1606 – Guy Fawkes was executed on the 31st January 1606, for his plotting against Parliament and James I of England, in the Gunpowder Plot.
1747 – The first venereal diseases clinic opened on the 31st January 1747, at London Lock Hospital.
1930 – 3M began marketing Scotch Tape on the 31st January 1930.
1949 – These Are My Children, the first TV daytime soap opera was broadcast on the 31st January 1949, by the NBC station in Chicago.
1953 – The North Sea flood on the 31st January 1953 caused over 1,800 deaths in the Netherlands, and over 300 in the United Kingdom.
1958 – Explorer 1, the first successful launch of an American satellite into orbit was on the 31st January 1958.
1958 – James Van Allen discovered the Van Allen radiation belt on the 31st January 1958.
1961 – Ham the Chimp traveled into outer space on the 31st January 1961, in Project Mercury: Mercury-Redstone 2.
1966 – The Soviet Union launched the unmanned Luna 9 spacecraft on the 31st January 1966, as part of the Luna program.
1968 – Nauru gained independence from Australia on the 31st January 1968.
1971 – Apollo 14 astronauts Alan Shepard, Stuart Roosa, and Edgar Mitchell, aboard Saturn V, lifted off on the 31st January 1971, for a mission to the Fra Mauro Highlands on the Moon.
1988 ~ The Wonder Years American television comedy-drama was first broadcast on the 31st January 1988.
1990 – The first McDonald’s in the Soviet Union opened in Moscow on the 31st January 1990.
1995 – President Bill Clinton authorized a $20 billion loan to Mexico on the 31st January 1995, to stabilize its economy.
1996 – Comet Hyakutake was discovered by Japanese amateur astronomer Yuji Hyakutake on the 31st January 1996.
2010 – Avatar became the first film to gross over $2 billion worldwide on the 31st January 2010.
Today in History for the 31st January video produced by Associated Press
Associated Press official website: www.AP.org