaz conquers Mexico City, Mexico.

1862–The United States establishes the first income tax law. The government will take 3% of incomes over $600, and 5% of incomes over $10,000.

1863–The Emancipation Proclamation is issued by President Abraham Lincoln, ending slavery in America. However, the proclamation calls on the Union Army to liberate all slaves in states still in rebellion as “an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity.” These three million slaves are declared to be “then, thenceforward, and forever free.” The proclamation exempts the border slave states that remained in the Union at the start of the Civil War and all or parts of three Confederate states controlled by the Union Army.

1863–The first claim under the Homestead Act is made by Daniel Freeman, for a farm in Nebraska.

1864–Photo Secessionist and founder of Modern Photography in America, Alfred Stieglitz, is born in Hoboken, New Jersey. Stieglitz was a tireless proponent of photography as art, supporting photographers through the publication of his magazine, Camera Work, and with exhibitions at his famous 291 Gallery in New York. It was there that Stieglitz staged the first American exhibitions of works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Paul Cezanne. Stieglitz also introduced the public to the work of American painter, Georgia O’Keeffe, whom he would later marry.

1873–Japan begins using the Gregorian calendar.

1874–New York City annexes the Bronx as its own Borough.

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

1879–Author, E.M. Forster, is born Edward Morgan Forster in London, England. He was a member of the literary Bloomsbury set, a Bohemian group which also included his friend, Virginia Woolf, and economist, John Maynard Keynes. Four of his five most important novels were published before World War I, including his first, Where Angels Fear to Tread, as well as The Longest Journey, A Room with a View, and Howard’s End. He then spent the next couple of years traveling through India, and during the war he served with the International Red Cross in Egypt. Those experiences would influence his fifth and best-known novel, A Passage to India.

1879–Film producer, William Fox, is born Wilhelm Fried in Tolcsva, Hungary. He founded the Fox Film Corporation in 1915, and the Fox West Coast Theatres chain in the 1920s. In 1935, Fox Film Corporation merged with Twentieth Century Pictures to form 20th Century-Fox.

1880–The construction of the Panama Canal begins.

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.

1886–The first “Tournament of Roses Parade” takes place in Pasadena, California.

1890–Eritrea is consolidated into a colony by the Italian government.

1892–Ellis Island, just off the coast of New York, becomes the entryway for those who are immigrating to the United States.

1894–Physicist, Heinrich (Rudolf) Hertz, dies of Wegener's granulomatosis in Bonn, Germany, at age 36. He was the first to conclusively prove the existence of electromagnetic waves that had been theorized by James Clerk Maxwell's electromagnetic theory of light. The scientific unit of frequency (cycles per second) was named the "hertz" in his honor.

1895–J. Edgar Hoover, the controversial director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for nearly half a century, is born John Edgar Hoover in Washington, D.C. Hoover is credited with building the Federal Bureau of Investigation into a larger crime-fighting agency, and with instituting a number of modernizations to police technology, such as a centralized fingerprint file and forensic laboratories. But late in his life and after his death, he was found to have exceeded the jurisdiction of the FBI and to have used the agency to harass political dissenters and activists, to amass secret files on political leaders, and to collect evidence using illegal methods.

1896–Wilhelm Röntgen announces his discovery of the x-ray.

1898–New York, New York, annexes land from surrounding counties, creating the City of Greater New York. The four initial boroughs, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, are joined on January 25th by Staten Island, to create the modern city of five boroughs.

1898–Post’s Grape-Nuts are introduced by C.W. Post, of Battle Creek, Michigan.

1899–Spanish rule is no longer in effect in Cuba.

1900–Bandleader, Xavier Cugat, is born Francesco d'Asís Xavier Cugat Mingall de Bru i Deulofeu in Girona, Spain. In New York, his was the resident orchestra at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel before and after World War II. As a pop-culture aside, he was considered the biggest competition to the fictitious bandleader, Ricky Ricardo, on the popular sitcom, I Love Lucy.

1901–Nigeria becomes a British protectorate.

1901–The British colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and Western Australia federate as the Commonwealth of Australia. Edmund Barton is appointed the first Prime Minister.

1902–The first American college football bowl game, the Rose Bowl between Michigan and Stanford, is held in Pasadena, California.

