Personally, I think I am too old for New Year’s Resolutions and that I really should have gotten things right by now. But when I was under 60, I would enthusiastically promise myself all kinds of changes and goals. The fact that most of them never lasted very long may well have been what triggered the beginning of a natural memory loss due to aging. I think it’s easier to stick to New Year’s resolutions in the northern hemisphere, where it’s back to work on January 2nd, and the post-holiday weather is often kind of gloomy, leaving people with little to do other than to concentrate on their resolutions. But for the past 50 years I have lived in a country where the New Year comes during summer vacation, making it very hard to actually implant any noble changes in one’s life. Summer vacation is taken very seriously in Brazil. Nonetheless, we have made some resolutions for the coming year.
As for me, I have resolved to make sure they keep their New Year’s resolutions.
We have put together a short quiz of important things that happened on past January Firsts, so that you can test yourselves on how much you learned from this blog over the past many months.
On January 1, 45 BCE, the calendar was established. (See post December 2017 inside Self-Study if calendar information has slipped your mind.)
On January 1, 1776 General George Washington, head of the Continental Army, hoisted the first American flag in Boston, which had been taken over by the British Army. A double widow named had sewn the flag. She had lost two husbands in the Revolutionary War. (Read The First First Couple inside Cliffhangers to get a feeling for the Revolutionary Period.)
After a 13-year revolution, Haiti became formally independent from on January 1, 1804. (Check out The Price of Island Living inside Self-Study if you are having any difficulty recalling the general history of Haiti.)
On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, a document that changed the legal status of more than 3 million enslaved people in the United States.
This executive order was in reality
(If this chapter in American history doesn’t ring a bell, refresh your memory by reading About Statues, Flags and Prejudice, Part I inside Cliffhangers.)
On January 1, 1896 German physics professor Wilhelm Roentgen introduced the world to his discovery of the X-ray machine. He named his discovery X-radiation, the X standing for . (If you want to jog your memory about how people suffered before the invention of the x-ray machine, take a look at the slow and painful death of President James Garfield in About Statues, Flags and Prejudice Part III inside Cliffhangers.)
The United States Navy SEALS was established on January 1, 1962 under the administration. (If you need a reminder about what these maritime warriors do when they are not on missions such as the hunting and killing of Osama bin Laden, see Inter Species Competitions inside Species)