1 January: A look at historic events that occurred on this day


Following a number of historical events, 1 January has etched its place in the history books. From US President Abraham Lincoln issuing the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 to Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) debuting on television in 2011, several occurrences happened on 1 January. On this day in 1808, after the Act Prohibiting the Importation of Slaves went into effect, the United States made the slave trade illegal. On the same day in 1804, Haiti declared its independence from France. While American author JD Salinger was born on this day in 1919, American country and western musician Hank Williams Sr. passed away in 1953. Therefore, let’s take a detailed look at some of the historical events that occurred on 1 January.

Dictator Fulgencio Batista fled Cuba

It was on this day in 1959 that dictator Fulgencio Batista fled Cuba when his regime was toppled by rebel forces led by Cuban revolutionary and politician Fidel Castro. Cuba had held presidential elections in 1954 and 1958 which were manipulated to make Batista the sole candidate. In the fall of 1958, Batista’s regime was finally toppled by the rebel forces that were led by former Cuban President Castro. The revolution resulted in Batista fleeing with his family on 1 January 1959 to the Dominican Republic. Later, Batista went into exile on the Portuguese island of Madeira and finally settled in Estoril near Lisbon.

North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect

In 1994, the trilateral trade bloc North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect on 1 January, eliminating most tariffs and other trade barriers on products and services passing between Canada, Mexico, and the United States. The controversial trade pact was originally signed in 1992 and went on to gradually eliminate most tariffs and other trade barriers on products and services passing between the nations, creating a free-trade bloc among the three largest countries in North America. After coming into effect in 1994, NAFTA remained in force until it was replaced in 2020.

World Trade Organization was formally established

Just a year after NAFTA came into effect, on 1 January 1995, the World Trade Organization began its operations. The successor of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the WTO is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations. While WTO was established in 1995, its trading system is half a century older.

Euro introduced in Europe

Exactly 20 years ago on 1 January 2002, the currency of the European Union, the Euro was launched with the issuance of both banknotes and coins. While the Euro was launched on 1 January 1999 after a decade of preparations, it was an “invisible” currency that was used only for accounting purposes and electronic payments, until 2002 when banknotes and coins were issued. In March 2002, it became the sole legal tender of participating member states.

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1 January: A look at historic events that occurred on this day
1 January: A look at historic events that occurred on this day
ASE News
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