January 31 events in history

314 Silvester I begins his reign as Pope of the Catholic Church, succeeding Pope Miltiades
1504 France cedes Naples to Aragon
1606 Gunpowder Plot: Guy Fawkes is executed for plotting against Parliament and King James
1747 The first venereal diseases clinic opens at London Lock Hospital
1801 John Marshall is appointed the Chief Justice of the United States
1814 Gervasio Antonio de Posadas becomes Supreme Director of Argentina
1846 After the Milwaukee Bridge War, Juneautown and Kilbourntown unify as the City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1848 John C. Frémont is Court-martialed for mutiny and disobeying orders
1849 Corn Laws are abolished in the United Kingdom pursuant to legislation in 1846
1862 Alvan Graham Clark discovers the white dwarf star Sirius B, a companion of Sirius, through an 18.5-inch (47 cm) telescope now located at Northwestern University
1865 American Civil War: The United States Congress passes the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, abolishing slavery and submits it to the states for ratification
1865 American Civil War: Confederate General Robert E. Lee becomes general-in-chief
1867 Maronite nationalist leader Youssef Karam leaves Lebanon on board a French ship bound for Algeria
1891 History of Portugal: The first attempt at a Portuguese republican revolution breaks out in the northern city of Porto
1900 Datu Muhammad Salleh is assassinated in Kampung Teboh, Tambunan, ending the Mat Salleh Rebellion
1915 World War I: Germany is the first to make large-scale use of poison gas in warfare in the Battle of Bolimów against Russia
1917 World War I: Germany announces that its U-boats will resume unrestricted submarine warfare after a two-year hiatus
1918 A series of accidental collisions on a misty Scottish night leads to the loss of two Royal Navy submarines with over a hundred lives, and damage to another five British warships
1919 The Battle of George Square takes place in Glasgow, Scotland
1929 The Soviet Union exiles Leon Trotsky
1930 3M begins marketing Scotch Tape
1942 World War II: Allied forces are defeated by the Japanese at the Battle of Malaya and retreat to the island of Singapore
1943 World War II: German Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus surrenders to the Soviets at Stalingrad, followed 2 days later by the remainder of his Sixth Army, ending one of the war's fiercest battles
1944 World War II: American forces land on Kwajalein Atoll and other islands in the Japanese-held Marshall Islands
1944 World War II: During the Anzio campaign the 1st Ranger Battalion (Darby's Rangers) is destroyed behind enemy lines in a heavily outnumbered encounter at Battle of Cisterna, Italy
1945 US Army private Eddie Slovik is executed for desertion, the first such execution of an American soldier since the Civil War
1945 World War II: About 3,000 inmates from the Stutthof concentration camp are forcibly marched into the Baltic Sea at Palmnicken (now Yantarny, Russia) and executed
1945 World War II: the end of fighting in the Battle of Hill 170 during the Burma Campaign, in which the British 3 Commando Brigade repulsed a Japanese counterattack on their positions and precipitated a general retirement from the Arakan Peninsula
1946 Yugoslavia's new constitution, modeling that of the Soviet Union, establishes six constituent republics (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia)
1949 These Are My Children, the first television daytime soap opera is broadcast by the NBC station in Chicago
1950 President Harry S. Truman announces a program to develop the hydrogen bomb
1953 A North Sea flood causes over 1,800 deaths in the Netherlands and over 300 in the United Kingdom
1957 Eight people on the ground in Pacoima, California are killed following the mid-air collision between a Douglas DC-7 airliner and a Northrop F-89 Scorpion fighter jet
1958 Explorer program: Explorer 1 – The first successful launch of an American satellite into orbit
1958 James Van Allen discovers the Van Allen radiation belt
1961 Project Mercury: Mercury-Redstone 2 – Ham the Chimp travels into outer space
1966 The Soviet Union launches the unmanned Luna 9 spacecraft as part of the Luna program
1968 Viet Cong attack the United States embassy in Saigon, and other attacks, in the early morning hours, later grouped together as the Tet Offensive
1968 Nauru gains independence from Australia
1971 Apollo program: Apollo 14 – Astronauts Alan Shepard, Stuart Roosa, and Edgar Mitchell, aboard a Saturn V, lift off for a mission to the Fra Mauro Highlands on the Moon
1971 The Winter Soldier Investigation, organized by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War to publicize war crimes and atrocities by Americans and allies in Vietnam, begins in Detroit, Michigan
1990 The first McDonald's in the Soviet Union opens in Moscow
1995 President Bill Clinton authorizes a $20 billion loan to Mexico to stabilize its economy
1996 An explosives-filled truck rams into the gates of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in Colombo, Sri Lanka killing at least 86 and injuring 1,400
1996 Comet Hyakutake is discovered by Japanese amateur astronomer Yuji Hyakutake
2000 Alaska Airlines Flight 261 crash: An MD-83, experiencing horizontal stabilizer problems, crashes in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Point Mugu, California, killing all 88 aboard
2001 In the Netherlands, a Scottish court convicts Libyan Abdelbaset al-Megrahi and acquits another Libyan citizen for their part in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988
2003 The Waterfall rail accident occurs near Waterfall, New South Wales, Australia
2007 Suspects are arrested in Birmingham in the UK, accused of plotting the kidnap, holding and eventual beheading of a serving Muslim British soldier in Iraq
2009 In Kenya, at least 113 people are killed and over 200 injured following an oil spillage ignition in Molo, days after a massive fire at a Nakumatt supermarket in Nairobi killed at least 25 people