On This Day

Historical Events on January 31

  • 314 St Silvester I begins his reign as Catholic Pope
  • 876 Charles becomes king of Italy

Treaty of Interest

1504 Under the Treaty of Lyon, French King Louis XII cedes Naples to Ferdinand II of Aragon after defeat in the Italian War of 1499–1504

  • 1531 King Ferdinand of Austria and King John Zapolya of Hungary officially recognise each other
  • 1578 Battle of Gembloux (Gembloers); Spanish forces win decisive victor over coalition rebel forces
  • 1596 Catholic League disbanded
  • 1609 Wisselbank of Amsterdam established
  • 1627 Spanish government goes bankrupt
  • 1675 Cornelia/Dina Olfaarts found not guilty of witchcraft
  • 1679 Jean-Baptiste Lully's opera "Bellerophon" premieres at the Palais-Royal in Paris
  • 1696 Revolt by undertakers after funeral reforms (Amsterdam)
  • 1747 The first venereal diseases clinic opens at London Lock Hospital, London

Historic Event

1779 Charles Messier adds M57 (Ring Nebula in Lyra) to his catalog

Historic Event

1804 British vice-admiral William Blighs fleet reaches Curacao

  • 1814 Gervasio Antonio de Posadas becomes Supreme Director of Argentina.
  • 1817 Franz Grillparzer's "Die Ahnfrau" premieres in Vienna
  • 1846 After the Milwaukee Bridge War, Juneautown and Kilbourntown unified as the City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • 1849 Corn Laws abolished in Britain
  • 1851 San Francisco Orphan's Asylum founded, 1st in California
  • 1854 Dutch KNMI established (Royal Meteorological Institute)
  • 1855 Western railroads blocked by snow
  • 1855 The government of Lord Aberdeen in the United Kingdom falls following heavy scrutiny of the Crimean War
  • 1861 Friedrich Hebbel's "Siegfrieds Tod" premieres in Weimar
  • 1861 State of Louisiana takes over US Mint at New Orleans (U.S Civil War)
  • 1862 Astronomer Alvan Graham Clark makes first observation of Sirius B (first known white dwarf star) in Cambridgeport, Massachusetts while testing his new telescope
  • 1863 1st black Civil War regiment, South Carolina Volunteers, mustered into US army
  • 1865 Congress passes the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery in America (passes 121-24)

Historic Event

1865 General Robert E. Lee named Commander-in-Chief of Confederate Armies during US Civil War

  • 1867 Maronite nationalist leader Youssef Karam leaves Lebanon on board of a French ship for Algeria
  • 1871 Millions of birds fly over western San Francisco, darkening the sky

Historic Event

1874 Jesse James gang robs a train at Gads Hill, Missouri

  • 1876 The United States orders all Native Americans to move into reservations.
  • 1891 The first attempt of a Portuguese republican revolution breakes out in the northern city of Porto
  • 1893 "Westminster Gazette" begins publishing
  • 1895 Jose Martí & others leave NYC for invasion of Spanish Cuba
  • 1900 The final report of the USA's Philippine Commission is released, favouring territorial government for the islands with home rule in local affairs, but with US assumptions of ultimate responsibility for the government.
  • 1901 Boer generals Jan Smuts & De la Rey conqueror Mud river, Transvaal

Historic Event

1901 Chekhov's "Three Sisters" opens at Moscow Art Theater

  • 1901 Stanley Cup, Montreal Arena, Westmount, Quebec: Winnipeg Victorias edge Montreal Shamrocks, 2-1 to sweep challenge series, 2-0
  • 1901 Austro-Hungarian Empire: The Reichsrath, dissolved on September 7, 1900, by Emperor Franz Joseph, reopens after the recent elections sees the defeat of extremists
  • 1905 1st automobile to exceed 100 mph (161 kph), A G MacDonald, Daytona Beach
  • 1905 Carroll Wright appointed 1st Commissioner of Labor, USA
  • 1906 Strongest instrumentally recorded earthquake, Colombia, 8.6 Richter
  • 1911 Congress names San Francisco as Panama Canal opening celebration site
  • 1915 1st (German) poison gas attack, against Russians
  • 1916 Dutch Girl Guides form
  • 1917 Germany notifies US that U-boats will attack neutral merchant ship
  • 1917 Mexican President Carranza announces a new constitution with many liberal elements; most of which his regime will not implement
  • 1918 A series of accidental collisions on a misty Scottish night leads to the loss of two Royal Navy submarines with over a hundred lives, and damage to another five British warships.
  • 1919 The Battle of George Square takes place in Glasgow, Scotland: troops deployed against protesters for fear of a Bolshevik uprising
  • 1920 1st Ukrainian daily newspaper in US (NYC) begins publication

