What happened on January 31 News and Events on This Day in History
Major News Stories on 31st January include Germany Restarts Submarine Warfare in WWI, Commercial Car Production Stops During WWII, US Sends Chimp Into Space, First McDonald's Opened in Russia, Burmese Parliament Convenes After Twenty Years
1961 Space Chimp in Space
31st January, 1961 : A chimpanzee named Ham sent into space by the United States has been recovered alive and well. The test was one of many planned to ensure that a human being could survive space flight, think clearly and perform useful functions outside the Earth's atmosphere.
UK 2000 England Dr Harold Shipman
Jan. 31st, 2000 : Family GP Dr Harold Shipman is jailed for life for murdering 15 of his patients, he was also suspected of killing more than 100 other patients but did not confess to them. Dr Harold Shipman is now Britain's most prolific convicted serial killer
Netherlands 1953 Netherlands England and Belgium The Great Storm
Jan. 31st, 1953 : A major storm with winds in excess of 100 MPH caused flooding in 3 countries with North Sea coastal areas killing a total of more than 2,000 people in the Netherlands Great Britain and Belgium.
Germany 1917 Germany Submarine Warfare
Jan. 31st, 1917 : Germany restarts unlimited submarine warfare in the Atlantic, and German torpedo armed submarines announce they will attack any and all ships, including civilian passenger ships.
U.S. 1929 U.S.A. Sunday Sports
31st January, 1929 : Sunday sports were to be permitted in Boston as of this day. Therefore, the Boston Braves and the Boston Red Sox were allowed to play on Sundays after Mayor Malcolm E. Nichols had signed an ordinance regarding this matter.
This permission did not come without cost, however. The Braves were to be required to pay $2,500 for a permit and the Red Sox were required to pay $1,000.
The reason why they were required to pay different rates was because of the difference in renting capacity of the parks each of these two teams would play in. Apparently the Braves playing field was bigger than the Red Sox playing field.
U.S. 1942 U.S.A. Car Production Stops
Jan. 31st, 1942 : No longer were civilian vehicles made as of this date by companies such as Chevrolet or DeSoto. From this time on until the end of the war only military vehicles were produced.
Burma 1945 World War II Burma Route Opened
Jan. 31st, 1945 : A main route was created from India to China for the purpose of transporting Allied military troops (troops opposing Hitler and his army). This path was established via the country of Burma, which provided the link from the two above-mentioned countries. The Bridge on the River Kwai was part of that route.
France 1945 World War II Private Eddie Slovik
Jan. 31st, 1945 : Private Eddie Slovik is executed by firing squad near the village of Ste-Marie aux Mines, France after being court martial for desertion to avoid hazardous duty and became the only U.S. soldier since the Civil War to be executed for desertion.
U.S. 1949 U.S.A. These Are My Children
31st January, 1949 : The first daytime soap opera "These Are My Children," was broadcast by the NBC station in Chicago Soap Operas got the name because they were targeted at mothers and the soap manufacturers such as Procter and Gamble, were major sponsors ( Advertisers ) .
U.S. 1950 U.S.A. Hydrogen Bomb
Jan. 31st, 1950 : President Truman approved U.S. construction of the hydrogen bomb, a weapon potentially 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb
UK 1953 England Ferry Sinks
Jan. 31st, 1953 : The British Railways, Princess Victoria car ferry has sunk in the Irish Sea in one of the worst gales in living memory claiming the lives of more than 130 passengers and crew.
U.S. 1957 U.S.A. Plane Crash
Jan. 31st, 1957 : A Jet and a Douglas DC-7B transport plane collide before the wreckage dropped onto three schools in California killing 3 children in the playground at Pacoima Junior High School.
Cuba 1961 Cuba Americans Jailed for Bringing Arms
Jan. 31st, 1961 : Six Americans were sentenced to prison for 30 years in Cuba. These prisoners were serving a sentence after being charge with bringing arms to anti-Castro “guerrillas.”
The Americans that were arrested and tried guilty said they had stolen a boat to use to defend the Castro revolution. Minister Fidel Castro himself was said to have taken up this case.
Vietnam 1968 Vietnam Viet Cong Suicide Squad
Jan. 31st, 1968 : A 19 man Viet Cong suicide squad seized the U.S. Embassy in Saigon and held it for six hours until an assault force of U.S. paratroopers landed by helicopter on the building's roof and took back control. This signaled the beginning of the Offensive began by Viet Cong forces.
