This Day in History - January 1

Monday, January 01, 2018

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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.

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.

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

1942: Leaders of the US, UK, USSR, and China sign the UN Declaration.

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).

1984: 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.

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.

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.

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.

2013: 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.

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.

— AP




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