January 1 is the first day of both the Gregorian and Julian calendars.
45 BC — The Julian calendar first takes effect.
404 — The last gladiatorial games were held in Rome.
630 — Prophet Muhammad and his army conquer the city of Mecca.
1863 — Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States proclaimed racial emancipation.
1801 — Giuseppe Piazzi discovers 1 Ceres, the first asteroid discovered.
1912 — The Republic of China is declared a country.
1915 — The well-known German pharmaceutical company, Bayer, makes aspirin in tablet form, after previously the medical world used it in powder form. Felix Hoffman, a German chemist, who worked at Bayer, discovered the formula for the drug which was later named Aspirin, the world's most popular painkiller.
1916 — For the first time, stored and refrigerated blood is used for blood transfusions. This successful transfusion was carried out by The Royal Army Medical Corps (R.A.M.C), which has been conducting experiments since 1913. Blood transfusions facilitate and speed up the treatment process.
1945 — German offensive to free the siege of Budapest, Operation Konrad, begins.
1947 — Five days and five nights war between the Indonesian army and the Dutch in the city of Palembang.
1957 — Establishment of the Province of East Kalimantan.
1959 — Cuban Revolution: US-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista. fled to the Dominican Republic, after his troops were defeated in the Battle of Santa Clara by the combined forces of the Cuban communist guerrillas led by Che Guevara and the forces of the Directorio Revolucionario Estudantil (DRE).
1966 — Two Dakota DC-3 aircraft belonging to Garuda Indonesia Airways (GIA), PK-GDU and PK-GDE, collided mid-air before landing at Palembang Airport and crashed in a swampy area outside Palembang. All crew and passengers died.
1973 — The United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland and Denmark join the European Union.
1981 — Greece joins the European Union.
1983 — Kemayoran Airport began to stop operating.
1984 — Brunei becomes a fully independent nation.
1984 — Soekarno-Hatta International Airport officially opened.
1986 — Spain and Portugal join the European Union.
1986 — Aruba becomes independent from Curaçao, but is still freely associated with the Netherlands.
1993 — Czechoslovakia splits into two countries: the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
1995 — The World Trade Organization (WTO) is founded.
1995 — Austria, Finland and Sweden join the European Union.
1999 — The euro begins to be used electronically.
2002 — The euro is officially used in trade in the 12 member states of the European Union.
2002 — Bomb explosion after New Year's Eve 2002.
2007 — Adam Air Flight 574 crashes in the Makassar Strait. All 102 passengers and crew were killed.
2007 — Romania and Bulgaria join the European Union.
2009 — Fire at a nightclub in Bangkok, Thailand leaves 61 people dead.
2019 — Landslide in Cisolok, Sukabumi occurred shortly after New Year's Eve and killed at least a few people and the rest are missing
2019 — Vehicle crash attack in Tokyo.
2020 — Floods hit after the entire Greater Jakarta was rained on December 31, 2019.
1431 – Pope Alexander VI, Pope (r. 1503).
1484 – Huldrych Zwingli, Swiss leader of the Protestant Reformation (d. 1531).
1892 – Manuel Roxas, 5th President of the Philippines (d. 1948).
1911 – Achmad Nawir, captain of the Dutch East Indies at the 1938 World Cup (d. 1995).
1930 – Gaafar M. Nimeiri, President of Sudan.
1935 – Paul Revere, American slavery hero.
1946 – Roberto Rivelino, legendary Brazilian footballer.
1957 — Ray Sahetapy, Indonesian actor.
1977 – Jerry Yan, member of the music group F4.
1981 – Mladen Petrić, soccer player