On This Day January 31

History Highlights

1865 – The U.S. House of Representatives passes the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery in America. The measure is ratified by the states that December.

1949 – The first daytime soap opera premieres on NBC. It’s called “These Are My Children” and it runs just 15 minutes in length, airing weekdays at 5 p.m.

1950 – President Harry S. Truman announces plans to develop the hydrogen bomb. Two-and-a-half years later, the U.S. tests its first H-bomb at Eniwetok Atoll in the South Pacific. It generates a blast a thousand times stronger than the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan in World War II.

1958 – The first American satellite, Explorer I, launches into space.

1968 – As part of the Tet Offensive, a squad of Viet Cong guerillas attacks the U.S. Embassy in Saigon.

1971 – Apollo 14, piloted by astronauts Alan Shepard Jr., Edgar Mitchell and Stuart Roosa, successfully launches from Cape Canaveral, Florida on a manned mission to the moon.

1988 – “The Wonder Years” premieres on prime time TV. The coming-of-age tale set in the 1960s and 70s, stars Fred Savage. The last episode airs in the fall of 1993.

1990 – Los Angeles prosecutors announce that they will retry teacher Raymond Buckey, who was accused of molesting children at the McMartin Preschool in Manhattan Beach, California. The McMartin trials had already taken six years and cost more than $13.5 million without a single guilty verdict.

1990 – The first McDonald’s restaurant opens in Moscow.

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Jackson 5: The Ultimate Collection

Jackson 5

Autoamerican

Blondie

The Bomb

Rushmore Denooyer and Kirk Wolfinger

Earthrise: My Adventures as an Apollo 14 Astronaut

Edgar Mitchell

Jackie Robinson: A Biography

Arnold Rampersad

Good Will Hunting

Starring Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Robin Williams and Minnie Driver, and directed by Gus Van Sant

On This Day December 6

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Still Crazy After All These Years

Paul Simon

The Essential Roy Orbison

Roy Orbison

Who Freed the Slaves?: The Fight over the Thirteenth Amendment

Leonard L. Richards

Washington's Monument and the Fascinating History of the Obelisk

John Steele Gordon

Bewitched - Season 1 & 2

Starring Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York

Poltergeist

Starring Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams and Beatrice Straight, and directed by Tobe Hooper