Today is Sunday, Jan. 31, the 31st day of 2016. There are 335 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
In 1958, the United States entered the Space Age with its first successful launch of a satellite into orbit, Explorer I.
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, 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 Dec. 1865.) Gen. Robert E. Lee was named general-in-chief of the Confederate States Army by President Jefferson Davis.
In 1915, entertainer and TV personality Garry Moore was born in Baltimore.
In 1929, revolutionary Leon Trotsky and his family were expelled from the Soviet Union.
In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Gold Reserve Act.
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 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 MD-83 jet crashed into the Pacific Ocean off Port Hueneme (wy-NEE'-mee), California, killing all 88 people aboard.
In 2005, jury selection began in Santa Maria, California, for Michael Jackson's child molestation trial. (Jackson was later acquitted.)
In 2010, 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."
Ten years ago: In his State of the Union address, President George W. Bush declared that America had to break its long dependence on Mideast oil and rebuked critics of his stay-the-course strategy for the unpopular war in Iraq. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito was sworn in after winning Senate confirmation. The Senate approved Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve. British ballerina and actress Moira Shearer died in Oxford, England, at age 80.
Five years ago: A federal judge in Florida declared the Obama administration's health care overhaul unconstitutional, siding with 26 states that argued people cannot be required to buy health insurance. Egypt's military promised not to fire on peaceful protests and recognized "the legitimacy of the people's demands." Myanmar opened its first parliament in more than two decades, an event greeted with cautious optimism by opposition lawmakers despite the military's tight management of the event.
One year 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.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Carol Channing is 95. Composer Philip Glass is 79. Former Interior Secretary James Watt is 78. Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, the former queen regent, is 78. Actor Stuart Margolin is 76. Actress Jessica Walter is 75. Former U.S. Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., is 75. Blues singer-musician Charlie Musselwhite is 72. Actor Glynn Turman is 70. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Nolan Ryan is 69. Actor Jonathan Banks (TV: "Breaking Bad") is 69. Singer-musician Harry Wayne Casey (KC and the Sunshine Band) is 65. Rock singer Johnny Rotten is 60. Actress Kelly Lynch is 57. Actor Anthony LaPaglia is 57. Singer-musician Lloyd Cole is 55. Actress Paulette Braxton is 51. Rock musician Al Jaworski (Jesus Jones) is 50. Actress Minnie Driver is 46. Actress Portia de Rossi is 43. Actor-comedian Bobby Moynihan is 39. Actress Kerry Washington is 39. Singer Justin Timberlake is 35. Actor Tyler Ritter is 31. Country singer Tyler Hubbard (Florida Georgia Line) is 29. Folk-rock singer-musician Marcus Mumford (Mumford and Sons) is 29. Actor Joel Courtney is 20.
Thought for Today: "We live in a moment of history where change is so speeded up that we begin to see the present only when it is already disappearing." — R.D. Laing, Scottish psychiatrist (1927-1989).