NHL Record

1920 Quebec Bulldogs center Joe Malone sets NHL record with 7 goals in a 10-6 win against Toronto St. Patricks at the Quebec Arena

  • 1920 Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity incorporates at Howard University
  • 1923 Montreal Canadiens beat Hamilton Tigers, 5-4 at the Mount Royal Arena, Montreal; first penalty-free game played in NHL history

1st Winter Olympics

1924 Herma Szabo of Austria wins the ladies figure skating gold medal at the Chamonix Winter Olympics; only women's event at the Games

  • 1924 Austrians Helene Engelmann & Alfred Berger win the pairs skating gold medal at the Chamonix Winter Olympics; beat Finnish pair Ludowika Jakobsson & Walter Jakobsson by just 0.39 points
  • 1925 Premier Ahmed Zogu becomes president of Angola
  • 1925 Australasian Championships Women's Tennis, Sydney: Daphne Akhurst wins 1st of 5 home titles; beats fellow Australian Esna Boyd 1-6, 8-6, 6-4
  • 1925 Australasian Championships Men's Tennis, Sydney: James Anderson of Australia wins 2nd straight Australasian crown; beats countryman Gerald Patterson 11-9, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3
  • 1927 Internationall allied military command in Germany disbands

Sports History

1927 NL rules future Baseball Hall of Fame infielder Rogers Hornsby can't hold stock in the St. Louis Cardinals and play for the NY Giants; earns $2,916 dividend on same day

  • 1928 Scotch tape 1st marketed by 3-M Company
  • 1929 Erich Maria Remarque publishes "Im Westen nichts Neues" in Berlin

Historic Event

1929 Leon Trotsky expelled from Russia to Turkey

  • 1930 1st US glider flight from a dirigible, Lakehurst, New Jersey
  • 1931 Philip Barry's "Tomorrow & Tomorrow" premieres in NYC
  • 1932 US railway unions accept 10% wage reduction

Historic Event

1933 French government of Édouard Daladier takes power

Historic Event

1933 Adolf Hitler promises parliamentary democracy

Historic Event

1934 FDR devalues US dollar in relation to gold at $35 per ounce

  • 1936 "Green Hornet" radio show is 1st heard on WXYZ Radio in Detroit
  • 1938 Australian Championships Women's Tennis: American Dorothy Cheney wins her only Grand Slam singles title; beats Dorothy Stevenson of Australia 6-3, 6-2
  • 1938 Australian Championships Men's Tennis: American Don Budge wins the 1st-leg of his Grand Slam; beats John Bromwich of Australia 6-4, 6-2, 6-1
  • 1940 C Turney & J Horwin's "My Dear Children" premieres in NYC
  • 1941 Anti-German demonstration in Haarlem, Netherlands

Boxing Title Fight

1941 In his 13th title defence Joe Louis KOs Red Burman in the 5th round at Madison Square Garden, New York to retain NYSAC heavyweight boxing crown

  • 1941 British army Layforce commando units set sail
  • 1943 Chile breaks off relations with Germany & Japan

D-Day

1944 Operation-Overlord (D-Day) postponed until June

  • 1944 U-592 sunk off Ireland
  • 1944 US forces invade Kwajalein Atoll
  • 1945 US 4th Infantry division occupies Elcherrath
  • 1945 Soviet troops reach the Oder River, less that 50 miles from Berlin
  • 1946 Yugoslavia adopts new constitution, becomes a federal republic

