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1699 - Peter the Great ordered that the Russian New Year be changed from September 1 to January 1.

1963 - The Berlin Wall was opened for the first time to West Berliners. It was only for the holiday season. It closed again on January 6, 1964.

1999 - Sovereignty over the colony of Macao was transferred from Portugal to China.

2001 - The first British peacekeepers arrived in Afghanistan to help the nation heal after decades of war.


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