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Sunday 31 January 2021 Calendar with holidays, observances and special days

January 31 Events

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Current January 31, year 2020; January 31, year 2021 see also: January 31, year 2016; January 31, year 2017; January 31, year 2018; January 31, year 2019 calendar
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Holidays and observances

Events

  • 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.
  • 1968 – Vietnam War: Viet Cong guerrillas attack the United States embassy in Saigon, and other attacks, in the early morning hours, later grouped together as the Tet Offensive.
  • 1958 – The first successful American satellite detects the Van Allen radiation belt.
  • 1950 – United States President Harry S. Truman announces a program to develop the hydrogen bomb.
  • 1949 – These Are My Children, the first television daytime soap opera is broadcast by the NBC station in Chicago.
  • 1945 – US Army private Eddie Slovik is executed for desertion, the first such execution of an American soldier since the Civil War.
  • 1944 – World War II: American forces land on Kwajalein Atoll and other islands in the Japanese-held Marshall Islands.
  • 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.
  • 1897 – Czechoslav Trade Union Association is founded in Prague.
  • 1891 – History of Portugal: The first attempt at a Portuguese republican revolution breaks out in the northern city of Porto.
  • 1865 – American Civil War: Confederate General Robert E. Lee becomes general-in-chief.
  • 1865 – American Civil War: The United States Congress passes the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, abolishing slavery and submits it to the states for ratification.
  • 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.
  • 1801 – John Marshall is appointed the Chief Justice of the United States.
  • 1747 – The first venereal diseases clinic opens at London Lock Hospital.

Births

  • 1988 – Kyle Kulinski, American talk show host. Kyle Edward Kulinski (born January 31, 1988) is an American political commentator, and the co-founder of Justice Democrats.
  • 1987 – Marcus Mumford, American-English singer-songwriter. Marcus Oliver Johnstone Mumford (born 31 January 1987) is a British singer, songwriter, musician, record producer and lead singer of the band Mumford & Sons.
  • 1986 – Megan Ellison, American film producer, founded Annapurna Pictures. She has producing credits on the films Zero Dark Thirty (2012), Her (2013), American Hustle (2013), and Phantom Thread (2017), all of which have earned her Oscar nominations.
  • 1985 – Mario Williams, American football player. A four-time Pro Bowl selection, he has also played for the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins.
  • 1984 – Jeremy Wariner, American runner. Jeremy Mathew Wariner (born January 31, 1984) is a retired American track athlete specializing in the 400 meters.
  • 1984 – Vernon Davis, American football player. Vernon Davis (born January 31, 1984) is an American football tight end for the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL).
  • 1982 – Brad Thompson, American baseball player. Bradley Joseph Thompson (born January 31, 1982) is an American former professional pitcher who played in Major League Baseball for the St.
  • 1981 – Justin Timberlake, American singer-songwriter, dancer, and actor. In the late 1990s, Timberlake rose to prominence as one of the two lead vocalists and youngest member of NSYNC, which eventually became one of the best-selling boy bands of all time.
  • 1980 – James Adomian, American comedian, actor, and screenwriter. Bush until 2009, and for portraying Bernie Sanders during the 2016 Trump vs.
  • 1977 – Kerry Washington, American actress. For her role, she received nominations for two Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress.
  • 1976 – Buddy Rice, American race car driver. He is best known for winning the 2004 Indianapolis 500 while driving for Rahal Letterman Racing, and the 2009 24 Hours of Daytona for Brumos Racing.
  • 1976 – Paul Scheer, American comedian, actor, producer, and screenwriter. Paul Christian Scheer (born January 31, 1976) is an American actor, comedian, writer, producer, director, and podcaster.
  • 1975 – Fred Coleman, American football player and coach. Fredrick Dewayne Coleman (born January 31, 1975) is a former professional American football wide receiver.
  • 1974 – Othella Harrington, American basketball player and coach. Othella Harrington (born January 31, 1974) is a retired American professional basketball player and former director of basketball operations for the Georgetown University men's basketball team.
  • 1973 – Portia de Rossi, Australian-American actress. Portia Lee James DeGeneres (born Amanda Lee Rogers, 31 January 1973), known professionally as Portia de Rossi, is an Australian-American model, philanthropist, and actress.
