January 31st

Myanmar's first elected parliament in half a century convenes. The event underlined a general move towards democracy in the country.
History of Myanmar
Alaska Airlines flight 261 crashes into the sea. The MD-83 experienced horizontal stabilizer problems before descending into the Pacific Ocean, killing all 88 on board.
Alaska Airlines Flight 261
Samuel Alito was confirmed by the Senate and sworn in as a Supreme Court justice.
Samuel Alito Supreme Court nomination
A Scottish court sitting in the Netherlands convicted one Libyan and acquitted a second in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
Abdelbaset al-Megrahi
An Alaska Airlines jet plunged into the ocean off Southern California on a flight from Mexico to San Francisco, killing all 88 people on board.
Alaska Airlines Flight 261
A suicide bombing in Sri Lanka kills 91 people. Separatist Tamil Tigers detonated a truck loaded with explosives in front of the central bank in Colombo.
Colombo Central Bank bombing
McDonald's Corp. opened its first fast-food restaurant in Moscow.
History of McDonald's
South African President PW Botha offers to free Nelson Mandela if he denounces violence.
P. W. Botha
Astronauts Alan B. Shepard Jr., Edgar D. Mitchell and Stuart A. Roosa blasted off aboard Apollo 14 on the third successful manned mission to the moon.
Apollo 14
Ham the Chimp travels into outer space. The chimpanzee survived the US Mercury Program test flight with just a bruised nose.
Ham (chimpanzee)
The first U.S. earth satellite, Explorer I, was launched.
Explorer 1
US President Harry Truman publicly announces support for the development of a hydrogen bomb.
President Truman's relief of General Douglas MacArthur
The first TV daytime soap opera, 'These Are My Children,' was broadcast by the NBC station in Chicago.
These Are My Children
Private Eddie Slovik became the only U.S. soldier since the Civil War to be executed for desertion.
Eddie Slovik
U.S. forces invaded the Japanese-held Marshall Islands during World War II.
Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign
General Friedrich von Paul surrenders to Soviet troops at Stalingrad.
Friedrich Paulus
The first social security check was issued to Ida Fuller for $22.54.
Baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, who broke the sport's color barrier in 1947, was born in Cairo, Ga.
Jackie Robinson
Germany announced a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.
U-boat Campaign (World War I)
The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is passed. The Amendment, which officially abolished slavery, was adopted on December 6, 1865.
Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Composer Franz Schubert was born in Vienna, Austria.
Franz Schubert
Guy Fawkes, convicted for his part in the Gunpowder Plot against the English Parliament and King James I, was executed.
Gunpowder Plot