1904–Brewer, Frederick Pabst, dies in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He founded the Pabst Brewing Company.

1906–British India officially adopts Indian Standard Time.

1908–The glittering ball is dropped for the first time in Times Square, New York City, to ring in the new year.

1909–French novelist, Marcel Proust, dips a biscuit in his tea and the flavor brings back a rush of childhood memories. These become the basis for the famous “madeleine episode” in Swann's Way, from which the structure of In Search of Lost Time and Remembrance of Things Past evolved.

1909–Actor, (Carver) Dana Andrews, is born in Covington County, Mississippi. He was one of Hollywood's major stars of the 1940s. He appeared in the films Ball of Fire, The Ox-Bow Incident, Laura, State Fair, The Best Years of Our Lives, Daisy Kenyon, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Elephant Walk, While the City Sleeps, and Hot Rods to Hell. His brother was actor, Steve Forrest.

1909–Politician, Barry Goldwater, is born. He served as a Republican Senator of Arizona (1953-1965) and ran for U.S. President in 1964.

1910–Captain David Beatty is promoted to Rear Admiral, becoming the youngest admiral in the Royal Navy (except for Royal family members), since Horatio Nelson.

1911–Northern Territory is separated from South Australia and transferred to Commonwealth control.

1912–The Republic of China is formed by Sun Yat-sen.

1912–San Francisco’s “Bay to Breakers” race of 7.63 miles is held for the first time in northern California.

1913–The U.S. Postal Service establishes the category of “parcel post” for the delivery of packages. Up to this point, they had only been delivering letters.

1913–The British Board of Censors is established.

1916–The Journal of Negro History publishes its first edition.

1916–German troops abandon Yaoundé and their Kamerun colony to British forces and begin the long march to Spanish Guinea.

1919–Henry Ford passes the office of President of the Ford Motor Company down to his son, Edsel.

1919–Rocky Graziano, Middleweight Boxing Champion, is born Thomas Rocco Barbella, in Brooklyn, New York. His life story is told in the 1956 Oscar-winning film, Somebody Up There Likes Me (starring Paul Newman), which was based on Graziano’s 1955 autobiography of the same name.

1919–Author, J.D. Salinger, is born Jerome David Salinger in New York, New York, to a Jewish father and an Irish Catholic mother. He established his place in literary history with a single novel, The Catcher in the Rye, published in 1951, for which he insisted that the cover be unadorned and that his picture be absent from the dust-jacket. He persisted in living an extremely private lifestyle, which led to him becoming an enigma in the eyes of most of the world. Part of his legacy is that The Catcher in the Rye has been the center of controversy for decades as mysteriously influencing troubled young men to kill public figures (John Lennon’s assassination being a case in point).

1920–Attorney General, A. Mitchell Palmer, and his assistant, J. Edgar Hoover, begin prosecution of what is perceived to be a “Red Menace.”

1920–The Belorussian Communist Organisation is founded as a separate party.

1923–The Union of Socialist Soviet Republics is established.

1923–Britain's Railways are grouped into the Big Four: LNER, GWR, SR, and LMS.

1923–Jazz musician, Milt Jackson, is born in Detroit, Michigan. He was a vibraphonist, usually thought of as a bebop player, although he performed in several jazz idioms. He is especially remembered for his cool, swinging solos as a member of the Modern Jazz Quartet.

1925–Child actor, Matthew "Stymie" Beard, Jr., of Our Gang Comedies (1930-1935), is born in Los Angeles, California.

1927–The Cristero War begins in Mexico.

1928–Boris Bazhanov defects through Iran. He is the only assistant of Joseph Stalin's secretariat to have defected from the Eastern Bloc.

1929–The former municipalities of Point Grey, British Columbia, and South Vancouver, British Columbia, are combined into Vancouver.

1930–Actor, Ty Hardin, is born Orison Whipple Hungerford, Jr. in New York, New York. His movie roles include Merrill's Marauders, Palm Springs Weekend, The Chapman Report, and PT 109.

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

1933–English playwright and author, Joe (Kingsley) Orton, is born in Leicester, England. Orton began to write plays in the early 1960s, but his career would prove to be short-lived. He wrote the screenplay, Up Against It, which was meant for The Beatles, but it was decided it was too controversial for the group. Orton was murdered by his partner and lover, Kenneth Halliwell, on August 9, 1967. The book and film, Prick Up Your Ears, tells his story.

