January 31

1606

Guy Fawkes, a co-conspirator in the Gunpowder Plot, was executed.

1865

Robert E. Lee was appointed commander-in-chief of the Confederate forces.

1865

The House of Representatives approved the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which abolished slavery in the United States.

1940

The first social security check was issued to Ida Fuller for $22.54.

1958

The first U.S. earth satellite, Explorer I, was launched.

1990

The first McDonald's opened in Russia.

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