45: BC Julian Calendar introduced
379: Death of St. Basil
1356: The Pope publishes the “Golden Bull”
1515: Death of Louis XII, King of France
1735: Paul Revere born
1752: Betsy Ross, who, according to legend, made the first American flag. born
1863: The Emancipation Proclamation, declared the previous September by Abraham Lincoln, took effect. It declared freedom for slaves in all areas of the Confederacy that were still in rebellion against the Union.
1895: J. Edgar Hoover, FBI Dircetor. born
1901: The Commonwealth of Australia was proclaimed.
1902: 1st Rose Bowl game held in Pasadena, California.
1907: The Pure Food and Drug Act becomes law in the U.S.
1909: Barry Goldwater the 1964 Republican candidate for president born
1909: London astronomers hint of sightings of a planet beyond Neptune.
1912: British-born Soviet master spy Harold “Kim” Philby born
1919: J. D. Salinger, author of ‘Catcher in the Rye’. born
1925: Edwin Hubble announces our galaxy is just one among billions of others
1927: Massachusetts becomes the first state to require automobile insurance.
1934: Alcatraz officially becomes a Federal Prison.
1945: France was admitted to the United Nations.
1953: Country singer Hank Williams Senior, 29, died of a drug and alcohol overdose while en route to a concert date in Canton, Ohio.
1959: Fidel Castro led Cuban revolutionaries to victory over Fulgencio Batista.
1975: A jury convicted former Attorney General John Mitchell and former White House aides John Ehrlichman and H.R. Haldeman on all counts in the Watergate cover-up case.
1979: The United States and China held celebrations in Washington and Beijing to mark the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
1984: The break-up of AT&T took place as the telecommunications giant was divested of its 22 Bell System companies under terms of an antitrust agreement.
1986: Soviet television aired a five-minute greeting from President Reagan and Americans got the same from Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in the first such exchange between the superpowers.
1987: More than 2,000 Chinese students, defying a government ban, held a pro-democracy rally in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
1988: President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev exchanged optimistic New Year’s greetings, expressing mutual hope they would reach an arms control treaty on strategic weapons within six months.
1988: British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher distanced herself from US vows to punish whoever bombed Pam Am Flight 103, saying in a TV interview that revenge “can affect innocent people.”
1990: David Dinkins was sworn in as New York City’s first black mayor.
1991: President Bush called top advisers to the White House for a fresh assessment of the Persian Gulf crisis.
1992: Boutros Boutros-Ghali succeeded Javier Perez de Cuellar as secretary-general of the United Nations.
1994: The North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect.
1997: Kofi Annan assumed the title of United Nations secretary-general.
1998: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that 2% milk no longer “low fat.” Also, in a move to reduce birth defects, food manufacturers were required to add the nutrient folic acid to enriched breads, flours, corn meals, pastas, rice and other grain products.
1999: The euro, the new single currency of eleven European countries, officially came into existence with the start of the New Year.
2002: Twelve European nations adopted the euro in the most ambitious currency changeover in history.
2002: Michael Bloomberg succeeded Rudolph Giuliani as New York City’s mayor.