Most of the world uses the Gregorian calendar, which has January as the first month of the year.
It is named for Janus, a Roman god. Roman legend has it that the the ruler Numa Pompilius added January and February to the end of the 10-month Roman calendar in about 700 B.C. Pompilius gave the month 30 days. Romans later made January the first month. In 46 B.C., the Roman statesman Julius Caesar added a day to January, making it 31 days long. The Anglo-Saxons called the first month Wolfmonth because wolves came into the villages in winter in search of food.
In the northern half of the world, January is the coldest month. Nature is quiet and the birds travel less. The woodchucks and bears sleep day and night, in hibernation. The plants are resting, waiting for the warmer temperatures of the Spring. In the southern half of the world, January is the warmest month. Animals are very active, and plants are growing.
he garnet is the birthstone for January.
The snowdrop is the flower for the month of January. It often blooms in the snow.
What happened in History in this month?
New Year’s Day – The most celebrated holiday around the world.
1502 – Portuguese explorers landed at Guanabara Bay on the coast of South America and named it Rio de Janeiro (River of January). Rio de Janeiro is currently Brazil’s second largest city.
1776 – During the American Revolution, George Washington unveiled the Grand Union Flag, the first national flag in America.
1877 – Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India.
1949 ‘United Nations cease fire orders to operate in Kashmir. War stops accordingly.
1955 ‘Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) comes into being.
1958 – The EEC (European Economic Community) known as the Common Market was formed by Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and The Netherlands in order to remove trade barriers and coordinate trade policies.
1959 – Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba after leading a revolution that drove out Dictator Fulgencio Batista. Castro then established a Communist dictatorship.
1961 -Decimal coinage introduced in Pakistan
1973 – Britain, Ireland and Denmark became members of the European Common Market (EEC).
1979 – China and the US established diplomatic relations, 30 years after the foundation of the People’s Republic.
1981– Interest-free banking introduced in Pakistan.
1993 – Czechoslovakia broke into separate Czech and Slovak republics.
1998– Rafiq Tarrar was sworn in as President of Pakistan.
1999 – Eleven European nations began using a new single European currency, the Euro, for electronic financial and business transactions. Participating countries included; Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.
2004 – General Musharraf won a vote of confidence in the Senate, National Assembly and provincial assemblies.
1965-Presidential election held. Field Marshal Ayub Khan re-elected as President.
2006 -Dr Shamshad Akhter assumes office of State Bank Governor becoming the first woman Governor of SBP.
2008– The Election Commission announced elections will be held on February 18.
1981– International Islamic University starts functioning at Islamabad Pakistan.
1990 – Manuel Noriega, the deposed leader of Panama, surrendered to American authorities on charges of drug trafficking after spending 10 days hiding in the Vatican embassy following the US invasion of Panama.
1993 – President George Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed the START-II (Strategic Arms Reduction Talks Treaty), eliminating about two-thirds of each country’s long range nuclear weapons.
1950-Government of Pakistan recognizes the Peoples Republic of China.
Birthday – Louis Braille (1809-1852) was born in France. Blinded as a boy, he later invented a reading system for the blind using punch marks in paper.
1919 – German Communists in Berlin led by Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht attempted to take over the government by seizing a number of buildings. However, ten days later, they were both assassinated by German soldiers.
1919 – The German Workers’ Party (Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) was founded by Anton Drexler in Munich. Adolf Hitler became member No. 7 and changed the name in April of 1920 to the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) commonly shortened to Nazi or Nazi Party.
1963-First trade agreement is signed between Pakistan and China.
1976 – In Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge led by Pol Pot announced a new constitution which legalized the Communist government and renamed the country as Kampuchea. During the reign of Pol Pot, over 1 million persons died in “the killing fields” as he forced people out of the cities into the countryside to create an idyllic agrarian society. Educated and professional city people were especially targeted for murder and were almost completely annihilated. In January of 1979, the Pol Pot was overthrown by Cambodian rebels and Vietnamese troops.
2002-Musharraf stunned Vajpayee by a handshake at the 11th SAARC summit in Kathmandu.
2004-Musharraf meets Vajpayee in Islamabad, discusses Kashmir dispute.