  • 1969 – Daniel Moder, American cinematographer. Daniel Richard Moder (born January 31, 1969) is an American cinematographer known for his work in such films as Secret in Their Eyes, The Mexican, and Fireflies in the Garden.
  • 1969 – Dov Charney, Canadian-American fashion designer and businessman, founded American Apparel. Dov Charney (born January 31, 1969) is a Canadian businessman.
  • 1967 – Fat Mike, American singer-songwriter, bass player, and producer. Michael John Burkett (born January 31, 1967), known professionally as Fat Mike, is an American musician and producer.
  • 1965 – Peter Sagal, American author and radio host. Peter Daniel Sagal (born January 31, 1965) is an American humorist, writer, and host of the National Public Radio game show Wait Wait...
  • 1964 – Martha MacCallum, American journalist. Martha Bowes MacCallum (born January 31, 1964) is a news anchor for Fox News, she is the host of The Story with Martha MacCallum.
  • 1963 – Gwen Graham, American lawyer and politician. She is the daughter of Bob Graham, the former United States Senator and Governor of Florida.
  • 1959 – Kelly Lynch, American model and actress. Kelly Lynch (born January 31, 1959) is an American actress and model.
  • 1957 – Shirley Babashoff, American swimmer. Shirley Frances Babashoff (born January 31, 1957) is an American former competition swimmer, Olympic champion, and former world record-holder in multiple events.
  • 1951 – Harry Wayne Casey, American singer-songwriter, pianist, and producer. He is best known for his band, KC and the Sunshine Band, as a producer of several hits for other artists, and as a pioneer of the disco genre of the 1970s.
  • 1950 – Denise Fleming, American author and illustrator. Fleming (January 31, 1950) is an American creator of children's picture books.
  • 1950 – Janice Rebibo, American-Israeli author and poet (d. 2015), was an American-born Israeli poet who began writing in Hebrew in the mid-1980s.
  • 1949 – Ken Wilber, American sociologist, philosopher, and author. Kenneth Earl Wilber II (born January 31, 1949) is an American writer on transpersonal psychology and his own integral theory, a systematic philosophy which suggests the synthesis of all human knowledge and experience.
  • 1949 – Norris Church Mailer, American model and educator (d. 2010), was an American novelist, actress, artist, and model. Norris published two novels, Windchill Summer and Cheap Diamonds, and a memoir, A Ticket to the Circus, which focuses on her nearly thirty-year marriage to Norman Mailer.
  • 1947 – Glynn Turman, American actor. Glynn Russell Turman (born January 31, 1947) is an American stage, television, and film actor as well as a writer, director, and producer.
  • 1947 – Nolan Ryan, American baseball player. Lynn Nolan Ryan Jr. (born January 31, 1947), nicknamed The Ryan Express, is an American former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher and a previous chief executive officer (CEO) of the Texas Rangers, and Houston Astros.
  • 1945 – Joseph Kosuth, American sculptor and theorist. Joseph Kosuth (/kəˈsuːt, -ˈsuːθ/; born January 31, 1945), an American conceptual artist, lives in New York and London, after having resided in various cities in Europe, including Ghent and Rome.
  • 1945 – Rynn Berry, American historian and author (d. 2014), was an American author on vegetarianism and veganism, as well as a pioneer in the animal rights and vegan movements. A frequent international lecturer, Berry's books have been translated into many languages, and he was locally and internationally known in the vegan community.
  • 1944 – Connie Booth, American-English actress, screenwriter, comedian and psychotherapist. She has appeared in several British television programmes and films, including her role as Polly Sherman on BBC2's Fawlty Towers, which she co-wrote with her then-husband John Cleese.
  • 1941 – Dick Gephardt, American lawyer and politician. Richard Andrew Gephardt (born January 31, 1941) is an American politician who served as a United States Representative from Missouri from 1977 to 2005.
  • 1941 – Gerald McDermott, American author and illustrator (d. 2012), was an American filmmaker, creator of children's picture books, and an expert on mythology. His creative works typically combine bright colors and styles with ancient imagery.
  • 1941 – Jessica Walter, American actress. Walter studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City.
