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On January 31
1747 The first clinic specializing in the treatment of venereal diseases was opened at London Dock Hospital.
1865 In America, Gen. Robert E. Lee was named general-in-chief of the Confederate armies.
1930 U.S. Navy Lt. Ralph S. Barnaby became the first glider pilot to have his craft released from a dirigible, a large blimp, at Lakehurst, NJ.
1936 WXYZ Radio in Detroit, Michigan airs the first episode of "The Green Hornet."
1940 The first Social Security check was issued by the U.S. Government.
1949 The first TV daytime soap opera was broadcast from NBC's station in Chicago, IL. It was titled, "These Are My Children."
1950 U.S. President Harry S. Truman publicly announces he will support the development of the hydrogen bomb, or "superbomb" as he terms it.
1958 The U.S. places its first satellite into orbit, Explorer 1, thereby entering the "Space Age."
1971 Piloting Apollo 14, astronauts Alan B. Shepard, Jr., Edgar D. Mitchell, and Stuart A. Roosa successfully launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Apollo 14 will successfully become the third moon landing on February 5.
1982 Sandy Duncan gave her final performance as "Peter Pan" in Los Angeles, CA. She completed 956 performances without missing a show.
1990 McDonald's Corp. opened its first fast-food restaurant in Moscow.
2000 Alaska Airlines Flight 261 crashed into the ocean off of Southern California. All 88 people on board were killed.
2001 A Scottish court in the Netherlands convicted one Libyan and acquitted a second in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, that occurred in 1988.

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