1735 Birthdays of three American Revolutionary heroes: silversmith Paul Revere (1735), flag maker Betsy Ross (1752), General “Mad” Anthony Wayne, (1745).
1808 The U. S. Congress officially prohibited African slave trade.
1831 The Liberator was first published.
1863 President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
1898 Brooklyn merged with Manhattan.
1905 The Trans-Siberian Railway started its maiden voyage.
1909 Barry Goldwater was born.
1935 The colonies of Cyrenaica, Tripoli, and Eezaan united to form the Country of Libya.
1942 Twenty-six nations signed the United Nations Declaration. (See January 9th and October 24th entries.)
Some notable American patriots were born on New Year’s Day. Paul Revere, the Bostonian silversmith who rallied American colonists to arms against the arriving British troops; Betsy Ross, maker of the new nation’s banner; and General “Mad” Anthony Wayne, who led the charge on many British garrisons, were all born on this day. An outspoken spokesperson for Republican conservatism, Arizona state senator Barry Goldwater, was also a New Year’s child.
New Year’s is a day of both new beginnings and a day of renewed commitment to beliefs. Some great Americans have pronounced their views on this day that no man can own another. In 1863, President Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation. It reinforced Congress’ prohibition of African slave trade which occurred on the same day in 1808. In the first issue of his anti-slavery periodical, The Liberator, published on this day in 1832, William Lloyd Garrison proclaimed: “I am in earnest. I will not equivocate; I will not excuse; I will not retreat a single inch; and I will be heard.”
New Year’s Day offers an opportunity to cast aside differences and resolve to renew alliances. On this day in 1898, the boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan merged to create Greater New York. The Trans-Siberian Railway started on its maiden voyage on this day in 1905, joining a continent. The route united far away Vladivostok, Manchuria, with the world’s culture capital—Paris, France. And in 1935, the North African colonies of Cyrenaica, Tripoli, and Eezaan united to form the country of Libya. In 1942, this feeling of unity was felt worldwide when twenty-six nations signed the United Nations Declaration in Washington, D. C.