Historic Event

1948 J. D. Salinger's short story "A Perfect Day for Banana Fish" appears in the New Yorker

  • 1948 Magnetic tape recorder developed by Wireway
  • 1948 An unprecedented 3-way tie for the silver medal in the 500m speed skating at the St. Moritz Winter Olympics; Americans Robert Fitzgerald & Ken Bartholomew, and Thomas Byberg of Norway are equal on 43.2s; Finn Helgesen of Norway wins gold, 43.1s
  • 1948 Sweden sweeps the medals in the 18km cross country event at the St. Moritz Winter Olympics; Martin Lundström takes gold ahead of countrymen Nils Östensson and Gunnar Eriksson
  • 1948 Swiss pair Felix Endrich & Friedrich Waller beat countrymen Fritz Feierabend & Paul Eberhard to win the 2-man bobsleigh gold medal at the St. Moritz Winter Olympics; silver medallist Feierabend is team coach
  • 1949 1st daytime soap on TV "These Are My Children" (NBC in Chicago)
  • 1949 Australian Championships Women's Tennis: American Doris Hart beats Nancye Wynne Bolton 6-3, 6-4 for the first of her 6 Grand Slam singles titles
  • 1949 Australian Championships Men's Tennis: Frank Sedgman wins 1st of 2 straight Australian titles; beats fellow Australian John Bromwich 6-3, 6-2, 6-2

Historic Event

1950 US President Harry Truman publicly announces support for the development of a hydrogen bomb

  • 1951 Australian Championships Women's Tennis: Nancye Wynne Bolton beats Thelma Coyne Long 6-1, 7-5 for her 6th and last Australian singles crown
  • 1951 Australian Championships: American Dick Savitt wins his only Australian title; beats Ken McGregor of Australia 6-3, 2-6, 6-3, 6-1
  • 1952 Dutch Lutheran Church reunites after 1½ centuries
  • 1952 Harry Heilmann & Paul Waner elected to Baseball Hall of Fame
  • 1953 "Princess Victoria" capsized off Stanraer Scotland; 133 die
  • 1953 Hurricane-like winds flood Netherlands drowning 1,835

Sports History

1953 New York, Cleveland, & Boston retaliate at Bill Veeck, forcing the Browns to play afternoon games to avoid sharing TV revenues

  • 1955 RCA demonstrates 1st music synthesizer
  • 1955 Australian Championships Women's Tennis: Beryl Penrose wins her only Australian singles title; beats Thelma Coyne Long 6-4, 6-3

Australian Men's Tennis Open

1955 Australian Championships Men's Tennis: In an all-Australian final Ken Rosewall wins his 2nd Australian title; beats Lew Hoad 9-7, 6-4, 6-4

  • 1956 French government of Guy Mollet forms
  • 1956 Juscelino Kubitschek becomes president of Brazil
  • 1956 Austrian skier Toni Sailer wins the slalom at the Cortina d'Ampezzo Winter Olympics for his 2nd gold medal of the Games; sweeps all 3 alpine skiing events
  • 1957 Trans-Iranian oil pipe line finished
  • 1957 Eight people on the ground in Pacoima, California are killed following the mid-air collision between a Douglas DC-7 airliner and a Northrop F-89 Scorpion fighter jet.

Television Premiere

1958 "Jackpot Bowling" premieres on NBC with Leo Durocher as host

  • 1958 James van Allen discovers radiation belt
  • 1958 US launches their 1st artificial satellite, Explorer 1

Treaty of Interest

1959 Joe Cronin signs 7 year pact to become head of AL

Historic Event

1961 David Ben-Gurion resigns as Prime Minister of Israel

  • 1961 Ham the chimpanzee is 1st primate in space (158 miles) aboard Mercury/Redstone 2
  • 1961 Houston voters approve bond to finance luxury domed stadium
  • 1961 Kanhai completes twin tons (117 & 115) v Aust at Adelaide
  • 1961 NATO secretary-general Paul-Henri Spaak says he'll resign
  • 1961 USAF launches Samos spy satellite to replace U-2 flights

Film Premiere

1961 "The Misfits" premieres in NYC, final movie for both Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe

