January 12 in Swedish History
1528: Gustav Vasa is crowned King of Sweden. Gustav Vasa, Gustav I of Sweden, born Gustav Eriksson, was probably born on May 12, 1496 at Lindholmen mansion in Orkesta parish. He was King of Sweden from 1523 to his death in 1560—a very important national figure in Sweden, if not the most important.
He transformed the country into an autocratic nation state. At that time this meant strong central authority led by an absolute monarch. Gustav Vasa made the tax-system much more efficient than it had been before. Earlier a number of farms or a village formed a tax unit; from now on every single farm was a unit. All farms, and how much each farm had to pay was precisely written down. The king had sheriffs who ensured that everyone paid their taxes. This meant heavily increased taxes for most farmers and caused rebellions in some parts of the country. The king handled the rebellions successfully (most rebels were killed). This strengthened his authority even more.
King Gustav Vasa is known for his correspondence with his subordinates. He personally wrote letters even to common farmers, telling them how to do things and solve problems. Some hundred years later when a romanticized picture of the king was drawn, this was used as an example of his greatness and a reason many generations of Swedes made him a beloved monarch. The people who received critical letters from King Gustav Vasa probably did not think of him as a "beloved monarch," and most people were presumably terrified. The last monarch from the royal House of Vasa was Drottning Kristina (Queen Christina), who abdicated in 1654. The throne was then passed on to her half-cousin Karl X Gustav (Charles X Gustav) of the House of Palatinate-Zweibrücken.

Vasa, today renowned for the annual Vasaloppet - at one point some time ago discussed as a possible new National Day: Vasaloppet, a better national holiday?