  • 1938 – James G. Watt, American lawyer and politician, 43rd United States Secretary of the Interior. James Gaius Watt (born January 31, 1938) served as U.S.
  • 1938 – Lynn Carlin, American actress. Lynn Carlin (born Mary Lynn Reynolds on January 31, 1938) is an American actress.
  • 1937 – Philip Glass, American composer. Glass's work has been described as minimal music, having similar qualities to other "minimalist" composers such as La Monte Young, Steve Reich, and Terry Riley.
  • 1937 – Suzanne Pleshette, American actress (d. 2008), was an American actress and voice actress. Pleshette started her career in the theatre and began appearing in films in the late 1950s and later appeared in prominent films such as Rome Adventure (1962) and Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (1963).
  • 1934 – Gene DeWeese, American author (d. 2012), was an American writer of science fiction, best known for his Star Trek novels. He also wrote Gothic, mystery, and young adult fiction, totalling more than 40 books in his career.
  • 1934 – James Franciscus, American actor and producer (d. 1991), was an American actor, known for his roles in feature films and in four television series: Mr. Novak, The Naked City, The Investigators and Longstreet.
  • 1933 – Morton Mower, American cardiologist and inventor. Mower (born January 31, 1933) is an American cardiologist and the co-inventor of the automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillator.
  • 1931 – Ernie Banks, American baseball player and coach (d. 2015). Ernest Banks (January 31, 1931 – January 23, 2015), nicknamed "Mr.
  • 1930 – Al De Lory, American composer, conductor, and producer (d. 2012). He was the producer and arranger of a series of worldwide hits by Glen Campbell in the 1960s, including John Hartford's "Gentle on My Mind", Jimmy Webb's "By the Time I Get to Phoenix", "Wichita Lineman" and "Galveston".
  • 1929 – Jean Simmons, English-American actress (d. 2010), was a British-American actress and singer. One of J.
  • 1928 – Chuck Willis, American singer-songwriter (d. 1958), was an American blues, rhythm and blues, and rock and roll singer and songwriter. His biggest hits, "C.
  • 1928 – Irma Wyman, American computer scientist and engineer (d. 2015). Wyman (January 31, 1928 - November 17, 2015) was an early computer engineer and the first woman to become vice president of Honeywell, Inc.
  • 1927 – Norm Prescott, American animator, producer, and composer, co-founded Filmation Studios (d. 2005), was co-founder and executive producer at Filmation Associates, an animation studio he created with veteran animator Lou Scheimer. Born in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, his real name was Norman Pransky.
  • 1926 – Tom Alston, American baseball player (d. 1993), was a Major League Baseball first baseman who played for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1954 to 1957, the first African-American to do so.
  • 1925 – Benjamin Hooks, American minister, lawyer, and activist (d. 2010), was an American civil rights leader. A Baptist minister and practicing attorney, he served as executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from 1977 to 1992, and throughout his career was a vocal campaigner for civil rights in the United States.
  • 1923 – Norman Mailer, American journalist and author (d. 2007), was an American novelist, journalist, essayist, playwright, film-maker, actor, and liberal political activist. His novel The Naked and the Dead was published in 1948, and brought him early and wide renown.
  • 1922 – Joanne Dru, American actress (d. 1996), was an American film and television actress, known for such films as Red River, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, and All the King's Men.
  • 1921 – Carol Channing, American actress, singer, and dancer, was an American actress, singer, dancer, and comedian, known for starring in Broadway and film musicals. Her characters usually had a fervent expressiveness and an easily identifiable voice, whether singing or for comedic effect.
  • 1921 – E. Fay Jones, American architect, designed the Thorncrown Chapel (d. 2004), was an American architect and designer. An apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright during his professional career, Jones is the only one of Wright's disciples to have received the AIA Gold Medal (1990), the highest honor awarded by the American Institute of Architects.
  • 1921 – John Agar, American actor (d. 2002), was an American film and television actor. He is best known for starring alongside John Wayne in the films Sands of Iwo Jima, Fort Apache, and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.
  • 1921 – Mario Lanza, American tenor and actor (d. 1959), was an American tenor of Italian ancestry, and an actor and Hollywood film star of the late 1940s and the 1950s.
