Daily Calendar for January 1st, 2020

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New Year's Day

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

Every Year

  • New Year's Day

  • Circumcision


  • Born 1735: Paul Revere (patriot)


  • Born 1752: Betsy Ross (patriot)


  • 1776: 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


  • Died 1782: Johann Christian Bach (composer)


  • 1801: Legislative Union of Great Britain with Ireland under the name of United Kingdom became effective

  • 1801: President John Adams held the first New Year's reception in the White House

  • 1808: Importation of slaves into the U.S. officially banned


  • 1840: First recorded ten-pin bowling match played at Knickerbocker Alleys, NYC


  • 1863: The Emancipation Proclamation became law, marking the end of legalized slavery in the U.S.


  • Born 1879: E.M. Forster (novelist)


  • 1889: State of New York introduced the electric chair for capital punishment


  • 1892: The U.S. government opened an immigrant processing station at Ellis Island, New York

  • Born 1895: J. Edgar Hoover (director of U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation)


  • 1902: First Rose Bowl football game played at Pasadena, California


  • Born 1911: Hank Greenberg (baseball player)

  • 1913: U.S. Parcel Post service began

  • 1915: The British battleship Formidable was sunk in the English Channel by a German submarine with the loss of 600 lives (WW I)

  • Born 1919: Carole Landis (actress)

  • Born 1919: J.D. Salinger (author)


  • Born 1932: Terry Moore (actress)

  • 1934: Fiorello La Guardia is inaugurated as mayor of New York


  • Born 1943: Don Novello (actor)

  • Born 1946: Kathleen Casey-Kirschling (official first baby boomer in United States)


  • 1950: The U.S. Navy commissioned its first woman doctor, Mary Sproul

  • Born 1957: Nancy Lopez (golfer)


  • Died 1972: Maurice Chevalier

  • 1972: Kurt Waldheim inaugurated as Secretary General of the United Nations

  • 1975: John Ehrlichman, H.R. Haldeman, and John Mitchell were found guilty of obstructing justice in the Watergate Incident

  • 1977: Episcopal Church of the U.S. ordained its first woman priest


  • 1984: American Telephone & Telegraph Co. officially divested itself of 22 Bell System subsidiaries


  • 1991: First U.S. electronic highway toll collection, in Oklahoma


  • Died 2001: Ray Walston (actor)

  • Died 2002: Julia Phillips (first woman to win an Oscar Award [for co-producing the movie "The Sting"])

  • 2003: 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

  • 2004: A strong earthquake rocked Mexico City and Acapulco

  • Died 2005: Shirley Chisholm (an advocate for minority rights who became the first black woman elected to Congress)

  • 2006: New England Patriots quarterback Doug Flutie converted the first successful drop kick in an NFL game since 1941

  • 2008: Twelve-year-old Aidan Murray Medley caught a 551-pound bull shark just north of Palm Beach Inlet, Florida


  • Died 2013: Patti Page (singer)

  • Died 2015: Donna Douglas (actress)

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