  • 1961 West Indian cricket batsman Rohan Kanhai scores back-to-back centuries in the drawn 4th Test against Australia in Adelaide; follows 1st innings 117 with 115 in 2nd knock
  • 1962 General Charles P Cabell, USAF, ends term as deputy director of CIA
  • 1962 Samuel Gravely assumes command of destroyer escort "USS Falgout", first African American to command a combat ship

Music Recording

1963 Tony Sheridan & Beat Brothers record "What'd I Say" & "Ruby Baby"

  • 1965 19th century pitcher James 'Pud' Galvin elected to Baseball Hall of Fame
  • 1966 Bill Lawry (119) & Bob Simpson (225) complete match-winning 244 opening stand in Australia's 1st innings, 4th Test v England in Adelaide
  • 1966 Belgian state police kills 2 striking mine workers
  • 1966 USSR launches Luna 9 towards Moon

Australian Open Women's Tennis

1966 Australian Championships Women's Tennis: Margaret Smith wins her 7th consecutive Australian singles title; beats American Nancy Richey in a walkover, Richey injured

Australian Men's Tennis Open

1966 Australian Championships Men's Tennis: Roy Emerson makes it 4 straight Australian titles; beats American Arthur Ashe 6-4, 6-8, 6-2, 6-3

  • 1968 Bobby Simpson takes 5-59 v India in his last Test for ten years
  • 1968 Nauru (formerly Pleasant Island) declares independence from Australia
  • 1968 Record high barometric pressure (1083.8 mb, 32"), at Agata, USSR
  • 1968 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1969 Vice Admiral Rufus L Taylor, USN, ends term as deputy director of CIA
  • 1970 Grateful Dead members busted on LSD charges

#1 in the Charts

1971 "My Sweet Lord" by George Harrison hits #1 on UK pop chart

  • 1971 Apollo 14 launched, 1st landing in lunar highlands
  • 1971 Special Veterans Committee adds 6 former players and 1 executive to the Baseball Hall of Fame: Dave Bancroft, Jake Beckley, Chick Hafey, Harry Hooper, Joe Kelley, Rube Marquard and George Weiss
  • 1971 US female Figure Skating championship won by Janet Lynn
  • 1971 US male Figure Skating championship won by John Misha Petkevich
  • 1971 Dave Bancroft & George Weiss elected to baseball Hall of Fame

Music History

1972 Aretha Franklin sings at Mahalia Jackson's funeral

  • 1972 Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev becomes 11th King of Nepal
  • 1972 Military coup ousts civilian government of Ghana
  • 1972 US launches HEOS A-2 for interplanetary observations (396/244,998)
  • 1972 British Home Secretary Reginald Maudling to House of Commons on 'Bloody Sunday', "The Army returned the fire directed at them with aimed shots and inflicted a number of casualties on those who were attacking them with firearms and with bombs"

Music Single

1975 Barry Manilow's single "Mandy" goes gold

Music Single

1975 John Lennon releases single "#9 Dream"

  • 1976 "Love Rollercoaster" by Ohio Players hits #1
  • 1976 In his final Test, West Indian cricket spin bowler Lance Gibbs dismisses Australian opener Ian Redpath for 101 in 6th Test in Melbourne; becomes highest Test wicket-taker at 308
  • 1977 Frenchman Francois Claustre freed, after 33 months as hostage in Chad
  • 1977 Joe Sewell, Amos Rusie and Al López elected to baseball Hall of Fame
  • 1977 4th American Music Awards: Olivia Newton-John & Elton John win
  • 1978 "Elvis: The Legend Lives!" opens at Palace Theater NYC for 101 performances
  • 1978 Israel turns 3 milt outposts in West Bank into civilian settlements
  • 1980 Police storm occupied Spanish embassy in Guatemala City, killing 41
  • 1981 "The Tide Is High" by Blondie hits #1
  • 1981 Gaetan Boucher skates world record 1000m (1:13.39)
  • 1982 10 Arabian oryx (extinct except in zoos) released in Oman
  • 1982 Gustafson skates world record 10 km (14:26.59)
  • 1982 NFL Pro Bowl, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI: AFC beats NFC, 16-13; MVPs: Co-MVPs: Kellen Winslow, San Diego Chargers, TE; Lee Roy Selmon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, DE

