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Calendar for January 31st, 2014

Chinese New Year

The new year is by far the most important festival of the Chinese lunar calendar. It is celebrated on the second new Moon after the winter solstice. The holiday is a time of renewal, with debts cleared, new clothes bought, shops and homes decorated, and families gathered for a reunion dinner. Chinese New Year is marked by fireworks, traditional lion dances, gift giving, and special foods.


  • Born 1797: Franz Peter Schubert (composer)

  • 1870s

  • Born 1872: Zane Grey (novelist)

  • 1890s

  • Born 1892: Eddie Cantor (comedian)

  • 1900s

  • 1901: Anton Chekov's play, Three Sisters, premiered at the Moscow Art Theatre

  • 1905: A Napier was the first car to go over 100 mph

  • Born 1905: John Henry O'Hara (author)

  • Died 1907: Timothy Eaton (retailer)

  • 1910s

  • Born 1914: Jersey Joe Walcott (boxer)

  • Born 1915: Garry Moore (TV personality)

  • 1917: The German government informed the U.S. that unrestricted submarine warfare would begin on February 1, 1917

  • Born 1919: Jackie Robinson (first African American baseball player in major leagues)

  • 1920s

  • Born 1921: Mario Lanza (singer & actor)

  • Born 1921: Carol Channing (actress)

  • Born 1923: Norman Mailer (author)

  • Born 1929: Jean Simmons (actress)

  • 1930s

  • Born 1931: Ernie Banks (baseball player)

  • 1936: The Green Hornet made its radio debut

  • Born 1937: Phillip Glass (musician)

  • 1940s

  • 1946: Yugoslavia adopted its constitution and officially became a people's republic

  • Born 1947: Nolan Ryan (baseball player)

  • 1950s

  • 1951: The U.S. released 33 former Nazis incarcerated for war crimes, including Alfred Krupp

  • Died 1956: A. A. Milne (author)

  • 1958: Explorer I, first U.S. satellite, launched

  • Born 1959: Anthony LaPaglia (actor)

  • 1960s

  • 1961: Ham, a male chimpanzee, was recovered alive in the Caribbean after being carried to a height of 155 miles in a U.S. space capsule launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida

  • 1967: National Traffic Safety Agency issued the first set of U.S. federal safety standards for vehicle safety

  • 1968: North Vietnam launched the Tet Offensive, attacking South Vietnamese towns

  • 1970s

  • 1971: Limited telephone service re-established between East and West Berlin for the first time in 19 years

  • 1971: Apollo 14 manned spacecraft launched

  • Born 1973: Portia de Rossi (actress)

  • 1974: Paul and Linda McCartney appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone. This made Linda McCartney the first person to have both taken a photo, and to have been photographed, for the front cover of the magazine.

  • Died 1974: Sam Goldwyn (movie mogul)

  • 1980s

  • Born 1981: Justin Timberlake (singer)

  • 1990s

  • 1990: The first McDonald's opened in Moscow, Russia

  • 2000s

  • Died 2002: Francis Gabreski (retired colonel who recorded 37.5 kills and was known as "America's Greatest Living Ace")

  • Died 2005: Horace Hagedorn (founder of Miracle-Gro plant food)

  • 2006: Samuel Alito was sworn in as the 110th U.S. Supreme Court justice

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