Today In Soap Opera History for Jan 1, The Julian calendar took effect. The year -45 has been c...
"year of confusion," because in that year Julius Caesar inserted 90
days to bring the months of the Roman calendar back to their
traditional place with respect to the seasons. This was Caesar's
first step in replacing a calendar that had gone badly awry.
1431 Jan 1, Rodrigo Borgia
Lanzol (d.1503), member of the Borgia family, was born in Xativa,
Spain. His mother was the sister of Pope Calixtus III. He was
elected Pope Alexander VI in 1492 and amassed a fortune by pocketing
church funds. His reign helped inspire the Protestant reformation.
He fathered numerous children including Lucrezia Borgia. Machiavelli
based "The Prince" on him.
(WSJ, 01/11/99, p.R8) (PTA 1 980 424)
1449 Jan 1, Lorenzo de Medici
(d.1492), later know as Lorenzo the Magnificent, was born in
1502 Jan 1, Guanabara Bay was
first encountered by Europeans when one of the Portuguese explorers
Gaspar de Lemos and Goncalo Coelho arrived on its shores. Guanabara
Bay is an oceanic bay located in southeastern Brazil in the state of
Rio de Janeiro. On its western shore lies the city of Rio de
Janeiro, and on its eastern shore the cities of Niteroi and Sao
1515 Jan 1, King Louis XII
(b.1462) of France, died. He was succeeded by Francis I (1494-1547).
1586 Jan 1, Francis Drake, who
left England on a new voyage to America last September, made a
surprise attack on the heavily fortified city of Santo Domingo in
Hispaniola, forcing the governor to pay a large ransom.
1651 Jan 1, Charles II (20),
Charles Stuart, was crowned king of Scotland at Scone.
(PC, 1992, p.243)(ON, 8/12, p.1)
1698 Jan 1, The Abenaki Indians
and the Massachusetts colonists signed a treaty ending the conflict
in New England.
1700 Jan 1, Russia replaced the
Byzantine with the Julian calendar, which remained in effect until
the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1918.
1710 Jan 1, Cölln, a town on
the Spree River, united with neighboring Berlin under the latter
1735 Jan 1, Paul Revere
(d.1818), U.S. patriot who rode through the streets of Boston during
the American Revolution, warning of the British landings, was born
to Apollos Rivoire and Deborah Hitchbourne, one of 13 children.
(HN, 1/1/99)(HNQ, 6/27/02)
1752 Jan 1, Betsy Ross
(d.1836), flag maker who contributed to the design of the American
flag, was born in Philadelphia as Elizabeth Griscom.
1764 Jan 1, Wolfgang Amadeus
Mozart (8) played for the Royal Family at Versailles, France.
1766 Jan 1, James Francis
Edward Stuart (b.1688), son of James III, died. The English prince
was known as the Old Pretender.
(HN, 1/1/99)(WUD, 1994 ed., p.1410)
1785 Jan 1, The Daily Universal
Register (Times of London) published its 1st issue. It became The
Times on Jan 1, 1788.
1788 Jan 1, London’s Daily
Universal Register began publishing as The Times.
1797 Jan 1, Albany became the
capital of New York state, replacing New York City.
1801 Jan 1, Giuseppi Piazzi
(d.1826), Italian astronomer, discovered an asteroid orbiting
between Mars and Jupiter. He believed it to be a planet and named it
Ceres, after the Roman goddess of the harvest. Ceres was later
measured to be about 974km in diameter, roughly the length of Great
Britain and 1% the mass of Earth’s moon.
(NH, 7/02, p.36)(Econ., 2/28/15, p.70)
1804 Jan 1, Jean-Jacques
Dessalines proclaimed the Republic of Haiti and declared
independence from France. Documentation of his speech was then lost
and only re-discovered in 2010 by a Canadian graduate student
searching in the British National Archives.
(WSJ, 03/01/04, p.A16) (SFCM, 5/30/04, p.19) (SFC,
1808 Jan 1, A US law banning
the import of slaves came into effect, but was widely ignored.
(HN, 1/1/99)(AP, 1/1/08)
1818 Jan 1, An official
reopening of the White House took place after being repaired from
burning by British during War of 1812.
(SFEC, 04.07.99, For
1818 Jan 1, The novel
"Frankenstein" by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851) was
published anonymously. It was an attack on industrialization. The
work stemmed from a contest in 1816 at Byron’s Villa Diodati in
Geneva, between Byron, Shelley and Mary to produce a ghost story. In
1998 Joan Kane Nichols published "Mary Shelley: Frankenstein’s
Creator." In 2006 Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler authored “The Monsters:
Mary Shelley and the Curse of Frankenstein.” In 2007 Susan Tyler
Hitchcock authored “Frankenstein: A Cultural History.”
(WSJ, 01/11/99, p.R14) (SSFC, 21.05.06, p.M6) (WSJ,
10/30/07, p.D6)(ON, 11/07, p.8)
1824 Jan 1, The Camp Street
Theatre opened as the first English-language playhouse in New
1825 Jan 1, Dewitt Clinton
(1769-1828) began serving his 2nd term as governor of New York and
continued to 1828.
1831 Jan 1, William Lloyd
Garrison (1805-1879), 24-year-old reformer of Massachusetts, began
publishing his newspaper The Liberator, dedicated to the abolition
of slavery. Garrison's stridency and uncompromising position on both
the institution of slavery and slave owners offended many in the
North and South, but he vowed to continue the fight until slavery
was abolished. In the first issue of his newspaper, he wrote, "I am
aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there
not cause for severity? I will be as harsh as truth, and as
uncompromising as justice. On this subject I do not wish to think,
or speak, or write, with moderation. No! No!" Garrison once burned a
copy of the U.S. Constitution, condemning it as "a covenant with
death and an agreement with hell" because it did not forbid slavery.
The Liberator ceased publication in 1865 after the 13th Amendment
was passed, outlawing slavery. [see 1830]
1862 Jan 1, The US federal
government Tax Act of July 14, 1862, took effect as of January 1,
(AP, 05/08/97) (http://tinyurl.com/brzpcg3)
1863 Jan, 1, All slaves held in
rebellion territory in USA were made free by Abraham Lincoln's Sep
22, 1862, Emancipation Proclamation.
(HFA, ‘96, p.22)(V.D.-H.K.p.275)(AP, 1/1/98)(HN,
1863 Jan 1, Confederate General
Braxton Bragg and Union General William Rosecrans readjusted their
troops as the Battle of Murfreesboro continued.
1863 Jan 1, The clipper ship
Noonday hit an uncharted rock off the coast of San Francisco and
sank in 240 feet of water. All hands were rescued and the rock was
(SFC, 9/17/14, p.A10)
1864 Jan 1, Alfred Stieglitz
(d.1946), American photographer, was born in New Jersey.
1871 Jan 1, Sir Henry Durand
(b.1812), British lord of the frontier between India and
Afghanistan, died after an elephant he was riding reared and brained
him on a stone archway in Tonk (later Tank, Pakistan).
1874 Jan 1, New York City
annexed the Bronx.
1879 Jan 1, E.M. [Edward
Morgan] Forster (d.1970), English novelist famous for "A Passage to
India" and "A Room With a View," was born in London. His novels
exemplified his ideas about the conflict between the imaginative and
the earthy component of the human soul and character.
1879 Jan 1, William Fox, US
film pioneer (Nickelodeon), was born.
1880 Jan 1, The building of the
Panama Canal was symbolically begun under the direction of French
diplomat Ferdinand de Lesseps. Actual construction began a year
later. In 2007 Matthew Parker authored “Panama Fever: The Battle to
Build the Canal.”
1891 Jan 1, An office was
opened on Ellis Island, New York, to cope with the vast flood of
immigrants coming into the United States.
1892 Jan 1, The US Immigration
Service, after two years of construction, opened Ellis Island in New
York Harbor, a new facility for "processing" immigrants. Annie Moore
(15) of County Cork, Ireland, was the 1st person processed. The new
facility replaced Castle Garden, which was closed because of massive
overcrowding and corruption. The money changing concession was later
granted to American Express to end the cheating of immigrants.
Formerly used as a munitions dump and landfill, Ellis Island was
designed, its architects claimed, to handle more than 8,000
newcomers a day. Orderly lines funneled bewildered immigrants past
doctors and officials who examined them for signs of disease. The
physically and mentally ill were refused admittance, forcing
thousands of families to make the difficult decision to return home
with a relative refused entry or push on without them. A final
brusque interview by an immigration official determined whether the
newcomers had already been promised jobs. About 80% of those who
entered Ellis Island received landing cards permitting them to board
ferries for NYC. In the 1890s, 75% of all immigrants entered the US
through Ellis Island. It was closed in 1954.
(AP, 1/1/98) (HNPD, 1/1/99) (AP, 1/1/98) (SFC,
3/21/98, p.E3)(HNPD, 9/18/98)(SFEC, 6/20/99, p.T10)
1895 Jan 1, J. Edgar Hoover,
director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), was born.
1897 Jan 1, Brooklyn merged
with NY to form the present NYC. [see Jan 1, 1898]
1898 Jan 1, The consolidation
of Greater New York City occurred with the "merger" of Brooklyn and
Manhattan. Before the merger Brooklyn had absorbed Williamsburg,
Bushwick, Flatbush, Flatlands, and New Lots among other towns. The
merger created a city of 3.4 million people. Manhattan, the Bronx,
Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island were consolidated into New York
(WSJ, 12/31/97, p.A10) (AP, 1/1/99)
1900 Jan 1, Xavier Cugat,
bandleader (married Abbe Lane, Charo), was born in Barcelona, Spain.
1900 Jan 1, A New York
editorialist wrote that the 20th century began in the United States
with "a sense of euphoria and self-satisfaction, a sure
feeling that America is the envy of the world."
(Hem, Dec. 94, p.70)
1901 Jan 1, The 1st official
annual Mummers parade was held in Philadelphia.
(SFC, 12/31/00, p.A10)
1901 Jan 1, The Commonwealth of
Australia became official as established in the July 9, 1900,
Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act. 6 colonies became an
independent federation with Edmund Barton as the 1st prime minister.
Although independent it still recognized Britain’s royalty as
Australia’s head of state. The governor-general, a representative of
the queen nominated by the prime minister, was appointed by the
(AP, 1/1/98) (SFC, 2/3/98, p.A7) (SFC, 12/31/00,
1907 Jan 1, Pres. Theodore
Roosevelt shook a record 8,513 hands in 1 day.
1907 Jan 1, The Pure Food and
Drug Act became law in the United States
1908 Jan 1, The 1st time-ball
signifying new year was dropped at Times Square, NYC.
1909 Jan 1, Barry Goldwater
(d.1998), Republican senator for Arizona and presidential contender,
was born in Phoenix, son of Baron and Josephine Goldwater. His
grandfather was an immigrant Polish peddler and founder of the
Goldwater department store chain.
(SFC, 5/30/98, p.A3)(MC, 1/1/02)
1912 Jan 1, Kim Philby was born
in India. He became a ringleader of a group of upper crust
Englishmen who entered public service or, in many cases, the British
Secret Service, then spied for the Soviets. Philby got away and
spent his last years in Moscow.
1912 Jan 1, A Massachusetts law
reducing the work-week from fifty-six to fifty-four hours for women
and children, went into effect. Workers struck spontaneously on Jan
12 when the mill owners reduced wages to coincide with the reduced
1912 Jan 1, The Republic of
China was formed with Sun Yat-Sen as president. Nationalist Party
co-founder Song Jiaren began designing the institutions of the new
(Econ, 12.22.12, P.68)
1914 Jan 1, A Pacific coast
storm swept away the entire Ocean Beach of San Francisco from the
Cliff House to the life saving station.
(SSFC, 12/29/13, DB p.42)
1915 Jan 1, German
submarine U-24 sank the British battleship Formidable in the English
Channel whilst on patrol and exercise with the 5th Battle Squadron.
She sank rapidly with the loss of 547 crew. The 5BS had been
steaming slowly (10knots), not zigzagging and were without destroyer
escort. Admiral in charge Lewis Bayly was dismissed from his
position over the loss.
1918 Jan 1, Canada’s Unionist
government began to enforce the Military Service Act.
1918 Jan 1, The first gasoline
pipeline began operation with 40 miles of three inch pipe from Salt
Creek to Casper, Wyoming.
1919 Jan 1, J.D. Salinger,
American novelist, was born in NYC. In 1951 Jerome David Salinger
published "The Catcher in the Rye," which became a bible for
(SFC, 1/29/10, p.A1)
1923 Jan 1, The Angelus Temple,
a spiritual palace in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, was
dedicated by Canadian-born evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson
(1890-1944), organizer of the Int’l. Church of the Foursquare
1923 Jan 1, Sadi Lecointe set a
new aviation speed record flying an average of 208 mph at Istres.
1923 Jan 1, John Daly (b.1841),
for whom Daly City is named, died and was buried at Woodlawn
Cemetery in Colma. He was from Boston and had arrived in the Bay
Area alone at age 13 via the Isthmus of Panama, where his mother
died of yellow fever.
1934 Jan 1, Alcatraz officially
became a federal prison. The first prisoners arrived in August. [see
Aug 11, 1934]
1934 Jan 1, Federal Deposit
Insurance Corp., the US bank guarantor, became effective.
1935 Jan 1, Eastern Airlines
hired Eddie Rickenbacker as GM.
1937 Jan 1, At a party at the
Hormel Mansion in Minnesota, a guest won $100 for naming a new
canned meat-Spam. SPAM was originally called Hormel Spiced Ham in
1936 without much success.