Birthday ‘Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (5 January 1928 ‘4 April 1979) was 9th Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1973 to 1977, and prior to that, 4th President of Pakistan from 1971 to 1973. Bhutto was the founder of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)’ the largest and most influential political party in Pakistan.
and served as its chairman until his execution in 1979.
1968-Agartala conspiracy case for secession of East Pakistan, unearthed. 28 involved persons arrested.
1990 – Poland’s Communist Party disbanded and then reorganized as the Social Democratic Party, an opposition party to Solidarity.
Birthday – Joan of Arc (1412-1431) was born in France. After a series of mystic visitations by saints, she inspired French troops to break the British siege at Orleans and win several important victories during the Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453) between France and Britain. She was eventually captured and sold to the British who tried her for heresy and burned her at the stake. In 1920, Joan of Arc was canonized a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.
1714 – A patent was issued for the first typewriter designed by British inventor Henry Mill “for the impressing or transcribing of letters singly or progressively one after another, as in writing.”
1782 – The first US commercial bank opened as the Bank of North America in Philadelphia.
1989 – Emperor Hirohito of Japan died after a long illness. He had ruled for 62 years and was succeeded by his son, Crown Prince Akihito.
1964 – President Lyndon Johnson declared War on Poverty during his State of the Union message before Congress.
1972-Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman is released unconditionally.
1993-General Asif Nawaz dies of heart attack in Rawalpindi.
1960 – With the first blast of dynamite, construction work began on the Aswan High Dam across the Nile River in southern Egypt. One third of the project’s billion-dollar cost was underwritten by Soviet Russia. The dam created Lake Nasser, one of the world’s largest reservoirs, at nearly 2,000 square miles and irrigated over 100,000 acres of surrounding desert. The dam was opened in January of 1971 by President Anwar Sadat of Egypt and President Nikolai Podgorny of the Soviet Union.
Birthday – Carrie Lane Chapman (1859-1947) was born in Ripon, Wisconsin. She was the women’s rights pioneer who founded the National League of Women Voters in 1919.
1863 – The world’s first underground railway service opened in London, the Metropolitan line between Paddington and Farringdon.
1912 – The flying boat airplane, invented by Glenn Curtiss, made its first flight at Hammondsport, New York.
1920 – The League of Nations officially came into existence with the goal of resolving international disputes, reducing armaments, and preventing future wars. The first Assembly gathered in Geneva ten months later with 41 nations represented. More than 20 nations later joined, however, the US did not join due to a lack of support for the League in Congress.
1946 – The first meeting of the United Nations General Assembly took place in London with delegates from 51 countries. The UN superseded its predecessor, the League of Nations.
1966-Tashkent Declaration signed between India and Pakistan.
1977– Nine opposition parties form joint election forum, Pakistan National Alliance (PNA).
1984 – The US and Vatican established full diplomatic relations after a break of 116 years.
1982 – General Zia-ul-Haq inaugurate first session of Federal Council (Shoora) in Islamabad.
1879 – In Southern Africa, the Zulu War began between the British and the natives of Zululand, ultimately resulting in the destruction of the Zulu Empire.
1990 – Romania outlawed the Communist Party following the overthrow of Dictator Nicolae Ceauescu who had ruled for 24 years.
1991 – Congress authorized President George Bush to use military force against Iraq following its invasion of Kuwait.
1992-Lahore-Islamabad Motorway project launched.
1996 – The first joint American-Russian military operation since World War II occurred as Russian troops arrived to aid in peacekeeping efforts in Bosnia. .
1893 – The British Independent Labor Party was founded with James Keir Hardie as its leader.
1996-General Jahangir Karamat becomes chief of army staff.
Birthday – Author Horatio Alger (1834-1899) was born in Revere, Massachusetts. He wrote over 100 books for boys, many featuring “rags to riches” themes of poor boys triumphing over life’s obstacles.
1943 – President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill met at Casablanca in Morocco to work on strategy during World War II. At the conclusion of the conference, Roosevelt and Churchill held a joint news conference at which Roosevelt surprisingly announced that peace would come “by the total elimination of German and Japanese war power. That means the unconditional surrender of Germany, Italy and Japan.”
Birthday – Philosopher-physician Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) was born in Upper Alsace, Germany. He served as a medical missionary in Africa and received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his work on behalf of the brotherhood of all nations.
