Today In History, 1 January: What Happened On This Day

What happened today in history (1 January): Birth of Vidya Balan and Satyendra Nath Bose, discovery of Brazil, establishment of the Republic of China and World Trade Organization, introduction of the Euro currency, invention of the internet and more.
This day in history (1 Jan): Birthday of Vidya Balan and Establishment of WTO
This day in history (1 Jan): Birthday of Vidya Balan and Establishment of WTO

Today in History: New Year’s Day celebrations are in order as we depart a wonderful 2022 and enter 2023. Hopefully, the year will bring prosperity and good health to all.

Today is January 1st. The day marks the dawn of a new year in the Gregorian Calendar, which has been in use since 1582. 1 January is a global holiday celebrated by people with great enthusiasm. 

However, January 1 is not just famous for being New Year’s Day; it also holds a critical place in world history. As you hastily make up your party plans and New Year’s resolutions side by side, take a look at the historical significance of 1st January.

From the births of a modern-day Bollywood icon and a renowned Indian polymath to the invention of the internet, formation of the Republic of China, discovery of Brazil and introduction of the Euro currency, many important events took place on January 1.

Dive in to learn what happened on this day (Jan. 1) in sports, politics and art, along with famous birthdays and deaths in world history.

Historical Events On This Day

  • In 1500, Portuguese explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, on his way to India, discovered the coast of Brazil.
  • In 1808, the United States declared the slave trade illegal with the Act Prohibiting the Importation of Slaves. However, slavery continued to thrive.
  • In 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all enslaved people in the Confederate States, was issued by President Abraham Lincoln.
  • In 1919, Edsel Ford succeeded his father Henry Ford as the president of the Ford Motor Company.
  • In 1901, Queen Victoria was proclaimed the Empress of India in the Imperial Durbar.
  • In 1949, the ceasefire takes effect in Kashmir during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947-1948.
  • In 1912, the Republic of China (1912-1949) was formed with Sun Yat-sen as the first president.
  • In 1983, the first Internet network, the ARPANET, officially switched to using the TCP/IP Internet Protocol, resulting in the creation of the Internet.
  • In 1995, Austria, Finland and Sweden joined the European Union.
  • In 1993, Czechoslovakia split into two countries: Czech Republic and Slovakia.
  • In 1995, the World Trade Organization (WTO) was formally established.
  • In 1999, the euro, the primary currency of the European Union, was introducedbut cash notes and coins were circulated in 2002.
  • In 2017, Portuguese politician and diplomat Antonio Guterres replaced South Korea’s Ban Ki-moon as the United Nations Secretary General.

Sports Events Today

  • In 2013, modern chess legend Magnus Carlsen surpassed Garry Kasparov’s chess FIDE rating by reaching 2,861.
  • In 1902, the first American college football bowl game was played between Michigan and Stanford.

Art and Culture Events Today

  • In 1818, English author Mary Shelly’s classic gothic horror novel Frankenstein was published.

  • In 1960, American country singer Johnny Cash played the first of his many free prison concerts at San Quentin Prison.
  • In 2011, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) was launched on television.
  • In 2018, 300 prominent Hollywood women sparked the “Time’s Up” initiative to combat sexual harassment in the industry.

Important Days

    • Independence Day: Brunei, Cameroon, Haiti, Sudan, Western Samoa
    • Emancipation Day (USA)

Notable Deaths On This Day

Sr No

Death Year




Heinrich Hertz, German physicist who first proved the existence of electromagnetic waves and the unit of frequency was named after him



Edwin Lutyens, English architect who planned the Indian capital city of New Delhi



Hank Williams, American singer and guitarist who is regarded as one of the most influential country singers



Maurice Chavalier, French singer, actor and entertainer known for his songs "Livin' In The Sunlight", "Valentine" and "Louise"

Famous Birthdays On This Day

Sr No

Birth Year




Lorenzo de’ Medici, Florentine statesman and politician who ruled during the Italian Renaissance and is known bringing peace and prosperity to Florence



Alfred Stieglitz, American photographer who played a pioneer role in making photography and accepted art form and is now considered the father of modern photography



E.M. Forster, British novelist known for his books A Passage to India and Howards End



Satyendra Nath Bose, Indian mathematician and physicist noted for his collaboration with Albert Einstein on quantum mechanics and developing the foundation for Bose statistics and theory of Bose condensate



J. Edgar Hoover, American administrator who served as the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) an oversaw many important events like prohibition and civil rights movement



J.D Salinger, American author best known for his 1951 classic novel The Catcher in the Rye



Asghar Farhadi, Academy Award-winning Iranian filmmaker known for his dramatical films The Salesman and A Separation



Vidya Balan, Indian actress known for Kahaani and The Dirty Picture

Also Read | Today in History (31 December)

Also Read | Today in History (30 December)

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