U.S. 1971 U.S.A. Apollo 14
31st January, 1971 : Apollo 14, is launched and piloted by astronauts Alan B. Shepard Jr., Edgar D. Mitchell, and Stuart A. Roosa, on a manned mission to the moon
Argentina 1972 Argentina Robbery
Jan. 31st, 1972 : On this date, the police hunted for terrorist robbery suspects to no avail. A total of 14 armed terrorists had held up the National Development Bank for over a period of eight hours on the weekend prior to this hunt.
The group that admitted to the terrorist crime described above was the Trotskyite People’s Revolutionary Army. According to the press, it is also documented that the Trotskyite Army also confessed to having run off with $450,000 dollars for the purpose of furthering their revolution.
The robbery guerrillas also seemingly bragged about the fact that they stole documents which prove that bourgeois sectors have committed fraud.
UK 1983 England New Seatbelt Law
Jan. 31st, 1983 : The new seatbelt law comes into force meaning drivers and front seat passengers must wear seat belts at all times, the law has been bought in to improve road safety hoping the compulsory wearing of front seat belts will save 1,000 lives a year.
Russia 1990 Russia Mc Donald’s in Moscow
Jan. 31st, 1990 : On this day in history the first Mc Donald’s was opened in Russia, in the city of Moscow. This restaurant had served at least 30,000 people in its first day
Mexico 1995 Mexico US Loans $20 Billion Mexico
Jan. 31st, 1995 : Following the devaluation of the Mexican to an all-time low, President Clinton exercised his executive power to authorize the Treasury Department to issue a $20 billion loan through the Exchange Stabilization Fund. This was the first time the fund had been used to help stabilize a foreign currency.
Sri Lanka 1996 Sri Lanka Terrorist Bombs
Jan. 31st, 1996 : Fifty dead in Sri Lanka suicide bombing by Tamil Tigers after a truck loaded with explosives is crashed into the central bank in the heart of Colombo's financial district
Australia 2003 Australia Train Crash
31st January, 2003 : A Tangara inter city train coming from Central Station Sydney leaves Waterfall railway station on route to Port Kembla Station Train Driver suffers a heart attack and the train approaches a curve rated for 37MPH at over 73 mph causing the train to derail, overturn and collide with the rocky walls of the gorge.
UK 2004 England Security Terrorism Prevention
Jan. 31st, 2004 : Six U.S.-bound flights from England, Scotland and France were canceled because of security concerns
U.S. 2006 U.S.A. Ben Bernanke
Jan. 31st, 2006 : Ben Bernanke is approved as chairman to succeed Alan Greenspan of the Federal Reserve by The Senate and takes over the next day February 1, 2006 ( The position of Chairman of the Board of Governors of the United States Federal Reserve ) is considered to be one of the most powerful people in the world.
India 2008 India Internet Access
Jan. 31st, 2008 : A break in submerged cable systems in the Mediterranean cause India to lose 60% Internet access and international telephone services. Due to the number of call centers located in India a large number of call cent res were also unavailable.
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Burma 2011 Burma Burmese Parliament Convenes
Jan. 31st, 2011 : The Burmese Parliament met for the first time in over
twenty years after elections in 2010. This event marked the end of a fifty
year military rule and the creation of a new constitution for the country.
Despite these steps forward, critics of the new government stated that the
military will still retain a large amount of control.
Eastern Europe 2012 Eastern Europe Several People Die from Freezing Weather in Eastern Europe
Jan. 31st, 2012 : Several people had died after a bout of freezing weather hit Eastern Europe and countries like Poland, Ukraine, Serbia, and Bulgaria. Several hundred people were reportedly treated for frostbite in Ukraine as tens of thousands of others looked for shelter in the country.
South Africa 2013 South Africa Commuter Train Crash Near Pretoria
31st January, 2013 : Two commuter trains crashed near Pretoria, South Africa, injuring nearly three hundred people. None were reported dead but a few of the injured were listed as in critical condition.
Celebrating Birthday's TodayJustin Timberlake Born: 31st January 1981 Memphis, Tennessee, United States Known For : American pop singer-songwriter, who has won six Grammy Awards as well as an Emmy Award. He has a number of top ten singles both in the US and around the world including "Cry Me a River", "My Love", "What Goes Around.../...Comes Around" and "Rock Your Body". He was at one time dating fellow pop singer Britney Spears, but is still single and has not confirmed any long term relationships.
Carol Channing Born: 31st January 1921 Seattle, Washington Known For : American actress and singer best known for Thoroughly Modern Millie, Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and as Dolly Gallagher Levi in Hello, Dolly!.