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Notable Historic Events

January 1st

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Abraham Lincoln

45 B.C...The Julian Calendar begins. January 1st is now celebrated as New Year's Day.

1863...As a result of the Homestead Act, a Nebraska farmer files the first homestead claim. The Homestead Act lets settlers claim 160 acres of government land. The land is deeded to the homesteader after 5 years with proof they have improved the land with a shelter and crops.

1864...President Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation to free the slaves in the Confederate States. Slavery is now over in the United States.

1892...Ellis Island opens. It will operate for 50 years, and admit more than 12 million immigrants into the United States.

1942...President Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill announce the formation of the United Nations. The declaration of the United Nations states that it is to be an international peacekeeping organization. Twenty-six nations sign the declaration to build and support this new organization.

January 2nd

Albert Fall

Albert Fall

1788...Georgia becomes the 4th state in the United States of America.

1923...The Secretary of the U.S. Dept of the Interior, Albert Fall, resigns his office. In what becomes known as the Teapot Dome Scandal. Albert Fall is accused of using his position and power to made secret deals with developers for personal gain. He sets aside an oil reserve in Wyoming for emergency government use, and then makes secret deals with oilmen to take the oil. The scandal gets its name from the oil reserve, which is called the Teapot Dome.

1974...President Nixon signs the Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act. It lowers the speed limit to 55mph on all national highways. The States have been setting their own speed limits, which range from 40 to 80 mph. The speed limit is lowered as a means to try and lower gas consumption and reduce America's dependency on foreign oil. This unpopular law doesn't work, and Congress reverses this law in 1995.

January 3rd

Martin Luther

Martin Luther

1521...Martin Luther is excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church by Pope Leo X. Martin Luther is a Catholic Priest who becomes disillusioned with some of the practices of the Catholic Church, including the selling of indulgences. When Pope Leo X starts selling indulgences to fund St. Peter's Basilica, Luther puts his concerns on paper. He then nails the paper, the95 Thesis, to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church. His words spread, and the Protestant Reformation begins.

1938...Franklin Roosevelt founds the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. It is later named the March of Dimes.

1959...Alaska becomes the 49th state in the United States of America.

January 4th

Utah state celebration at Mormon Temple

Utah becomes the 45th State

1896...Utah becomes the 45th state in the United States of America.

1995...The Republicans take control of both houses of Congress. It is the first time in 40 years. Newt Gingrich introduces the Contract with America during the 1994 Congressional campaign. The contract lists detailed actions the Republicans promise to take if elected with a majority in Congress. All 300 Republican Conservative candidates sign this document, and Gingrich is credited for the Republican victory.

1999...Europe unites their currency with the Euro. Nine countries, including the United Kingdom and Denmark, are members of the European Union (EU) but do not use the Euro.

January 5th

Babe Ruth

Babe Ruth

1920...The New York Yankees purchase Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox.

1933...Construction begins on the Golden Gate Bridge in California.

1949...President Truman labels his administration the Fair Deal during his State of the Union Address. The Fair Deal is basically the domestic agenda of the Truman administration. President Truman wants all Americans to have health insurance, a higher minimum wage and legislated equal rights.

January 6th

George W. Bush

1838...Samuel Morse demonstrates the telegraph in Morristown, New Jersey. He uses what becomes known as Morse code. Although Samuel Morse is given credit for the invention of Morse code, it is his friend Alfred Vail who makes the code easier to use. He assigns shorter codes to commonly used letters, and makes the code instantly readable when received.

1912...New Mexico becomes the 47th state in the United States of America.

2001...George W. Bush is finally officially declared the winner of the Presidential election after one of the closest elections in United States history, and a recount in the state of Florida.

January 7th

Inauguration of President 
George Washington

Inauguration of President Washington

1785...The English Channel is crossed in a balloon.

1789...The first election for the President of the United States takes place after the ratification of the Constitution. George Washington is so popular he runs unopposed. He receives 69 electoral votes on the first ballot. On the 2nd ballot John Adams becomes Vice President with 34 electoral votes. Of note, John Jay had 9 electoral votes.

1999...The impeachment trial for President Bill Clinton begins in the United States Senate.

January 8th

President Andrew Jackson

President Andrew Jackson

1815...Major General Andrew Jackson defeats the British Army at the Battle of New Orleans in Louisiana.

1918...With the war not yet over, President Wilson delivers his Fourteen Points speech to Congress. In it he presents his vision for long-lasting peace in the world after WWI. He calls for the United States to be unselfish in its peace terms, and to allow each country to determine its own government. President Wilson also calls for a postwar establishment to resolve future conflicts. The speech is distributed in Germany and is one of the reasons Germany agrees to an armistice to end the war.

January 9th

Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine

1776...Thomas Paine's pamphlet Common Sense is published.

2007...Steve Jobs, of Apple Inc, introduces the iPhone at the Macworld Convention in San Francisco, California. He calls it a ôrevolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone. The iPhone has a touch screen, camera and the ability to connect to the Internet and browse the web. The phone becomes the Invention of the Year and similar phones become part of the everyday life.

January 10th

William Seward

William Seward

1861...President Lincoln names William Seward as Secretary of State. While Seward is serving under Andrew Johnson he becomes famous for purchasing Alaska, which at the time was thought to be foolish and the purchase labeled Seward's Folly.

1901...Oil is discovered in America. An oil derrick on Spindletop Hill, near Beaumont, Texas, discovers oil at 100 feet. The resulting geyser takes nine days to cap. This discovery, though not the first discovery of oil in America, fueled the start of the American oil industry. Oil will take over as the primary source of fuel for power.

2008...What is touted as the world's "cheapest car" rolls out of India. It is 5 feet wide and 10 feet long. It is called the Nano, but it is dubbed the People's Car. The affordability of this car, a little over $2,000, will enable more people to be able to own a car. At this time the Nano is only sold in India.

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