This Day In History : January 1

1942 United States

United Nations Created by 26 Nations

On January 1, 1942, representatives from 26 nations signed the Declaration by United Nations, pledging to fight together against the Axis powers during World War II. This declaration laid the foundation for the creation of a peacekeeping organization aimed at fostering international cooperation and preventing future conflicts. The signing marked a significant step towards the establishment of the United Nations.

Also on This Day in History January 1

Discover what happened on January 1 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, January 1
  • 1905 Oscar Auerbach

    American pathologist whose diligent research produced the first evidence in human lung tissue of a causal connection between cigarette smoking and cancer.

  • 1879 Albert Hoyt Taylor

    American physicist and radio engineer, known as the “father of navy radar” whose work laid the foundation for U.S. radar development.

  • 1852 Eugène Anatole Demarcay

    French chemist who spectroscopically discovered the element europium (1901) in material carefully separated from samarium magnesium nitrate.

  • 1878 Agner Erlang

    He was a Danish mathematician, statistician and engineer, who invented the fields of traffic engineering and queueing theory.

  • 1849 Benjamin Holt

    American inventor of the crawler track (1904) in the form of an endless chain tread for his steam traction engine.

Deaths on This Day, January 1
  • 1931 Martinus Willem Beijerinck

    Dutch botanist who was one of the first microbiologists to recognize the importance of lactic acid bacteria for food production.

  • 1894 Heinrich Hertz

    Heinrich Rudolf Hertz was a German physicist who was the first to broadcast and receive radio waves.

  • 1862 Mikhail Ostrogradsky

    Mikhail Vasilievich Ostrogradsky was a Russian mathematician who contributed in the fields of integral calculus and mathematical physics.

  • 1817 Martin Heinrich Klaproth

    German chemist, who as a founder of analytical chemistry discovered uranium (1789), zirconium (1789), cerium (1803), and contributed to the identification of others.

  • 1800 Louis-Jean-Marie Daubenton

    French naturalist who was a prolific pioneer in the fields of comparative anatomy and paleontology.


Coordinated Universal Time

In 1972, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) was adopted worldwide. UTC is determined from six primary atomic clocks that are coordinated by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures located in France.


In 1966, effective on this day, all US cigarette packages began carrying the health warning: Caution: Cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health.

First U.S. hydroplane commercial airline

In 1914, the first U.S. commercial hydroplane service began in Florida between St. Petersburg and Tampa.

Indian Standard Time

In 1906, in British India, all the railway and telegraph clocks were put at Indian Standard Time. India implemented their international standard time zone based on the 1905 decision for the Indian Time Meridian.
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