Jan. 1, 404 AD - The last gladiator battle was fought in Rome.
Jan 1, 1739 – Bouvet Island was discovered by French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier.
Jan. 1, 1764 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a prominent Freemason, played for the Royal Family at Versailles in France.
Jan. 1, 1773 – The hymn “Amazing Grace,” written by John Newton, was first presented at a prayer meeting in Olney, Buckinghamshire, England.
Jan. 1, 1776 – During the American Revolutionary War, Norfolk, Virginia was burned by combined Royal Navy and Continental Army action.
Jan. 1, 1781 – During the American Revolutionary War, 1,500 soldiers of the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment under General Anthony Wayne's command rebeled against the Continental Army's winter camp in Morristown, New Jersey in the Pennsylvania Line Mutiny of 1781. The soldiers insisted that their three-year enlistments had expired, killed three officers in a drunken rage and abandoned the camp. They were later captured and after negotiations, half the men accepted discharges, while the other half took furloughs coupled with bonuses for reenlistment.
Jan. 1, 1788 – The first edition of London’s oldest daily newspaper, The Times of London, previously named The Daily Universal Register, was published.
Jan. 1, 1800 – John Hill Dailey was born in Ohio. He came to Alabama as a young man and first settled at Belleville. A few years later, he moved to Tunnel Springs, where he became an extensive planter and owner of many slaves. He passed away at the age of 91.
Jan. 1, 1803 – Emperor Gia Long ordered all bronze wares of the Tây Sơn dynasty to be collected and melted into nine cannons for the Royal Citadel in Huế, Vietnam.
Jan. 1, 1808 - The U.S. banned the importation of slaves from Africa.
Jan. 1, 1825 – During his tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette attended a banquet hosted by the U.S. Congress.
Jan. 1, 1836 – David People was given a license to sell whiskey and keep a tavern in Monroe County, Ala. for one year.
Jan. 1, 1846 – English soldier and explorer John Torrington, at around the age of 21, died during an expedition to find the Northwest Passage and was buried on Beechey Island.
Jan. 1, 1853 – Australian farmer and explorer Gregory Blaxland died at the age of 74 in New South Wales. He is noted especially for initiating and co-leading the first successful crossing of the Blue Mountains by European settlers.
Jan. 1, 1863 - U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signed the final Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that all slaves in the rebel states and Confederate territory were free. A preliminary proclamation was issued in September 1862, following the Union victory at the Battle of Antietam in Maryland. The act signaled an important shift in the Union’s Civil War aims, expanding the goal of the war from reunification to include the eradication of slavery.
Jan. 1, 1863 - Confederate troops under General John Bankhead Magruder captured Galveston, Texas.
Jan. 1, 1879 – Novelist E.M. Forster was born Edward Morgan Forster in London.
Jan. 1, 1889 - Friedrich Nietzsche was said to have suffered a nervous breakdown after seeing a horse whipped by a cab driver.
Jan. 1, 1892 – The Ellis Island Immigrant Station formally opened in New York.
Jan. 1, 1895 - J. Edgar Hoover, the first director of the FBI, was born in Washington, D.C.
Jan. 1, 1898 – The City of Pensacola, Fla. established a full-time, paid fire department.
Jan. 1, 1900 – The Louisville & Nashville rail line between Pine Apple and Repton, Ala. was completed.
Jan. 1, 1900 - Alabama ushered in 1900 with cold temperatures and little fanfare. Snow was recorded in Birmingham and Montgomery at the start of the holiday weekend and freezing temperatures continued to Mon., Jan. 1. Most citizens did not celebrate the start of the 20th century until 1901 and The Birmingham Age-Herald remarked “the first day of the last year of the nineteenth century dawned dull enough in Birmingham.”
Jan. 1, 1901 - Alabama newspapers welcomed a new year and a new century. Declaring Jan. 1, 1901, as the first day of the 20th Century (and not January 1, 1900), the Montgomery Journal predicted that “Montgomery can well afford to welcome the year and the century with enthusiasm.” Likewise, the Birmingham Age-Herald carried a prominent front-page cartoon with a depiction of Father Time greeting the twin babies of the new year and the new century.
Jan. 1, 1902 - The first Tournament of Roses (later the Rose Bowl) collegiate football game was played in Pasadena, Calif. This was the first college football bowl game, and Michigan beat Stanford, 49-0.
Jan. 1, 1906 – Medal of Honor recipient Richmond Pearson Hobson of Greensboro, the “Hero of the Merrimac,” was scheduled to deliver a lecture at the Conecuh County Courthouse in Evergreen, Ala.
Jan. 1, 1908 – For the first time, a ball was dropped in New York City's Times Square to signify the start of the New Year at midnight.
Jan. 1, 1911 – National Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman Hank Greenberg was born in New York. He would go on to play for the Detroit Tigers and the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1956.
Jan. 1, 1912 – The annual meeting of Camp Capt. William Lee, No. 338, of the United Confederate Veterans was held and G.R. Boulware was re-elected camp commander. Other officers elected included M.B. Salter, sergeant major; Rev. J.D. Wright, chaplain; Dr. W.B. Shaver, surgeon. Delegates to the next encampment were W.F. Tomlinson, J.T. Fincher and J.W. Cook.
