I’m sure that there are some fun facts about January that I could include in this blog if I had the time to find them. Only I don’t have the time to look in any great depth, and of the facts that I did find I wouldn’t really say they were ‘fun’.
In 1642, for instance, on January 4th, Charles I tried to arrest a handful of members of the house of commons, but failed to do so, which kind of set the wheels in motion for the first English Civil War. An important time in history, yes, but not much of a ‘feel good’ subject to write about here. I’m looking for comical, and quirky things!
On 5th January 1066, King Edward, or Edward the Confessor died. This is far from comical or quirky. Edward was succeeded by Harold two days later, at around the time Halley’s Comet was seen over England, which didn’t bode well with the locals. 1066 was also the start of Medieval England, apparently. And the time of the famous Battle of Hastings. Although I don’t think it took place in January of that year, there is something quirky about the Battle of Hastings that I must write about! It actually took place a few miles away from Hastings, in a place called Battle. For some reason they decided to use the title ‘Battle of Hastings’ to describe the conflict, which was probably very good forward thinking on their behalf, as the Battle of Battle just doesn’t sound as impressive.
In January 1912, lifeboats were fitted on board the Titanic. I don’t think anyone at the time would have thought that they would have been needed just three months later. Still, no fun. Where’s the fun, January?
On January 7th 1990, the Leaning Tower of Pisa was closed due to health and safety reasons. Luckily, it reopened again a few years later, although I haven’t been there yet. I’ll go there one day, but maybe sometime in summer.
One funny thing that I read is the description of January for the year 2000 from Wikipedia. It states:
January 2000 was the first month of that year. It began on a Saturday and ended 31 days later on a Monday. It was the first month of the 2000s decade.
We all know that January is the first month of the year now, but it wasn’t always the case. Oh no, the Roman calendar had ten months, Martius, Aprilis, Maius, Junius, Quintilis, Sextilis, September, October, November, and December. January and February were added later on, and then sung about by Barbara Dickson in 1980 – although I presume she was singing about a different January and February.
Apart from the addition of January, and Barbara’s song, all of the other events I came across are not particularly entertaining. Interesting, yes, but I don’t think we should use them as a way to feel good now (if we could!) They do prove that we don’t need to always look into the past to think that things were better than they are now. We live in the present, so we should make our present as fun, quirky and as special as we can. Make the present feel good and we can’t go wrong.
I think future historians will be writing about the time that January changed, and many feel good events occurred all over the world. I wonder if we will be part of history in that respect?
Oh, and one last note. Present day January isn’t all doom and gloom, regardless of what history has told me. I think it can be better though. Rather than being ‘Just January’, it can be ‘Great January’ … or even better still?