Sports History

1982 US male Figure Skating championship won by Scott Hamilton

NBA All-Star Game

1982 32nd NBA All-Star Game, Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, NJ: East beats West, 120-118; Larry Bird, Boston Celtics, F

  • 1983 In an effort to reduce driving deaths, a new law in UK requires drivers and front-seat passengers to wear seatbelts
  • 1984 36th NHL All-Star Game, Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford: Wales Conference beats Campbell Conference, 7-6; MVP: Don Maloney, NY Rangers, LW
  • 1984 Edwin Newman retires from NBC News after 35 years with the network
  • 1984 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1985 "Harrigan 'n Hart" opens at Longacre Theater NYC for 5 performances
  • 1986 Mary Lund of Minneapolis, 1st female recipient of an artificial heart receives a donor heart

Golden Globes

1987 44th Golden Globes: Platoon, Bob Hoskins, & Marlee Matlin win

  • 1987 United Steel workers union ratified a concessionary with USX Corp
  • 1988 Barge sinks near Anacortes, WA, spills 70,000 gallons of oil

Super Bowl

1988 Super Bowl XXII, Jack Murphy Stadium, San Diego, CA: Washington Redskins beat Denver Broncos, 42-10; MVP: Doug Williams, Washington, QB

  • 1990 1st McDonalds in the Soviet Union opens in Moscow
  • 1990 1st ever all-sports daily "National" begins publishing
  • 1990 Jushin "Thunder" Liger beats Naoki Sano to become New Japan IWGP champ
  • 1991 Denver Nuggets Michael Adams becomes shortest NBAer to get a triple-double
  • 1991 Robert Gibson flies record 27,040 feet altitude
  • 1991 "Close-Up", Iranian film directed by Abbas Kiarostami, starring Hossain Sabzian and Mohsen Makhmalbaf, is released
  • 1992 MTA raised tolls on most NYC bridges from $2.50 to $3.00
  • 1993 "St Joan" opens at Lyceum Theater NYC for 49 performances
  • 1993 Super Bowl XXVII, Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA: Dallas Cowboys beat Buffalo Bills, 52-17; MVP: Troy Aikman, Dallas, QB
  • 1993 Australian Open Men's Tennis: American Jim Courier retains title; repeats previous year's win over Stefan Edberg 6-2, 6-1, 2-6, 7-5
  • 1993 9th Sundance Film Festival: "Ruby in Paradise" and "Public Access" wins Grand Jury Prize Dramatic
  • 1994 Barcelona opera theater "Gran Teatro del Liceo" burns down
  • 1994 Dow Jones hits a record 3,978.36

Film Premiere

1994 Mexican telenovela "Marimar" starring Thalia and Eduardo Capetillo premieres

Historic Event

1995 President Bill Clinton authorizes a $20 billion loan to Mexico to stabilize its economy.

  • 1996 50 people die and many more injured in a suicide bombing in Sri Lanka by separatist Tamil Tigers
  • 1997 "Final Fantasy VII" is released by Square and Sony Computer Entertainment to PlayStation
  • 1997 San Antonio forward Dominique Wilkins scores 27 points in the Spurs' 97-95 loss to Minnesota; gives him 26,009 career points; only the 6th NBA player to reach the 26k milestone
  • 1998 STS 89 (Endeavour 12) lands

Australian Open Women's Tennis

1998 Australian Open Women's Tennis: Switzerland's Martina Hingis retains her title; beats Conchita Martinez of Spain 6-3, 6-3 for 5th Grand Slam title

Television Debut

1999 Seth MacFarlane's "Family Guy" 1st airs on Fox TV

  • 1999 Super Bowl XXXIII, Pro Player Stadium, Miami, FL: Denver Broncos beat Atlanta Falcons, 34-19; MVP: John Elway, Denver, QB
  • 1999 Australian Open Men's Tennis: Yevgeny Kafelnikov becomes first Russian, male or female, to win an Australian title; beats Thomas Enqvist of Sweden 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 7-6