Almanac – January 01

In England, January 1 was celebrated as the New Year festival, but from the 12th century to 1752 the year in England began on March 25 (Lady Day). So, for example, the Parliamentary record notes the execution of Charles I as occurring on January 30, 1648, (as the year did not end until March 24), although modern histories adjust the start of the year to January 1 and record the execution as occurring in 1649.

Most western European countries changed the start of the year to January 1 before they adopted the Gregorian calendar. For example, Scotland changed the start of the Scottish New Year to January 1 in 1600. England, Ireland and the British colonies changed the start of the year to January 1 in 1752. Later that year in September, the Gregorian calendar was introduced throughout Britain and the British colonies, implemented by the Calendar (New Style) Act 1750.

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1804 – . Haiti became the first black republic and second independent country in North America after the United States.

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1812 – The Bishop of Durham, Shute Barrington, ordered troops from Durham Castle to break up a miners strike, at collieries owned by the Dean & chapter of Durham Cathedral,  in Chester-le-Street, Co. Durham.

At this time (and up until 1836), the “Prince” Bishops of Durham still held vice-regal powers in the North of England, which included the maintenance of a small private army, garrisoned in Durham Castle.

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1928 – Ernest Tidyman born. American author and screenwriter, best known for his novels featuring the African-American detective John Shaft. He also co-wrote the screenplay for the film version of Shaft.

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1953 – Hank Williams died.  American singer-songwriter and musician regarded as one of the most important country music artists of all time.

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1984 – Alexis Korner died.  Blues musician and radio broadcaster, who has sometimes been referred to as “a Founding Father of British Blues”.  A major influence on the sound of the British music scene in the 1960s – in 1961, Korner and Cyril Davies formed Blues Incorporated, initially a loose-knit group of musicians with a shared love of electric blues and R&B music. The group included, at various times, such influential musicians as Charlie Watts, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Long John Baldry, Graham Bond, Danny Thompson and Dick Heckstall-Smith. It also attracted a wider crowd of mostly younger fans, some of whom occasionally performed with the group, including Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Geoff Bradford, Rod Stewart, John Mayall and Jimmy Page.

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