Jan. 1, 1913 – The parcel post system was put into operation at every post office in the U.S. Under this system, parcels weighing up to 11 pounds were transported by mail.
Jan. 1, 1915 – A meeting of Camp William Lee, No. 338, was scheduled to be held. It was said to be the 24th Annual reunion of the United Confederate Veterans of Camp Wm. Lee, No. 338.
Jan. 1, 1915 – Alabama Gov. Emmit O’Neal appointed Ben. D. Turner, about 28 years old, of Washington County as the judge of the first judicial circuit to succeed Judge John T. Lackland of Grove Hill, who died on Dec. 25, 1914. Other candidates for the position included W.F. Herbert of Demopolis and J.B. Barnett of Monroeville.
Jan. 1, 1915 - Alabama author John Henrik Clarke was born in Union Springs, Ala.
Jan. 1, 1916 – The 26th Annual Reunion of the United Confederate Veterans Camp, Capt. Wm. Lee, No. 338, was scheduled to be held at the Conecuh County Courthouse in Evergreen, Ala. During the reunion, members were to elect officers for the ensuing year and the collection of dues. All veterans who were physically able were required to attend and participate in the meeting.
Jan. 1, 1919 - J.D. Salinger, the author of “The Catcher in the Rye,” was born Jerome David Salinger in New York City.
Jan. 1, 1925 – H.P. Lovecraft’s wife of just 10 months, Sonia Haft Greene, went to Cleveland, Ohio to take a job there, and Lovecraft moved into a single apartment near the seedy Brooklyn area called Red Hook. The couple divorced in 1929.
Jan. 1, 1925 – Monroe Journal editor Q. Salter editorialized that with this day’s issue of the newspaper, The Journal “enters upon its 59th year of publication, 37 of which have been under the present management. Assuming the duties and responsibilities of the position as a beardless youth with little experience, the publisher has endeavored to steer a consistent course, adhering steadfastly to those ideals which he believed to be for moral and social welfare and for the material development of town and county. He has doubtless made many mistakes and fallen into many errors of judgement during these years, but an indulgent public has generously overlooked them and accorded consistent patronage far beyond his merit, for which he is grateful.”
Jan. 1, 1925 – The Monroe Journal reported that Mr. Noble J. Sproule of Stenen, Saskatchewan was visiting his sister, Dr. Ida A. Fraser. Mrs. Sproule and children had been in Monroeville for several weeks, and when Mr. Sproule left his home the temperature was 30 below zero.
Jan. 1, 1926 – Coach Wallace Wade’s University of Alabama football team, the first southern team to be honored with an invitation to the Rose Bowl, beat the University of Washington, 20-19, in Pasadena, Calif. This was the first of six Rose Bowl appearances for Alabama and the first time a southern football team was invited to play in a national bowl game. That year’s Rose Bowl was also carried from coast to coast on network radio for the first time.
Jan. 1, 1927 – Pro Football Hall of Fame halfback, kicker and punter Doak Walker was born in Dallas, Texas. He went on to play for SMU and the Detroit Lions. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986.
Jan. 1, 1932 – The United States Post Office Department issued a set of 12 stamps commemorating the 200th anniversary of George Washington's birth.
Jan. 1, 1933 - Miami defeated Manhattan, 7-0, in the first ever Orange Bowl, which was then called the Festival of Palms Bowl.
Jan. 1-2, 1934 – The Purcell Stage Circus, featuring monkeys, dogs, pony and clowns, which had played at the Grand Theatre in Montgomery, was scheduled to play at the Evergreen Theatre on this Monday and Tuesday in Evergreen, Ala.
Jan. 1, 1934 – Nazi Germany passed the "Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring."
Jan. 1, 1935 – Tulane beat Temple, 20-14, in the first ever Sugar Bowl. The game was played at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans.
Jan. 1, 1935 - The El Paso All-Stars beat the Ranger (Texas), 25-21, in the first ever Sun Bowl, which was played in the El Paso High School stadium.
Jan. 1, 1936 – In Lovecraftian fiction, despite the high quality of care given to the patients at Oakdeene Sanitarium, the Sanitarium is best remembered for the scandal caused by the death of some inmates on this night. This facility first appeared in 1977’s “The Horror at Oakdeene” by Brian Lumley.
Jan. 1, 1936 - The "New York Herald Tribune" began microfilming its current issues on this date.
Jan. 1, 1937 – TCU beat Marquette, 16-6, in the first ever Cotton Bowl in Dallas Texas.
Jan. 1, 1939 – The new Commercial Hotel, which had been under construction since mid-summer, was scheduled to open in Monroeville, Ala. The 30-room hotel was owned by Mrs. W.B. Strong.
Jan. 1, 1939 - Alabama author James Seay was born in Panola County, Miss.
Jan. 1, 1953 - Legendary singer-songwriter Hank Williams died at the age of twenty-nine near Oak Hill, West Virginia. Over 20,000 people attended his funeral in Montgomery, Ala. Williams was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1961 and received the Alabama Music Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement award for Performing Achievement in 1985.
