As each year winds down we look forward to the next with anticipation. To celebrate 2016, let’s take a look at these historic January 1sts (in no particular order). 1.

The Euro Introduced (2002)

The Euro Introduced (2002)

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The official currency of the eurozone was introduced to financial markets on January 1st, 1999, with the actual coins and currency entering circulation three years later. It currently serves as the currency of nineteen different countries. But it hasn’t been an easy ride and the Euro has been a point of controversy with countries in and outside the eurozone.

2.

The Velvet Divorce (1993)

The Velvet Divorce (1993)

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Czechoslovakia formed in 1918, but a shaky history under communist rule led to the country’s dissolution into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993. Interestingly, the revolution leading to this dissolution (the “Velvet Revolution”) was peaceful and nonviolent.

3.

Declaration by United Nations (1942)

Declaration by United Nations (1942)

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Serving as the basis for what would eventually become the United Nations, twenty-six countries signed this declaration, agreeing to act together in preserving human rights abroad and to join forces against its collective enemies (then defined as signatories to the Berlin Pact).

4.

Founding of Republic of China (1912)

Founding of Republic of China (1912)

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Following a brief uprising that started in the previous October, the formation of the Republic of China ended over two-thousand years of Imperialism in the country. However, the country remained in turmoil and was soon taken over by the Communist Party in 1949, forming the People’s Republic of China.

5.

Importing Slaves to the US Banned (1808)

Importing Slaves to the US Banned (1808)

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The Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves took effect in 1808. However, it didn’t outlaw slavery in the United States entirely, nor was it effective in eliminating the importation of slaves into the country. Which brings us to our next entry.

6.

Emancipation Proclamation (1863)

Emancipation Proclamation (1863)

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President Lincoln issued this executive order turning some three-million slaves into free people. Of course, this couldn’t be enforced in rebelling states until Union forces gained control of those areas. Despite this and the adopting of the 14th Amendment in 1865, slavery continued to exist for some time in the US.

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