1934–Heavy rain led to flooding in the Los Angeles Basin area of California, killing at least 45 people. Walls of water and debris up to 10 feet high were noted in some canyon areas.

1934–The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), is established to guarantee U.S. bank deposits.

1934–The island of Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay is established as a federal prison. It is thought that escape from the island would be impossible.

1934–Nazi Germany passes the "Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring."

1935–The first Orange Bowl football game is played in Miami, Florida.

1935–The first Sugar Bowl football game is played in New Orleans, Louisiana.

1935–The Associated Press introduces its “Wirephoto” service.

1935–Cartoonist, B. Kliban, is born Bernard Kliban in Norwalk, Connecticut. In 1962, Kliban became a Playboy magazine cartoonist. He is best known for the book, Cat, a collection of cartoons about cats drawn in Kliban's distinctive style.

1937–Safety glass in vehicle windshields becomes mandatory in Great Britain.

1938–Actor, Frank Langella, is born Frank A. Langella, Jr. in Bayonne, New Jersey. He appeared in the films Diary of a Mad Housewife, Dracula, Those Lips, Those Eyes, And God Created Woman, Dave, Eddie, Lolita, Sweet November, and Frost/Nixon.

1940–New York radio station W2XDG, located on the Empire State Building, is the first to broadcast with the new Frequency Modulation (FM) technology. It becomes the first FM station in the world licensed by the FCC.

1941–The Netherlands establishes an income tax.

1942–The United States and 25 other countries sign a declaration against the Axis Forces. Thus, the Allied Forces are born.

1942–Musician, Country Joe McDonald, is born Joseph Allen McDonald in Washington, D.C. He was the lead singer of Country Joe and the Fish. He is best remembered for his Feel Like I’m Fixin’ To Die Rag, which opened with the infamous Fish Cheer.

1942–Comedian, Don Novello, is born Donald Andrew Novello in Ashtabula, Ohio. He is best known for his character of Father Guido Sarducci on Saturday Night Live.

1945–France joins the United Nations.

1945–During World War II, in retaliation for the Malmedy massacre, U.S. troops kill 60 German POWs at Chenogne.

1945–During World War II, the German Luftwaffe launches Operation Bodenplatte, a massive (but failed) attempt to knock out Allied air power in northern Europe in a single blow.

1946–Fashion designer, Jeanne-Marie Lanvin, is born in Paris, France. She was founder of the Lanvin fashion house and Lanvin Parfums. As a teenager, Lanvin apprenticed as a milliner and dressmaker, becoming a professional milliner in 1889. By 1909, she had attained couturier status, ultimately designing apparel for both men and women, furs, and lingerie. She also opened a shop devoted to home decor after a successful foray into interior design. Lanvin is however, best known for her fragrance line, especially her premier and signature fragrance, Arpège.

1947–Great Britain nationalizes its coal industry.

1947–The American and British occupation zones in Germany, after World War II, merge to form the Bizone, which later (with the French zone) becomes part of West Germany.

1947–The Canadian Citizenship Act of 1946 comes into effect, converting British subjects into Canadian citizens. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King becomes the first Canadian citizen.

1948–Great Britain nationalizes its railways and forms British Rail.

1948–The Constitution of Italy comes into force.

1949–The United Nations cease-fire takes effect in Kashmir, from one minute before midnight. The war between India and Pakistan comes to an end.

1950–Standard practice uses this day as the origin of the age scale “Before Present.” This is a time scale used mainly in geology and other scientific disciplines to specify when events in the past occurred. Because the "present" time changes, standard practice is to use January 1, 1950, as commencement date of the age scale, reflecting the fact that radiocarbon dating became practical in the 1950s.

1953–Politician, Gary (Earl) Johnson, is born in Minot, North Dakota. As a member of the Republican Party, Johnson served as the 29th Governor of New Mexico from 1995 to 2003, and was the Libertarian Party nominee for President of the United States in the 2012 election.

