January 1st

2011
Oprah Winfrey launched the OWN cable TV network.
Oprah Winfrey Network (U.S. TV channel)
2002
Euro coins and notes went into circulation in twelve European nations.
Euro
1999
The Euro becomes the official currency in 11 countries. While the Euro was already valid for bank transfers, notes and coins were introduced on January 1, 2002.
History of the euro
1994
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect.
North American Free Trade Agreement
1993
Czechoslovakia is dissolved. The country was peacefully divided into the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.
Dissolution of Czechoslovakia
1992
Russia is formed. The formation of the Russian Federation followed the disintegration of the Soviet Union.
History of Russia (1991–present)
1990
David Dinkins was sworn in as New York City's first African-American mayor.
David Dinkins
1984
AT&T was divested of its 22 Bell System companies under terms of an antitrust agreement.
1984 Republican National Convention
1979
The United States and China established diplomatic relations.
China–United States relations
1975
John Mitchell, H. R. Haldeman, and John Ehrlichman were convicted of obstruction of justice in the Watergate affair.
List of federal political scandals in the United States
1959
Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries took over Cuba and toppled Fulgencio Batista's regime.
Cuba under Fidel Castro
1958
The European Economic Community is founded. The EEC was a predecessor of today's European Union (EU)
European Economic Community
1953
Country singer Hank Williams Sr., 29, died of a drug and alcohol overdose.
Death of Hank Williams
1919
J.D. Salinger, author of "The Catcher in the Rye," was born in New York City.
J. D. Salinger
1914
The world's first airline, St. Petersburg Tampa Airboat Line, starts operation in St. Petersburg, Florida.
St. Petersburg–Tampa Airboat Line
1912
Republic of China is founded. It was succeeded by the People's Republic of China in 1949.
Republic of China (1912–49)
1908
The ball signifying the New Year was dropped for the first time at Times Square in New York City.
Times Square Ball
1901
The Commonwealth of Australia was proclaimed.
Proclamation Declaring the Establishment of the Commonwealth of ...
1898
New York City was consolidated into five buroughs.
City of Greater New York
1896
German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen announces his discovery of x-rays.
Wilhelm Röntgen
1892
The Ellis Island Immigrant Station in New York opened.
Ellis Island
1863
Emancipation Proclamation issued by Abraham Lincoln to free slaves in US confederate states.
Emancipation Proclamation
1808
A law prohibiting the importation of slaves into the United States went into effect.
Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves
1758
The International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature establish the "starting point" for standardized species names across the animal kingdom, based on the binomial nomenclature by Carolus Linnaeus 10th edition of Systema Naturae.
Binomial nomenclature
630
The Prophet Muhammad sets out toward Mecca with the army that captures it bloodlessly.
Conquest of Mecca