Jan. 1, 1953 – Alabama, under head coach Harold Drew, beat Syracuse, 61-6, in the 1953 Orange Bowl in Miami, Fla. Offensive left guard Jeff Moorer of Evergreen, Ala. played all of the last quarter on offense and he is believed to be the first Evergreen athlete to play in a college football bowl game. Other players on Alabama’s team included Bart Starr, Tommy Lewis of Greenville and Hootie Ingram. Lewis scored two touchdowns in the game.
Jan. 1, 1954 - The Rose Bowl and the Cotton Bowl were shown in color for the first time.
Jan. 1, 1954 – Rice beat Alabama, 28-6, in the 1954 Cotton Bowl Classic at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas. Rice won the game, but its victory was overshadowed by Greenville, Ala. native Tommy Lewis and his "12th man tackle" of Rice running back Dicky Moegle in the second quarter.
Jan. 1, 1959 - Fidel Castro’s forces overthrew the government of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, and seized power in Cuba during the Cuban Revolution.
Jan. 1, 1960 – The first traffic fatality in Alabama of 1960 occurred early on this Friday morning on State Highway 41 near Range when Ulysses Glenn, a 27-year-old convict was fatally wounded when he was thrown from a truck hauling prisoners to work.
Jan. 1, 1961 - Briggs Stadium in Detroit, Mich. was renamed Tigers Stadium.
Jan. 1, 1963 – Lee Roy Jordan of Excel was named the MVP of the Orange Bowl, a game in which Bear Bryant’s 9-1 Alabama Crimson Tide beat 8-2 Oklahoma, 17-0, in Miami, Fla. With President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in attendance, Jordan recorded an Alabama bowl record of 31 tackles in the victory. The game was broadcast nationally on ABC.
Jan. 1, 1966 – During the Vietnam War, advance elements of the 1st Regiment of the Marine 1st Division arrived in Vietnam. The entire division followed by the end of March. The division established its headquarters at Chu Lai and was given responsibility for the two southernmost provinces of I Corps (the military region just south of the DMZ).
Jan. 1, 1967 - Sonny & Cher were banned from the Tournament of Roses for supporting Sunset Strip rioters.
Jan 1, 1967 - Operation Sam Houston began as a continuation of border surveillance operations in Pleiku and Kontum Provinces in the Central Highlands by units from the U.S. 4th and 25th Infantry Divisions. The purpose of the operation was to interdict the movement of North Vietnamese troops and equipment into South Vietnam from communist sanctuaries in Cambodia and Laos. The operation ended on April 5, and a total of 169 U.S. soldiers were killed in action; 733 enemy casualties were reported
Jan. 1, 1967 – Pro Football Hall of Fame outside linebacker and defensive end Derrick Thomas was born in Miami, Fla. He went on to play at the University of Alabama and the Kansas City Chiefs. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.
Jan. 1-2, 1975 – The “Call of the Wild,” based on Jack London’s famous story and starring Charlton Heston, was to be shown at the Pix Theatre in Evergreen, Ala. on this Wednesday and Thursday. W.B. Epperson was the theatre’s manager.
Jan. 1, 1976 – In connection with the “Amityville Horror” incident, cloven hoofprints attributed to an enormous pig appeared in the snow outside the house. The claim of cloven hoofprints in the snow on Jan. 1, 1976 was later rejected by other researchers, because a check on the weather records showed that there had been no snow in Amityville on the day in question.
Jan. 1, 1976 - A radio version of author Ambrose Bierce's story "One of the Missing" was broadcast as part of the series The CBS Radio Mystery Theatre.
Jan. 1, 1978 – On this night, the Conecuh County (Ala.) Rescue Squad located and rescued lost hunter Dennis Monk, who was reported missing by his hunting companion about 6:15 p.m. in the Murder Creek Swamp area. Monk was found around 10:30 p.m. and was brought out of the swamp around 1 a.m. on Jan. 2. Alabama State Troopers, Conecuh County Sheriff’s Deputies and Evergreen police assisted in the search.
Jan. 1, 1978 – The Dickinson House, located on Dickinson Avenue in Grove Hill, was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
Jan. 1, 1992 - The ESPN Radio Network was officially launched.
Jan. 1, 1994 - The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect.
Jan. 1, 2001 - The second phase of Alabama’s mandatory liability insurance requirements began as the Alabama Department of Revenue started mailing insurance verification survey forms to vehicle owners.
Jan. 1, 2002 - A movie version of Alabama author Walker Percy's book “The Moviegoer” was released.
Jan. 1, 2006 – Monroeville, Ala. was featured in National Geographic magazine in a story titled “To Catch a Mockingbird” by Cathy Newman with photos by Michael Nichols.
Jan. 1, 2007 - Darrent Williams of the Denver Broncos was killed in a drive-by shooting outside a nightclub in Denver, Colo.
Jan. 1, 2011 - The new Oak Island Treasure Act came into effect and allowed for treasure hunting to continue on the island under the terms of a license issued by the Minister of Natural Resources.