(HN, 1/1/00) (http://tinyurl.com/3soounh)
1942 Jan 1, Atlantic Charter
members, including the US, Britain, the USSR and 23 other countries
all lined up against the Axis, issued a Joint Declaration stressing
their solidarity in the defense against Hitlerism.
1945 Jan 1, France was admitted
to the United Nations.
1945 Jan 1, On Operation
Bodenplatte, German planes attacked American forward air bases in
Europe. This was the last major offensive of the Luftwaffe.
1946 Jan 1, In Japan Emperor
Hirohito rejected the notion that the emperor is a living god and
the notion that the Japanese are superior to other races and
destined to govern the world.
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.36)(MC, 1/1/02)
1947 Jan 1, Canada’s
Citizenship Act of this year became effective. It said that citizens
living outside Canada on their 24th birthday would automatically
lose their citizenship unless they filled out a form saying they
wished to keep it. The law was amended in 1977 and raised the age
factor to 28.
1949 Jan 1, The UN brokered a
cease-fire in Kashmir. It granted Kashmir the right to vote on
whether to remain in India or to join Pakistan. No vote took place.
(SSFC, 12/30/01, p.A22)(SFC, 6/8/02, p.A20)
1951 Jan 1, A British radio
soap opera called “The Archers” began airing following pilot shows
in 1950. The show was about a British farming community and was
still popular as it continued in 2011.
1953 Jan 1, Country singer Hank
Williams Sr. (29) died of a drug and alcohol overdose while enroute
to a concert date in Canton, Ohio. In 1998 Mercury Records released
"The Complete Hank Williams," with 225 recordings.
(AP, 1/1/98) (WSJ, 10/30/98, p.W9A)
1956 Jan 1, Sudan became
independent from Britain. Northern Muslim parties took over rule.
Southerners demanded autonomy and civil war began.
(WSJ, 25/08/98, p.A14) (SFC, 11.17.00, p.A20) (WSJ,
10/22/03, p.A4)(Econ, 5/15/04, p.21)
1957 Jan 1, The state of
Saarland, established in 1920 in accordance with the Treaty of
Versailles, joined the Federal Republic of West Germany. The Nazis
had called the area "Westmark." After World War II the Saarland had
come under French administration.
1958 Jan 1, Treaties
establishing the European Economic Community went into effect.
1958 Jan 1, Dr. Douglas Kelley
(45), psychiatrist, committed suicide using potassium cyanide. He
was one of the psychiatrist used by the US Army to interview Nazi
war criminals at Nuremberg and authored the book “22 Cells in
(SSFC, 2/6/05, p.A17)
1958 Jan 1, Photographer Edward
Weston (b.1886) died. A 1973 biography was titled "Edward Weston:
Fifty Years." In 1998 his model Charis Wilson published "Through
Another Lens: My Years with Edward Weston."
(SFEM, 6/30/96, p.23) (SFC, 5/18/98, p.D1) (SFC,
1959 Jan 1, Fidel Castro
proclaimed the triumph of his revolution from the balcony of
Santiago's city hall. Castro led Cuban revolutionaries to victory
over Fulgencio Batista, who fled to the Dominican Republic. American
mafia scrambled to secure their cash and close casinos ahead of
crowds that took to the streets and trashed their businesses. In
2008 T.J. English Morrow authored “Havana Nocturne: How the Mob
Owned Cuba …and Then Lost It to the Revolution.”
(AP, 1/1/98) (SFC, 1/28/00, p.A14) (WSJ, 08/05/06,
1 January 1960, French Cameroon
(PC, 1992, p.973) (EWH, 1st ed., M.1173)
1963 Jan 1, In Arizona Betty
Smithey (20) murdered Sandy Gerberick, a 15-month-old girl she had
been babysitting. Smithey was convicted and sentenced to prison for
life without the possibility of parole. In 2012 she was granted
parole by the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency.
1964 Jan 1, Fatah, the
Palestinian guerrilla group founded by Yasser Arafat, made its 1st
armed attack against Israel. The annual celebration of this day came
to be known as Fatah Day.
(SFC, 1/2/01, p.A8)
1966 Jan 1, Simon &
Garfunkel's "Sounds of Silence" reached #1.
1966 Jan 1, A 12 day transit
worker strike shut down NYC subway and buses. The strike became a
major rallying point behind the Taylor Law, which severely curtailed
the ability of public employees in the state to strike and took
effect on Sep 1, 1967.
(SSFC, 10/20/13, p.E2)
1966 Jan 1, By law all US
cigarette packs began carrying the warning: "Caution! Cigarette
smoking may be hazardous to your health."
1966 Jan 1, The 173rd Airborne
Brigade became the first American unit in the Mekong Delta of South
(AH, 2/06, p.14)
1967 Jan 1, Pope Paul VI
announced his Apostolic Constitution (Indulgentiarum Doctrina). He
also established this day as World Peace Day.
(http://tinyurl.com/ah8ck9)(SFC, 1/2/99, p.C12)
1968 Jan 1-1968 Dec 31, The
year was marked by protest marches. In 1998 Tariq Ali and Susan
Watkins published: "1968: Marching in the Streets." In 2004 Mark
Kurlansky authored "1968: The Year That Rocked the World."
(SFC, 5/22/98, p.C12)(SSFC, 1/25/04, p.M1)
1969 Jan 1, President Nixon
nominated Henry Cabot Lodge, former American ambassador to South
Vietnam, as negotiator at the Paris Peace Talks.
1970 Jan 1, Jimi Hendrix and
his Band of Gypsies, Billy Cox and Buddy Miles, performed 4 shows on
New Years Eve and Day at the Fillmore East in NYC. The recording
"Band of Gypsies" was released in April. In 1999 a 2-disk CD, "Live
at the Fillmore East" was released.
(WSJ, 16/04/99, p.W13C)
1970 Jan 1, Pres. Nixon signed
the National Environmental Policy Act into law.
(WSJ, 2/25/97, p.A22)
1970 Jan 1, The Family Law Act
took effect in California. It included no-fault divorce.
(SFC, 7/20/07, p.B12)(www.jstor.org/pss/351519)
1970 Jan 1, In SF Officer Eric
Zelms was fatally shot when 2 burglars surprised him and gained
control of his gun. The burglars were later convicted of murder and
sentenced 8 to 10 years.
(SFC, 1/27/07, p.A8)
1971 Jan 1, The United States
began a second decade of involvement in Vietnam.
1971 Jan 1, The US government
ban on TV Cigarette ads went into effect.
(SFEC, 9/15/96, DB p.55)(AP, 4/1/98)
1972 Jan 1, "Promises Promises"
closed at Shubert Theater NYC after 1281 performances.
1972 Jan 1, Maurice Chevalier
(b.1888), French actor, singer and dancer, died in Paris. He sang
“Thank Heaven for Little Girls” in the 1958 film “Gigi.”
(SSFC, 08.08.04, p.2 Pair) (www.jimpoz.com)
1972 January 1, Kurt Waldheim
(1918-2007) of Austria began serving as the UN Secretary-General. He
continued until Jan 1, 1982.
(SFC, 12/14/96, p.A1)
1973 Jan 1, The European
Economic Community (EEC), the forerunner to the EU, admitted
Britain, Ireland and Denmark even though they made chocolate
containing a small percentage of vegetable fat.
1974 Jan 1, The US government
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, established by Congress
in 1972, began providing new benefits for the aged, blind and
(SFEC, 05.01.97, Z1
1974 Jan 1 In Britain a 3-day
work week went into effect following a power shortage caused by
(Econ, 4/3/10, p.59)(http://tinyurl.com/y76xjwe)
1974 Jan 1, Nawab Akbar Shahbaz
Khan Bugti (1927-2006), governor of Balochistan, Pakistan, resigned
shortly after Bhutto launched an army operation in Balochistan. The
army had deployed 100,000 men in Baluchistan and with the help of
the Iranian air force killed large numbers of Baluchis.
1975 Jan 1, The Watergate
verdict was guilty when a jury convicted Richard Nixon's three top
advisers on all counts in the Watergate coverup: former attorney
general John Mitchell and White House aides Bob Haldeman and John
Ehrlichman. "Watergate" became shorthand for the burglary of
Democratic Party offices in Washington's Watergate office complex.
The burglars were caught and found to have White House connections.
Robert Mardian (1923-2006), attorney for the Committee to Re-elect
the President (CREEP), was also convicted, but an appeals court in
October, 1996, reversed his conviction.
(SFC, 7/21/06, p.B9)
1975 Jan 1, The Federal Hourly
Minimum Wage rose to $2.10 an hour.
1975 Jan 1, On New Year's Day
Communist troops launched an offensive which, in 117 days of the
hardest fighting of the war, collapsed the Khmer Republic.
1976 Jan 1, NBC replaced the
1976 Jan 1, In California the
Moscone Act, which relaxed marijuana laws, went into effect.
1978 Jan 1, The US Federal
Minimum Wage, set at $2.65 an hour in November 1977, became
1978 Jan 1, US copyright law of
2007 held that the rights to songs written before this date expire
75 years after they were published. US songs written after 1978
would hold their copyright for 50 years after the death of the
1978 Jan 1, An Air India jet
exploded in midair and killed 213 people near Bombay.
1979 Jan 1, China and the
United States held celebrations in Beijing and Washington to mark
the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Deng Xiaoping arranged to visit the US. China standardized the
spelling of people and place names using the Pinyin system. Peking
thus became Beijing.
(SFC, 2/20/96, p.A4) (AP, 1/1/98) (SFC, 2/05/04,
1979 Jan 1, UN Secretary
General Kurt Waldheim signed a proclamation declaring 1979 as
the International Year of the Child.
1981 Jan 1, Children born from
this day on were considered to be part of "Generation Y," as opposed
to "Generation X," born between 1966 and 1979, which followed the
(WSJ, 04/16/98, p.A1) (Econ, 06.01.13, p.58)
1981 Jan 1, Roger Smith
(b.1925) took office as chairman and CEO of GM.
(WSJ, 06/19/96, Adv.
1981 Jan 1, Greece joined the
European Union. It joined the Eurozone on Jan 1, 2001, allowing it
to be among the first group of countries that issued euro banknotes
on Jan 1, 2002.
1982 Jan 1, Cecil Williams
(b.1929), the pastor of San Francisco’s Glide Memorial Church,
married Janice Mirikitani (b.1941). Both had children from previous
(SSFC, 12/6/09, p.A9)
1983 Jan 1, Pope John Paul II
declared this year to be an extraordinary Holy Year to mark the
1,950th anniversary of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in
(SFC, 12/24/99, p.A15)
1983 Jan 1, TCP/IP became the
standard for Internet protocol.
(SFC, 8/30/99, p.C10)
1984 Jan 1, 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.
8 new companies were formed including US West.
(AP, 1/1/98) (SFEC, 8/16/98,
1985 Jan 1, The 1st US
mandatory seat belt law went into effect in NY.
1 January 1985 Mustafa Maarouf
Saad (d.2002), Lebanese militia leader, lost his sight in a car
explosion in front of his house in Sidon. His daughter (13) was
killed and his wife lost one eye.
(SFC, 8/3/02, p.A18)
1986 Jan 1, Libyan
leader Moammar Khadafy threatened to retaliate if attacked as the
United States built its strength in the Mediterranean .
1987 Jan 1, Nicaragua’s
Sandinista Constitution was promulgated. It provided the final step
in the institutionalization of the Sandinista regime and the
framework under which the Chamorro government would take office.
1988 Jan 1, 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.
1989 Jan 1, British PM Margaret
Thatcher distanced herself from US vows to punish whoever bombed Pam
Am Flight 103, saying in a TV interview that revenge "can affect
1990 Jan 1, David Dinkins was
sworn in as New York City's first black mayor.
1991 Jan 1, President Bush
called top advisers to the White House for a fresh assessment of the
Persian Gulf crisis.
1992 Jan 1, President Bush
became the first American leader to address the Australian
Parliament, telling lawmakers the United States would continue to
subsidize its agricultural exports, despite protests by Australia's
1992 Jan 1, Altaf Hussain
(b.1953), leader of Pakistan’s MQM party, fled to Saudi Arabia and
after a month to London. PM Nawaz Sharif soon deployed the army to
Karachi for a massive anti-MQM operation and the city descended into
an undeclared civil war.
1992 Jan 1, Boutros
Boutros-Ghali succeeded Javier Perez de Cuellar as secretary-general
of the United Nations.
1993 Jan 1, President Bush
continued to tour Somalia, greeting hundreds of cheering youngsters
and foreign relief workers at an orphanage in Baidoa.
1993 Jan 1, Czechoslovakia
peacefully split into two new countries, the Czech Republic and
Slovakia. The Slovak people never voted on the 1993 split with the
Czechs. When the country split, all citizens were deemed to be
either Czech or Slovak, based on their parentage. The vast majority
of the Romany living in the Czech Republic are of Slovak descent,
and they had to apply for Czech citizenship. Vladimir Meciar
(b.1942) became the premier of Slovakia and Vaclav Klaus the premier
of the Czech Rep.
21:09:02) (WSJ, 26/04/96, pA-1) (SFC, 5/13/96, pA-8) (AP, 1/1/98)
1994 Jan 1, The North American
Free Trade Agreement went into effect. Under the system a complaint
is referred to a panel of experts who debate it and render a
decision. The losing nation must then change its practices or offer
compensation to the injured nations. Members who refuse to comply
can be subjected to trade retaliation, such as tariffs to their
exports. It was run out of Geneva by Renato "Rocky" Ruggiero. GATT
gave poorer countries 10 years to strengthen their drug-patent laws
and a similar period for the US to lift its textile quotas. The
World Trade Organization (WTO), founded as the successor to the
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), a relatively weak
regulator of int’l. trade, was a product of the Uruguay Round of
negotiations (1986-1994). In 2000 John R. MacArthur authored "The
Selling of "Free Trade:" NAFTA, Washington, and the Subversion of
American Democracy." In 2004 David Bacon authored "The Children
NAFTA: Labor Wars on the US/Mexico Border.
