Friday, Jan. 31, the 31st day of 2020. There are 335 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Jan. 31, 1958, the United States entered the Space Age with its first successful launch of a satellite, Explorer 1, from Cape Canaveral.
On this date:
In 1863, during the Civil War, the First South Carolina Volunteers, an all-black Union regiment composed of many escaped slaves, was mustered into federal service at Beaufort, South Carolina.
In 1865, the U.S. House of Representatives joined the Senate in passing the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution abolishing slavery, sending it to states for ratification. (The amendment was adopted in December 1865.) Gen. Robert E. Lee was named general-in-chief of the Confederate States Army by President Jefferson Davis.
In 1917, during World War I, Germany served notice that it was beginning a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.
In 1919, baseball Hall-of-Famer Jackie Robinson was born in Cairo (KAY’-roh), Ga.
In 1929, revolutionary Leon Trotsky and his family were expelled from the Soviet Union.
In 1945, Pvt. Eddie Slovik, 24, became the first U.S. soldier since the Civil War to be executed for desertion as he was shot by an American firing squad in France.
In 1950, President Harry S. Truman announced he had ordered development of the hydrogen bomb.
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 MD-83 jet crashed into the Pacific Ocean off Port Hueneme (wy-NEE'-mee), California, killing all 88 people aboard.
In 2001, a Scottish court sitting in the Netherlands convicted one Libyan, acquitted a second, in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. (Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi (AHB'-dehl BAH'-seht AH'-lee ahl-meh-GRAH'-hee) was given a life sentence, but was released after eight years on compassionate grounds by Scotland's government. He died in 2012.)
In 2007, some three dozen blinking electronic devices planted around Boston threw a scare into the city in what turned out to be a marketing campaign for the Cartoon Network TV show "Aqua Teen Hunger Force."
Ten years ago: The annual World Economic Forum concluded a five-day meeting in Davos, Switzerland, with widespread agreement that a fragile recovery was under way but no consensus on what was going to spur job growth. Roger Federer beat Andy Murray 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (11) for a fourth Australian Open championship. Beyonce became the first woman to win six Grammy Awards in one night; Taylor Swift won four Grammys, including album of the year, for "Fearless."
Five years ago: Bobbi Kristina Brown, the daughter of the late singer Whitney Houston, was found unresponsive in a bathtub at her Georgia townhome and was taken to an Atlanta-area hospital. She died six months later.
One year ago: A day after he lashed out at U.S. intelligence agency chiefs over their assessments of global threats, President Donald Trump reversed course and said that he and the intelligence community were “all on the same page.” He said they told him that their testimony at a Senate hearing had been “mischaracterized” by the news media. The polar vortex that brought many cities in the upper Midwest to a standstill marched east, spreading arctic conditions over an area from Buffalo to Brooklyn.
Today's Birthdays: Composer Philip Glass is 83. Former Interior Secretary James Watt is 82. Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, the former queen regent, is 82. Actor Stuart Margolin is 80. Actress Jessica Walter is 79. Former U.S. Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., is 79. Blues singer-musician Charlie Musselwhite is 76. Actor Glynn Turman is 73. Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan is 73. Actor Jonathan Banks is 73. Singer-musician Harry Wayne Casey (KC and the Sunshine Band) is 69. Rock singer Johnny Rotten is 64. Actress Kelly Lynch is 61. Actor Anthony LaPaglia is 61. Singer-musician Lloyd Cole is 59. Actress Paulette Braxton is 55. Rock musician Al Jaworski (Jesus Jones) is 54. Actress Minnie Driver is 50. Actress Portia de Rossi is 47. Actor-comedian Bobby Moynihan is 43. Actress Kerry Washington is 43. Bluegrass singer-musician Becky Buller is 41. Singer Justin Timberlake is 39. Actor Tyler Ritter is 35. Country singer Tyler Hubbard (Florida Georgia Line) is 33. Folk-rock singer-musician Marcus Mumford (Mumford and Sons) is 33. Actor Joel Courtney is 24.
Thought for Today: "Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have." — Rabbi Hyman Judah Schachtel, American theologian, author and educator (1907-1990).
