Today is Thursday, Jan. 31, the 31st day of 2013. There are 334 days left in the year.
Today’s highlight in history:
On Jan. 31, 1963, during the Civil War, the First South Carolina Volunteers, an all-black Union regiment composed of former slaves, was mustered into federal service at Beaufort, S.C.
On this date:
In 1606, Guy Fawkes, convicted of treason for his part in the “Gunpowder Plot” against the English Parliament and King James I, was executed.
In 1797, composer Franz Schubert was born in Vienna.
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 1929, revolutionary Leon Trotsky and his family were expelled from the Soviet Union.
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 1950, President Harry S. Truman announced he had ordered development of the hydrogen bomb.
In 1958, the United States entered the Space Age with its first successful launch of a satellite into orbit, Explorer I.
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 16½-minute suborbital flight.
In 1971, astronauts Alan Shepard, Edgar Mitchell and Stuart Roosa blasted off aboard Apollo 14 on a mission to the moon.
In 1990, McDonald’s Corp. opened its first fast-food restaurant in Moscow.
In 2000, an Alaska Airlines jet crashed into the Pacific Ocean off Port Hueneme, Calif., killing all 88 people aboard.
Ten years ago: President George W. 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.”
Five years ago: President George W. Bush, speaking at the Nevada Policy Research Institute, said he would not jeopardize security gains in Iraq by withdrawing U.S. forces too quickly. A drifter pleaded guilty to murdering a young woman who’d gone missing while hiking in the north Georgia mountains; Gary Michael Hilton was swiftly sentenced to life in prison in the death of Meredith Emerson.
One year ago: Republican Mitt Romney routed Newt Gingrich in the Florida primary, rebounding from an earlier defeat.
Today’s birthdays: Actress Carol Channing is 92. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Ernie Banks is 82. Composer Philip Glass is 76. Former Interior Secretary James Watt and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands are 75. Actor Stuart Margolin is 73. Actress Jessica Walter and former Congressman Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., are 72. Blues singer-musician Charlie Musselwhite is 69. Actor Glynn Turman is 67. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Nolan Ryan is 66. Singer-musician Harry Wayne Casey (KC and the Sunshine Band) is 62. Rock singer Johnny Rotten is 57. Actors Kelly Lynch and Anthony LaPaglia are 54. Singer-musician Lloyd Cole is 52. Rock musician Jeff Hanneman (Slayer) is 49. Rock musician Al Jaworski (Jesus Jones) is 47. Actress Minnie Driver is 43. Actress Portia de Rossi is 40. Actors Bobby Moynihan and Kerry Washington are 36. Singer Justin Timberlake is 32. Folk-rock singer-musician Marcus Mumford is 26.
Thought for today: “Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.” — Rabbi Hyman Judah Schachtel, American theologian, author and educator (1907-1990).