(SFC, 17.10.96, A9) (WSJ, 12/03/96, p.A1) (WSJ,
12/13/96, p.A1)(AP, 1/1/98) (SFC, 11/24/99, p.A1)(SFEC, 7/2/00, BR
p.3) (SSFC, 04.04.04, p.M2)
1994 Jan 1, The California tax
on gasoline was raised to 18 cents per gallon.
1994 Jan 1, Actor Cesar Romero
died in Santa Monica, Calif., at age 86.
1994 Jan 1, In Mexico some
2,000 Zapatista guerrillas under the leadership of Subcommander
Marcos rose up against the government in the state of Chiapas. The
Zapatista National Liberation Army launched a rebellion to press for
better living conditions for Indian peasants in Chiapas.
(SFC, 7/2/96, p.A8) (SFC, 12/18/97, p.C2) (AP
1994 Jan 1, Botswana, Germany,
Italy, Honduras, and Indonesia joined the Security Council.
(SFC, 1/1/97, p.C1)
1995 Jan 1, Gary Larson's "Far
Side" cartoon panel ended a 14-year run.
(SSFC, 11/16/03, BR p.17)
1995 Jan 1, Eugene Wigner (92),
physicist (Nobel prize for physics-1963), died.
1995 Jan 1, Austria, Finland
and Sweden joined the European Union. Sweden held their elections to
the parliament later that year on 17 September. Austria held its
elections on 13 October, 1996 and Finland on 20 October, 1996.
1995 Jan 1, In Bosnia a four
month truce between the Bosnian Serbs and the Bosnian government was
brokered by former Pres. Jimmy Carter.
(WSJ, 11/06/96, p.A14) (SFC, 16.10.97, p.A12)
1995 Jan 1, Fernando Henrique
Cardoso took office as Brazil's 37th president. He pushed up
interest rates to 25% and stabilized the economy.
(WSJ, 15/12/95, pA-13) (AP, 1/1/00)
1995 Jan 1, Fred West hanged
himself in his London prison while awaiting trial in the murders of
a dozen girls and women. The victims included his wife's 16-year-old
daughter and 8-year-old stepdaughter and several young runaways.
1995 Jan 1, Chile, Egypt,
Guinea-Bissau, Poland and South Korea joined the non-permanent
sector of the Security Council.
(SFC, 1/1/97, p.C1)
1995 Jan 1, The Conference on
Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE), formed in 1973, was
renamed the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
1995 Jan 1, Teburoro Tito, the
incoming president of Kiribati, moved the International Date Line a
thousand miles east around Kiribati to allow all of its 33 atolls to
be line the same time zone. Thus the atoll of Kirimati never
experienced Dec 31, 1994.
(SSFC, 12/17/06, p.G5)
1996 Jan 1, In the US it became
illegal to manufacture or import freon, a refrigerant for car
air-conditioners, due to its effect on the ozone.
(SFC, 8/13/96, p.A2)
1996 Jan 1, Bayer Corp. added
Betty Rubble to its mix of Flintstone vitamins.
1996 Jan 1, Retired US Admiral
Arleigh Burke, remembered for his World War II heroics, died at
Bethesda Naval Hospital at age 94.
1996 Jan 1, Arthur Rudolph
(89), German-US rocket Engineer, died. His final years were marked
by his forced return to his native Germany from the US because of
his earlier involvement with the slave labor that powered the Third
Reich's V1 & V2 rocket programs.
1996 Jan 1, Some 100,000
Bangladeshi women rallied to protest Islamic clerics’ attacks on
female education and employment.
1996 Jan 1, A 7.0 earthquake
struck offshore near the Indonesian Island of Sulawesi. Seismologist
in Japan and Hong Kong measured it at 7.7. A tidal wave killed eight
after the quake.
(WSJ, 01/02/96, p. A-1) (WSJ, 03/01/96, pA-1)
1996 Jan 1, Two buses collided
in northern Mexico, killing 25 people.
1997 Jan 1, The new members of
the UN security council, Japan, Kenya, Sweden, Costa Rica and
Portugal, took their seats.
(SFC, 1/1/97, p.C1)
1997 Jan 1, Kofi Annan assumed
the title of United Nations secretary-general.
1997 Jan 1, As of this date the
US withdrew completely from the UN Industrial Development
(SFC, 2/17/97, p.A14)
1997 Jan 1, The line-item veto
became officially available to Pres. Clinton.
(SFC, 1/2/97, p.A20)
1997 Jan 1, Townes Van Zandt
(1944-1997) Texas songwriter, died. His work included the 1983 song
"Pancho and Lefty," sung by Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson.
(SFC, 1/3/97, p.A26) (SFC, 4/1/97, p.E1) (WSJ,
1997 Jan 1, The EU introduced
the Pan-European Cumulation System (PECS) to turn a latticework of
bilateral trade rules into a single multilateral umbrella. It
extended the system to include Turkey in 1999.
1997 Jan 1, An off-duty Israeli
soldier, Noam Friedman, with a history of mental problems opened
fire on a crowded vegetable market in Hebron, wounding 5  people
and touching off a stone-throwing demonstration by angry
(SFC, 1/1/97, p.A1)(AP, 1/1/98)
1997 Jan 1, In Mexico
long-distance telephone competition began and ended a 49-year
(SFC, 1/1/97, p.B3)
1998 Jan 1, The 109th Rose Bowl
Parade in Pasadena was held and Univ. of Michigan beat Washington
State 21-16, Florida State downed Ohio State 31-14 in the Sugar
(SFC, 1/2/98, p.A1,22)(AP, 1/1/08)
1998 Jan 1, A new anti-smoking
law went into effect in California, prohibiting people from lighting
up in bars.
1998 Jan 1, Some 1-2 thousand
Hutu rebels attacked a military base and near the main airport and
150 civilians, 30 rebels and 2 soldiers were reported killed. Later
reports said as many as 300 were killed and that the army had sealed
up the area.
(WSJ, 1/2/98, p.A1) (SFC, 1/2/98, p.A14) (SFC,
1998 Jan 1, In Brazil the new
law making all Brazilian adults potential organ donors went into
effect. New traffic laws also went into effect. It was reported that
50,000 people die annually from car accidents because drivers
routinely ignore traffic laws.
(SFC, 1/7/98, p.A8)(SFEC, 2/1/98, p.T12)
1998 Jan 1, In Chechnya the
president asked Shamil Basayev to form a government.
(WSJ, 02/01/98, p.A1)
1998 Jan 1, In Italy navy
patrols intercepted a 2nd ship with 386 refugees, mostly Kurds,
(WSJ, 02/01/98, p.A1)
1998 Jan 1, Mongolia switched
from a 46 hour to 40 hour work week.
1998 Jan 1, In Russia the
government knocked 3 zeroes off the national currency. The old ruble
notes will be exchangeable until 2002.
(SFC, 1/2/98, p.A15)
1999 Jan 1, The Maastricht
Treaty specified that a monetary union will be established by this
date, and laid down several criteria that EU nations must fulfill in
order to join. Some of the criteria included: maximum budget
deficits of 3% of GDP, a cap on government debt of 60% of GDP. The
European economic and monetary union (EMU) was scheduled to start
with a new "Euro" currency. Austria, Belgium, Finland, France,
Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and
Spain made the transition. Public use was set for Jan 1, 2002. [see
(WSJ, 25/09/95, pA-12) (WSJ, 05/12/95, pA-14) (SFC,
11/16/96, p.A1)(SFC, 1/1/99, p.A8)
1999 Jan 1, When the euro was
launched the US dollar-euro ($:€) exchange rate stood at $1.16:€1.
1999 Jan 1, In Canada an
avalanche, possibly triggered ceremonial gunfire, hit the Inuit
village of Kangiqsualujjuaq, Quebec, and 9 people were killed.
(SFC, 1/2/99, p.C12)(SFEC, 1/3/99, p.A17)
1999 Jan 1, Congo rebels
massacred at least 500 civilians over the last 3 days. Six Red Cross
workers were among the dead.
(WSJ, 01/06/98, p.A1) (WSJ, 11/01/98, p.A1)
1999 Jan 1, President Fidel
Castro, marking 40 years as Cuba's leader, portrayed his socialist
nation as a defender of humanity against rapacious capitalism.
1999 Jan 1, Weimar, Germany,
began one year’s title as the European Union’s "city of culture."
(SFEC, 7/27/97, p.T1)
1999 Jan 1, In Mongolia new
legislation liberated the news media.
(SFC, 1/2/99, p.C12)
1999 Jan 1, The UN designated
Int'l. Year of Older Persons began.
(SFC, 1/16/99, p.A12)
2000 Jan 1, The Jewish calendar
year was 5760 and the new year scheduled for Sep 30. The Hindu year
was 1921. The Chinese year was 4697 with the new year on Feb 5. The
Muslim lunar year was 1420 with the new year on Apr 6.
(SFC, 1/1/2000, p.A18)
2000 Jan 1, The arrival of 2000
saw no terrorist attacks, Y2K meltdowns or mass suicides among
doomsday cults, but instead saw seven continents stepping joyously
and peacefully into the New Year.
2000 Jan 1, Wisconsin beat
Stanford, 17-to-9, to become the first Big Ten team to win
consecutive Rose Bowls.
(SFEC, 1/2/00, p.A1)(AP, 1/1/01)
2000 Jan 1, Some 254 hours of
Nixon White House tapes were to be made available for public
duplication and sale under a 1996 agreement. Another 2,338 hours,
mostly unrelated to Watergate, were to be released over the next few
(SFEC, 8/8/99, p.A3)
2000 Jan 1, In California the
Uniform Electronic Transactions Act became law. It validated all
transactions formed, transmitted and recorded electronically, with
(SFEC, 02.01.00, p.B1)
2000 Jan 1, The $1.25 billion
($400 million) Millennium Dome at Greenwich, designed by Lord
Richard Rogers, was built to inaugurate the millennium and provide
an exhibition space for one year. The monograph "Richard Rogers;
Complete Works, Volume One" was published in late 1999. The
cable-stayed dome was suspended from 12 projecting masts. It failed
expectations, but was reincarnated in 2007 as The O2, an all-purpose
(SFC, 2/1/99, p.A6,8)(SFEM, 1/2/00, p.12)(Econ,
2000 Jan 1, In England the
Cezanne painting "Auvers-Sur-Oise," valued at $4.8 million, was
stolen from the Ashmoleum Museum in Oxford.
(SFEC, 1/2/00, p.A2)
2000 Jan 1, In southwestern
France Robert Lund reported that his wife, Evelyn (52), was missing
from their home. He told investigators he believed she had an
accident after drinking heavily and setting off to visit friends.
Her body was found inside her car in Lake Bancalie in 2002. Lund was
sentenced to 12 years in jail in 2007 for the involuntary homicide
of his wife. Lund insisted he was innocent as his third trial in the
case opened in 2011. On Dec 16, 2011, Lund was sentenced to 12 years
(AP, 12/12/11)(AFP, 12/16/11)
2000 Jan 1, On his first full
day as acting president, Vladimir Putin assured Russians there would
be no "vacuum of power" after Boris Yeltsin’s surprise resignation.
2001 Jan 1, No. 4 Washington
beat No. 14 Purdue 34-to-24 in the Rose Bowl.
2001 Jan 1, It was announced
that Tyson Foods Inc. would buy beef and pork giant IBP Inc. in a
deal valued at $3.2 billion in cash and stock. Tyson later tried to
back out, but IBP sued, and a judge ordered Tyson to complete the
2001 Jan 1, Ray Walston
(b.1914), film and TV actor (My Favorite Martian) died in Beverly
Hills, Calif., at age 86.
(AP, 1/1/02)(NW, 12/31/01, p.106)
2001 Jan 1, In Canada new
cigarette warning labels became effective. 16 rotating labels
included such warnings as "Cigarettes cause mouth disease" with a
photograph of blackened, bleeding gums.
(SFC, 1/3/01, p.A9)
2001 Jan 1, In Canada a new
federal gun control measure went into effect. It called for the
licensing and registration of all shotguns and hunting rifles.
(SFC, 1/5/01, p.A16)
2001 Jan 1, In Israel a car
bomb wounded at least 40 people in Netanya and gunfire killed 4
Palestinians in the West Bank.
(SFC, 1/2/01, p.A1)
2001 Jan 1, In the Netherlands
a fire in a Volendam café killed at least 8 people and injured some
(SFC, 1/1/00, p.A12) (SFC, 1/2/01, p.A10)
2001 Jan 1, In Mexico rebels
soon called for the closure all 7 military bases near rebel
(SFC, 1/2/01, p.A9)
2001 Jan 1, Taiwan allowed
Chinese merchants and tourists to sail to Kinmen Island, a move to
decriminalize reality and a possible preparation for wider links.
(SFC, 12/28/00, p.C2) (SFC, 1/2/01, p.A9)
2001 Jan 1, A shipwreck off
Turkey killed at least 6 people. The Georgian-flagged Pati cargo
ship carried illegal immigrants and dozens were missing.
(SFC, 1/2/01, p.A10)
2002 Jan 1, No. 2 Oregon
defeated No. 3 Colorado 38-16 in the Fiesta Bowl.
2002 Jan 1, Michael Bloomberg
succeeded Rudolph Giuliani as New York City's mayor.