  • 1920 – Stewart Udall, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 37th United States Secretary of the Interior (d. 2010), was an American politician and later, a federal government official. After serving three terms as a congressman from Arizona, he served as Secretary of the Interior from 1961 to 1969, under presidents John F.
  • 1919 – Jackie Robinson, American baseball player and sportscaster (d. 1972). Jack Roosevelt Robinson (January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972) was an American professional baseball player who became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) in the modern era.
  • 1917 – Fred Bassetti, American architect and academic, founded Bassetti Architects (d. 2013), was a Pacific Northwest architect, teacher and a prime contributor to the regional approach to Modern architecture during the 1940s-1990’s. His architectural legacy includes some of the Seattle area's more recognizable buildings and spaces.
  • 1916 – Frank Parker, American tennis player (d. 1997), was a world No. 1 American male tennis player of Polish immigrant parents who was active in the 1930s and 1940s. He won four Grand Slam singles titles as well as three doubles titles.
  • 1915 – Alan Lomax, American historian, author, and scholar (d. 2002), was an American ethnomusicologist, best known for his numerous field recordings of folk music of the 20th century. He was also a musician himself, as well as a folklorist, archivist, writer, scholar, political activist, oral historian, and film-maker.
  • 1915 – Bobby Hackett, American trumpet player and cornet player (d. 1976), was an American jazz musician who played trumpet, cornet, and guitar with the bands of Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Hackett was a featured soloist on some of the Jackie Gleason mood music albums during the 1950s.
  • 1915 – Garry Moore, American comedian and game show host (d. 1993), was an American entertainer, comedic personality, game show host, and humorist best known for his work in television. He began a long career with the CBS network on radio in the 1940s and was a television host on several variety and game shows from the 1950s through the 1970s.
  • 1915 – Thomas Merton, American monk and author (d. 1968), was an American Trappist monk, writer, theologian, mystic, poet, social activist, and scholar of comparative religion. On May 26, 1949, he was ordained to the priesthood and given the name "Father Louis".
  • 1914 – Jersey Joe Walcott, American boxer and police officer (d. 1994), was an American professional boxer who competed from 1930 to 1953. He held the world heavyweight title from 1951 to 1952, and broke the record for the oldest man to win the title, at the age of 37.
  • 1913 – Don Hutson, American football player and coach (d. 1997), was an American professional football player and assistant coach in the National Football League (NFL). He played as a split end and spent his entire eleven-year professional career with the Green Bay Packers.
  • 1905 – John O'Hara, American author, playwright, and screenwriter (d. 1970), was an American writer who earned his early literary reputation for short stories and became a best-selling novelist before the age of 30 with Appointment in Samarra and BUtterfield 8. His work stands out among that of contemporaries for its unvarnished realism.
  • 1902 – Nat Bailey, Canadian businessman, founded White Spot (d. 1978), was an American-born Canadian restaurateur best known for building the first drive-in restaurant in Canada, in 1928, and developing the first car-hop tray. His chain of White Spot restaurants continues to thrive today.
  • 1902 – Tallulah Bankhead, American actress (d. 1968), was an American actress of the stage and screen. Bankhead was known for her husky voice, outrageous personality, and devastating wit.
  • 1894 – Isham Jones, American saxophonist, composer, and bandleader (d. 1956), was an American bandleader, saxophonist, bassist and songwriter.
  • 1892 – Eddie Cantor, American singer-songwriter, actor, and dancer (d. 1964), was an American "illustrated song" performer, comedian, dancer, singer, actor, and songwriter. Familiar to Broadway, radio, movie, and early television audiences, this "Apostle of Pep" was regarded almost as a family member by millions because his top-rated radio shows revealed intimate stories and amusing anecdotes about his wife Ida and five daughters.
  • 1881 – Irving Langmuir, American chemist and physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1957), was an American chemist, physicist, and engineer. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1932 for his work in surface chemistry.
  • 1872 – Zane Grey, American author (d. 1939), was an American author and dentist best known for his popular adventure novels and stories associated with the Western genre in literature and the arts; he idealized the American frontier. Riders of the Purple Sage (1912) was his best-selling book.
