Happy New Year’s Day! January was named for the Roman god Janus, the two-faced god of beginnings.
Janus looks simultaneously to the future and the past, a fitting symbol for this first day of the year. It’s natural for us to reflect on the past year and also look forward to the new. The weather of the first 12 days of the year is said to be indicative of the following 12 months. Also, Janus was known as the protector of gates and doorways, bridges, and passageways, which also symbolize beginnings and ends.
Interesting, January was originally the 11th month, not the 1st, until at least 153 B.C. In Rome, this month was often a time of peace when the gates of the temple were closed. Only when the gates were open was Rome at war.
Janus am I; oldest of potentates! Forward I look and backward. -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Question of the Day
When did ancient cultures celebrate the new year?
* In ancient Egypt, the new year was celebrated when the star Sirius rose around the time of sunrise. This roughly coincided with the summer solstice and the annual flooding of the Nile River. * The original Roman calendar contained only ten months, with the new year starting on March 1. * The ancient Celts celebrated the new year (Samhain) beginning at dusk on October 31.
Advice of the Day
The month of January is like a gentleman; as he begins, so he goes on.
Home Hint of the Day
Soak tarnished silverware in sour milk for half an hour. Then wash in soapy water to polish and brighten.
Word of the Day
A fore tooth of a horse. The nippers are four in number.
Puzzle of the Day
Why do birds fly south in the winter?
Because it is too far to walk.
J. Edgar Hoover(director of U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation)–
Hank Greenberg(baseball player)–
Kathleen Casey-Kirschling(official first baby boomer in United States)–
Johann Christian Bach(composer)–
Julia Phillips(first woman to win an Oscar Award [for co-producing the movie The Sting”]”)–
Shirley Chisholm(an advocate for minority rights who became the first black woman elected to Congress)–
First U.S. flag, The Grand Union, was displayed by George Washington; it became the unofficial national flag, preceding the 13-star, 13 stripe version–
Legislative Union of Great Britain with Ireland under the name of United Kingdom became effective–
President John Adams held the first New Year’s reception in the White House–
Importation of slaves into the U.S. officially banned–
First recorded ten-pin bowling match played at Knickerbocker Alleys, NYC–
The Emancipation Proclamation became law, marking the end of legalized slavery in the U.S.–
State of New York introduced the electric chair for capital punishment–
The U.S. government opened an immigrant processing station at Ellis Island, New York–
First Rose Bowl football game played at Pasadena, California–
U.S. Parcel Post service began–
The British battleship Formidable was sunk in the English Channel by a German submarine with the loss of 600 lives (WW I)–
Fiorello La Guardia is inaugurated as mayor of New York–
The U.S. Navy commissioned its first woman doctor, Mary Sproul–
Kurt Waldheim inaugurated as Secretary General of the United Nations–
John Ehrlichman, H.R. Haldeman, and John Mitchell were found guilty of obstructing justice in the Watergate Incident–
Episcopal Church of the U.S. ordained its first woman priest–
American Telephone & Telegraph Co. officially divested itself of 22 Bell System subsidiaries–
First U.S. electronic highway toll collection, in Oklahoma–
The Coney Island Polar Bear Club observed its 100th anniversary the same way it celebrated the previous 99—with a New Year’s Day plunge in the Atlantic Ocean–
A strong earthquake rocked Mexico City and Acapulco–
New England Patriots quarterback Doug Flutie converted the first successful drop kick in an NFL game since 1941–
Twelve-year-old Aidan Murray Medley caught a 551-pound bull shark just north of Palm Beach Inlet, Florida–
Twenty-four degrees below zero F in Northfield, Vermont–
Bethlehem, New Hampshire, recorded a temperature of -20 degrees F–
VanBuren, Maine, recorded a temperature of -32 degrees F–
Six day Great Plains and N. Rockies blizzard began, most adverse conditions in history of west–
Maybell, Colorado, set a record low temperature of -60 degrees F–