2002 Jan 1, Pres. Bush
announced that envoy Gen. Anthony Zinni would return to the Middle
East to push for steps to renew peace talks.
(SFC, 1/2/02, p.A9)
2002 Jan 1 Eduardo Duhalde, to
Peronist and former vice-president, was chosen as Argentina’s new
president, the 5th in less than 2 weeks.
(SFC, 1/2/02, p.A1)
2002 Jan 1, Egyptian state
television launched a new program directed at Israelis. It was
planned to extend the 30 min show to 2 hours.
(SFC, 1/2/02, p.A9)
2002 Jan 1, In Europe 50
billion new euro coins and 14 billion new euro notes began
circulating in 12 participating countries in the most ambitious
currency changeover in history: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France,
Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Spain, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands
(SFC, 1/2/02, p.A8)(AP, 1/1/03)
2002 Jan 1, Pakistan ordered
the country’s military intelligence agency to cut off backing for
Islamic militant groups fighting in Kashmir.
(SFC, 1/2/02, p.A3)
2003 Jan 1, Oklahoma romped
past Washington State 34-14 in the Rose Bowl; Georgia defeated
Florida State 26-13 in the Sugar Bowl; Notre Dame saw its sixth
straight bowl loss, losing to North Carolina State 28-6 in the Gator
2003 Jan 1, More than two dozen
surgeons stopped working in West Virginia to protest the high cost
of malpractice insurance.
2003 Jan 1, U.S. and British
warplanes attacked an Iraqi mobile radar system after it entered the
southern no-fly zone.
2003 Jan 1, Joe Foss (87),
former South Dakota Gov. and World War II hero who also served as
president of the National Rifle Association and commissioner of the
American Football League, died at an Arizona hospital.
2003 Jan 1, In Bosnia the EU
hoisted its dark blue banner to officially mark the transfer of
peacekeeping duties from the United Nations, while NATO-led troops
handed over control of Sarajevo's airport to Bosnian authorities.
2003 Jan 1, Brazil's first
elected leftist president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, took office.
Gilberto Gill (60), musician, became minister of culture.
(SFC, 1/2/03, p.A3)(AP, 1/1/04)
2003 Jan 1, In Canada a new gun
law came into effect that required the registration of all rifles
2003 Jan 1, In Gaza 3
Palestinian boys were shot and killed by soldiers after scaling a
fence around Jewish settlements. Thousands of Palestinians marched
in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to mark the 38th anniversary of the
founding of Arafat's Fatah movement.
(AP, 1/2/03)(SFC, 1/2/03, p.A5)
2003 Jan 1 Tinu (62)
a leading Romanian journalist who covered the Soviet invasion of
Czechoslovakia and steered his newspaper along independent lines
after communism ended, died in a car accident.
2004 Jan 1, The University of
Southern California defeated the University of Michigan, 28-14, in
the Rose Bowl.
2004 Jan 1, The 1st US
anti-spam law, the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, went into effect. It made
it illegal for advertisers to falsify their identity and required an
effective way for recipients to get themselves removed from
(SFC, 1/2/04, p.B1)
2004 Jan 1, A California ban on
the gasoline additive MTBE went into effect. Ethanol became the new
additive of choice, even though it could increase air pollution.
2004 Jan 1, Houston's $324
million, 7.5 mile, light rail system made its inaugural trips.
(AP, 02/01/04) (WSJ, 22/01/04, p.A1)
2004 Jan 1, The US Navy seized
a 4th drug-smuggling vessel in the Persian Gulf with about 2,800
pounds of hashish. Street value was estimated at $11 million.
2004 Jan 1, Afghanistan's
constitutional convention came off the rails, as panicked officials
adjourned the gathering in the face of a boycott by opponents of
President Hamid Karzai. Tajik and Uzbek delegates mounted a boycott
demanding that minority rights be guarded.
(AP, 1/1/04) (WSJ, 02/01/04, p.A1)
2004 Jan 1, Brazil began
fingerprinting and photographing American visitors in retaliation to
similar new US procedures.
(WSJ, 12/31/03, p.A1)
2004 Jan 1, China began running
the world's 1st commercially operated maglev train in Shanghai. The
German-built system spanned 18 miles.
(SFC, 1/10/04, p.E4)
2004 Jan 1, In Colombia Luis
Eduardo Garzon took the helm as the first leftist mayor of Bogota.
2004 Jan 1, Jiri Loewy (73), a
Czech journalist who campaigned against communism from exile, died
2004 Jan 1, President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide pledged to improve life for his impoverished
nation as police blocked thousands of anti-government demonstrators
during celebrations marking Haiti's 200th anniversary of
independence from France. More than 15,000 Aristide supporters
rallied outside the National Palace as more than 5,000 government
opponents massed in the capital's streets and faced off with police
and government partisans.
(AP, 1/1/04) (AP, 1/2/04)
2004 Jan 1, Pres. Thabo Mbeki
of South Africa joined Pres. Aristide for Haiti’s independence
(WPR, 3/04, p.29)
2004 Jan 1, Iranian officials
welcomed America's temporary lifting of sanctions against the
Persian state following the country's earthquake, and the foreign
minister said the embargo should end permanently.
2004 Jan 1, Pakistan's Pervez
Musharraf won a vote of confidence that supporters hailed as the
final step on the general's journey from dictator to democrat.
Opponents derided the proceedings, which will keep the Pakistani
leader in power as president until 2007.
2004 Jan 1, A Pakistani airline
flew from Lahore to New Delhi and back, re-establishing a commercial
link that was cut by a war scare in 2002.
(WSJ, 01/02/04, p.A1)
2004 Jan 1, North Korea
confirmed that it would allow a U.S. delegation to visit its main
nuclear complex next week, the first such inspection since the
isolated communist country expelled UN monitors more than a year
2004 Jan 1, In South Africa a
minibus full of British and Canadian tourists headed to a scenic
mountain area crashed, killing eight Britons and the pedestrian.
2004 Jan 1, In Taiwan tens of
thousands of protesters marched peacefully to push for full
democracy in this former British colony.
2005 Jan 1, Europe’s 7,000
listed companies adopted int’l. financial reporting standards
(IFRS), replacing the mishmash of 25 local accounting regimes with
one set of rules. Over 90 countries began switching to a new int’l.
(WSJ, 09/12/04, p.C1) (Econ, 18.06.05, p.73)
2005 Jan 1, A new California
law took effect giving gay couples who register as domestic partners
nearly the same responsibilities and benefits as married spouses.
2005 Jan 1, Shirley Chisholm
(80), advocate for minority rights, died. She became the first black
woman elected to Congress and later the first black person to seek a
major party's nomination for the US presidency.
2005 Jan 1, Robert Matsui (63),
13-term California Democratic congressman, died. On April 13 US
Representatives voted to name the federal courthouse in Sacramento
in his honor.
(SFC, 1/3/05, p.A1) (SFC, 4/14/05, p.B3)
2005 Jan 1, Australia’s
free trade agreement with the US became effective.
(Econ, 5/7/05, Survey p.10)
2005 Jan 1, The British Freedom
of Information Act of 2000 went into effect. It gave a general right
of access to all types of recorded information held by public
authorities and places obligations on public authorities to disclose
information, subject to a range of exemptions.
2005 Jan 1, The 1974
Multi-Fiber Arrangement (MFA), which had restricted Chinese textile
exports, ended. This forced Cambodia to face fierce competition from
rival exporters. This led to the loss of some 30,000 jobs in
2/19/05, p.42)(Econ, 10/18/08, p.58)
2005 Jan 1, A deal to eliminate
import tariffs between Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda came into force,
marking the first major step toward integrating the East African
nations into a single economic and investment block.
2005 Jan 1, Indonesia was
forecast for 4.8% annual GDP growth with a population at 227.1
million and GDP per head at $1,230.
(Econ, 01.08.05, p.91)
2005 Jan 1, In Indonesia
desperate, homeless villagers on the tsunami-ravaged island of
Sumatra mobbed American helicopters carrying aid as the U.S.
military launched its largest operation in the region since the
2005 Jan 1, Al-Qaida's arm in
Iraq released a video showing its militants lining up five captured
Iraqi security officers and executing them in the street.
2005 Jan 1, Ireland's 2nd city
of Cork became the European capital of culture for 2005, offering up
a program of theatre, music, art, literature as well as sporting and
2005 Jan 1, Jamaica's embattled
police commissioner Francis Forbes resigned following record number
of homicides in 2004. The island nation of 2.6 million people,
reported a record 1,145 homicides for 2004, compared with 975 the
2005 Jan 1, Japan pledged up to
$500 million in grant aid for tsunami disaster relief.
2005 Jan 1, Japan’s currency
opened at 102.41 yen to the dollar. Rising oil prices pushed it down
in April to 108.91 to the dollar.
(WSJ, 07/04/05, p.C16)
2005 Jan 1, In Norway a new law
went into effect to allow foreign hunters to hunt seals. The
legislation raised the seal kill quota to 2,000.
(SFC, 11/27/04, p.A10)
2005 Jan 1, In southern Peru
Antauro Humala, retired army major, led a nationalist group that
seized a police station ambushed a police vehicle responding to the
scene, killing four officers and two reservists. Antauro Humala was
later sentenced to 25 years in prison. In 2011 his sentence was
reduced to 19 years. Antauro’s brother, Ollanta, was elected
president in 2006.
(AP, 1/2/05)(Econ, 1/8/05, p.38)(AP, 9/7/11)
2005 Jan 1, Romania enacted a
law forbidding int’l. adoptions except to biological grandparents in
an effort to help it win EU membership.
(WSJ, 01/03/05, p.A1)
2005 Jan 1, In Saudi Arabia 2
men, a Pakistani and an Iraqi, were beheaded for smuggling in drugs.
2005 Jan 1, A new Swiss law
took effect that legalized the production of absinthe.
(SFC, 11/4/04, p.A2)
2005 Jan 1, Taiwan was forecast
for 4.8% annual GDP growth with a population at 22.9 million and GDP
per head at $14,560.
(Econ, 01.08.05, p.92)
2005 Jan 1, Taiwan’s Statement
of Financial Standards No. 35 took effect.
(WSJ, 06/04/05, p.C18)
2005 Jan 1, The New (yeni)
Turkish Lira (YTL), will begin circulating, wiping out six zeroes
from the current money. The old lira will keep circulating until Dec
(AP, 9/23/04)(Econ, 8/28/04, p.67)(SSFC, 12/5/04,
2005 Jan 1, Uganda President
Yoweri Museveni said the army will resume all-out war on rebels in
northern Uganda, charging that the insurgents rejected a cease-fire
deal that had been expected to open the way for political talks on
ending the 18-year civil war.
2006 Jan 1, President Bush
strongly defended his domestic spying program, calling it legal as
well as vital to thwarting terrorist attacks.
2006 Dec 31, The US Medicare
prescription drug plan went into effect.
2006 Dec 31, American teenager
Farris Hassan, who'd traveled alone to Iraq to experience the lives
of its people, returned home to Florida after three weeks in the
2006 Jan 1, The California
Energy Commission introduced mandatory standby requirement for
various electronic devices.
(Econ, 3/11/06, Survey p.34)
2006 Jan 1, Raging bushfires
have destroyed at least 10 homes and threatened scores more in
southeast Australia as a scorching heat wave hit Sydney with its
hottest New Year's Day on record.
2006 Jan 1, Ketamine, an
anesthetic and niche club drug, was labeled a Class C drug in the
United Kingdom. It was developed by Parke-Davis in 1962 as part of
an effort to find a safer anesthetic alternative to phencyclidine
(PCP), which was likely to cause hallucinations, neurotoxicity and
seizures. By the end of 2011 its usage had doubled.
2006 Jan 1, The Royal Mail's
350-year-long monopoly of the letter-delivery business in Britain
ended, as new rules kicked in to allow rival operators to win a
slice of the market.
2006 Jan 1, Toronto wrapped up
2005 with 78 homicides, 52 of them gun-related.
2006 Jan 1, The Central America
Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) failed to start due to legal and
regulatory reforms. Juan Carlos Paiz of the Guatemalan Union of
Nontraditional Products blamed the US in large part for the delay,
saying Washington was requiring too much of its poorer partners. The
6 participating nations included, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El
Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua,
2006 Jan 1, In China a new
policy took effect that allowed listed companies to grant stock
options to senior executives and certain employees as incentives.
(WSJ, 01/06/06, p.A8)
2005 Jan 1, Denmark’s PM Anders
Fogh Rasmussen, in response two cartoons published by Jyllands-Posten
depicting the prophet Muhammad, condemned in his new year’s speech
any attempt to demonize groups of people on the basis of religion or
(Econ, 01.07.06, p.44)
2006 Jan 1, East African
leaders said that millions of people in the region faced hunger
because poor rains had affected vital crops and pasture. Burundi,
Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Tanzania faced acute food shortages.
2006 Jan 1, In Haiti 2
kidnapped American journalists, who said their captors threatened to
kill them, were freed after friends and family assembled a ransom
for their release.
2006 Jan 1, Officials said a
cold snap sweeping northern India has killed another five homeless
people, taking the toll to 101 since the start of December.
2006 Jan 1, An Islamic militant
group kidnapped nine Iranian soldiers near that country's border
with Pakistan. On Jan 4 Al-Arabiya said the group threatened to kill
them unless the Tehran government released 16 members from prison.
2006 Jan 1, Insurgents exploded
13 car bombs across Iraq, including eight in Baghdad within a
three-hour span, but the New Year's Day onslaught killed no one and
injured only 20 people.
