45 BC The Julian calendar took effect for the first time.
1001 – Grand Prince Stephen I of Hungary was named the first King of Hungary by Pope Silvester II.
1449 Lorenzo de’ Medici, Italian statesman, was born.
1651 Charles II was crowned King of Scotland.
1735 Paul Revere, American patriot, was born (d. 1818).
1772 – The first traveller’s cheques, which could be used in 90 European cities, went on sale in London.
1779 William Clowes, English printer, was born (d. 1847).
1788 First edition of The Times of London, previously The Daily Universal Register, was published.
1800 The Dutch East India Company was dissolved.
1801 The legislative union of Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland was completed to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
1804 French rule ended in Haiti. Haiti becomes the first black republic and second independent country on the American Continent after the U.S.
1808 The importation of slaves into the United States was banned.
1810 Major-General Lachlan Macquarie CB officially became Governor of New South Wales.
1833 The United Kingdom claimed sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.
1833 Robert Lawson, New Zealand architect, was born (d. 1902).
1859 Pencarrow, New Zealand’s first lighthouse, was lit for the first time.
1860 First Polish stamp was issued.
1861 Porfirio Díaz conquered Mexico City.
1876 The Reichsbank opened in Berlin.
1877 Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India.
1879 E. M. Forster, English novelist, was born (d. 1970).
1890 Eritrea was consolidated into a colony by the Italian government.
1892 Ellis Island opened to begin processing immigrants into the United States.
1894 – The Manchester Ship Canal,was officially opened to traffic.
1895 J. Edgar Hoover, American FBI director, was born (d. 1972).
1899 – Spanish rule ended in Cuba.
1901 – The British colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia federated as the Commonwealth of Australia; Edmund Barton was appointed the first Prime Minister.
1912 The Republic of China was established.
1912 Kim Philby, British spy, was born (d. 1988).
1919 J. D. Salinger, American novelist, was born (d. 2010).
1934 Alcatraz Island became a United States federal prison.
1939 William Hewlett and David Packard founded Hewlett-Packard.
1948 The British railway network was nationalised to form British Railways.
1951 – The New Zealand Legislative Council was abolished.
1956 The Republic of the Sudan gained independence.
1958 The European Community was established.
1960 The Republic of Cameroon achieved independence.
1962 – United States Navy SEALs established.
1982 – Peruvian Javier Pérez de Cuéllar became the first Latin American to be Secretary General of the United Nations.
1984 – The Sultanate of Brunei became independent.
1985 The Internet‘s Domain Name System was created.
1990 – David Dinkins was sworn in as New York City’s first black mayor.
1993 – A single market within the European Community was introduced.
1994 – The North American Free Trade Agreement came into effect.
1995 The World Trade Organisation came into effect.
1995 – The Draupner wave in the North Sea was detected, confirming the existence of freak waves.
1998 – The European Central Bank was established.
2006 – Sydney, sweltered through its hottest New Years Day on record. The thermometer peaked at 45 degrees celsius, sparking bushfires and power outages.
2007 – Adam Air Flight 574 disappeared over Indonesia with 102 people on board.
2009 – 66 died in nightclub fire in Bangkok.
2010 – A suicide car bomber detonated at a volleyball tournament in Lakki Marwat, Pakistan, killing 105 and injuring 100 more.
2011– Estonia officially adopted the Euro currency and becomes the seventeenth eurozone country.
2012 – Kim Jong-un was officially declared the new Supreme Leader of North Korea.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.