1958 the United States entered the Space Age with its first successful launch of a satellite into orbit, Explorer I.
1861 State of Louisiana takes over US Mint at New Orleans.
1863 1st black Civil War regiment, SC Volunteers, mustered into US army
1865 Gen. Robert E. Lee was named General-in-Chief of all the Confederate armies.
1917 during World War I, Germany served notice it was beginning a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.
1944 during World War II, U.S. forces began a successful invasion of Kwajalein Atoll and other parts of the Japanese-held Marshall Islands.
2003 President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair met at the White House; Bush said he would welcome a second U.N. resolution on Iraq but only if it led to the prompt disarming of Saddam Hussein. Pushing for a new resolution, Blair called confronting Iraq "a test of the international community."
2007 Nine blinking electronic devices planted around Boston threw a scare into the city in what turned out to be a marketing campaign for a late-night cable cartoon.
1906 Strongest instrumentally recorded earthquake, Colombia, 8.6 Richter.
1953 "Princess Victoria" capsized off Stanraer Scotland; 133 die.
1953 Hurricane-like winds flood Netherlands drowning nearly 2,000.
1988 Barge sinks near Anacortes WA, spills 70,000 gallons of oil.
2000 an Alaska Airlines jet plummeted into the Pacific Ocean, killing all 88 people aboard.
1871 Millions of birds fly over western San Francisco, darken the sky.
1675 Cornelia/Dina Olfaarts found not guilty of witchcraft.
1928 Scotch tape 1st marketed by 3-M Company.
1933 Hitler promises parliamentary democracy.
1696 Revolt of undertakers after funeral reforms (Amsterdam).
1961 Ham is 1st primate in space (158 miles) aboard Mercury/Redstone 2.
1994 Dow Jones hits a record 3,978.36.
1955 RCA demonstrates 1st music synthesizer.
1976 "Love Rollercoaster" by Ohio Players hits #1.
1606 Guy Fawkes, convicted of treason for his part in the "Gunpowder Plot" against the English Parliament and King James I, was executed.
1945 Private Eddie Slovik, 24, became the first U.S. soldier since the Civil War to be executed for desertion as he was shot by an American firing squad in France.
1958 "Jackpot Bowling" premieres on NBC with Leo Durocher as host.
1964 US report "Smoking & Health" connects smoking to lung cancer.
1961 David Ben-Gurion resigns as premier of Israel.
1978 Israel turns 3 military outposts in West Bank into civilian settlements.
1905 1st auto to exceed 100 mph (161 kph), A G MacDonald, Daytona Beach.
1948 Magnetic tape recorder developed by Wireway.
1970 Grateful Dead members busted on LSD charges.
2007 President Bush, visiting Wall Street, delivered his "State of the Economy" speech in which he took aim at lavish salaries and bonuses for corporate executives.
1851 Gail Borden announces invention of evaporated milk.
1934 President Franklin Roosevelt devalued the dollar in relation to gold.
1954 Edwin H Armstrong US radio inventor (FM), commits suicide at 63.
1958 James van Allen discovers radiation belt.
1971 astronauts Alan Shepard Jr., Edgar Mitchell and Stuart Roosa blasted off aboard Apollo 14 on a mission to the moon.
1998 Astronaut David Wolf returned to Earth aboard space shuttle Endeavour after four months on the Russian space station Mir.
2007 Delaware Sen. Joe Biden formally launched his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.
1734 Robert Morris merchant (signed Declaration of Independence).
1797 composer Franz Schubert was born in Vienna, Austria.
1872 Zane Grey American West novelist (Riders of the Purple Sage, Spirit of the Border).
1903 Tallulah Bankhead Huntsville AL, actress (Lifeboat, Die Die Darling).
Actress Carol Channing is 87. Actress Jean Simmons is 79. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Ernie Banks is 77. Composer Philip Glass is 71. Actor Stuart Margolin is 68. Former U.S. Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., is 67. Blues singer-musician Charlie Musselwhite is 64. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Nolan Ryan is 61. Singer-musician KC (KC and the Sunshine Band) is 57. Rock singer Johnny Rotten is 52. Actress Kelly Lynch is 49. Actor Anthony LaPaglia is 49. Singer-musician Lloyd Cole is 47. Actor John Dye is 45. Rock musician Jeff Hanneman (Slayer) is 44. Rock musician Al Jaworski (Jesus Jones) is 42. Actress Minnie Driver is 38. Actress Portia de Rossi is 35. Actress Kerry Washington is 31. Singer Justin Timberlake is 27.
1974 Samuel Goldwyn Polish/English/US film magnate (MGM), dies at 91.
2006 Coretta Scott King, the widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., died in Rosarito Beach, Mexico, at age 78.
2007 Best-selling author and columnist Molly Ivins died in Austin, Texas, at age 62.
January 31, the 31st day of 2008. There are 335 days left in the year.
compiled by Mondoreb
* Today in History
* Today in History
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