What Happened Today in History?

Looking to brush up on your history knowledge? Check out our blog for a summary of today’s most important historical events!

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January 1

On this day in 1776, the Continental Army was reorganized into ten companies of riflemen. The army was established by the Continental Congress to fight the American Revolutionary War against the Kingdom of Great Britain. The army was later disbanded after the war.

New Year’s Day

New Year’s Day, also called simply New Year’s or New Year, is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar. In pre-Christian Rome under the Julian calendar, the day was dedicated to Janus, god of gateways and beginnings, for whom a two-faced image (whose one face looks to the past and whose other face looks to the future) is a symbol.

January 2

On this day in 1788, Georgia became the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution. Georgia had been a colony since 1733 and was named after King George II of England. In 1776, it declared its independence from Britain and became one of the thirteen original states. Georgia was the last of the thirteen states to ratify the Constitution.

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is a popular tradition celebrated in the United States and Canada on February 2. It is also known as Candlemas Day or weather forecaster’s day. According to folklore, if a groundhog (a small rodent) sees its shadow when it comes out of its burrow on this day, it will retreat back into its home, indicating that winter will last for another six weeks. If the groundhog does not see its shadow, spring will arrive early.

January 3

On this day in 1833, the United Kingdom formally annexes Eastern Newfoundand, which is now a province in Canada. This day in 1868, the Meiji Restoration takes place as the last emperor of Japan is restored to the throne. This day in 1923, the first American servicemen arrive in Iceland.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 3 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States. It is a federal holiday that commemorates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a civil rights leader who was assassinated in 1968.

Today, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated by people of all races and ethnicities across the country. It is a day of service and remembrance, when we honor Dr. King’s legacy by working for social justice and equality.

January 4

National Trivia Day

National Trivia Day is celebrated annually on January 4. The date was chosen as a play on the words “trivia” (unimportant facts) and “trivia” (the Roman goddess of crossroads, who was symbolically represented with three roads meeting at one point).

The holiday began in 1992 as part of the National Association for Trivia Game Enthusiasts’ (NATGE) marketing campaign to promote trivia games. NATGE chose January 4 as the date for National Trivia Day because it is the birthday of game show host, Wink Martindale.

In recent years, the holiday has become an excuse for people to get together and test their knowledge on a variety of topics. There are many ways to celebrate National Trivia Day, but some popular ideas include hosting a trivia night, playing online trivia games, or simply spending time with family and friends asking each other random questions.

So dust off your old trivia books and get ready to have some fun!

January 5

On this day in 1933, President Herbert Hoover signed a measure making the Star-Spangled Banner the official national anthem of the United States. “The Star-Spangled Banner” is a poem written by Francis Scott Key in 1814 that was set to the tune of a popular British drinking song.

National Bird Day

Today is National Bird Day, a day to celebrate birds and raise awareness about the importance of conservation. This day also marks the start of the annual Great Backyard Bird Count, which takes place over four days and asks people to count birds in their backyards and submit their sightings online. The event is organized by the National Audubon Society and Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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