It happened today – this day in history – January 31

Mick Ferris

1504: Under the Treaty of Lyon, French King Louis XII cedes Naples to Ferdinand II of Aragon.

1606: Guy Fawkes is hanged for his part in the Gunpowder Plot.

1747: The first venereal diseases clinic opens at London Lock Hospital.

1788: Bonnie Prince Charlie (Charles Stuart) pretender to the throne in the Jacobite Rebellion, dies of a stroke aged 67.

1797: Birth of composer Franz Schubert in Vienna.

1849: The Corn Laws are abolished in Britain.

1855: The government of Lord Aberdeen falls following scrutiny of the Crimean War.

1865: US Congress passes the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery.

1876: The US orders all Native Americans to move into reservations.

1901: Anton Chekhov’s ‘Three Sisters’ opens at Moscow Arts Theatre.

1933: Death of author John Galsworthy aged 65.

1941: Joe Louis KO’s Red Burnam in round 5 for the boxing heavyweight title.

1943: Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus surrenders to Soviet troops at Stalingrad,

1950: President Harry Truman publicly announces his support for the development of a hydrogen bomb.

1956: Death of author A.A. Milne aged 74.

1958: James van Allen discovers the radiation belt.

1961: David Ben-Gurion resigns as Prime Minister of Israel. On the same day, Ham the chimpanzee becomes the first primate in space aboard Mercury 2.

1966: The USSR launches Luna 9 towards the moon.

1967: The Beatles spent a second day at Knole Park, Sevenoaks, Kent, to complete filming for the ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ promotional video. On the same day, John Lennon bought an 1843 poster from an antiques shop advertising a fair which contained the words ‘Being for the benefit of Mr Kite’ and others which he used as lyrics for the song of the same name.

1970: Blues musician Slim Harpo died of a heart attack while recording in London aged 46.

1971: Launch of Apollo 14.

1974: Death of film magnate Sam Goldwyn aged 91.

1983: A new law requires all front seat passengers in the UK to wear seat belts.

1985: South African president P W Botha offers to release Nelson Mandela if he will renounce violence.

1999: Family Guy is first shown on US TV.

2000: GP Dr Harold Shipman is jailed for life for the murder of 15 of his patientsm making him Britain’s most prolific serial killer.

2001: In The Netherlands, a Scottish court convicts Libyan Abdelbaset Al Megrahi for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which exploded over Lockerbie in 1988.

2016: Death of broadcaster Terry Wogan aged 77.

2017: Singer, bassist, and songwriter John Wetton (King Crimson/Roxy Music/UK/Asia) died in his sleep at his home in Bournemouth from colon cancer. On the same day, US President Donald Trump fires Attorney General Sally Yates after she instructs Justice Dept officials not to defend Trump’s travel ban on seven mainly Muslim countries.

BIRTHDAYS: Philip Glass, composer, 83; Jessica Walter, actress, 79; Jerry Scheff, session musician, 79; Harry Casey, singer (KC and the Sunchine Band) 69; Phil Manzanera, guitarist (Roxy Music) 69; John Lydon, singer (Sex Pistols/PIL) 64; Anthony LaPaglia, actor, 61; Lloyd Cole, singer/songwriter, 59; Minnie Driver, actress, 50; Patrick Kielty, comedian, 49; Portia de Rossi (Amanda Lee James DeGeneres), actress, 47; Justin Timberlake, singer/actor, 39; Marcus Mumford, musician (Mumford & Sons) 33.

Mick Ferris

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