2006 Jan 1 Subcomandante
Marcos (b.1957), identified by the Mexican government as Rafael
Guillen, began a tour of 31 Mexican states under the name “Delegate
Zero.” The leader of Mexico's Zapatista rebels, wearing a ski mask
to protect his identity, railed against the government and free
trade to kick off a six-month tour of Mexico aimed at reshaping the
(WSJ, 01/05/06, p.A12) (AP, 02/01/06)
2006 Jan 1, Norway passed
legislation requiring every publicly traded company in Norway to
have 40% women on its board by Jan 1 2008.
2006 Jan 1, A coalition of
thousands of Islamic schools vowed to resist a Pakistani government
plan to deport their foreign students, calling the proposal immoral.
2006 Jan 1, Palestinian
security forces stormed a building where an Italian hostage was
being held, freeing the man after a shootout with his kidnappers.
2006 Jan 1, Russia took over
the annual presidency of the G8 club of industrialized democracies
for the first time from Britain on New Year's Day.
2006 Jan 1, Russia's natural
gas monopoly halted sales to Ukraine in a price dispute and began
reducing pressure in transmission lines that also carry substantial
supplies to western Europe. Supplies of natural gas to Poland have
been hit by cuts imposed by Russia on the amount of gas entering the
pipeline system in neighbouring Ukraine.
(Reuters, 1/1/06)(AFP, 1/1/06)
2006 Jan 1, Spanish smokers
faced a wrenching change New Year's Day as a nationwide ban on
tobacco in the workplace came into force in a country known for its
2006 Jan 1, In Venezuela 32
privately operated oil fields returned to state control. A 2001
hydrocarbons law had required oil production to be carried out by
companies majority-owned by the government.
(WSJ, 03/01/06, p.A14)
2006 Jan 1, In northern Yemen
tribesmen kidnapped five Italians, a day after the government
negotiated the release of five Germans held hostage. Tribesmen soon
freed three Italian women, who were among a group of five Italian
tourists, and pressed for the release of kinsmen held by the
2007 Jan 1, The 9th-ranked
Boise State Broncos completed a perfect season with a 43-42 overtime
victory over No. 7 Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. Southern California
beat Michigan 32-18 in the Rose Bowl.
2007 Jan 1, In SF the minimum
wage rose 3.6% to $9.14 per hour following a mandatory 2003
requirement for annual cost of living adjustments. SF police
reported a decline in homicides to 85 in 2006, down from 96 in 2005.
(SFC, 1/2/07, p.E1)
2007 Jan 1, In Washington DC a
smoking ban passed in 2005 was extended to bars and nightclubs. The
ban for smoking in restaurants and offices had taken effect in April
(SFC, 1/2/07, p.A3)
2007 Jan 1, In Denver,
Colorado, Broncos football player Darrent Williams was killed in a
drive-by shooting in the early morning and two people with him were
injured. On October 8, 2008, Willie D. Clark (25) was indicted for
(Reuters, 1/1/07)(AP, 10/9/08)
2007 Jan 1, Tillie Olsen (94),
writer and SF labor activist, died. In 1961 she won the O. Henry
Award for best short story for her “Tell me Riddle.” In 2008 Ann
Hershey completed her documentary “Tillie Olsen: A Heart in Action.”
(SFC, 1/10/08, p.E1)
2007 Jan 1, Grand Ole Opry star
Del Reeves died at age 74.
2007 Jan 1, The government of
President Evo Morales approved a decree requiring US citizens to
obtain visas to enter Bolivia. Morales said the decree was "a matter
of reciprocity." The US government requires Bolivians to obtain
visas to enter the United States.
2007 Jan 1, In Brazil Sergio
Cabral took office as governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro. The
state’s economy was valued at around $130 billion, about the same as
that of Venezuela.
(Econ, 01.20.07, p.50)
2007 Jan 1, Bulgaria and
Romania joined the EU. Some 30,000 Israelis gained EU citizenship
due to their dual registration in Romania.
(WSJ, 04/10/07, p.A11) (AP, 1/1/07)
2007 Jan 1, China’s government
began requiring all companies listed on the Shenzhen and Shanghai
stock markets to prepare their accounts according to Int’l.
Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The initial decision had been
made in Nov 2005. New rules came into effect that allowed foreign
reporters to go more or less where they pleased.
(Econ, 1/13/07, p.13, 63)(Econ, 1/20/07, p.18)
2007 Jan 1, Li Zhaoxing,
China's foreign minister, signed a string of accords in Benin as
part of a whistle-stop tour of seven African nations as Beijing
bolsters economic ties on the continent. From Benin Li flew to
Equatorial Guinea ahead of visits in the coming days to
Guinea-Bissau, Chad, the Central African Republic, Eritrea and
2007 Jan 1, In Germany a
government plan to encourage working couples to have children went
into effect with benefits worth up to 25,200 euros (17,000 pounds).
2007 Jan 1, Hong Kong became a
mostly smoke-free city as a ban on smoking in many public places
went into effect.
(SFC, 1/1/07, p.A3)
2007 Jan 1, Flight KI-574, an
Indonesian passenger plane carrying 102 people, disappeared in
stormy weather off Sulawesi island. Rescue teams were sent to search
in the area where the Boeing 737-400 sent out a distress signal. In
2008 investigators said the pilots had accidentally disconnecting
the plane's autopilot. A speed boat capsized in poor weather off the
coast of Borneo island, killing 15 people.
(AP, 1/1/07)(AP, 1/2/07)(AFP, 3/25/08)
2007 Jan 1, Iraqi authorities
reported that 16,273 Iraqis, including 14,298 civilians, 1,348
police and 627 soldiers died violent deaths in 2006. Iraqi police
reported finding the 40 handcuffed, blindfolded and bullet-riddled
bodies in Baghdad. The US military killed six Iraqis during a raid
on the offices of a prominent Sunni political figure, where American
forces believed al-Qaida fighters had taken refuge. A US soldier was
killed by a roadside bomb southwest of Baghdad. The blast wounded
three others, including an interpreter, as they talked with local
residents about sectarian violence.
2007 Jan 1, A photographer for
the French news agency Agence France Presse was kidnapped in Gaza
City just before sundown.
2007 Jan 1, Somali government
troops backed by Ethiopian tanks and fighter jets captured the last
major stronghold of a militant Islamic movement, while hundreds of
Islamic fighters, many of them Arabs and South Asians, fled the
town. PM Ali Mohamed Gedi set a 3-day deadline for gun collection.
(AP, 1/1/07)(SFC, 1/3/07, p.A3)
2007 Jan 1, South Korean
diplomat Ban Ki-moon became the UN’s eighth secretary-general.
2007 Jan 1, Slovenia adopted
the euro, becoming the 13th EU nation to use the single European
currency. The transition to the euro included a 14-day period for
dual use of the euro and Slovene tolar.
(WSJ, 12/30/06, p.A4) (AP, 1/1/07)
2008 Jan 1, The US and
Guatemala formally ratified the Hague Abduction Convention.
(SFC, 5/15/12, p.A2)
2008 Jan 1, This marked the
start of the International Year of the Potato as declared by the UN.
The potato stood s the world’s 4th biggest food crop, after maize,
wheat and rice.
(Econ, 3/1/08, p.18, 92)(SSFC, 10/5/08, p.A15)
2008 Jan 1, In Arizona new laws
targeting employers who hire illegal immigrants took effect, with
experts predicting the move may cost the state's economy billions of
dollars in lost income and taxes.
2008 Jan 1, In California a
batch of new state laws took effect including a 50-cent raise in the
minimum wage to $8 per hour. AB1298 too effect. It expanded the
state’s data-breach notification law to include unencrypted medical
(SFC, 1/2/08, p.A1) (SFC, 1/4/08, p.C1)
2008 Jan 1, The Michigan
Wolverines upset No. 9 Florida 41-35 in the Capital One Bowl to win
their first bowl game since 2003. This one was special. Michigan's
senior class won its first bowl game in four tries and Lloyd Carr
ended his coaching career on a high note.
2008 Jan 1, In New Hampshire
Dozens of gay and lesbian couples entered into civil unions in the
early moments of New Year's Day as a new state law legalized the
2008 Jan 1, By state law strip
clubs in Texas began imposing a $5 surcharge, dubbed the “pole tax,”
providing the state with an estimated $40 million in annual revenue.
Most of the proceeds were to go to programs supporting victims of
(Econ, 01.05.08, p.28)
2008 Jan 1, Across Afghanistan
roadside bombs and military operations killed 19 people, including
14 Taliban fighters.
(AP, 1/1/08) (AP, 1/2/08)
2008 Jan 1, Bhutan election
officials announced that the Himalayan nation will begin its
transformation from an absolute monarchy to a democracy with several
leaders fresh out of college at the helm. The size of the country's
population is unknown. Estimates put it between 700,000 and 2.2
2008 Jan 1, In Rio Piracicaba,
Brazil, a jail fire killed eight inmates who could not be rescued
because the guard had left with the keys.
2008 Jan 1, Britain defied a
Russian order to close the regional offices of its cultural arm from
New Year's day, but there was no evidence of Russian attempts to
forcibly close British Council centers.
2008 Jan 1, China’s new Labor
Contract Law (LCL) went into effect. The legislation aimed at
strengthening the contractual rights of workers.
2008 Jan 1, EU newcomers Cyprus
and Malta adopted the euro, bringing to fifteen the number of
countries using the currency with increasing clout over the slumping
2008 Jan 1, Vandals torched 372
cars as France celebrated the New Year, down on the figure last year
after a night the police described as "relatively calm."
(AP, 1/1/08)(Reuters, 1/1/08)
2008 Jan 1, Smokers took to
lighting up on the sidewalks as a ban took effect across France ,
Germany and Lithuania, the latest European countries to say "no
smoking." Across France smokers took advantage of a one-day grace
period and savored their last cigarettes over morning coffee in
cafes as a ban against lighting up in bars and restaurants took
(AP, 1/1/08)(AFP, 1/1/08)
2008 Jan 1, In Ghana 2 US Navy
sailors, Patrick Mack (22) of Warren, Mich., and Lonnie Davis Jr.
(35) of Riverdale, Ga., were found dead in a hotel room in Accra.
They were stationed aboard the USS Fort McHenry, which is on a
7-month voyage in the Gulf of Guinea.
(AP, 1/1/08) (AP, 1/3/08)
2008 Jan 1, In northern India 2
assailants with guns and grenades ambushed a police recruitment
center in an attack that killed seven police officers and a civilian
in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh state. In Bihar state suspected Maoist
rebels shot dead four soldiers.
2008 Jan 1, Iraq began curbing
its food ration system. By June it planned to end the program
altogether for many of the country’s citizens. A suicide attacker
detonated an explosives-rigged vest at a Shiite funeral in Baghdad,
killing 36 people gathered to mourn the death of an Iraqi army
officer killed in a car bombing. In Jalula the bodies of a Sunni
policeman and four of his relatives were found hours after gunman
abducted them from their home. Also in Diyala province, a Shiite man
and his 16-year-old son where killed in a drive-by shooting as they
stood outside their home.
(AP, 01/01/08) (AP, 02/01/08) (WSJ, 26/02/08, p.A5)
2008 Jan 1, In Kenya a mob
torched a church sheltering hundreds of people fleeing election
violence. Up to 50 ethnic Kikuyus were killed in the fire in the
Assemblies of God Church in the Rift Valley city of Eldoret. The
death toll from ethnic riots triggered by President Mwai Kibaki's
disputed re-election soared to nearly 200.
(AP, 1/1/08)(Reuters, 1/1/08)(AP, 1/2/08)
2008 Jan 1, Libya took over the
rotating presidency of the UN Security Council in a major step back
to global respectability after decades as a pariah of the West.
2008 Jan 1, In Mexico import
tariffs on maize, beans, sugar and milk were eliminated.
(Econ, 01.26.08, p.38)
2008 Jan 1, In Mongolia a
government official said at least 11 people died and another 21 were
hospitalized for drinking tainted vodka during New Year's Eve
celebrations in Ulan Bator.
2008 Jan 1, In Nigeria armed
men killed 13 people over New Year in Port Harcourt when they
attacked two police stations and a hotel. The Niger Delta Vigilante
Movement, led by Ateke Tom, claimed responsibility.
(AFP, 1/2/08) (SFC, 1/2/08, p.A3)
2008 Jan 1, Pakistan's election
commission said that unrest following the killing of Benazir Bhutto
would almost certainly force the postponement of Jan. 8 elections,
despite opposition threats of street protests if the poll is
delayed. Militants abducted four Pakistani paramilitary soldiers in
a tribal area. Pakistani troops killed 25 militants close to the
Afghan border in fighting following the abduction of four soldiers.
(AP, 1/1/08)(AFP, 1/1/07)(AP, 1/2/08)
2008 Jan 1, Gaza's ruling Hamas
militant group launched a new crackdown on the rival Fatah movement,
arresting dozens of activists and barring public gatherings after
Fatah anniversary celebrations sparked deadly violence. Fighting
stretched into a second day, leaving a total of eight dead and 60
2008 Jan 1, Slovenia became the
first of 12 newcomers to take over the rotating presidency of the EU
Union, a big psychological boost to a nation that gained
independence from the ruins of the former Yugoslavia 16 years ago.
2008 Jan 1, In Sri Lanka a
gunman assassinated an opposition lawmaker and one other person at a
New Year religious service near Colombo, and the lawmaker's party
held the government responsible for his slaying.
2008 Jan 1, In Sudan an
American diplomat and his driver were shot to death in Khartoum.