1953–Country singer, Hank Williams, dies from the effects of drug and alcohol abuse in the back seat of a Cadillac en route to a concert in Oak Hill, West Virginia, at age 29. Over 20,000 mourners would attend his funeral. Several years of back pain, alcoholism, and prescription drug abuse had severely deteriorated his health. And he was dismissed by the Grand Ole Opry, which cited unreliability and frequent drunkenness. His hits include Lovesick Blues, I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry, Move It on Over, and Why Don’t You Love Me.

1955–RCA Victor announces "Operation TNT," an attempt to spur record sales. RCA drops the list price on LPs from $5.95 to $3.98, EPs from $4.95 to $2.98, 45 EPs from $1.58 to $1.49, and 45s from $1.16 to 89¢. Other labels soon start doing the same thing.

1956–Sudan achieves independence from Egypt and the United Kingdom.

1956–A new year’s event causes panic and stampedes at Yahiko Shrine in Yahiko, Niigata, Japan, killing at least 124 people.

1956–Businessman, Mark R. Hughes, is born in La Mirada, California. He founded Herbalife International Ltd.

1956–Songwriter, Diane Warren, is born in Van Nuys, California. One of the most prolific songwriters of her generation, she wrote over 80 “Top 20” hits for artists such as, Aerosmith, LeAnn Rimes, Toni Braxton, Cher, Celine Dion, Michael Bolton, and Rod Stewart. Her songs include I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing, If I Could Turn Back Time, and Because You Loved Me.

1957–George Town, Penang, becomes a city by a royal charter granted by Elizabeth II.

1958–The European Economic Community (EEC), the "Common Market," comes into being.

1958–BOAC Britannia flies from London, England, to New York, New York, in a record 7 hours, 57 minutes.

1958–Hip hop artist, Grandmaster Flash, is born Joseph Saddler in Bridgetown, Barbados, West Indies. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

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

1959–While on furlough from his Army service, Elvis Presley takes his new BMW out on Germany's famed Autobahn highway. He totals the car, but is not injured.

1959–The Quarry Men (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Colin Hanton) perform at Wilson Hall, Garston, Liverpool. The occasion is the belated Christmas party of the Speke Bus Depot Social Club. Harry Harrison (George's father) is chairman of the club and had arranged the booking for The Quarry Men. The performance turns into a drunken, messy affair, and afterwards drummer Colin Hanton gets into a furious argument with the others. On the way home by bus, Hanton gets off with his drums before his usual stop. He neither saw nor heard from The Quarry Men again.

1959–Cuban dictator, Fulgencio Batista, falls from power and flees Cuba for the Dominican Republic.

1959–Country singer, Johnny Cash, plays a free concert for the inmates of San Quentin Prison in northern California. In the audience is 19-year-old Merle Haggard, who is serving 15 years for grand theft auto and armed robbery.

1960–The Bank of France issues a new franc, with its value being 100 times the worth of the former currency.

1960–Cameroon achieves independence from France and the United Kingdom.

1961–Russia issues a new ruble with the value of $1.11.

1962–The U.S. Military establishes the Navy SEAL teams.

1962–Western Samoa achieves independence from New Zealand, and its name is changed to the Independent State of Western Samoa.

1962–On New Year's Day (not a holiday in England at that time), The Beatles (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Pete Best) conduct their first audition for a major record company, Decca Records. In Decca's studios in London, The Beatles tape 15 songs that had been carefully selected by their manager, Brian Epstein, to show off their versatility. It took about an hour to record all the songs, and Decca's Mike Smith promised to get back to Epstein with the company's decision. Smith then hurried The Beatles out of the studio, because he was running late for an audition by Brian Poole and the Tremeloes. Decca signs the Tremeloes, not The Beatles.

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

1964–The BBC broadcasts the first episode of the Top of the Pops TV series. The host is disc jockey, Jimmy Savile, and the featured artists lip-sync their latest releases. On this episode: The Rolling Stones, The Dave Clark Five, The Hollies, and The Swinging Blue Jeans. Also featured on disc and film are The Beatles, Freddie and the Dreamers, Cliff Richard and the Shadows, and Gene Pitney. The program was a great showcase for the top pop music acts of the day.

1965–The People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan is founded in Kabul.

