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January 31, 2013

Today in History for Thursday, January 31, 2013

VALDOSTA — Today is Thursday, Jan. 31, the 31st day of 2013. There are 334 days left in the year.

Highlight in History

On Jan. 31, 1963, during the Civil War, the First South Carolina Volunteers, an all-black Union regiment composed of former slaves, was mustered into federal service at Beaufort, S.C.

On this date

In 1606, Guy Fawkes, convicted of treason for his part in the “Gunpowder Plot” against the English Parliament and King James I, was executed.

In 1797, composer Franz Schubert was born in Vienna.

In 1865, Gen. Robert E. Lee was named general-in-chief of all the Confederate armies.

In 1917, during World War I, Germany served notice it was beginning a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.

In 1929, revolutionary Leon Trotsky and his family were expelled from the Soviet Union.

In 1944, during World War II, U.S. forces began a successful invasion of Kwajalein Atoll and other parts of the Japanese-held Marshall Islands.

In 1950, President Harry S. Truman announced he had ordered development of the hydrogen bomb.

In 1958, the United States entered the Space Age with its first successful launch of a satellite into orbit, Explorer I.

In 1961, NASA launched Ham the Chimp aboard a Mercury-Redstone rocket from Cape Canaveral; Ham was recovered safely from the Atlantic Ocean following his 16 1/2-minute suborbital flight.

In 1971, astronauts Alan Shepard, Edgar Mitchell and Stuart Roosa blasted off aboard Apollo 14 on a mission to the moon.

In 1990, McDonald’s Corp. opened its first fast-food restaurant in Moscow.

In 2000, an Alaska Airlines jet crashed into the Pacific Ocean off Port Hueneme, Calif., killing all 88 people aboard.

Ten years ago

President George W. 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.”

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