On This Day

What Happened on January 31

Important Events

  • 1865 Congress passes the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery in America (passes 121-24)
  • 1865 General Robert E. Lee named Commander-in-Chief of Confederate Armies during US Civil War
  • 1943 Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus surrenders to Soviet troops at Stalingrad
  • 1950 US President Harry Truman publicly announces support for the development of a hydrogen bomb
  • 1985 South African President P. W. Botha offers to free Nelson Mandela if he denounces violence
More Historical Events

January 31 in Film & TV

  • 1949 1st daytime soap on TV "These Are My Children" (NBC in Chicago)

January 31 in Music

  • 1679 Jean-Baptiste Lully's opera "Bellerophon" premieres at the Palais-Royal in Paris

January 31 in Sport

  • 2015 17 year old Lydia Ko of New Zealand becomes the youngest golfer in men's or women's golf history to be ranked No. 1 in the world

Did You Know?

Ham the chimpanzee is 1st primate in space (158 miles) aboard Mercury/Redstone 2

On January 31, 1961

Would You Believe?

The first venereal diseases clinic opens at London Lock Hospital, London

On January 31, 1747

Famous Weddings

  • 1560 Spanish King Philip II marries Elisabeth van Valois
  • 1842 10th US President John Tyler's daughter Elizabeth marries in the White House
  • 1960 Songwriter Adolph Green marries actress/singer Phyllis Newman in NYC

Famous Divorces

More Weddings & Divorces