This day in history. Read about what happened today. A short and interesting account of historical events and facts about this day as well as any other day of the year. Find historical birthdays, deaths, tragedies, war events, disasters and sports events.

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On January the 1st
The countries of Bulgaria and Romania became full members of the European Union.
Hong Kong passed a law making smoking in all public places illegal.
Angola joined the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
The Euro currency was introduced. It was first used only for banking purposes and was later introduced physical coins and banknotes in 2002.
The World Trade Organization came into effect. It is an international organization which lays down the rules for global trade.
The island nation of Aruba became independent.
The Sultanate of Brunei became an independent nation.
Greece was admitted into the European Community.
The People's Republic of China and the United States of America established formal diplomatic relations for the first time.
An Air India passenger flight exploded in midair and crashed into the sea neart Bombay. 213 people died in the crash.
Cigarette advertisements were banned from American television.
Western Samoa gained its independence from New Zealand.
The Republic of Cameroon gained its independence from France and the United Kingdom.
The first civilian flight took off from London's Heathrow Airport.
The island of Alcatraz in the San Francisco Bay was turned into a US federal prison.
German admiral, Wilhelm Canaris, was born in Aplerbeck, near Dortmund. He was a German admiral and head of the German military intelligence service. He is most known for being the mastermind behind a plot to assassinate Hitler and overthrow the Nazi government.
French fashion designer, Gabrielle Chanel, was born in Saumur, France. She is considered as the most influential figure in the world of fashion and a driving force behind the fashion trends which shaped the 20th century.
Scottish anthropologist, Sir James George Frazer, was born in Glasgow. He is considered as one of the most important scholars of mythology and comparative religion. His most known work is, The Golden Bough, which is a study of ancient cults and myths and the ways in which they relate to early Christian practices.
Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein was first published.
The importation of slaves into the United States was banned.
The Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland were joined, forming the United Kingdom.
45 BC 
The Julian calendar was first put into effect. It was introduced by Julius Caesar and was in use in some countries up until the 20th century. It was replaced by the Gregorian Calendar (1582) which is now used as a standard, mainly because the Julian calendar was causing a day to be added every 134 years.
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