Today’s Highlight in History:
On Jan. 31, 1917, during World War I, Germany served notice that it was beginning a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.
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, 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 Dec. 1865.) Gen. Robert E. Lee was named general-in-chief of the Confederate States Army by President Jefferson Davis.
In 1929, revolutionary Leon Trotsky and his family were expelled from the Soviet Union.
In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Gold Reserve Act.
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 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 16 1/2-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 1980, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands announced she would abdicate on her birthday the following April, to be succeeded by her daughter, Princess Beatrix.
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