New Year’s Day saw the Emancipation Proclamation signed. What else happened in history today?
45B.C: The First New Year
On this day in 45 B.C. the Julian calendar took effect and New Year’s Day was officially celebrated on January 1 for the first time in history. Before now, the Roman calendar had been followed, but had fallen out of phase with seasons and Julius Caesar decided it need to be changed. An Alexandrian astronomer, Sosigenes, helped with getting rid of the lunar cycle and followed the solar calendar like the Egyptians. Sixty-seven days were added, and the year started on January 1 instead of in March. There were still issues, but they would not lead to a calendar change until 1582.
1863: The Signing of the Emancipation Proclaimation
In an attempt to patch the country together after the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Towards the end of the previous year, Britain and France believed they would need to view the Confederate states as a separate nation, but this was not something Lincoln wanted. The Emancipation Proclamation helped, but it would have loopholes future politicians would have to fix. It was this that mostly inspired Lincoln’s assassination two years later.
1942: Creation of the United Nations
Today in history, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a declaration. That declaration was signed by representatives of 26 countries and it created the United Nations. The aim was to create a postwar peacekeeping organization. The United Nations has a Security Council led by the United States, Britain, France, Russia, and China.
1946: Hidden Japanese Soldiers Surrendered
On this day in history, 20 Japanese soldiers only discovered the end of World War II due to reading it in a newspaper. The soldiers approached an American soldier, on duty for the American Graves Registration, waving their white flag. They had been living in a tunnel underground and had only found out the war had ended by change when one went out for water and found the newspaper.
Famous Birthdays on January 1
Pope Alexander VI–1431
King Sigmund I of Poland–1467
Prince Henry, Duke of Cornwall (son of Henry VIII of England and Catherine of Aragon)–1511
American Patriot Paul Revere–1735
Flag maker Betsy Ross—1752
MLB player Tim Keefe–1857
First FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover—1895
British spy Kim Philby–1912
The Catcher in the Rye author J.D. Salinger—1919
Featured image from Deposit Photos
Birthdays from HistoryNet.com and OnThisDay.com
Image of Abraham Lincoln and his son in the public domain (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Lincoln#/media/File:A%26TLincoln.jpg)
Image of Betsy Ross presenting the first American flag in the public domain (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betsy_Ross#/media/File:RossBetsy.jpg)
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