Mild Chicago temperatures on January 1

Dear Tom,
I remember playing golf on New Year’s Day about 20 years ago with temperatures in the 60s. I didn’t see that day listed in your list of warmest New Year’s? Am I hallucinating?
— Tom Blankinship
Dear Tom,
You just might be a day off. We had Chicago weather historian Frank Wachowski check the city’s temperature archives and, surprisingly, even to him, Chicago has not logged a Jan. 1 temperature of 50 degrees or higher in more than a century. The last “warm” New Year’s Day was in 1916, when it hit 52 degrees. Before that, it was 54 degrees in 1890 and 1891, 55 in 1892, 57 in 1896 and the city’s warmest New Year’s in 1876, when it reached 65. Wachowski deduced that you are most likely remembering golfing on Jan. 2, either in 2004, when it was 61 degrees, or in 2000, when the mercury reached 60.