Today is Tuesday, Jan. 31, the 31st day of 2017. There are 334 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 31, 1917, during World War I, Germany served notice that it was beginning a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.
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 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 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 1980, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands announced she would abdicate on her birthday the following April, to be succeeded by her daughter, Princess Beatrix (BAY’-uh-triks).
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.
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush, visiting Wall Street, delivered his “State of the Economy” speech in which he took aim at lavish salaries and bonuses for corporate executives, saying their pay should be tied to how much they helped their companies’ shareholders. Delaware Sen. Joe Biden formally launched his second bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. 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.” Best-selling author and columnist Molly Ivins died in Austin, Texas, at age 62.
Five years ago: Republican Mitt Romney routed Newt Gingrich in the Florida primary, rebounding from an earlier defeat. The breast-cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure set off a furor by deciding to halt its partnerships with Planned Parenthood affiliates (Komen reversed itself three days later). Retired Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua (beh-vih-LAH’-kwuh), who led the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia for more than 15 years, died at age 88.
One year ago: A triple bombing killed at least 45 people in a predominantly Shiite Muslim suburb south of the Syrian capital. Israel’s Cabinet voted to allow non-Orthodox Jewish prayer at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, marking a historic show of support for liberal streams of Judaism. Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) maintained his perfect streak in six Australian Open finals with a 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 (3) victory over Andy Murray. Team Irvin won a 49-27 victory over Team Rice in the NFL Pro Bowl. “Grease Live” aired on Fox television.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Carol Channing is 96. Composer Philip Glass is 80. Former Interior Secretary James Watt is 79. Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, the former queen regent, is 79. Actor Stuart Margolin is 77. Actress Jessica Walter is 76. Former U.S. Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., is 76. Blues singer-musician Charlie Musselwhite is 73. Actor Glynn Turman is 71. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Nolan Ryan is 70. Actor Jonathan Banks is 70. Singer-musician Harry Wayne Casey (KC and the Sunshine Band) is 66. Rock singer Johnny Rotten is 61. Actress Kelly Lynch is 58. Actor Anthony LaPaglia is 58. Singer-musician Lloyd Cole is 56. Actress Paulette Braxton is 52. Rock musician Al Jaworski (Jesus Jones) is 51. Actress Minnie Driver is 47. Actress Portia de Rossi is 44. Actor-comedian Bobby Moynihan is 40. Actress Kerry Washington is 40. Bluegrass singer-musician Becky Buller is 38. Singer Justin Timberlake is 36. Actor Tyler Ritter is 32. Country singer Tyler Hubbard (Florida Georgia Line) is 30. Folk-rock singer-musician Marcus Mumford (Mumford and Sons) is 30. Actor Joel Courtney is 21.
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).