1965–England’s New Musical Express reports that the U.S. government, for undisclosed reasons, has denied working visas to British rock bands. This means the cancellation of tours by groups like The Nashville Teens, The Zombies, and The Hullabaloos, who are already in America with disc jockey, Murray the K, of New York’s radio station WMCA.

1966–A 12-day transit worker strike brings the New York City subway system to a halt.

1966–All U.S. cigarette packs must now include the warning "Caution: Cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health."

1966–A chart topper: The Sounds of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel.

1966–Vincent Auriol, President of France (1947-53), dies at age 82.

1967–The Doors make their first television appearance, lip-synching to a playback of Break On Through on KTLA-TV’s Shebang.

1967–The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) now requires that all AM-FM “sister stations” broadcast at least 50% unique playlists and programming.

1967–The Grateful Dead and Big Brother & The Holding Company perform at the New Year’s Wail in San Francisco, California. The bash is held by the Hell’s Angels to thank the Haight-Ashbury hippies for bailing out their member, Chocolate George.

1967–Hillbilly pianist, Moon Mullican, dies of a heart attack in Beaumont, Texas, at age 57. He was associated with the hillbilly boogie style which greatly influenced rockabilly.

1968–It’s reported that Americans spent an unprecedented sum of more than $1 billion on records in 1967. According to Billboard magazine, album sales were 192 million and single sales totaled 187 million.

1968–Celebrity chef, Cat Cora, is born Catherine Ann Cora in Jackson, Mississippi. She was the first female Iron Chef on Food Network's Iron Chef America. She attended the Culinary Institute of America. Cora's style of cooking was influenced by Julia Child, Barbara Tropp, M.F.K. Fisher, and her grandmother, Alma.

1968–Publisher, Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, dies in Long Island, New York, at age 74. He founded DC Comics.

1969–Actor, Morris L. Chestnut, is born in Cerritos, California. He appeared in the films Boyz in the Hood, G.I. Jane, Firehouse, The Best Man, and Ladder 49.

1970–Unix time begins at 00:00:00 UTC/GMT.

1971–Cigarette advertisements are banned on American television.

1971–Radio Luxembourg airs over seven hours of recordings by The Beatles in celebration of the band's 10th anniversary.

1972–China conducts a nuclear test.

1972–French actor, Maurice Chevalier, dies in Paris, France, at age 83. He was famous for the songs, Louise and Thank Heaven for Little Girls. Chevalier appeared in the movie musical, Gigi, with Leslie Caron and Hermione Gingold, with whom he shared the song, I Remember It Well.

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

1976–The NBC-TV Network replaces its original “peacock” logo.

1976–The Liberty Bell moves to a new location behind Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1978–An Air India B747 jet explodes near Bombay, India, killing 213 people.

1979–The United States and The Peoples Republic of China take a step toward diplomatic relations.

1979–Following a New Year’s Eve concert featuring The Blues Brothers and The Grateful Dead, Bill Graham closes San Francisco’s Winterland Theater. The Dead had performed there a record 48 times.

1979–Film director, John Carpenter, marries actress, Adrienne Barbeau.

1980–Singer, Cliff Richard, becomes only the third British rock act to receive an MBE from the Queen of England. The other two are The Beatles and Elton John.

1981–Greece is the 10th country to join the European Economic Community (ECC).

1981–Palau achieves self-government, although it is not independent from the United States.

1982–New York’s Mass Transit Authority launches a five-year plan to upgrade the New York subway system.

1982–Cable News Network (CNN) introduces an associated channel, CNN2, that features a round-the-clock “news wheel” format. The channel will be renamed CNN Headline News a year later, and even later it will be known as HLN.

1982–Peruvian Javier Pérez de Cuéllar becomes the first Latin American to hold the title of Secretary-General of the United Nations.

1982–Actor, Victor Buono, dies of a heart attack in Apple Valley, California, at age 43. He appeared in the films The Guns of Navarone, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, 4 for Texas, My Six Loves, Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte, Robin and 7 Hoods, The Greatest Story Ever Told, The Silencers, and Beneath the Planet of the Apes.

1983–TCP/IP protocols become the only approved protocol on the ARPANET. This is the beginning of the Internet.

1983–Fashion designer, Austin Scarlett, is born in Cottage Grove, Oregon. He is best known for his participation in the first season of the TV series Project Runway. Scarlett has also appeared on Project Runway: All-Stars, as well as On the Road with Austin and Santino. Scarlett released his signature line of wedding and evening dresses for the Fall 2012 season. His collection will be sold at luxury retailers around the world.

