Today in History, January 31st


A few of the great historical events that happened today in history, January 31st!

1606 Guy Fawkes is hanged, drawn and quartered for his part in the Gunpowder Plot, an attempt to blow up Parliament.
1620 Virginia colony leaders write to the Virginia Company in England, asking for more orphaned apprentices for employment.
1788 The Young Pretender, Charles Edward Stuart dies.
1797 Composer Franz Schubert was born in Vienna, Austria.franz-schubert
1865 House of Representatives approves a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery.
1865 Robert E. Lee was named general-in-chief of the Confederate armies.
1911 The German Reichstag exempts royal families from tax obligations.
1915 Germans use poison gas on the Russians at Bolimov.
1915 German U-boats sink two British steamers in the English Channel.
1916 President Woodrow Wilson refuses the compromise on Lusitania reparations.
1917 Germany resumes unlimited sub warfare, warning that all neutral ships that are in the war zone will be attacked.
1919 Baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, who broke the sport’s color barrier in 1947, was born in Cairo, Ga.
1935 The Soviet premier tells Japan to get out of Manchuria.
1943 The Battle of Stalingrad ends as small groups of German soldiers of the Sixth Army surrender to the victorious Red Army forces.
1944 U.S. forces invaded the Japanese-held Marshall Islands during World War II.
1945 Private Eddie Slovik became the only U.S. soldier since the Civil War to be executed for desertion.Eddie-Slovik-executed
1949 The first TV daytime soap opera, “These Are My Children,” was broadcast by the NBC station in Chicago.
1950 Paris protests the Soviet recognition of Ho Chi Minh’s Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
1950 President Harry S. Truman announced that he had ordered development of the hydrogen bomb.
1966 U.S. planes resume bombing of North Vietnam after a 37-day pause.
1968 In Vietnam, the Tet Offensive begins as Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers attack strategic and civilian locations throughout South Vietnam.
1971 Astronauts Alan B. Shepard Jr., Edgar D. Mitchell and Stuart A. Roosa blasted off aboard Apollo 14 on the third successful manned mission to the moon.
1976 Ernesto Miranda, famous from the Supreme Court ruling on Miranda vs. Arizona is stabbed to death.Ernesto-Miranda-mugshot
1981 Lech Walesa announces an accord in Poland, giving Saturdays off to laborers.
1990 McDonald’s Corp. opened its first fast-food restaurant in Moscow.
2000 An Alaska Airlines jet plunged into the ocean off Southern California on a flight from Mexico to San Francisco, killing all 88 people on board.
2001 A Scottish court sitting in the Netherlands convicted one Libyan and acquitted a second in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
2006 Samuel Alito was confirmed by the Senate and sworn in as a Supreme Court justice.
2006 The Senate approved Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve.
2011 Egypt’s military promised not to fire on peaceful protests and recognized “the legitimacy of the people’s demands.”
2011 Myanmar opened its first parliament in more than two decades.

Today in History facts are from various sites including, but not limited too: the History Channel, The New York Times, WHG, and


  1. The first item on the list, the execution of Guy Fawkes was intriguing to me because of the ubiquitous “Anonymous” link. While I realize wikipedia certainly isn’t the last word when it comes to historical fact, I wonder if it matters what they did to his body after he jumped from the scaffold where he was to be hanged and broke his own neck? So was this an execution or a suicide?