  • 1868 – Theodore William Richards, American chemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1928), was the first American scientist to receive the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, earning the award "in recognition of his exact determinations of the atomic weights of a large number of the chemical elements."
  • 1865 – Shastriji Maharaj, Indian spiritual leader, founded BAPS (d. 1951), was a sadhu of the Swaminarayan Sampraday and was later accepted as the third spiritual successor of Swaminarayan and founder of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha:22. Born in a family of farmers in central Gujarat, India, he became a sadhu within the Vadtal diocese of the Swaminarayan Sampraday at the age of 17 where he was given the name Yagnapurushdas Swami.:35 The prefix Shastri was later added in recognition of his eminent scholarship in Sanskrit and the Hindu scriptures.:40:22 He established BAPS after a doctrinal split from the Vadtal diocese of the Swaminarayan Sampradaya.:54
  • 1820 – William B. Washburn, American politician, 28th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1887), was an American businessman and politician from Massachusetts. Washburn served several terms in the United States House of Representatives (1863–71) and as the 28th Governor of Massachusetts from 1872 to 1874, when he won election to the United States Senate in a special election to succeed the recently deceased Charles Sumner.
  • 1752 – Gouverneur Morris, American lawyer, politician, and diplomat, United States Ambassador to France (d. 1816), was an American statesman, a Founding Father of the United States, and a signatory to the Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution. He wrote the Preamble to the United States Constitution and has been called the "Penman of the Constitution." In an era when most Americans thought of themselves as citizens of their respective states, Morris advanced the idea of being a citizen of a single union of states.
  • 1583 – Peter Bulkley, English and later American Puritan (d. 1659), was an influential early Puritan minister who left England for greater religious freedom in the American colony of Massachusetts. He was a founder of Concord, and was named by descendant Ralph Waldo Emerson in his poem about Concord, Hamatreya.

Deaths

  • 2016 – Gil Carmichael, American businessman and politician (b. 1927)
  • 2015 – Lizabeth Scott, American actress (b. 1922)
  • 2014 – Anna Gordy Gaye, American songwriter and producer, co-founded Anna Records (b. 1922)
  • 2014 – Christopher Jones, American actor (b. 1941)
  • 2014 – Francis M. Fesmire, American cardiologist and physician (b. 1959)
  • 2014 – Joseph Willcox Jenkins, American composer, conductor, and educator (b. 1928)
  • 2012 – Anthony Bevilacqua, American cardinal (b. 1923)
  • 2012 – Dorothea Tanning, American painter and sculptor (b. 1910)
  • 2012 – Tristram Potter Coffin, American author, scholar, and academic (b. 1922)
  • 2007 – Molly Ivins, American journalist and author (b. 1944)
  • 2004 – Eleanor Holm, American swimmer and actress (b. 1913)
  • 2002 – Gabby Gabreski, American colonel and pilot (b. 1919)
  • 2001 – Gordon R. Dickson, Canadian-American author (b. 1923)
  • 2000 – Gil Kane, Latvian-American author and illustrator (b. 1926)
  • 1999 – Giant Baba, Japanese wrestler and trainer, co-founded All Japan Pro Wrestling (b. 1938)
  • 1999 – Norm Zauchin, American baseball player (b. 1929)
  • 1997 – John Joseph Scanlan, Irish-American bishop (b. 1930)
  • 1995 – George Abbott, American actor, director, and producer (b. 1887)
  • 1990 – Rashad Khalifa, Egyptian-American biochemist and academic (b. 1935)
  • 1974 – Samuel Goldwyn, Polish-American film producer, co-founded Goldwyn Pictures (b. 1882)
  • 1967 – Eddie Tolan, American sprinter and educator (b. 1908)
  • 1955 – John Mott, American activist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1865)
  • 1954 – Edwin Howard Armstrong, American engineer, invented FM radio (b. 1890)
  • 1942 – Henry Larkin, American baseball player and manager (b. 1860)
  • 1907 – Timothy Eaton, Canadian businessman, founded Eaton's (b. 1834)
  • 1888 – John Bosco, Italian priest and educator, founded the Salesian Society (b. 1815)
  • 1736 – Filippo Juvarra, Italian architect and set designer, designed the Basilica of Superga (b. 1678)
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