This day In History — January 01


This day In History — January 01

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!

Today is the first day of 2020. There are 365 days left in the year.


1959: Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries overthrow Cuban leader Fulgencio Batista, who fled to the Dominican Republic.


1622: Papacy adopts January 1 as beginning of new year instead of March 25.

1785: The Daily Universal Register — which later became the Times of London — publishes its first issue.

1801: Act of Union of Britain and Ireland takes effect.

1803: Denmark bans import of slaves to the Danish West Indies, becoming the first country to ban slavery.

1804: Haiti declares itself independent from France, becoming the world's first black republic.

1808: US Congress officially prohibits African slave trade.

1818: The first edition of the Gothic novel Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus by English author Mary Shelley, 20, is published anonymously in London.

1833: British proclaim sovereignty over Falkland Islands.

1851: The leader of the Taiping rebellion in China, Hung Hsiu-ch'uan, proclaims himself emperor.

1863: President Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation and declares that slaves in rebel states shall be “forever free”.

1877: Britain's Queen Victoria is proclaimed Empress of India.

1892: Ellis Island Immigrant Station in New York formally opens.

1901: Commonwealth of Australia is proclaimed.

1935: The colonies of Cyrenaica, Tripoli and Eezaan unite to form the nation of Libya.

1942: Leaders of the United States of America, United Kingdom, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and China sign the UN Declaration.

1949: A United Nations-brokered ceasefire goes into effect between Pakistani and Indian troops fighting over the Kashmir region.

1951: North Korean and Communist Chinese troops break through United Nations lines at 38th parallel.

1956: Sudan is proclaimed an independent democratic republic.

1958: European Common Market and Euratom agreements go into effect.

1962: Western Samoa becomes first sovereign independent Polynesian State.

1965: The Palestine Liberation Organization is formed.

1975: A jury in Washington finds Nixon Administration officials John N Mitchell, H R Haldeman, John D Ehrlichman, and Robert C Mardian guilty of charges related to the Watergate cover-up (Mardian's conviction for conspiracy was later overturned on appeal).

1979: The United States and China hold celebrations in Washington and Beijing to mark the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

1984: Brunei becomes fully independent from Britain. The break-up of AT&T takes place as the telecommunications giant was divested of its 22 Bell System companies under terms of an antitrust agreement. Brunei becomes fully independent from Britain.

1986: Portugal is formally admitted to the European Community.

1990: Prices of staple goods double and quadruple in Poland as Gsovernment enacts radical plan to move from centrally planned to market economy; David Dinkins is sworn in as New York City's first black mayor.

1991: Four Nicaraguan Sandinista army officers and 11 Salvadorans are arrested for selling Soviet-made anti-aircraft missiles to Salvadoran rebels.

1993: Czechoslovakia peacefully splits into two new countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

1994: The North American Free Trade Agreement goes into effect. Rival Afghan rebel leaders stage a bloody coup attempt that fails but sparks a year of fighting that leaves more than 15,000 people dead.

1995: Austria, Finland and Sweden join European Union, expanding it to 15 members.

1997: Turkish troops cross into northern Iraq and kill at least 72 Kurdish rebels after the guerrillas attack a military outpost in Turkey.

1998: More than 400 people, many of them women and children, are killed in western Algeria in the worst massacre so far in six years of violence by Islamic groups.

1999: Eleven nations in the European Union adopt the euro as their common currency.

2000: An anxious world holds its breath as computers silently switch to 2000, but the dreaded Y2K bug's first bite is barely felt.

2002: Rwanda unveils a new flag, national anthem and coat of arms in an effort to promote reconciliation seven years after a half-million people were killed in a State-sponsored genocide.

2003: Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of the Workers Party is inaugurated as Brazil's first working-class president and the first elected president from a leftist party.

2006: Russia halts natural gas deliveries to Ukraine in a price dispute and accuses the country of stealing gas that goes through Ukraine on its way to Western Europe.

2007: Ban Ki-moon, a 62-year-old South Korean career diplomat, becomes the United Nations' eighth secretary general; passenger jet crashes off coast of Indonesia after facing heavy winds, killing all 102 people on- board.

2008: France's smoking ban in bars, restaurants, nightclubs and cafes goes into effect.

2009: Slovakia becomes 16th country to adopt the euro.

2010: A suicide bomber detonates his explosives-packed vehicle in a crowd of people watching a volleyball tournament in north-west Pakistan, killing 75 people in the deadliest attack in the country in more than two months.

2011: Christians clash with Egyptian police in the northern city of Alexandria, furious over an apparent suicide bombing against worshippers leaving a new year's Mass at a church that killed at least 21 people.

2012: Yemen's Opposition accuses outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh of trying to torpedo a power transfer deal by sparking a new crisis, as troops loyal to him clash with opposition forces, killing three.

2013: A crowd stampedes after leaving a new year's fireworks show in Ivory Coast's main city of Abidjan, killing 61 people, many of them children and teenagers — and injuring more than 200. The US Senate approves a compromise in the small hours to avert the “fiscal cliff” and sent it to the House, which approves it in a late-night vote; President Barack Obama announces he would sign the measure. In Maryland, same-sex marriage becomes legal in the first state south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Singer Patti Page, 85, dies in Encinitas, California.

2014: The Palestinian ambassador to the Czech Republic dies in an explosion that occurred when he opened an old safe that had been left untouched for more than 20 years.

2017: A gunman kills 39 new year's revellers at a crowded nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey, in an attack claimed by Islamic State (a suspect is facing trial). At least 57 inmates are killed in a prison riot in the northern Brazilian state of Amazonas. Antonio Guterres takes the reins of the United Nations as its new secretary general.


Paul Revere, US patriot (1735-1818); James George Frazer, British anthropologist (1854-1941); Kim Philby, British intelligence officer, Soviet spy (1912-1988); J D Salinger, US author (1919-2010); Grandmaster Flash, US rapper (1958- )

— AP

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon