Today In History - Saturday, January 31st
In Kenya, at least 113 people are killed and over 200 injured following an oil spillage ignition in Molo, days after a massive fire at a Nakumatt supermarket in Nairobi killed at least 25 people.
Suspects are arrested in Birmingham in the UK, accused of plotting the kidnap, holding and eventual beheading of a serving Muslim British soldier in Iraq.
The Waterfall rail accident occurs near Waterfall, New South Wales, Australia.
In the Netherlands a Scottish court convicts a Libyan and acquits another for their part in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 which crashed into Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988.
Alaska Airlines flight 261 MD-83, experiencing horizontal stabilizer problems, crashes in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Point Mugu, California, killing all 88 persons aboard.
An explosives-filled truck rams into the gates of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in Colombo, Sri Lanka killing at least 86 and injuring 1,400.
President Bill Clinton authorizes a $20 billion loan to Mexico to stabilize its economy.
The first McDonald's in the Soviet Union opens in Moscow.
Apollo program: Apollo 14 Mission - Astronauts Alan Shepard, Stuart Roosa, and Edgar Mitchell, aboard a Saturn V, lift off for a mission to the Fra Mauro Highlands on the Moon.
The Winter Soldier Investigation, organized by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War to publicize war crimes and atrocities by Americans and allies in Vietnam, begin in Detroit, Michigan.
A Saskatchewan Court convicts 17-year-old hippie David Milgaard of murder; he is sentenced to life in prison. He spent 23 years in jail until April 14, 1992 when DNA evidence proved him innocent.
Viet Cong attack the United States embassy in Saigon, and other attacks, in the early morning hours, later grouped together as the Tet Offensive.
Nauru declares independence from Australia.
The Soviet Union launches the unmanned Luna 9 spacecraft as part of the Luna program.
Project Mercury: Mercury-Redstone 2 - Ham the Chimp travels into outer space.
Explorer program: ''Explorer 1'' - The first successful launch of an American satellite into orbit.
James Van Allen discovers the Van Allen radiation belt.
Eight people on the ground in Pacoima, California are killed following the mid-air collision between a Douglas DC-7 airliner and a Northrop F-89 Scorpion fighter jet.
A North Sea flood causes over 1,800 deaths in the Netherlands.
President Harry S. Truman announces a program to develop the hydrogen bomb.
Yugoslavia's new constitution, modeling the Soviet Union, establishes six constituent republics (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia).
US Army private Eddie Slovik is executed for desertion, the first such execution of an American soldier since the Civil War.
World War II: American forces land on Kwajalein Atoll and other islands in the Japanese-held Marshall Islands.
World War II: During Anzio campaign 1st Ranger Battalion (Darby's Rangers) was destroyed behind enemy lines in a heavily outnumbered encounter at Battle of Cisterna, Italy.
German Field Marshall Friedrich Paulus surrenders to the Soviets at Stalingrad, followed 2 days later by the remainder of his Sixth Army, ending one of World War II's fiercest battles.
Layforce set sail.
3M begins marketing Scotch Tape.
The Soviet Union exiles Leon Trotsky.
The Battle of George Square takes place in Glasgow, Scotland.
A series of accidental collisions on a misty Scottish night leads to the loss of two Royal Navy submarines with over a hundred lives, and damage to another five British warships.
World War I: Germany announces its U-boats will engage in unrestricted submarine warfare.
World War I: Germany uses poison gas against Russia
Datu Muhammad Salleh is assassinated in Kampung Teboh, Tambunan, ending the Mat Salleh Rebellion
The first attempt of a Portuguese republican revolution breaks out in the northern city of Porto.
The United States orders all Native Americans to move into reservations.
Maronite nationalist leader Youssef Karam leaves Lebanon on board of a French ship for Algeria
American Civil War: Confederate General Robert E. Lee becomes general-in-chief.
Alvan Graham Clark discovers the white dwarf star Sirius B, a companion of Sirius, through an eighteen inch telescope at Northwestern University.
Corn Laws are abolished in the United Kingdom (following legislation in 1846).
John C. Fremont court-martialed on grounds of mutiny and disobeying orders.
After the Milwaukee Bridge War, Juneautown and Kilbourntown unified as the City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Gervasio Antonio de Posadas becomes Supreme Director of Argentina.
The first venereal diseases clinic opens at London Lock Hospital.
Gunpowder Plot: Guy Fawkes is executed for his plotting against Parliament and James I of England.
France cedes Naples to Aragon.