TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Monday, Jan. 31, the 31st day of 2022. There are 334 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Jan. 31, 1958, the United States entered the Space Age with its first successful launch of a satellite, Explorer 1, from Cape Canaveral.

On this date:

In 1863, during the Civil War, the First South Carolina Volunteers, an all-Black Union regiment composed of many escaped slaves, was mustered into federal service at Beaufort, South Carolina.

In 1865, the U.S. House of Representatives joined the Senate in passing the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution abolishing slavery, sending it to states for ratification. (The amendment was adopted in December 1865.)

In 1919, baseball Hall-of-Famer Jackie Robinson was born in Cairo, Georgia.

In 1945, Pvt. 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 1961, NASA launched Ham the Chimp aboard a Mercury-Redstone rocket from Cape Canaveral; Ham was recovered safely from the Atlantic Ocean following his 16 1/2-minute suborbital flight.

In 2015, Bobbi Kristina Brown, the daughter of the late singer Whitney Houston, was found unresponsive in a bathtub at her Georgia townhome and was taken to an Atlanta-area hospital. (She died six months later.)

In 2020, the United States declared a public health emergency over the new coronavirus, and President Donald Trump signed an order to temporarily bar entry to foreign nationals, other than immediate family of U.S. citizens, who had traveled in China within the preceding 14 days. The Senate narrowly rejected Democratic demands to summon witnesses for President Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Interior Secretary James Watt is 84. Actor Stuart Margolin is 82. Former U.S. Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., is 81. Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan is 75. Singer-musician Harry Wayne Casey (KC and the Sunshine Band) is 71. Rock singer Johnny Rotten is 66. Actor Minnie Driver is 52. Actor Portia de Rossi is 49. Actor Kerry Washington is 45. Singer Justin Timberlake is 41. Actor Tyler Ritter is 37.