Today in History

The Associated Press

Today is Friday, Jan. 31, the 31st day of 2020. There are 335 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 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 1950, President Harry S. Truman announced he had ordered development of the hydrogen bomb.

In 1990, McDonald’s Corp. opened its first fast-food restaurant in Moscow.

Today’s Birthdays: Composer Philip Glass is 83. Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, the former queen regent, is 82. Blues singer-musician Charlie Musselwhite is 76. Actress Kelly Lynch is 61. Actress Minnie Driver is 50. Actress Portia de Rossi is 47. Kerry Washington is 43. Singer Justin Timberlake is 39.

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).


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