29 fun facts for January, 31

Discover dozens of fun facts for this special day. Read the summary for a quick recap on what happened.
January 31 is a day filled with exciting milestones, such as the launch of the first U.S. satellite, the opening of the Burj Khalifa, and the premiere of Puccini's La Bohème. It also marks significant events in human rights, such as Jackie Robinson's birth and the passing of the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery in the U.S.
29 Fun facts
  1. The first U.S. satellite, Explorer 1, was launched on January 31, 1958. The satellite was launched into orbit by a Jupiter C rocket from Cape Canaveral, marking the United States' first successful entry into the space race against the Soviet Union.
  2. The completion of the Aswan High Dam on the Nile River occurred on January 31, 1971. The dam was built to help control flooding and provide electricity for Egypt.
  3. Jackie Robinson, the first African-American baseball player in Major League Baseball, was born on January 31, 1919. Robinson broke the color barrier when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.
  4. On January 31, 1940, the first Social Security check was issued by the United States government. This marked the beginning of the Social Security program, designed to provide economic security for retired and disabled Americans.
  5. In India, January 31 is National Street Children's Day. The day aims to raise awareness of the plight of street children in India, where millions of children live on the streets and have little access to education or healthcare.
  6. January 31, 1961, saw Ham the Chimp, the first hominid, launched into space. The United States launched him on a suborbital flight as a precursor to human space travel.
  7. On January 31, 1971, Apollo 14 launched on its way to the moon. It was the third successful moon landing, with astronauts Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell walking on the lunar surface.
  8. In Malaysia, January 31 is Malaysian Federal Territory Day. This day celebrates the establishment of the Malaysian Federal Territory, comprising Kuala Lumpur, Labuan, and Putrajaya, in 1974.
  9. On January 31, 2010, Avatar became the first film to gross over $2 billion worldwide. Directed by James Cameron, the science-fiction film broke box office records and remains one of the highest-grossing films of all time.
  10. January 31 is International Magic Day. This day celebrates magic and magicians worldwide, as it marks the anniversary of the death of the legendary magician Harry Houdini.
  11. On January 31, 1950, U.S. President Harry S. Truman authorized the development of the hydrogen bomb, marking the beginning of the arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
  12. January 31, 1961, saw the establishment of the Uniate Church within Romania. This event marked the end of the Orthodox Church's monopoly in the country.
  13. On January 31, 2000, Alaska Airlines Flight 261 crashed into the Pacific Ocean, killing all 88 people on board. The crash was attributed to a mechanical failure in the plane's horizontal stabilizer.
  14. New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became honorary citizens of Nepal on January 31, 1963. The duo became the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1953.
  15. January 31 is National Brandy Alexander Day in the United States. This day celebrates the classic cocktail made with brandy, crème de cacao, and cream, garnished with freshly grated nutmeg.
  16. On January 31, 1865, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery. The amendment was ratified by the required number of states on December 6, 1865.
  17. January 31, 1930, saw the birth of British actor, Michael Caine. He has appeared in over 130 films and has won two Academy Awards, one for Best Supporting Actor in Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and The Cider House Rules (1999).
  18. On January 31, 1728, the first performance of John Gay's satirical opera, The Beggar's Opera, took place at Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre in London. The production is regarded as the first ballad opera, a precursor to the modern musical.
  19. January 31 is National Hot Chocolate Day in the United States. This day celebrates the popular winter beverage made from chocolate and hot milk or water, often served with whipped cream or marshmallows.
  20. On January 31, 1917, Germany announced its policy of unrestricted submarine warfare during World War I. This move further escalated the conflict, eventually leading to the United States' entry into the war.
  21. January 31, 2007, was the official opening of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It remains the tallest building in the world, standing at 828 meters (2,722 feet).
  22. On January 31, 1801, John Marshall was appointed as the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. He held this position until 1835, making him the longest-serving chief justice in U.S. history.
  23. January 31, 1542, saw the execution of Kathryn Howard, the fifth wife of King Henry VIII of England. She was accused of adultery and executed at the Tower of London.
  24. On January 31, 1975, the first intercollegiate women's basketball game was played in the United States. The game was played between Queens College and Immaculata College, with Queens College winning 65-61.
  25. January 31 is the feast day of Saint John Bosco, the patron saint of magicians, apprentices, and schoolchildren. He was an Italian priest who dedicated his life to the education and welfare of youth.
  26. On January 31, 1920, the first successful insulin treatment of diabetes occurred. Canadian physician Frederick Banting and American medical student Charles Best successfully treated a diabetic dog, leading to the development of insulin therapy for humans.
  27. January 31, 1897, saw the premiere of Giacomo Puccini's opera La Bohème at the Teatro Regio in Turin, Italy. The opera, based on the novel Scènes de la vie de bohème by Henri Murger, remains one of the most popular and frequently performed operas worldwide.
  28. On January 31, 1945, the first African-American woman to enlist in the U.S. Army was Pvt. Charity Adams. She later became the commanding officer of the only African-American Women's Army Corps battalion to serve overseas during World War II.
  29. January 31, 1963, was the release of the classic science-fiction film, Dr. Strangelove, directed by Stanley Kubrick. The film satirized the Cold War and nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union.