Birthday – American film pioneer Hal Roach (1892-1992) was born in Elmira, New York. His output included nearly 1,000 movies of all lengths, including the classic Laurel and Hardy comedies.
1994-Pakistan Television transmission gets access to 38 countries via satellite.
1983-First three F-16 jets reach Pakistan.
Birthday – Martin Luther King (1929-1968) was born in Atlanta, Georgia. As an African American civil rights leader he spoke eloquently and stressed non-violent methods to achieve equality. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. He was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968. In 1983, the third Monday in January was designated a legal holiday in the US to celebrate his birthday.
1979 – The Shah of Iran left his country amid mass demonstrations and the revolt of Islamic fundamentalists led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The Shah had ruled Iran since 1941 and had unsuccessfully attempted to westernize its culture.
1991 – The war against Iraq began as Allied aircrafts conducted a major raid against Iraqi air defenses. The air raid on Baghdad was broadcast live to a global audience by CNN correspondents as operation Desert Shield became Desert Storm.
1955-Noted short story writer, Saadat Hasan Manto passes away in Lahore. .
Birthday – Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Considered the Elder Statesman of the American Revolution, he displayed multiple talents as a printer, author, publisher, philosopher, scientist, diplomat and philanthropist. He signed both the Declaration of Independence and the new U.S. Constitution.
Birthday – Muhammad Ali was born in Louisville, Kentucky, January 17, 1942 (as Cassius Clay). At age 22 in 1964, he knocked out Sonny Liston to win the world heavyweight boxing championship, shouting out “I shook up the world!” After converting to the Muslim religion, the boxing superstar became an outspoken conscientious objector (on religious grounds) to America’s escalating involvement in the Vietnam War and refused military duty upon being drafted. As a result, he was stripped of his boxing title, banned from boxing, and subsequently jailed. After a long legal battle, his conviction was reversed and he regained the championship in 1974 by defeating George Foreman. In the early 1980s, after retiring from boxing, Ali revealed his new struggle with Parkinson’s disease. However, he has remained active, devoting himself to various philanthropic and humanitarian causes.
1966 – Indira Gandhi was elected prime minister of India in succession to Lal Shastri who had died eight days earlier. She served until 1975 and later from 1980 to 1984, when she was assassinated by her own bodyguards as she walked to her office. Her only surviving son, Rajiv, became the next prime minister. In 1991, he too was assassinated while campaigning for reelection
1945 – Franklin Delano Roosevelt was inaugurated to an unprecedented fourth term as president of the United States. He had served since 1933.
1972-Zulfikar Ali Bhutto called a secret meeting at Multan, and launched the programme on nuclear weapons development.
1981 – Ronald Reagan became president of the United States at the age of 69, the oldest president to take office. During his inauguration celebrations, he announced that 52 American hostages that had been seized in the US embassy in Tehran, Iran, were being released after 444 days in captivity.
1996 – Yasir Arafat became the first democratically-elected leader of the Palestinian people with 88.1 percent of the vote.
1924 – Soviet Union leader Vladimir Lenin died of a brain hemorrhage. He led the Bolsheviks to victory over the Czar in the October Revolution of 1917 and had then established the world’s first Communist government. Lenin’s body was placed in a tomb in Red Square in Moscow and was a much venerated national shrine until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
1954 – The USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear powered submarine, was launched at Groton, Connecticut.
1976 – The Concorde supersonic jet began passenger service with flights from London to Bahrain and Paris to Rio de Janeiro, cruising at twice the speed of sound (Mach 2) at an altitude up to 60,000 feet.
1901 – Queen Victoria of England died after reigning for 64 years, the longest reign in British history, during which England had become the most powerful empire in the world.
1905 – Five hundred protesting Russian workers were killed by the troops of Czar Nicholas II in St. Petersburg. The event became known as “Bloody Sunday” and marked the beginning of the violent revolutionary movement of 1905 which ultimately failed. A second revolutionary movement in 1917 succeeded and the Czar abdicated.
1973 – Abortion became legal in the US as the Supreme Court announced its decision in the case of Roe vs. Wade striking down local state laws restricting abortions in the first six months of pregnancy. In more recent rulings (1989 and 1992) the Court upheld the power of individual states to impose some restrictions.
