This Day in History - January 31

January 31

1606 – Guy Fawkes is brutally executed by hanging, drawn and quartering for his attempt to blow up Parliament in the Gunpowder Plot

1620 – Colony leaders of Virginia write to the Virginia Company in England, asking for more orphaned apprentices for employment

1734 – Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Robert Morris, is born

1752 – Patriot and Senator, Gouverneur Morris is born

1788 – Charles Edward Stuart aka the Young Pretender dies

1797 – Austrian composer Franz Schubert, is born

1865 – The House of Representatives approve the 13th constitutional amendment abolishing slavery

1865 – General Robert E Lee is named Commander in Chief of the Confederate Army

1872 – Author Zane Grey is born

1888 – Italian priest and educator John Bosco dies

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 – First black baseball player in the modern major leagues, Jackie Robinson, is born

1923 – Novelist Norman Mailer is born

1925 – Civil rights leader Benjamin Hooks is born

1935 – The Soviet premier tells Japan to get out of Manchuria

1937 – Composer Phillip Glass is born

1940 – The first social security check was issued to Ida Fuller for $22.54

1943 – The Battle of Stalingrad ends

1944 – US troops land on Kwajalien atoll in the Marshall Islands

1945 – Private Eddie Slovik becomes the first American soldier to be executed for desertion since the Civil War

1950 – Paris argues the Soviet recognition of Ho Chi Minh’s Democratic Republic of Vietnam

1950 – President Harry Truman announces publicly his decision to support development of the hydrogen bomb

1953 – Flooding in the North Sea kills over 1,500 people in the Netherlands and demolishes 1 million acres of farmland

1954 – American engineer Edwin Armstrong dies

1956 – English author AA Milne dies

1958 – The first US earth satellite, Explorer I, is launched

1961 – Ham the Chimp travels in space as part of the US Mercury Program test flight

1966 – US planes resume bombing of North Vietnam after a 37-day pause

1968 – The Tet Offensive continues as Viet Cong and North Vietnamese soldiers attack strategic and civilian locations throughout South Vietnam, including the US Embassy in Saigon

1969 – Indian mystic Meher Baba dies

1971 – Apollo 14 departs for the moon

1972 – North Vietnam distorts facts involving the secret talks with President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, in the nine-point plan they submit as a peace proposal

1974 – Movie producer Samuel Goldwyn dies

1975 – Indian actress Preity Zinta is born

1976 – Ernesto Miranda, from the Supreme Court case Miranda vs Arizona, is murdered

1981 – Lech Walesa announces an accord in Poland to give Saturdays off to laborers

1982 – Greek and Swedish singer and songwriter Elena Paparizou is born

1985 – South African President PW Botha offers to free Nelson Mandela if he denounces violence

1988 – Doug Williams of the Washington Redskins becomes the first black quarterback to play in the Super Bowl, scoring four of the five touchdowns to lead his team to victory over the Denver Broncos 42-10, in Super Bowl XXII

1990 – The first McDonald’s restaurant opens in Moscow

1990 – Los Angeles prosecutors announce they will retry teacher Raymond Buckey, accused of molesting children at the McMartin Preschool in Manhattan Beach.  At the cost of $13.5 million, and six years of time the McMartin trials had already taken place without rendering a single guilty verdict out of 208 charges.  A deadlocked jury on 13 of the charges, gave incentive to prosecutors to retry on eight of those counts.  A huge news event at the time, sexual molestation cases such as this one led to a sort of hysteria across the nation, where people advocated for believing anything and everything said by a child, doing great injustice to the accused.  Even the US Supreme Court during this time, ruled that child witnesses could testify outside the courtroom, despite the Sixth Amendment’s command that a defendant had the right to confront his/her accusers.  Without a shred of reliable evidence and children clearly being coerced into lying, the retrials continued.  The district attorney finally agreed to drop the case and later it was discovered Buckey wasn’t even at the school during the time period that one of the girl’s accused him of abuse.  Buckey sued the parents of one of the children successfully, but only received $1 in damages

1995 – President Bill Clinton authorizes a $20 billion loan to Mexico to stabilize their currency

1996 – Separatist Tamil Tigers detonate a truck loaded with explosives in Sri Lanka, killing 91

2010 – Alaska Airlines Flight 261 crashes into the sea, killing all 88 people on board

2011 – Myanmar’s first elected parliament in half a century convenes

Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.

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