John Granville (33), an official for the US Agency for International
Development, was being driven home at about 4 a.m. when another
vehicle cut off his car and opened fire before fleeing the scene. A
group calling itself Ansar al-Tawhid later claimed responsibility
for the murder. On Feb 9 Sudanese security forces arrested two
suspects in the murder. On Sep 20 five Sudanese Islamists admitted
in filmed statements their role in murdering Granville and his
driver. They were formally charged on Feb 5, 2009. On June 24 four
Islamists were sentenced to death. A 5th man was sentenced to 2
years in prison for providing a weapon.
(AP, 1/1/08) (AP, 1/2/08) (AFP, 1/5/08) (AP,
2/10/08)(AP, 9/21/08)(AP, 2/5/09)(AFP, 6/24/09)
2008 Jan 1, In Uzbekistan as of
this day execution by firing squad will no longer be legal, and the
maximum sentence will be life or long-term imprisonment. The reforms
have been incorporated into new criminal code and were sanctioned by
a presidential decree signed by Islam Karimov.
2008 Jan 1, Venezuela launched
a new currency with the new year, lopping off three zeros from
denominations in a bid to simplify finances and boost confidence in
a money that has been losing value due to high inflation.
2009 Jan 1, In the SF Bay Area
a BART police officer shot Oscar Grant (22) on the platform of the
Fruitvale BART Station in the early morning in the midst of a brawl
between 2 young rival groups. Grant died later that morning at
Highland Hospital. Witnesses said Grant was lying face down with his
hands behind him when he was shot in the back by Officer Johannes
Mehserle (27). On Dec 6 an attorney for the family filed a $25
million claim against BART. On Jan 13 Mehserle was arrested in
Nevada and charged with homicide.
(SFC, 1/2/09, p.A1) (SSFC, 1/4/09, p.B1) (SFC,
1/7/09, p.A6)(SFC, 1/14/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 1, Bank of America
purchased Merrill Lynch to save it from bankruptcy. It was later
revealed that the company had awarded $3.6 billion in bonuses to
over 39,000 employees just before the acquisition by BofA. The
bonuses included $121 million to four top executives.
(WSJ, 12/02/09, p.C3) (WSJ, 02/12/09, p.C3)
2009 Jan 1, Claiborne Pell
(b.1918), former US Senator from Rhode Island (1660-1997), died. He
was the chief sponsor of the 1965 law establishing the national
Endowment for the Arts and the national Endowment for the
Humanities. He also sponsored legislation creating the Basic
Educational Opportunities Grants (1972), which provided direct aid
to college students. The awards were renamed the Pell Grants in
(SFC, 1/2/09, p.B6)
2009 Jan 1, A suicide car bomb
exploded near an Afghan and NATO military convoy in the western
province of Herat and killed an Afghan policeman. 2 UN staff of the
World Food Program and 4 others were kidnapped in Nimroz province by
alleged Taliban militants. The 2 UN workers were freed on Jan 27.
(AP, 1/1/09)(AFP, 1/28/09)
2009 Jan 1, The IMF announced
plans to lend Belarus $2.5 billion to help the country cope with the
global economic crises.
(WSJ, 02/01/09), p.A5)
2009 Jan 1, The Czech Republic
took over the six-month rotating presidency from EU heavyweight
France. It will face the daunting task of implementing a $258
billion European economic stimulus package approved by EU leaders
under the French presidency.
2009 Jan 1, In Germany thieves
over the last 24 hours stole an estimated $250,000 in art work from
the Fasanengalerie, a private art gallery in western Berlin.
(SFC, 1/3/09, p.A3)
2009 Jan 1, In India 3 bombs
exploded in the restive northeast, killing at least five people and
wounding 50, about an hour before the nation's top security official
arrived in the area.
2009 Jan 1, The United States
handed over control of the Green Zone and Saddam Hussein's
presidential palace to Iraqi authorities in a ceremonial move
described by the country's prime minister as a restoration of Iraq's
sovereignty. British forces handed over control of Basra airport,
its main military base in southern Iraq, to Iraqi officials in
accordance with an agreement signed with Baghdad this week. A
roadside bomb killed two Iraqi soldiers in the town of Jalula, 80
miles northeast of Baghdad. In Mosul a parked truck bomb killed
three police officers trying to search it and wounded a bystander.
In Kirkuk Iraqi and US troops killed three suspected al-Qaida gunmen
during a raid. American soldiers shot and wounded a woman after she
failed to heed warnings to stop near a Baghdad checkpoint recently
targeted by suicide and car bombs.
(AP, 1/1/09)(AFP, 1/1/09)(AP, 1/3/09)
2009 Jan 1, Israel
assassinated Nizar Rayan (52), a Hamas strongman, in its first
assault on the top leadership of Gaza's rulers, escalating a
crushing aerial offensive even as it declared it was ready to launch
a ground invasion. The aerial strike also killed 12 other people
including two of Rayan's four wives and four of his 12 children.
Officials said more than 400 Gazans have been killed and some 1,700
have been wounded. The UN said the death toll included more than 60
civilians, 34 of them children. Three Israeli civilians and one
soldier have also died in rocket attacks from Gaza.
2009 Jan 1, Vilnius, Lithuania,
a city of about 550,000 people, opened the year sharing the EU
Capital of Culture title with Austria’s Linz.
2009 Jan 1, Mexican federal
police captured two alleged hit men after the suspects threw a hand
grenade at police and soldiers who cornered them at a house. Eight
officers were wounded in the confrontation. In the western town of
La Huerta, a shootout between rival families at a New Year's party
left four dead, and a clash between soldiers and alleged drug
traffickers in Chihuahua state reportedly killed three smugglers.
2009 Jan 1, In northwest
Pakistan a suspected US missile strike by a drone aircraft destroyed
a vehicle, killing at least three foreign militants. The US drone
killed 2 Al-Qaida leaders from Kenya, Usama al-Kini and Sheikh Ahmed
Salim Swedan. Pakistani authorities arrested Ustad Mohammed Yasir, a
former Taliban spokesman, during a raid on his relatives' house in
Peshawar near the Afghan border. Yasir had been previously arrested
by Pakistan in 2005 and sent to Afghanistan where he was released in
2007 in exchange for a kidnapped Italian journalist.
(AP, 01/01/09) (AP, 01/03/09) (WSJ, 10/01/09, p.A6)
2009 Jan 1, Russia’s Pres.
Medvedev signed a bell ending jury trials in cases involving
treason, terror, armed revolt and sabotage. Instead, defendants will
have to face three judges.
(WSJ, 02/01/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 1, Russia cut off the
gas to Ukraine after a contract dispute but increased supplies to
other European states to try to reassure customers worried about
2009 Jan 1, Slovakia became the
16th European Union member state to adopt the euro. This day also
marks 10 years since the euro was introduced.
2009 Jan 1, Somali pirates
seized the Blue Star, an Egyptian cargo ship, and its 28
crewmembers. A Malaysian military helicopter saved an Indian tanker
from being hijacked in the new year's first attacks by pirates in
the dangerous Gulf of Aden. A crew of the French warship "PM L'Her"
dispatch boat intercepted two speedboats carrying 8 Somali pirates
as they were preparing to board a Panamanian cargo ship. The Blue
Star and its crew of 28 were freed on March 5 after a ransom was
dropped from a plane.
(AP, 1/1/09) (AP, 1/2/09) (AP, 3/5/09)
2009 Jan 1, Helen Suzman (91)
South African anti-apartheid activist, died. She won international
acclaim as one of the few white lawmakers to fight against the
injustices of racist rule. Suzman, who was twice nominated for the
Nobel Peace Prize, fought a long and lonely battle in the South
African parliament against government repression of the country's
black majority and the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela.
(AP, 1/1/09)(Econ, 1/10/09, p.77)
2009 Jan 1, Sri Lanka said its
forces have captured a key crossroads from Tamil Tiger rebels in the
north and that it will seize the guerrillas' de facto capital within
two days. The fighting killed 50 rebels and four soldiers. A
roadside bomb blast blamed on the rebels killed two policemen on a
foot patrol in the eastern region.
2010 Jan 1, About 15 New
Hampshire gay couples braved the cold to exchange vows outside the
Statehouse in Concord, as the state joined Connecticut, Iowa,
Massachusetts and Vermont in allowing gay marriage.
(SFC, 1/1/10, p.A5)
2010 Jan 1, In the Rose Bowl at
Pasadena Terrelle Pryor passed for a career-high 266 yards and two
touchdowns, rushed for 72 more and threw a 17-yard scoring pass to
DeVier Posey with 7:02 to play, leading the No. 8 Buckeyes to a
26-17 victory over No. 7 Oregon.
2010 Jan 1, Damon Martin
(35) of Detroit was shot and killed in Hampton, Ga. Rap music
producer Demetrius Lee Stewart (28), aka Shawnty Redd, was arrested
for the murder.
2010 Jan 1, In Florida a small
group of young immigrants began a 1,500 march to Washington, DC, to
urge Pres. Obama to issue a temporary reprieve from
deportation for millions of young immigrants.
(SFC, 1/1/15, p.A11)
2010 Jan 1, In Afghanistan 5
civilians were killed when their vehicle hit a bomb on a main road
in Bala Murghab district in the northern province of Badghis. At
least 4 security guards for a road construction crew were killed
when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in the northern part
of Khost province.
2010 Jan 1, It was reported
that Australian researchers have cracked the genetic origin of the
deadly cancer that is threatening to wipe out Tasmanian devils,
raising hopes that the animal's future is safe.
2010 Jan 1, In southwestern
Bangladesh a speeding bus lost control and hit a tree before
crashing into a canal, killing 18 people and injuring dozens.
2010 Jan 1, In Brazil a
rain-loosened slab of hillside collapsed on 3 houses and an upscale
lodge after New Year celebrations at a resort on the island of Ilha
Grande near Rio de Janeiro, killing at least 26 people. On the
mainland, a torrent of reddish mud cascaded into the Carioca slum in
the nearby coastal city of Angra dos Reis, killing at least 18
people and reducing rickety shacks to rubble. 10 people died in Sao
Paulo state. 3 people died in Minas Gerais as heavy rains triggered
flooding and landslides. Nearly 80 other mudslides have been
reported throughout the region in recent days. Together with
flooding, they have killed at least 76 people.
(AP, 1/1/10)(AP, 1/2/10)(Reuters, 1/3/10)
2010 Jan 1, In Britain the VAT
returned to 17.5% after 13 months in which it was reduced to 15% to
help combat the economic downturn.
(Econ, 01.02.10, P.41)
2010 Jan 1, Chad's President
Idriss Deby Itno called on rebel forces in the troubled central
African nation to lay down their weapons, saying constant conflict
was hindering development.
2010 Jan 1, Chinese state media
said authorities have shut down a dairy in Shanghai and arrested
three of its executives after tests found some of its milk products
were tainted with the same industrial chemical at the center of a
milk safety scandal more than a year ago.
2010 Jan 1, A free-trade
agreement between China and the 10 members of the Association of
Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) came into effect. The 6 richest
members scrapped tariffs on 90% of goods. The 4 poorest (Vietnam,
Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar) will not need to cut tariffs to the same
level until 2015.
(SSFC, 1/3/10, p.A4)(Econ, 1/9/10, p.44)
2010 Jan 1, In Colombia a New
year’s Eve dessert, distributed to the homeless in Bogota’s El
Calvario neighborhood, contained ground glass and poison that caused
one death and sickened 44 others. Air and ground assaults on two
rebel camps killed 18 insurgents and captured 13, 112 miles south of
Bogota. An attack by guerrillas a few hours earlier killed a soldier
and a teenage girl at a boardinghouse 164 miles southwest of Bogota.
2010 Jan 1, A Congolese army
officer said the Democratic Republic of Congo forces are to mount a
new offensive against Rwandan Hutu rebels in the east of the country
with the backing of UN troops.
2010 Jan 1, In the Czech Rep.
liberalized drug laws went into effect. Those caught with small
amounts of drugs intended for personal use faced only a fine.
(Econ, 28.08.10, p.44)
2010 Jan 1, In Denmark Muhudiin
Mohamed Geele (29), a Somali man armed with an axe and suspected of
links with al Qaeda, broke into the home of Kurt Westergaard (74), a
Danish cartoonist, whose drawings of the Prophet Mohammad caused
global Muslim outrage. The attacker, who was shot and wounded by
police, was charged the next day with two counts of attempted
murder. On Feb 3, 2011, Geele was convicted of terrorism. The next
day he was sentenced to 9 years in prison to be followed by
(Reuters, 1/2/10)(AP, 2/3/11)(Reuters, 2/4/11)
2010 Jan 1, In Dubai a British
woman (23) told police she had been raped the previous evening by a
waiter at a 5-star hotel. Police arrested her after she revealed
during questioning that she had drunk alcohol and had sex with her
fiance, with whom she was on holiday.
(Econ, 01.16.10, p.48)
2010 Jan 1, In Germany a
technical problem left card holders unable to use cash machines. It
was caused by microchips in about a quarter of all cards in
circulation being unable to cope with the changeover to 2010. On Jan
8 retailers announced that the problem was mostly corrected.
2010 Jan 1, Thousands of Hong
Kong residents marched to the Chinese government's liaison office
demanding that Beijing grant full democracy to the semiautonomous
2010 Jan 1, In Iran a shootout
with drug smugglers in an eastern desert region left 11 policemen
2010 Jan 1, In Iraq a US
soldier died of injuries unrelated to combat.
2010 Jan 1, In Ireland a new
law against blasphemy went into effect. It was already a criminal
offense under the country’s 1937 constitution, but the language was
too murky to make prosecutions feasible.