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Today is Saturday, Feb. 1, the 32nd day of 2020. There are 334 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Feb. 1, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia broke up during re-entry, killing all seven of its crew members: commander Rick Husband; pilot William McCool; payload commander Michael Anderson; mission specialists Kalpana Chawla, David Brown and Laurel Clark; and payload specialist Ilan Ramon (ee-LAHN' rah-MOHN'), the first Israeli in space.
On this date:
In 1790, the U.S. Supreme Court convened for the first time in New York. (However, since only three of the six justices were present, the court recessed until the next day.)
In 1862, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," a poem by Julia Ward Howe, was published in the Atlantic Monthly.
In 1896, Giacomo Puccini's opera "La Boheme" premiered in Turin, Italy.
In 1942, during World War II, the Voice of America broadcast its first program to Europe, relaying it through the facilities of the British Broadcasting Corp. in London.
In 1943, during World War II, one of America's most highly decorated military units, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, made up almost exclusively of Japanese-Americans, was authorized.
In 1960, four black college students began a sit-in protest at a Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, where they'd been refused service.
In 1962, the Ken Kesey novel "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" was first published by Viking Press.
In 1968, during the Vietnam War, South Vietnam's police chief (Nguyen Ngoc Loan) executed a Viet Cong officer with a pistol shot to the head in a scene captured by news photographers. Richard M. Nixon announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
In 1979, Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (hoh-MAY'-nee) received a tumultuous welcome in Tehran as he ended nearly 15 years of exile.
In 1982, "Late Night with David Letterman" premiered on NBC.
In 1991, 34 people were killed when an arriving USAir jetliner crashed atop a commuter plane on a runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
In 1994, Jeff Gillooly, Tonya Harding's ex-husband, pleaded guilty in Portland, Oregon, to racketeering for his part in the attack on figure skater Nancy Kerrigan in exchange for a 24-month sentence (he ended up serving six) and a $100,000 fine.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama unveiled a multitrillion-dollar spending plan, pledging an intensified effort to combat high unemployment and asking Congress to quickly approve new job-creation efforts that would boost the deficit to a record-breaking $1.56 trillion.
Five years ago: An interception at the goal line by rookie Malcom Butler preserved a 28-24 win by the New England Patriots over the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl.
One year ago: New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker joined the 2020 presidential race with a call for Americans to unite in a time of bitter polarization. Democratic allies urged Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to resign after a racist picture surfaced from his 1984 medical school yearbook page. (After initially acknowledging that he appeared in the photo, Northam denied he was pictured, but admitted to wearing blackface as a young man.) The Trump administration said the U.S. was withdrawing from a 1987 nuclear arms treaty with Russia, accusing Russia of violating the treaty by deploying banned missiles. American skier Lindsey Vonn announced that she would retire from ski racing after the upcoming world championships in Sweden.
Today's Birthdays: Actor Stuart Whitman is 92. Singer Don Everly is 83. Actor Garrett Morris is 83. Bluegrass singer Del McCoury is 81. TV personality-singer Joy Philbin is 79. Political commentator Fred Barnes is 77. Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., is 76. Rock musician Mike Campbell (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) is 70. Blues singer-musician Sonny Landreth is 69. Actor-writer-producer Bill Mumy (MOO'-mee) is 66. Rock singer Exene Cervenka is 64. Actor Linus Roache is 56. Princess Stephanie of Monaco is 55. Country musician Dwayne Dupuy (Ricochet) is 55. Actress Sherilyn Fenn is 55. Lisa Marie Presley is 52. Comedian-actor Pauly Shore is 52. Actor Brian Krause is 51. Jazz musician Joshua Redman is 51. Rock musician Patrick Wilson (Weezer) is 51. Actor Michael C. Hall is 49. Rock musician Ron Welty is 49. Rapper Big Boi (Outkast) is 45. Roots rocker Jason Isbell is 41. Country singer Julie Roberts is 41. Actor Jarrett Lennon is 38. Rock singer-musician Andrew VanWyngarden is 37. TV personality Lauren Conrad is 34. Actress-singer Heather Morris is 33. Actress and mixed martial artist Ronda Rousey is 33. Rock singer Harry Styles (One Direction) is 26.
Thought for Today: "It is the tragedy of the world that no one knows what he doesn't know — and the less a man knows, the more sure he is that he knows everything." — Joyce Cary, English author (1888-1957).