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On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings.
Four colly birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Feast of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

New Years Day
The first day of the calendar year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars

Diarist Samuel Pepys begins work on his daily journal, a project he continued until May 31 1669.

American patriot Paul Revere born. He rode from Charlestown to Lexington to warn of the British advance.

Folklorist Sir James Frazer (The Golden Bough) born in Glasgow, Scotland.

Abraham Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves.

Photographer Alfred Stieglitz born in Hoboken, New Jersey.

English author, E(dward) M(organ) Forster (A Passage to India), born in London, England.

Blues musician Frank Stokes born in Shelby county, Tennesse.

French author Marcel Proust dips a piece of toast in his tea and the flavor brings back childhood memories that become the basis for the famous “madeleine” episode in Swann's Way.

Author J. D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye) born in New York City.

English author and playwright Joe Orton (Loot) born in Leicester, England.

Cartoonist B. Kliban born in Norwalk, Connecticut.


Country Western singing sensation, Hank Williams dies in the back-seat of his Cadillac car.

Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista abandons his country before the encroaching forces of Fidel Castro during the Cuban Revolution.

The Beatles fail their audition with Decca Records.

Unix time begins at 00:00:00 UTC/GMT.

This Day at the New Yorker


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