date_31.gifToday is Thursday, Jan. 31, the 31st day of 2008. There are 335 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

  • Fifty years ago, on Jan. 31, 1958, the United States entered the Space Age with its first successful launch of a satellite into orbit, Explorer I.
  • In 1606, Guy Fawkes, convicted of treason for his part in the “Gunpowder Plot” against the English Parliament and King James I, was executed. (See the movie “V for Vendetta“)
  • On this date:

  • In 1797, composer Franz Schubert was born in Vienna, Austria.
  • In 1865, Gen. Robert E. Lee was named General-in-Chief of all the Confederate armies.
  • In 1917, during World War I, Germany served notice it was beginning a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.
  • In 1934, President Franklin Roosevelt devalued the dollar in relation to gold.
  • In 1944, during World War II, U.S. forces began a successful invasion of Kwajalein Atoll and other parts of the Japanese-held Marshall Islands.
  • In 1945, Private 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 1971, astronauts Alan Shepard Jr., Edgar Mitchell and Stuart Roosa blasted off aboard Apollo 14 on a mission to the moon.
  • In 1996, the forerunner of TigerDirect: BLOC Development published the first commercial release of FormTool – the best selling forms design software of all time! FormTool remains the one of the longest running software titles, continuously published for 23 years, designed by Frank Haggar, Phil Bolin, Tim McGuinness, Stephan Whitney and Bob Horton.
  • In 1998, Astronaut David Wolf returned to Earth aboard space shuttle Endeavour after four months on the Russian space station Mir.
  • In 2000, an Alaska Airlines jet plummeted into the Pacific Ocean, killing all 88 people aboard.
  • In 2003, President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair met at the White House; Bush said he would welcome a second U.N. resolution on Iraq but only if it led to the prompt disarming of Saddam Hussein. Pushing for a new resolution, Blair called confronting Iraq “a test of the international community.”
  • In 2006, Coretta Scott King, the widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., died in Rosarito Beach, Mexico, at age 78.
  • Source: The Associated Press

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