1984–Brunei becomes independent of the United Kingdom.

1984–Following delays of over a year, England’s Granada TV finally broadcasts the program, "The Early Beatles: 1962-1965." The 45-minute documentary, which came about because producer Johnny Hemp wanted to transfer the best of Granada's archives to videotape to keep them from disintegrating, comprises rare Beatles interviews, TV appearances, and newsreel shots.

1984–AT&T's 22 Bell system companies divests into a total of eight. Without the “Baby Bells,” AT&T's assets suddenly drop from $149.5 billion to $34 billion, and its workforce will shrink from 1.9 million to 373,000 employees.

1984–Musician, Alexis Korner, of Blues Incorporated, dies of lung cancer in London, England, at age 55. Blues Incorporated’s alumni include superstars Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Jack Bruce, Long John Baldry, Steve Marriott, and Manfred Mann.

1985–The Internet's “Domain Name System” is created.

1985–America's first mandatory seat belt law goes into effect in New York.

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

1985–The American TV channel, VH1, debuts on cable television.

1986–Spain and Portugal become the 11th and 12th countries to join the European Economic Community (ECC).

1986–Aruba becomes independent of Curacao, although it remains in free association with the Netherlands.

1987–Film director, Gia Coppola, is born in Los Angeles, California. She is the granddaughter of director, Francis Ford Coppola, and daughter of Gian-Carlo Coppola. Her first film, Palo Alto, was released on May 9, 2014.

1988–The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America comes into existence, creating the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States.

1988–Pop-rock singer, Prince, plays a New Year’s Eve charity show in support of the homeless people in Minnesota.

1989–The Montreal Protocol comes into force, stopping the use of chemicals contributing to ozone depletion.

1990–It's "Greening of the World" (GOW) year, according to Yoko Ono, who announces 12 months of environmental campaigns and events to mark what would have been John Lennon's 50th year.

1990–The Sports News Network begins operation on cable TV.

1990–David Dinkins becomes the first black Mayor of New York City.

1993–The European Economic Community (ECC) establishes a 12-member Free Trade Zone.

1993–Czechoslovakia is divided into Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

1993–The frontier drama, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, debuts on NBC-TV.

1994–Microsoft CEO, Bill Gates, marries Melinda French.

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

1994–The Zapatista Army of National Liberation initiates 12 days of armed conflict in the Mexican state of Chiapas.

1994–Actor, Cesar Romero, dies from bronchitis and pneumonia in Santa Monica, California, at age 86. He is best known for his portrayal of The Joker in the TV series Batman. He appeared in the films The Gay Caballero, Week-End in Havana, Orchestra Wives, Vera Cruz, Around the World in Eighty Day, Donovan’s Reef, and Lust in the Dust.

1995–The World Trade Organization goes into effect.

1995–Fernando Henrique Cardoso becomes the President of Brazil.

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

1995–Gary Larson issues his final "Far Side" cartoon. He had started the series in 1980.

1995–The History Channel is launched on cable TV.

1997–Heavy rain falls in much of the western U.S. In the California Sierra Nevadas, the Truckee River reaches its highest level on record. Lake Tahoe reaches its highest level since 1917. Numerous levee breaches and breaks occur across the state. Approximately 16,000 residences are damaged or destroyed, and state officials estimate at least $1.6 billion in damages to private and public property.

1997–The U.S. Emergency Broadcast System is replaced by the Emergency Alert System.

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

1998–The European Central Bank is established.

1998–Russia begins to circulate new rubles to stem inflation and promote confidence.

1998–The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the country’s population to be 268,921,733.

1998–Smoking is now prohibited in all California bars, clubs, and card rooms.

1999–The “Euro” is introduced, giving 11 European countries a shared currency for the first time since the Roman Empire. This allows all European countries to use a currency that doesn’t have to be exchanged. Many Europeans are concerned that it could be the first step toward world government.

1999–The Biography Channel, a spinoff of A&E Network, is launched on cable TV in America.

1999–The DIY (Do It Yourself) Network, a spinoff of Home & Garden Television (HGTV), begins broadcasting on cable TV in America.