(SFC, 1/4/10, p.A2)
2010 Jan 1, In Japan a robber
bored a hole through the wall of jewelry shop and walked off with
about 200 luxury watches worth 300 million yen ($3.2 million) in
Tokyo's upscale Ginza district. On Jan 7-8 three men and 3 women
were arrested in Hong Kong in connection with the jewelry heist.
Police suspect many of the watches were mailed from Japan to Hong
Kong, with some then sent to mainland China.
(AP, 1/2/10) (AP, 1/9/10)
2010 Jan 1, Malaysia’s Islamic
morality police arrested 52 unmarried couples for sexual misconduct
following raids in hotel rooms on New Year’s Day. The detained
couples were expected to be charged with khalwat (close proximity),
and faced a maximum penalty of 2 years in prison and a fine.
(SFC, 1/5/10, p.A4)
2010 Jan 1, In Mexico gunmen
killed Jesus Escalante, the chief police investigator in the
northern state of Sinaloa, hours after he started investigating the
kidnapping of Jose Luis Romero (40), a local radio journalist.
Mexico opened the New Year with 69 murders in one day, including 26
in the border city of Ciudad Juarez. Mexico’s drug related killings
for 2009 totaled over 6,500.
(AP, 1/2/10)(SFC, 1/12/10, p.A2)
2010 Jan 1, North Korea called
for an end of hostile relations with the United States in a New
Year's message and said it was committed to making the Korean
peninsula nuclear-free through negotiations.
2010 Jan 1, In northwest
Pakistan a suicide bomber set off an explosives-laden vehicle on a
field during a volleyball tournament in Lakki Marwat city, killing
101 people and wounding more than 70. A suspected US missile struck
a car carrying alleged militants in North Waziristan tribal region,
killing 3 men. Karachi, the country's largest city, came to a
virtual standstill after religious and political leaders called for
a general strike to protest a Dec 28 bombing that killed 44 people
and subsequent riots. A roadside bomb exploded near a car in the
Bajur tribal region, killing an anti-Taliban tribal elder and five
of his family members. A local Taliban commander and his four
companions were killed in an exchange of fire with troops in Kolachi
village, 25 km (16 miles) west of the northwestern town of Dera
(AP, 1/1/10)(AP, 1/2/10)(AFP, 1/3/10)
2010 Jan 1, In Peru a riot by
about 500 inmates erupted New Year’s Eve at a northern prison and
left two inmates dead. 6 guards were held hostage until negotiations
got the prisoners to end their protest.
2010 Jan 1, The Russian
government set a minimum price for vodka that more than doubles the
cost of the cheapest vodka on the market in an effort to fight
2010 Jan 1, Somali pirates
hijacked a British-flagged cargo ship, the Asian Glory, with 25 crew
including eight Bulgarians, 620 miles (1,000 km) east of Somalia. It
was transporting cars from Singapore to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. The
Singaporean-flagged Pramoni, a chemical tanker with a crew of 24,
was seized by pirates in the heavily defended Gulf of Aden. The ship
was carrying fertilizer from the US to India. The Pramoni was
released on Feb 26 after a ransom was delivered by parachute.
(AFP, 1/2/10)(AP, 1/2/10)(AP, 2/26/10)
2010 Jan 1, Spain took over the
presidency of the EU, with PM Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero promising
to work to end the continent's economic crisis.
2010 Jan 1, Ugandan troops
killed Bok Abudema, a leader of the Lord's Resistance Army,
effectively the number two of the brutal militia, in the Central
2011 Jan 1, The Oprah Winfrey
Network (OWN) launched on cable TV.
(CFHS, 12/26/10, For p.4)
2011 Jan 1, A new policy in US
Medicare became effective and began covering doctor costs for
patient end-of-life counseling.
(SSFC, 12/26/10, p.A10)
2011 Jan 1, Rick Snyder, a
former president of Gateway Computers, began his first term as
governor of Michigan. The Republican faced a state deficit of up to
(Econ, 01.29.11, p.28)
2011 Jan 1, Republican Susana
Martinez (51) was inaugurated as the first female governor of New
(SSFC, 1/2/11, p.A10)
2011 Jan 1, Democrat Andrew
Cuomo (53) was inaugurated the 56th governor of New York.
(SSFC, 1/2/11, p.A10)
2011 Jan 1, In Arkansas some
3,000 red-winged blackbirds died and fell from the sky over a 1-mile
area of Beebe. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said that it
began receiving reports about the dead birds about 11:30 p.m. the
(AP, 1/2/11) (AP, 1/2/11) (SFC, 1/4/11, p.A5)
2011 Jan 1, In Ohio sheriff’s
deputy Suzanne Hopper (40) was shot dead as she tried to photograph
a footprint at a trailer park in Enon. Michael Ferryman (57), the
suspected shooter, died in a gunbattle with police.
(SSFC, 1/2/11, p.A10)(SFC, 1/3/11, p.A4)
2011 Jan 1, Queensland
Treasurer Andrew Fraser told reporters in the flooded city of
Bundaberg that the flood disaster was of biblical proportions.
Days of driving rain last week swamped northeastern Australia, with
around 200,000 people affected by floodwaters in an area larger than
France and Germany combined.
2011 Jan 1, Brazil's first
female president, Dilma Rousseff, took control of Latin America's
biggest economy from outgoing popular leader Luiz Inacio Lula da
Silva in a triumphant handover ceremony. Rousseff called for an
overhaul of the tax code in her inaugural speech before Congress.
(AFP, 1/1/10)(Reuters, 1/1/10)
2011 Jan 1, In CongoDRC at
least 67 women were raped in South and North Kivu provinces,
including a teen-ager and two pregnant women. On Jan 21 Congo
arrested Lt. Colonel Kibibi Mutwara, a senior army commander accused
of ordering the rapes in Fizi. The arrest followed the detention of
10 other soldiers earlier in the week. On July 22, 2011, a UN report
said investigators found at least 47 women were subjected to rape
and other sexual assaults from Dec. 31, 2010, to Jan. 1, 2011 in an
isolated and mountainous area of North Kivu province.
(Reuters, 1/25/11)(AP, 7/22/11)
2011 Jan 1, In England rioting
inmates caused heavy damage to Ford open prison, smashing windows
and setting fires that engulfed buildings and spewed clouds of black
2011 Jan 1, In Egypt a powerful
bomb, possibly from a suicide attacker, exploded in front of a
Coptic Christian church in Alexandria as a crowd of worshippers
emerged from a New Years Mass, killing at least 21 people and
wounding nearly 80. The Gaza-based Army of Islam was later said to
be behind the planning and execution of the attack. The attack
sparked three days of Christian rioting in Cairo and several other
(AP, 1/1/10)(Reuters, 1/4/11)(AP, 1/23/11)
2011 Jan 1, Estonia became the
first former Soviet republic to join the euro, Europe’s common
(SFC, 1/1/11, p.A2)
2011 Jan 1, The new European
External Action Service (EEAS) came into being.
(Econ, 02.05.11, p.64)
2011 Jan 1, In Hungary a new
media law went into effect the same day Hungary took over the
rotating EU presidency from Belgium. The law greatly expanded the
state's power to monitor and penalize private news outlets,
including on the Internet. Publications deemed to be unbalanced or
offensive in their coverage could face large fines.
2011 Jan 1, In India separatist
leader Arabinda Rajkhowa (54) was released on bail, and said he was
committed to peace talks with the Indian government to end his
group's 30-year insurgency in the northeastern state of Assam.
2011 Jan 1, Iran’s Pres.
Ahmadinejad fired 14 advisers as part of an ongoing shake-up of his
administration. 4 kidnappers were put to death in Zahedan prison in
the volatile border province of Sistan-Baluchestan. 8 convicted drug
smugglers were also executed this week.
(AP, 1/2/11)(Reuters, 1/1/11)
2011 Jan 1, Italy, one of the
top users of plastic shopping bags in Europe, began banning them.
Retailers warned of chaos as many stores braced for the switch.
2011 Jan 1, Japan said it has
logged 1.19 million deaths in 2010, the biggest number since 1947
when the health ministry's annual records began. As a result the
population contracted by 123,000 people, which was the most ever and
the fourth consecutive year of decline.
2011 Jan 1, Japanese whalers
shot water cannons at anti-whaling activists, hours after the
activists tracked down the hunting fleet in the remote and icy seas
2011 Jan 1, Pakistan’s Pres.
Zardari signed the 19th amendment to the constitution giving judges
a freer hand in making judicial appointments.
(Econ, 2/12/11, p.47)(http://tinyurl.com/6zl4d9t)
2011 Jan 1, In Pakistan
suspected US drone aircraft strikes killed 15 Muslim militants in
North Waziristan, suggesting there will no letup this year in a
campaign Washington says is hurting al Qaeda-linked groups.
January 1, 2010, Jawaher Abu Rahma
(36), a Palestinian woman, died one day after allegedly inhaling
massive amounts of tear gas fired by the Israeli military at a West
Bank demonstration. On Jan 20 Israel's military said Rahma was the
victim of a medical error and was not killed by tear gas.
(AFP, 1/3/11)(AP, 1/20/11)
2011 Jan 1, In Puerto Rico
Justino Sanchez Diaz (48) attacked his family with gasoline and a
blowtorch. 2 of his victims soon died from their wounds and Diaz was
charged with murder. The mother of Diaz and Jesus Sanchez 4th died
of their injuries on Jan 4. On Jan 6 Kate Donahue (25) of Seattle,
who was engaged to Sanchez, died of her injuries. On Jan 29 Nereida
Vazquez, who had been in an induced coma for weeks, died of a lung
infection brought on by her injuries. In September Diaz was
convicted of killing 6 people and was sentenced to 198 years in
(AP, 1/3/11) (AP, 1/5/11) (AP, 1/29/11) (AP,
9/8/11) (AP, 9/26/11)
2011 Jan 1, A Russian passenger
jet carrying 124 people caught fire as it taxied down a snowy runway
and then exploded at a Siberian airport, killing three people and
injuring 43, including six who were badly burned.
2011 Jan 1, Somali pirates
hijacked the MV Blida, a Greek-operated, Algerian-flagged bulk
carrier. The crew included 17 Algerians, six Ukrainians including
the captain, two Filipinos, an Indonesian and a Jordanian. On Oct 12
Algeria announced that pirates have released 2 of the ship’s 27
crewmen on humanitarian grounds. The MV Blida was released on Nov 3
after a bag full of money was parachuted down to the pirates from a
(Econ, 2/5/11, p.69)(AFP, 10/12/11)(AP,
2011 Jan 1, In South Africa 10
people were killed in a stampede during the early hours of New
Year's Day at a tavern in the Ipelegeng township in the largely
rural North West province.
2011 Jan 1, In South Korea one
of five wild ducks found dead this week was confirmed to have been
infected with a lethal strain of the bird flu virus, its first
outbreak in over two years.
2011 Jan 1, In southern
Thailand 2 bomb disposal policemen were killed and 9 other people
wounded in a blast after warnings of New Year violence in the
2011 Jan 1, Yemen's parliament
agreed in principle to make constitutional amendments that could see
President Ali Abdullah Saleh rule for life, and will hold a formal
vote on the matter later this year.
2012 Jan 1, The minimum wage in
San Francisco rose 32 cents to $10.24 an hour.
(SSFC, 1/1/12, p.A1)
2012 Jan 1, In southern
California an apparent murder-suicide left 4 people dead, 3 men and
a woman, in Coronado. Two of the dead were F/A-18 pilots training at
the US Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. Navy pilot Robert Reeves
(25) shot David Reis (25), Reis’ sister Karen Reis and Matthew
Saturley (31) before shooting himself. Reeves was later reported to
have had a .16 blood alcohol content.
(SFC, 1/2/12, p.A4)(Reuters, 1/2/12)
2012 Jan 1, Mount Rainier
National Park ranger Margaret Anderson (34) was fatally shot
following a routine traffic stop, and authorities closed the
368-square-mile (953-square-km) park in Washington state as they
searched for the gunman. On Jan 2 a plane searching for Benjamin
Colton Barnes (24), an armed Iraq War veteran, discovered his body
lying partially submerged in an icy, snowy mountain creek with snow
banks standing several feet high.
(AP, 1/1/12) (AP, 1/2/12)
2012 Jan 1, As of today the EU
began billing all the world’s airlines for the carbon emissions into
and out of the EU.
(Econ, 01.07.12, p.58)
2012 Jan 1, Afghan Pres. Karzai
along with US embassy officials met a delegation from Hezb-i-Islami,
Afghanistan's second largest militant group led by former Afghan
prime minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.
2012 Jan 1, An Arab League
advisory body called for the immediate withdrawal of the bloc's
observers from Syria saying their presence was having no impact on
the government's deadly crackdown on protests. YouTube videos
circulating on the Internet showed protesters across Syria welcoming
2012 in with fireworks and holding up signs pledging "Freedom for
Life" and denouncing President Bashar al-Assad as the enemy.
2012 Jan 1, In Argentina Rio
Negro Gov. Carlos Soria (62), the ruling party governor of the
country’s prime oil-producing province, died following gunshots to
the head. His wife, Susana Freidos, was being questioned by police
to determine whether the shots were fired by accident or
2012 Jan 1, Riot police in
Bahrain fired tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades as they
clashed with hundreds of opposition supporters, some hurling Molotov
cocktails, following the politically charged funeral of a
15-year-old boy. Bahrain's new police chief announced that the
kingdom would hire an additional 500 police officers "from all
sections of Bahrain society."
2012 Jan 1, A British man (40)
is suspected of shooting dead three female members of his own family
before turning the gun on himself in Horden, County Durham, on a New
Year's Day rampage.
