It happened today – this day in history – January 1

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1651: Charles II is crowned king of Scotland.

1660: First entry in Samuel Pepys’ diary. On the same day, Thomas Fairfax’s New Model Army occupies York.

1724: Glassblower Daniel Farenheit proposes system for making thermometers and the Fahrenheit temperature scale in a paper to the Royal Society of London.

1788: The Daily Universal Registrar becomes The Times.

1801: The Irish Parliament votes to join the Kingdom of Great Britain, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

1804: Haiti gains independence from France.

1808: Sierra Leone becomes a British colony.

1818: Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus” is published anonymously.

1863: Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln to free slaves in US confederate states. On the same day, confederate forces recapture Galveston.

1877: Queen Victoria is proclaimed Empress of India.

1879: Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D major premieres in Leipzig. Also on this day, writer E M Forster is born.

1880: Building begins on the Panama Canal.

1892: Ellis Island opens as a US immigration inspection station.

1894: Manchester Ship Canal opens to traffic.

1895: Birth of J Edgar Hoover.

1896: German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen announces his discovery of x-rays.

1899: Cuba is liberated from Spanish rule by the US.

1901: The Commonwealth of Australia is formed.

1909: The Old Age Pension Law is finally instituted, providing pensions for every British subject over 70 with low income.

1912: Sun Yat-sen forms the Republic of China.

1916: The first blood transfusion using stored and cooled blood is performed.

1917: T E Lawrence joins the forces of the Arabian sheik Feisal al Husayn, beginning his adventures that will lead him to Damascus by October, 1918.

1919: Birth of writer J D Salinger.

1923: Union of Socialist Soviet Republics established. On the same day, Britain’s Railways are grouped into LNER, GWR, SR, and LMSR.

1925: Norway’s capital Christiania changes its name to Oslo.

1934: Alcatraz officially becomes a federal prison.

1939: Hewlett-Packard is founded by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard in a garage in Palo Alto, California.

1947: Britain nationalises the coal industry.

1948: Britain nationalises the railways.

1949: Don Bradman becomes the first cricketer to be knighted.

1950: Ho Chi Minh begins offensive against French troops in Indo China.

1953: Country music singer/songwriter Hank Williams died of a heart attack brought on by a lethal cocktail of pills and alcohol aged 29.

1957: An IRA unit attacks Brookeborough RUC barracks.

1959: Johnny Cash played a free concert for the inmates of San Quentin Prison, California.On the same day, dictator Fulgencio Batista.

1960: Cameroon gains independence from France.

1962: The Beatles auditioned for Decca Records in West Hampstead, London. A&R boss at Decca Dick Rowe turned them down in what is considered one of the biggest mistakes in music industry history. On the same day, Western Samoa gains independence from New Zealand.

1964: The first edition of Top Of The Pops was transmitted on BBC TV from an old church hall in Manchester. The first song played was Dusty Springfield’s ‘I Only Want To Be With You’.

1971: Cigarette advertisements are banned on TV.

1974: Jimmy Connors wins his only Australian Open title.

1984: British blues boom pioneer Alexis Korner died of lung cancer aged 55.

1986: Spain & Portugal are 11th & 12th countries to join the European Economic Community.

1993: Czechoslovakia separates into the Czech Republic & Slovakia.

1994: Microsoft CEO Bill Gates marries Melinda French.

1995: Serial killer Fred West commits suicide in his prison cell.

1997: Singer songwriter Townes Van Zandt died age 52.

2003: Actress Jennifer Connelly weds actor Paul Bettany.

BIRTHDAYS: Frank Langella, actor, 82; Rivellino, Brazillian football legend, 74; Morgan Fisher, keyboards (Mott The Hoople), 70; Andy Gill, musician (Gang of Four), 64; Grandmaster Flash (Joseph Saddler) 62; Fiona Phillips, TV presenter, 59; Brody Dalle (Bree Robinson) musician, 40; Jonas Armstrong, actor, 39; Jack Wilshere, footballer, 28.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]