January 1: Facts & Historical Events On This Day

Did you know that on this day, January 1, 1502, Portuguese navigators discovered Rio de Janeiro?

Happy New Year! January 1st is officially known as National Hangover Day as well as Z Day.

It’s the first day of 2023 and we couldn’t be happier to welcome the new year!

Find out the facts about January 1 with these historical events & fun facts, including what celebrities were born on this day, and how this day has had an important role in history.

Did you know that on this day in 1502, Portuguese navigators discovered Rio de Janeiro? “Rio de Janeiro” means “River of January”.

Keep reading for more interesting facts about January 1st in history!

What Events Happened On January 1 In History?

2019 Same-sex marriage became legal in Austria.

2011 Estonia joined the Eurozone and adopted the Euro as its currency.

For many people in Estonia, the adoption of the Euro was the final proof that they had finally separated as a nation from the Soviet Union.


2007 Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union.

1999 The Euro currency was introduced and adopted by 11 Member States.

OTD in 1999: The Euro currency was introduced and adopted by 11 Member States.

1993 The country of Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved into two nations, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

1985 A Scandinavian research collaboration created the first-ever internet domain name Nordu.net.


1978 A B747 plane by Air India flying from Bombay, India to Dubai, UAE, crashed with no survivors.

The crash site was in the Arabian Sea near Santacruz airport, and onboard there were 190 passengers and 23 crew, all of whom lost their lives. The crash is thought to have been due to a malfunction in the cockpit which left the captain disorientated. This event was one of the deadliest air accidents in India.

1971 America banned all advertisements of cigarettes on TV and radio.

OTD in 1971: America banned all advertisements of cigarettes on TV and radio.

1959 Fidel Castro’s revolutionary forces overthrew the Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista.

1916 Medical researcher Oswald Hope Robertson performed the first-ever blood transfusion using stored and refrigerated blood.

1892 Ellis Island opened as a US immigration inspection station.

OTD in 1892: Ellis Island opened as a US immigration inspection station.

Ellis Island went on to be the gateway to the US for more than 12 million people.

1801 The dwarf planet Ceres was discovered by an Italian monk called Giuseppe Piazzi.

Did you know that Ceres is the largest object in the main asteroid belt that lies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter?

1801 The Union Jack flag was flown for the first time in Dublin, Ireland, to commemorate the union between Great Britain and Ireland.

OTD in 1801: The Union Jack flag was flown for the first time in Dublin Read More

404 AD A monk put an end to gladiator fighting in Rome.

The monks' name was Saint Telemachus, and in 391, he bravely attempted to halt a fight in Rome that led to him being stoned to death by spectators. Subsequently, this tragedy resulted in The Christian Emperor Honorius imposing a ban on future fights from 404 AD.

45 BC The Julian Calendar was used for the first time.

The Julian calendar was suggested by Julius Caesar and was used from 45BC before being replaced by the Gregorian Calendar back in 1582.

Famous Quotes Said On January 1

Who said what today throughout history? Here are the most famous things people have said on this day.


“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”

– Oprah Winfrey


“It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.”

– Anne Sexton

Famous People Born On January 1

Is today your birthday? If so, you share the same birthday with Verne Troyer. Here are a few other famous people born on New Year’s Day.

1995 Poppy

American Singer

28 years old
Born In:
Massachusetts, USA

1969 Verne Troyer

American Actor

Verne Troyer
Died On:
Apr 21, 2018 (Age 49)
Born In:
Michigan, USA

1976 Tank

American Singer

47 years old
Born In:
Wisconsin, USA

1969 Morris Chestnut

American Actor

Morris Chestnut
54 years old
Born In:
California, USA

1945 Yuen Woo-ping

Hong Kong Choreographer

Yuen Woo-ping
78 years old
Born In:
Guangzhou, China

1943 Don Novello

American Actor

Don Novello
80 years old
Born In:
Ohio, USA

Special Holidays On January 1

Here are some unusual holidays that are celebrated on this day.

January 1: National Hangover Day

National Hangover Day

Today is a perfect excuse to stay in bed and eat greasy food all day and know that you’re not the only one struggling. National Hangover Day is a day to look after yourself and cure that headache of the New Year’s celebrations.

Read More
January 1: Z Day

Z Day

Today is a day for everyone whose name starts with a Z! While this might not seem like much, for every Zac, Zanne, or Zara who's had to wait until the end of the roll-call, it's a pretty big deal - their letter finally comes first!

THe Fact Site's

Fun Fact Of The Day

Female polar bears are around half the size of male polar bears.

January 1 Birthday Facts, Zodiac & Birthstone

Everyone who was born on New Year’s Day shares the same star sign, Capricorn.

Capricorns are ambitious, determined and will consistently apply efforts to any task at hand to get the job done. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, or indeed, how many times they might fail.

Those of you that were born in January have the Garnet birthstone. The garnet is thought to bring love and loyal friendships into their lives while also providing them health.

If you were lucky enough to be born on the first day of the year, you were likely conceived around April 10, the year before.

The due date for a baby conceived on New Year’s Day is around September 24, 2023.

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