Today is the 31st day of 2022. There are 334 days left in the year.
1865: The US House of Representatives joins the Senate in passing the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution abolishing slavery, sending it to states for ratification. (The amendment is adopted in December 1865.)
1606: Guy Fawkes, convicted for his part in the “Gunpowder Plot” against the English Parliament and King James I, is executed.
1627: Spanish Government goes bankrupt
1709: British sailor Alexander Selkirk, the inspiration for Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, is rescued after being marooned on a Pacific island for four years.
1863: First black Civil War regiment, South Carolina Volunteers, musters into US army
1871: Millions of birds fly over western San Francisco, darkening the sky
1895: Jose Martí & others leave New York City for invasion of Spanish Cuba
1917: During World War I, Germany serves notice that it was beginning a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.
1928: Leon Trotsky is expelled from Soviet Union. Scotch tape first marketed by 3-M Company
1934: President Franklin D Roosevelt signs the Gold Reserve Act.
1943: German troops surrender at Stalingrad in World War II.
1945: Private Eddie Slovik becomes the only US soldier since the Civil War to be executed for desertion.
1949: The first US TV daytime soap opera, These Are My Children, is broadcast from the NBC station in Chicago.
1957: Trans-Iranian pipeline, from Abadan to Tehran, is completed.
1958: First US earth satellite, Explorer I, is launched at Cape Canaveral in Florida.
1961: NASA launches Ham the Chimp aboard a Mercury-Redstone rocket from Cape Canaveral; Ham is recovered safely from the Atlantic Ocean following his 16 1/2-minute suborbital flight. The American film drama The Misfits, directed by John Huston, has its world premiere; it was perhaps best remembered as the final movie of Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable.
1962: Foreign ministers of Organization of American States vote to exclude Cuba from participating in the inter-American system.
1966: Soviets launch Luna 9, which makes the first successful soft landing on the moon.
1971: Astronauts Alan B Shepard Jr, Edgar D Mitchell and Stuart A Roosa blast off aboard Apollo 14 on a mission to the moon.
1972: Aretha Franklin sings at Mahalia Jackson's funeral.
1977: The Pompidou Centre, a French national cultural centre named for former president Georges Pompidou, opens in Paris.
1990: McDonald's restaurant opens in Moscow.
1992: US President George H W Bush asks the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on Libya.
1995: The Mexican peso strengthens when US President Bill Clinton announces a multi-billion-dollar credit package aimed at helping Mexico out of its financial crisis.
1996: In one of the worst attacks in Sri Lanka's 12-year civil war, Tamil separatist rebels ram a truck packed with explosives into the central bank, killing 88 people and injuring more than 1,400.
1997: Mexican drug kingpin, Juan Garcia Abrego is sentenced to 11 concurrent life prison terms and fines that total nearly $500 million.
2000: Japan promises 6 million yen (US$57,000) to North Korea to help preserve ancient tombs near the Stalinist nation's capital. North Korea hopes to have the tombs of Goguryeo, which contain 1,500-year-old murals, added to UNESCO's World Heritage list. An Alaska Airlines MD-83 jet crashes into the Pacific Ocean off Port Hueneme, California, killing all 88 people aboard.
2001: A Scottish court convened in the Netherlands convicts Libyan intelligence officer Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi of murder and sentences him to life imprisonment for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed 270 people. A second Libyan is acquitted. In 2009 the Scottish Government releases Megrahi from prison after he is diagnosed with terminal cancer.
2006 Alan Greenspan retires as Chairman of the Federal Reserve. US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor retires and is replaced by Samuel Alito.
2007: Suspects are arrested in Birmingham in the UK, accused of plotting the kidnap, holding and eventual beheading of a serving Muslim British soldier in Iraq.
2008: President George W Bush, speaking at the Nevada Policy Research Institute, says he would not jeopardise security gains in Iraq by withdrawing US forces too quickly. Pop star Britney Spears is taken from her home by ambulance to UCLA Medical Center, where she was held for a week for psychiatric evaluation.
2009: In Kenya, at least 113 people are killed and over 200 injured following an oil spillage ignition in Molo, days after a massive fire at a Nakumatt supermarket in Nairobi killed at least 25 people. Serena Williams wins 10th Grand Slam singles title; outclasses Dinara Safina of Russia 6-0, 6-3.
2013: Chuck Hagel emerges from his gruelling confirmation hearing before the US Senate Armed Services Committee with solid Democratic support for his nomination to be President Barack Obama's next defence secretary. A gas explosion causes three floors of the headquarters of Mexico's national oil company Pemex to collapse, killing 37 people. Caleb Moore, 25, an innovative freestyle snowmobile rider who'd been hurt in a crash at the Winter X Games in Colorado, dies at a hospital in Grand Junction.
2016: “World's best chef” French-Swiss Benoît Violier found dead after apparent suicide weeks after being named world's best by La Liste.
2017: Romanian Government passes emergency decree to release prisoners and decriminalise corruption charges, triggering huge protests in Bucharest. US President Donald Trump fires Attorney General Sally Yates after she instructs Justice Department officials not to defend Trump's travel ban. US President Donald Trump nominates Neil Gorsuch, a fast-rising conservative judge, to the US Supreme Court. Singer and bassist John Wetton of the rock group Asia dies in Bournemouth, Dorset, England, at age 67.
2019: Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah crowned King of Malaysia to serve a five-year term. Leaked Indian government reports says unemployment rate at 6.1 per cent highest since 1972-73, up from 2.2 per cent in 2011-12. New Government in Lebanon finally formed by Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri nine months after elections. Colonization of the America's in the late 1500s killed so many people it cooled the planet and led to a “Little Ice Age”, according to a scientific report published in Quaternary Science Reviews. US border agency seizes its biggest ever fentanyl bust, nearly 254 pounds hidden in Tractor-trailer in Nogales, Arizona. Catholic leaders in Texas name 286 priests and others accused of sexually abusing children, dating back to 1940.
2020: The United Kingdom formally leaves the European Union, more than three years after the country voted for “Brexit”.
2021: Widespread protests in Russia against detention of opposition leader Alexei Navalny and the government with 5,000 people arrested.
Franz Schubert, German composer (1797-1828); Anna Pavlova, Russian ballerina (1885-1931); Norman Mailer, US writer (1923-2007); Carol Channing, actress (1921-2019); Suzanne Pleshette, US actress (1937-2008); Justin Timberlake, US singer (1981- ); Minnie Driver, actress (1970- ); Portia de Rossi, actress (1973- ); Kerry Washington, actress (1977- ); Jackie Robinson, American athlete (1919-1972).