404 AD, Telemachus is killed in a stadium, where it is believed that he was trying to stop two gladiators from fighting. Upon the death of Telemachus, the emperor Honorius made a decree which ended gladiator fights. The last known gladiator fight in Rome was January 1, 404AD.
1544, the Holy Roman Empire changed the start of the new year to January 1st.
1700, Russia acknowledges January 1st as the start of the new year, accepting the dates as in Anno Domini, no longer using Anno Mundi.
1752, Great Britain acknowledges January 1st as the start of the new year. Later in the year, the Gregorian calendar was adopted by England. March 25 had previously been observed as the start of the new year.
1847, the first Sisters of Mercy Hospital is opened in Pittsburgh, PA.
1890, the first Tournament of Roses Parade is held in Pasadena, CA.
1890, Ellis Island Immigration Center is opened in New York.
1898, New York City annexed the adjoining lands of surrounding counties creating the City of Greater New York. The incorporation included Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and The Bronx. On January 25, Staten Island would also join the city.
1901, the British colonies of Australia and Tasmania federate and became the Commonwealth of Australia.
1947, the U.S. and British occupation zones in Germany unify to become the Federal Republic of Germany.
1959, the U.S. Naval Observatory introduced the system of uniform atomic time, using cesium beam atomic oscillators. This measurement was adopted as the standard by the International Committee on Weights and Measures.
1962, U.S. Navy establishes SEAL teams. SEAL Team One is commissioned in the Pacific Fleet and SEAL Team Two in the Atlantic Fleet.
1992, the Russian Federation is officially formed. The Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991.
1942, Manila is captured by the Japanese.
1974, President Nixon signed a law lowering the national speed limit to 55mph due to a OPEC embargo
1521, Pope Leo X excommunicated Martin Luther. The Diet of Worms would form and convene later in the month under King Charles V in Germany, to which Luther would later be summoned to in April.
1972, the first multi-function scientific calculator went on sale from Hewlett-Packard. Price: $395.00. It was small enough to fit into a shirt pocket. Previous calculators could only perform addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. It was named the “HP-35” because it had thirty-five buttons.
1759, George Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis.
1846, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to stop sharing the Oregon Territory with the U.K.
1940, the Federal Communications Commission demonstrated FM radio for the first time.
2011, up to six inches of snow fell in the Atlanta, GA area. Twelve southern states received between 3 and 6 inches of snow. Atlanta airport closed, thousands of flights were canceled throughout the south and east. The storm turned to ice over the weekend in many areas and traveled up the Atlantic coast, to make the third snowstorm in less than three weeks for New York City.
1790, George Washington delivered the first ever State of the Union Address.
1894, much of Chicago’s Columbus World’s Fair exhibition is burnt by fire.
1937, low temperature record set at -50℉ in San Jacinto, Nevada.
1958, Cuban revolutionary forces capture the capital city of Havana.
1987, the Dow Jones Industrial Averages closed above 2,000 for the first time ever.
1996, from as far south as Maryland and north to Maine, blizzards hit the east coast of the U.S. crippling transportation, closing down the airports and interstate highways. This massive storm dumped several feet of snow on already existing heavy snow accumulations from earlier in the season.