Birthday – British essayist, philosopher and statesman Francis Bacon (1561-1626) was born in London. Best known for his philosophical works concerning the acquisition of knowledge; Novum Organum and The Advancement of Learning.
1937 – In Moscow, 17 leading Communists went on trial, accused of participating in a plot engineered by Leon Trotsky to overthrow Stalin’s regime and assassinate its leaders. After a seven-day trial, 13 of them were sentenced to death. Trotsky fled to Mexico where he was assassinated in 1940.
1943 – In North Africa, British forces under General Bernard Montgomery captured Tripoli in Libya.
Birthday – Russian film director Sergei Eisenstein (1898-1948) was born in Riga, Latvia. He developed a new way of film making utilizing artistic montages (a series of arbitrary images) to deliver an emotional impact. Prior to him, most film makers showed scenes in strictly chronological sequences. His classic films include Potemkin, Alexander Nevsky, and Ivan the Terrible.
1963-Zulfikar Ali Bhutto became Foreign Minister of Pakistan.
1965 – Winston Churchill (1874-1965) died. He had been Britain’s wartime prime minister whose courageous leadership and defiant rhetoric had fortified the British during their long struggle against Hitler’s Germany.
1972 – Japanese soldier Shoichi Yokoi was discovered on Guam after he had spent 28 years hiding out in the jungle not knowing World War II had long since ended.
1959 – An American Airlines Boeing 707 made the first scheduled transcontinental U.S. flight, traveling from California to New York.
1971 – In Uganda, a military coup led by Idi Amin deposed President Milton Obote. Amin then ruled as president-dictator until 1979 when he was ousted by Tanzanian soldiers and Ugandan nationalists. During his reign, Amin expelled all Asians from Uganda, and ordered the execution of more than 300,000 tribal Ugandans.
1994-Benazir Bhutto inaugurates country’s first women police station in Islamabad.
Birthday – Scientist Robert Boyle (1627-1691) was born in Lismore, Ireland. He formulated Boyle’s Law concerning the volume and pressure of gases.
1998 – President Bill Clinton made an emphatic denial of charges that he had a sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky and had advised her to lie about it. “…I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky…”
1973 – US involvement in the Vietnam War ended as North Vietnamese and American representatives signed an agreement in Paris. The US agreed to remove all remaining troops within 60 days thus ending the longest war in American history. Over 58,000 Americans had been killed, 300,000 wounded and 2,500 declared missing. A total of 566 prisoners-of-war had been held by the North Vietnamese during the war, with 55 reported deaths.
Birthday – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) was born in Salzburg, Austria. From the age of five, through his untimely death at age 35, this musical genius created over 600 compositions including 16 operas, 41 symphonies, 27 piano and five violin concerti, 25 string quartets, 19 masses, and many other works.
Birthday – British novelist Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) was born in Daresbury, Cheshire, England (as Charles Lutwidge Dodgson). Best known for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. He also lectured in mathematics and was a pioneering photographer.
Birthday – Labor leader Samuel Gompers (1850-1924) was born in London. He emigrated to America at age 13, worked in a cigar factory, eventually becoming head of the Cigar Workers’ Union. He later brought together several national unions under the name American Federation of Labor and became its first president.
1935 – Iceland became the first country to legalize abortion.
1916 – During World War I, the first aerial bombings of Paris by German zeppelins took place.
Birthday – Russian playwright Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) was born in Taganrog, Russia. His works included Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard.
1933 – Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany by President Paul von Hindenburg. Hitler went on to become the sole leader of Nazi Germany.
1948 – Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in New Delhi, India, by a religious fanatic.
1971– An Indian Airlines aeroplane, hijacked by two Kashmiri separatists, lands at Lahore airport.
Birthday – Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) the 32nd US President was born in Hyde Park, New York. Despite crippling polio, he led America out of the Great Depression and through World War II and is widely considered to be one of America’s three greatest presidents (along with Washington and Lincoln). “When peace has been broken anywhere, the peace of all countries is in danger,” he stated in 1939.
1943 – German troops surrendered at Stalingrad, marking the first big defeat of Hitler’s armies in World War II. During the Battle of Stalingrad, 160,000 Germans were killed and 90,000 taken prisoner, including the commander, Friedrich von Paulus, the first German Field Marshal ever to surrender. The captured Germans were forced to march to Siberia, with few ever returning to Germany.