2012 Jan 1, In Britain a
woman's body was found in a forest at Anmer at the vast rural estate
in Norfolk where Queen Elizabeth II and her family celebrated New
Year's. Forensic tests later identified the decomposed body as that
of Latvian Alisa Dmitrijeva (17), who was reported missing from her
home in eastern England in August.
(AP, 1/3/12) (AP, 1/8/12)
2012 Jan 1, Colombian police in
Chaco state killed crime boss Juan de Dios Usaga. Police have said
Usaga led a major crime ring involved in drug trafficking and was
once a right-wing paramilitary fighter. Pamphlets soon appeared
calling on the region's residents to protest the killing of Usaga.
2012 Jan 1, In CongoDRC 8
people died and 44 were wounded when a hand grenade exploded during
an attempted jail break at the main prison in Bukavu, Sud-Kivu
province. At least 18 people were killed in the town of Luyuyu in an
attack by Rwandan Hutu rebels.
(AFP, 02/01/12) (AFP, 01/04/12)
2012 Jan 1, In Cuba Rene Cobas,
a common criminal not jailed for political reasons, died of an
apparent heart attack in the Boniato prison near Santiago. He had
launched a hunger strike because he was not part of a large prison
2012 Jan 1, In central Germany
a Syrian man was been fatally shot by two people who fired at him as
his car stopped at a traffic light in Sarstedt town.
2012 Jan 1, Iran’s nuclear
agency said its scientists have tested the first nuclear fuel rod
produced from uranium ore deposits inside the country.
2012 Jan 1, In Kenya at least
eight people drowned after a boat capsized in rough seas off the
Kenyan tourist island of Lamu. More than 20 of the over 80
passengers on board were unaccounted for.
2012 Jan 1, Kiro Gligorov (94),
the first democratically elected president of Macedonia, died. He
shepherded his nation through a bloodless secession from the former
Yugoslavia and narrowly survived an assassination attempt.
2012 Jan 1, In Malaysia 17
people were arrested after police broke up a student gathering for
greater academic freedom, in what the opposition and activists said
was a campaign to stifle dissent.
2012 Jan 1, In Myanmar gas
prices unexpectedly rose more than 30 percent for the new year and
sparked fears of other goods costing more as well.
2012 Jan 1, Nigeria, Africa's
most populous nation and largest oil producer, announced immediate
ends to subsidies on petrol, a policy that had held pump prices at
65 naira per liter ($0.40, 0.30 euros).
2012 Jan 1, Omani newspaper
Azzaman said it would appeal in the high court the five-month jail
sentences handed to two of its staff for insulting the justice
2012 Jan 1, Pakistan and India
exchanged lists of their nuclear sites under an accord which
prohibits both sides from attacking these locations.
2012 Jan 1, In Pakistan 3
soldiers were killed in a bomb attack in Baluchistan province. An
anti-Taliban fighter was killed in a bomb attack in the Bajaur
2012 Jan 1, In Pakistan three
Iranian border guards crossed the frontier in southwestern
Baluchistan province and allegedly shot at a car, killing a
Pakistani national. The border guards were arrested by Pakistan
paramilitary Frontier Corps.
2012 Jan 1, In Trans-Dniester
an 18-year-old was killed by a Russian peacekeeper, after he
reportedly ignored an order to stop his car at a checkpoint. The
death led to protests against Moscow's role in the region's
1,500-member international peacekeeping force, which includes about
500 Russian troops.
2012 Jan 1, Pope Benedict XVI
named convert Rev. Jeffrey Neil Steenson, a married priest and
former sportswriter, to head the first organizational structure for
US converts to Roman Catholicism wanting to retain some of their
2012 Jan 1, In Yemen tens of
thousands marched in the streets of the capital Sanaa, chanting that
Saleh "must stand before a judge." Another big crowd of marchers
echoed the chant in Taiz.
2013 Jan 1, The House of
Representatives easily approved emergency bipartisan legislation. It
hiked rates on income above $400,000 for individuals and $450,000
for households, while exemptions and deductions the wealthiest
Americans use to reduce their tax bill face new limits. It also set
up another “fiscal cliff” confrontation in a matter of weeks.
(AP, 1/1/13)(Econ, 2/9/13, p.30)
2013 Jan 1, California began
its cap-and-trade scheme for emitters of greenhouse gases. In 2006
former Gov. Schwarzenegger signed AB32, which called for a cut in
greenhouse-gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
(Econ, 03.16.13, p.29)
2013 Jan 1, Ten states kicked
off the new year with a minimum wage rise of between 10 and 35
cents. The rises went into effect in Arizona, Colorado, Florida,
Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and
2013 Jan 1, Gay marriage became
legal in Maryland, the first state south of the Mason-Dixon Line on
New Year's Day.
2013 Jan 1, Michael Cronan
(b.1951), graphic designer, died in Berkeley, Ca. He was best know
for christening TiVo, the digital TV recorder, and Kindle, Amazon’s
portable reading device.
(SSFC, 01.06.13, p.C3)
2013 Jan 1, Patti Page (85), a
top singer of the 1950s, died in Encinitas, Ca. Her hits included
“Tennessee Waltz” (1950) and “How Much Is That Doggie in the
Window.” She also co-starred with Burt Lancaster in “Elmer Gantry.”
(SFC, 1/3/13, p.D2)
2013 Jan 1, In Algeria seven
insurgents were killed and arms, ammunition and medicine recovered
in Boulzazene in the Boumerdes region. The operation killed Izza
Rezki, the finance chief for Abdelmalek Droukdel, the head of
al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.
(AP, 1/2/13) (AP, 1/5/13)
2013 Jan 1, Tallinn, Estonia,
launched free public transport for all of its citizens.
2013 Jan 1, An Ethiopian court
found 10 men guilty of plotting terror attacks with Islamist
extremist rebels from neighboring Somalia.
2013 Jan 1, French
Interior Minister Manuel Valls said young revelers set afire
1,193 vehicles, lamenting that this has become a way to mark the
arrival of the New Year. His announcement was the first time in
three years that such figures have been released.
2013 Jan 1, In Hong Kong
thousands of demonstrators in rival marches crowded the main
shopping district to praise or condemn chief executive Leung
Chun-ying. Critics accused him of misleading the public on a
controversial real estate deal and of being a puppet installed by
(SFC, 1/2/13, p.A3)
2013 Jan 1, Ivory Coast at
least 64 people, mostly children and teenagers, were killed early
today in a stampede following a New Year's fireworks display in
Abidjan. Survivors blamedmakeshift barricades.
(AP, 1/1/13) (AP, 1/2/13) (AP, 1/4/13)
2013 Jan 1, Myanmar rang in
2013 with its first public New Year's Eve countdown and a grand
fireworks display, a celebration unprecedented in the former
2013 Jan 1, North Korean leader
Kim Jong-un called for an end to confrontation between the two
Koreas, technically still at war in the absence of a peace treaty to
end their 1950-53 conflict, in a surprise New Year speech broadcast
on state media.
2013 Jan 1, Gunmen in northwest
Pakistan killed five female teachers and two aid workers in an
ambush on a van carrying workers home from their jobs at a community
center in Swabi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
2013 Jan 1, Clashes began in
the northern West Bank after Israeli forces dressed as merchants
arrested one man. Regular forces then entered the town of Tamoun,
and men began hurling rocks at them to prevent other arrests. At
least 10 Palestinians were wounded.
2013 Jan 1, In the Philippines
a “sin tax” on alcohol and tobacco came into effect. It had survived
a 2012 Senate vote by a margin of one.
(Econ, 04.06.13, p.86)
2013 Jan 1, Rwanda took a
prestigious seat on the UN Security Council. Human Rights Watch has
been calling on the Security Council for months to sanction the
Rwandan officials the rights group believes is helping M23 rebels in
2013 Jan 1, In South Africa
three people died and 4,000 were displaced when fires swept through
shacks in poor settlements in the Cape Town area on New Year's Day.
2013 Jan 1, Syrian warplanes
took part in bombing Daraya, a few miles (kms) from the strategic
military air base of Mazzeh, a western neighborhood of Damascus.
2014 Jan 1, In northern
California Rev. Eric Freed was found dead at the St. Bernard Church
rectory in Eureka. Surveillance video captured images of suspect
Gary Lee Bullock (44) and he was arrested the next day.
(SFC, 1/2/14, p.A8) (SFC, 1/9/14, p.D5)
2014 Jan 1, In San Francisco an
arson attack destroyed the main entrance of the Chinese Consulate.
On Jan 3 Yan Feng (39), who lives south of the city, surrendered to
police after confessing to the attack.
(SSFC, 1/5/14, p.A5)(AFP, 1/6/14)
2014 Jan 1, In Colorado the
nation’s first recreational pot industry opened as business owners
threw open their doors for shoppers at 8 am.
(SFC, 1/2/14, p.A7)
2014 Jan 1, In Central African
Republic clashes between Muslims and Christians in Bangui killed
three as angry residents threw grenades and torched homes.
2014 Jan 1, China began
requiring the disclosure of offshore holdings.
(Econ, 01.25.14, p.35)
2014 Jan 1, Cuba enacted a law
banning the resale of clothes imported from abroad.
(Econ, 01.11.14, p.30)
2014 Jan 1, In Prague Jamel
al-Jamal (56), the Palestinian ambassador to the Czech Republic,
died in a blast that occurred when he opened an old safe that had
been left untouched for more than 20 years.
2014 Jan 1, Guinness World
Records said Dubai shattered the world record for the largest ever
pyrotechnic display on New Year's Eve with a show involving more
than half a million fireworks.
2014 Jan 1, Egypt’s Ministry of
Antiquities said 96 artifacts, mostly small figurines and beads,
have disappeared from the Aswan Museum's storehouse. Authorities
said evidence pointed to an insider theft.
2014 Jan 1, In Egypt 2 people
were killed in violent clashes that erupted late today between
pro-Islamist protesters and police in Alexandria.
2014 Jan 1, The European
Commission said Romanians and Bulgarians now have the right to work
in any of the European Union's 28 countries but "no major increase"
in emigration is expected.
2014 Jan 1, Greece assumed the
presidency of the EU, starting 2014 with a promise by the government
to pull the country out of a six-year recession, keep a balanced
budget, and effectively end a financial crisis that rattled the
2014 Jan 1, In Hong Kong
thousands marched to demand a greater say in choosing their future
leaders, expressing fears China will limit long-awaited political
reforms, but turnout fell short of expectations.
2014 Jan 1, In Iraq militants
freed more than 100 prisoners, clashed with security forces and
burned police stations in Fallujah and Ramadi. In Mosul a car bomb
exploded near an army checkpoint, killing a civilian and four
soldiers, including three officers.
2014 Jan 1, Jordan took over
the UN Security Council presidency, the first day of its two-year
stint on a 15-nation body struggling to cope with conflicts in
Syria, South Sudan.
2014 Jan 1, Latvia celebrated
the new year as the 18th member of the eurozone, which for all its
dents and bruises still represents stability and security to the
Baltic country's leaders.
2014 Jan 1, Lebanon’s defense
minister said Lebanese troops have arrested Saudi citizen Majid
al-Majid, the "emir" of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, an
al-Qaeda-linked group that claimed a double suicide bombing at the
Iranian embassy in Beirut in November. DNA testing confirmed the
identity of al-Majid.
(AFP, 1/1/14)(AP, 1/3/14)
2014 Jan 1, In Mexico Yeudi
Estrada (28), a US citizen and martial arts instructor in Quintana
Roo, was found dead on arrival at police headquarters in the resort
of Playa del Carmen after his arrest. A finding revealed that he
died of asphyxia by strangulation. Six Mexican police officers were
arrested Jan 3 on suspicion of killing Estrada.
2014 Jan 1, In Pakistan a
suicide bomber killed two Shia pilgrims on their way home from Iran.
2014 Jan 1, In South Korea a
man, calling for the president’s resignation, died after setting
himself on fire.
(Econ, 01.25.14, p.32)
2014 Jan 1, South Sudanese
President Salva Kiir declared a state of emergency in Unity and
Jonglei states. Negotiators from the two warring sides arrived in
Ethiopia for peace talks.
(Reuters, 1/1/14)(AP, 1/1/14)
2014 Jan 1, In Somalia
two car bombs exploded outside the Jazira Hotel in Mogadishu
that often is used by foreigners and government officials. A third
car bomb exploded as it was searched by security forces. At least 11
people were killed. Al-Shebab rebels claimed responsibility.
(AP, 1/1/14)(Reuters, 1/1/14)(AFP, 1/2/14)
2014 Jan 1, South African
police found Patrick Karegeya, Rwanda's former spy chief, dead,
possibly strangled, in Johannesburg's plush Michelangelo Towers
hotel. Rwanda opposition leaders immediately accused President Paul
Kagame of ordering his assassination.
2014 Jan 1, Syrian warplanes
bombed a barren range of Lebanese hills used by Syrian rebels and
refugees to cross between the two countries, wounding at least 10
Syrians who were rushed to hospital in a nearby Lebanese town.
2014 Jan 1, The Syrian
Electronic Army, an amorphous hacker collective that supports Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad, claimed credit for hacking into the
social media accounts of Internet calling service Skype.
2014 Jan 1, An NGO said more
than 73,000 people were killed in Syria in 2013.
2014 Jan 1, In Ukraine about
15,000 people marched through the streets of Kiev to mark the 105th
birthday of Stepan Bandera (d.1959), glorified by some as a leader
of Ukraine's liberation movement and dismissed by others as a Nazi
2014 Jan 1, The UN said that
violence claimed the lives of 7,818 civilians in Iraq in 2013, the
highest annual death toll in years.