2000–People the world over change their calendars to the year 2000 with very few of the “Y2K” computer glitch nightmares that had been predicted. Many people had been afraid that computer systems would crash when January 1, 2000 arrived. The reasoning was that computers were reading the years as 99, 98, 97, etc. Many thought that when the clocks turned to 2000, computers could read the date as either 1900 or 19100 which would cause a major problem in millions of computers and computer services throughout the Internet system.

2000–Former Beatle, George Harrison, is discharged from the hospital to enjoy what is left of any New Year celebrations at home with his family, after having been stabbed by a crazed fan in a life-and-death struggle. Harrison had narrowly avoided death when he was stabbed by an intruder armed with a six-inch knife at his Friar Park estate two days before. Doctors tell him that he will be able to play the guitar again, despite suffering a hand wound during the attack.

2001–Actor, Ray Walston, dies of lupus in Beverly Hills, California, at age 87. He is best known for the title role on the TV series My Favorite Martian. He appeared in the films South Pacific, Damn Yankees!, Tall Story, The Apartment, Who’s Minding the Store?, Kiss Me, Stupid, Paint Your Wagon, Touch of Evil, The Sting, Silver Streak, Popeye, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and Johnny Dangerously.

2002–The “Open Skies” mutual surveillance treaty, initially signed in 1992, officially becomes law.

2002–Euro bank notes and coins become legal tender in 12 member states of the European Union.

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

2002–Film producer, Julia Phillips, dies of cancer in West Hollywood, California, at age 57. Her films include Steelyard Blues, The Sting, Taxi Driver, The Big Bus, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Beat, and Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead.

2004–In a vote of confidence, General Pervez Musharraf wins 658 out of 1,170 votes in the Electoral College of Pakistan, and according to Article 41(8) of the Constitution of Pakistan, is "deemed to be elected" to the office of President until October 2007.

2005–Copyrights expire on a number of classic pop and rock and roll songs recorded in 1954 and earlier. This will prove to be a challenge to the music publishing industry as more and more popular songs are set to expire in the coming years.

2005–Shirley Chisholm, the first black U.S. Congresswoman, dies near Daytona Beach, Florida, at age 81.

2007–Bulgaria and Romania join the European Union. And on the same day, Bulgarian, Romanian, and Irish become official languages of the European Union, along with the 20 other official languages.

2007–Slovenia officially adopts the Euro currency and becomes the 13th Eurozone country.

2007–Adam Air Flight 574 disappears over Sulawesi Strait, Indonesia, with 102 people on board.

2008–Malta and Cyprus officially adopt the Euro currency and become the 14th and 15th Eurozone countries.

2008–Civil unions for same-sex couples is now legal in the state of New Hampshire.

2009–Slovakia becomes the 16th member of the Eurozone.

2009–A nightclub fire kills 66 people in Bangkok, Thailand.

2010–A suicide car bomb is detonated at a volleyball tournament in Lakki Marwat, Pakistan, killing 105 people and injuring 100 others.

2011–Estonia becomes the 17th member of the Eurozone.2011

2011–Iconic rocker, Chuck Berry, cuts short a concert at the Congress Theater, in Chicago, Illinois, after collapsing on stage an hour into the show. Berry was helped off stage, then returned 15 minutes later. He was still unwell, leaving the stage again. The 84-year-old singer appeared one last time to tell his fans he could not continue performing.

2011–Oprah Winfrey launches OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) on cable TV.

2011–Actress, Valerie Bertinelli, marries Tom Vitale at their home in Malibu, California.

2011–A bomb explodes as Coptic Christians in Alexandria, Egypt, leave a New Year’s service, killing 23 people.

2012–A Moldovan civilian is fatally wounded by a Russian peacekeeper in the Transnistrian security zone, leading to demonstrations against Russia.

2012–Super-centenarian, Marcelle Narbonne, dies in Argelès-sur-Mer, France, at age 113 (and 282 days).

2013–At least 60 people are killed and 200 others are injured in a stampede after celebrations at Félix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

2013–Graphic designer and artist, Michael Patrick Cronan, dies of colon cancer in Berkeley, California, at age 61. He was a recognized corporate identity designer, acknowledged for the naming and the identities of TiVo, Verio, and Amazon Kindle.

