Today In History - Saturday, January 31st

2009


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.
2007


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.
2003


The Waterfall rail accident occurs near Waterfall, New South Wales, Australia.
2001


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.
2000


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.
1996


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.
1995


President Bill Clinton authorizes a $20 billion loan to Mexico to stabilize its economy.
1990


The first McDonald's in the Soviet Union opens in Moscow.
1971


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.
1970


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.
1968


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.
1966


The Soviet Union launches the unmanned Luna 9 spacecraft as part of the Luna program.
1961


Project Mercury: Mercury-Redstone 2 - Ham the Chimp travels into outer space.
1958


Explorer program: ''Explorer 1'' - The first successful launch of an American satellite into orbit.
James Van Allen discovers the Van Allen radiation belt.
1957


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.
1953


A North Sea flood causes over 1,800 deaths in the Netherlands.
1950


President Harry S. Truman announces a program to develop the hydrogen bomb.
1946


Yugoslavia's new constitution, modeling the Soviet Union, establishes six constituent republics (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia).
1945


US Army private Eddie Slovik is executed for desertion, the first such execution of an American soldier since the Civil War.
1944


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.
1943


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.
1941


Layforce set sail.
1930


3M begins marketing Scotch Tape.
1929


The Soviet Union exiles Leon Trotsky.
1919


The Battle of George Square takes place in Glasgow, Scotland.
1918


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.
1917


World War I: Germany announces its U-boats will engage in unrestricted submarine warfare.
1915


World War I: Germany uses poison gas against Russia
1900


Datu Muhammad Salleh is assassinated in Kampung Teboh, Tambunan, ending the Mat Salleh Rebellion
1891


The first attempt of a Portuguese republican revolution breaks out in the northern city of Porto.
1876


The United States orders all Native Americans to move into reservations.
1867


Maronite nationalist leader Youssef Karam leaves Lebanon on board of a French ship for Algeria
1865


American Civil War: Confederate General Robert E. Lee becomes general-in-chief.
1862


Alvan Graham Clark discovers the white dwarf star Sirius B, a companion of Sirius, through an eighteen inch telescope at Northwestern University.
1849


Corn Laws are abolished in the United Kingdom (following legislation in 1846).
1848


John C. Fremont court-martialed on grounds of mutiny and disobeying orders.
1846


After the Milwaukee Bridge War, Juneautown and Kilbourntown unified as the City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
1814


Gervasio Antonio de Posadas becomes Supreme Director of Argentina.
1747


The first venereal diseases clinic opens at London Lock Hospital.
1606


Gunpowder Plot: Guy Fawkes is executed for his plotting against Parliament and James I of England.
1504


France cedes Naples to Aragon.