2013–Singer, Patti Page, dies from heart and lung disease in Encinitas, California, at age 85. Two of her biggest hits from the 1950s were How Much is That Doggie in the Window? and Tennessee Waltz.

2014–Latvia becomes the 18th member of the Eurozone.

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

2014–Actress, Juanita Moore, dies of natural causes in Los Angeles, California, at age 99. She is best known for the role as Annie Johnson in the film, Imitation of Life. She appeared in the films Witness to Murder, Women’s Prison, Queen Bee, Ransom!, The Opposite Sex, The Girl Can’t Help It, The Helen Morgan Story, Tammy Tell Me True, Walk on the Wild Side, Papa’s Delicate Condition, The Singing Nun, and Skin Game.

2015–The Eurasian Economic Union comes into effect, creating a political and economic union between Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.

2015–Lithuania becomes the 19th member of the Eurozone.

2015–Politician, Mario Cuomo, dies of heart failure in Manhattan, New York, at age 82. He was Governor of New York from 1983 to 1994. His passing came only hours after his son, Andrew Cuomo, was sworn-in to a second term as Governor of New York.

2015–Actress, Donna Douglas, dies of pancreatic cancer at her home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at age 82. She was best known for her role as Elly May Clampett on the TV comedy series The Beverly Hillbillies. Prior to that series she appeared in many other TV shows, including The Twilight Zone, Route 66, 77 Sunset Strip, Dr. Kildare, and Mister Ed. She also appeared in the films Career, Li’l Abner, Lover Come Back, and Frankie and Johnny.

2015–Lawyer and politician, Mario Cuomo, dies of heart failure in New York, New York, at age 82. He was the 52nd Governor of New York.

2016–The two-child policy takes effect in China, allowing couples in the country to have a maximum of two children, replacing the controversial one-child policy.

2016–A 28-foot tall statue of Jesus, dubbed "Jesus de Greatest," is unveiled outside St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Abajah Village, Nigeria.

2016–A mass shooting takes place at a pub in Tel Aviv, Israel, killing two people and injuring eight others.

2016–About one thousand houses in Manila's Tondo district in the Philippines are set ablaze following New Year's Eve firecracker festivities, killing one person and injuring 380 others.

2016–The Address Downtown Dubai hotel burns over midnight, as the New Year is ringing in. One person is killed.

2016–Cinematographer, Vilmos Zsigmond, dies in Big Sur, California, at age 85. His films include The Sadist, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, The Hired Hand, Deliverance, The Long Goodbye, Scarecrow, The Sugarland Express, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Deer Hunter, The Rose, Heaven’s Gate, Blow Out, The River, The Witches of Eastwick, Intersection, and Life as a House.

2017–North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, claims that the country is close to developing an intercontinental ballistic missile.

2017–After almost 500 years, the Church of Norway officially ceases to be the state church of Norway.

2017–Portugal's António Guterres begins his term as United Nations Secretary-General, replacing South Korea's Ban Ki-moon. And Bolivia, Ethiopia, Italy, Kazakhstan, and Sweden begin their terms on the United Nations Security Council.

2017–Burundi's environment minister, Emmanuel Niyonkuru, is shot dead in the nation's capital of Bujumbura.

2017–A nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey, is attacked by gunmen. At least 39 people are killed and others 70 are wounded in the shooting.

2017–Film and theater producer, Bill Marshall, dies at age 77. He was co-founder of the Toronto International Film Festival.

PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: Telemachus, a Christian monk; Rio de Janeiro; Paul Revere; Thomas Jefferson and Martha Wayles Skelton; The Daily Universal Register; Sir James Frazer; Alfred Stieglitz; Panama Canal; J. Edgar Hoover; Grape Nuts; Marcel Proust; Rocky Graziano; George Washington stamps; Alcatraz; Country Joe McDonald; Hank Williams; The Quarry Men; Johnny Cash at San Quentin; The Beatles Decca audition tapes; Sounds of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel; Cat Cora; the Liberty Bell; Cliff Richard; Austin Scarlett; Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman; Cesar Romero; the Euro; Y2K tabloid; Shirley Chisholm; Chuck Berry; Patti Page; Donna Douglas, and Vilmos Zsigmond.

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