January 31: Facts & Historical Events On This Day

Facts & Historic Events That Happened on January 31



January 31st is known as Gorilla Suit Day & Backward Day.

Also, congratulations we have made to the end of the month! It’s been a long one but I’m sure it’s been worth it. This day marks the 31st day of the year.

Here you’ll find facts about January 31, as well as important events that happened on this day throughout history. You can also find some less important events that happened on this day, but still interesting nonetheless.

Did you know that on this day in 1961, a chimpanzee named Ham became the first primate to go to space? It was part of the Mercury-Redstone 2 mission.

Keep reading for more fun & interesting facts about January 31st in history!


What memorable events happened on January 31 in history? Keep reading to find out!


The United Kingdom left the European Union, also known as “Brexit.”

OTD in 2020: The United Kingdom left the European Union

The withdrawal agreement was ratified at 23:00.


New Zealand golfer Lydia Ko became the youngest golfer to rank No. 1 in the world.


The French government made it so that Parisian women could legally wear pants.

OTD in 2013: The French government made it so that Parisian women could legally wear pants.

The 213-year-old ban was officially lifted on this day.


“Family Guy” by Seth MacFarlane premiered on Fox.


Doug Williams became the first African-American quarterback to play in the Super Bowl.

Williams led the Washington Redskins to victory against the Denver Broncos and was named the Super Bowl MVP.


NASA’s Apollo 14 spacecraft was launched and headed for the moon.

The mission was the third time humans had been to the moon.


A chimpanzee named Ham became the first primate to go to space aboard the US MR-2 spacecraft.

OTD in 1961: A chimpanzee named Ham became the first primate to go to space aboard the US MR-2 spacecraft.

The trip was part of the Mercury Mission, which aimed to put the first man into Earth’s orbit. Ham played a vital role in teaching us that tasks could be carried out in space. Ham survived the trip and spent the rest of his life in zoos in Washington, D.C., and North Carolina before passing away in 1983. His remains were buried in the International Space Hall of Fame.


The first American satellite, Explorer 1, was launched into space.

The Explorer 1 was America’s answer to the Soviet Union’s Sputnik 1, which kicked off the Space Age when it launched in 1957.


The first-ever daytime soap opera, These Are My Children, aired on NBC.


The day after being appointed, Adolf Hitler called for new elections to ensure he would win majority votes.

OTD in 1933: The day after being appointed


British driver Arthur MacDonald was the first to break 100 miles per hour in an automobile at Daytona Beach, Florida, US.


Jesse James’s gang robbed up to $22,000 on a train at Gads Hill, Missouri, US.

OTD in 1874: Jesse James's gang robbed up to $22


San Francisco’s skies went dark after millions of birds flew across the city’s western side.


Alvan Graham Clark discovered the white dwarf star Sirius B.

He discovered the star through an 18.5-inch (47 cm) telescope, which is now located at the Northwestern University.


The Spanish government became bankrupt.

Famous Births

Are you celebrating your birthday today? If so, did you know that you share the same birthday as Justin Timberlake? See what other famous people were born on this day.


Justin Timberlake



Justin Timberlake


43 years old

Born In:

Tennessee, USA


Gemma Collins


TV Personality

Gemma Collins


43 years old

Born In:

England, UK


Ollie Ball



Ollie Ball


19 years old

Born In:

England, UK


John Lydon



John Lydon


68 years old

Born In:

England, UK


Jonathan Banks



Jonathan Banks


77 years old

Born In:

Washington D.C., USA


Memorable quotes are being said or written every day. Here we have the most notable quote ever said on this day.


Sleep, that deplorable curtailment of the joy of life.

Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf

English Writer

Special Holidays

Are you looking for something to do today? Then why not find time today to celebrate the following special holidays.

January 31: National Gorilla Suit Day
United States

National Gorilla Suit Day

What better way to end the first month of the year by dressing up in a costume and monkeying around? Today is Gorilla Suit Day, so why not participate by dressing as a gorilla and strolling through your neighborhood?

January 31: National Backward Day
United States

National Backward Day

If you’re tired of everything getting a little bit too repetitive, then you’re in luck – it’s Backward Day! So start your day with dinner, wear your shirt on backward, take a different route today, maybe even try to do it while walking backward!

THe Fact Site’s

Fun Fact Of The Day

The Hobbit has been published in two editions. In the first edition, Gollum willingly bet on his ring in the riddle game.

Birthday & Zodiac

People who were born on January 31 share the Aquarius star sign.

Aquarius is represented by the water-bearer and is the eleventh sign in the zodiac. Anyone who was born between January 20 and February 18 falls into this astrological sign.

Garnet is the birthstone given to people born in January. The garnet is a vibrant and meaningful gemstone, its name comes from a sacred fruit, the pomegranate.

If you were born on this day, you were likely conceived on the week of May 10th in the previous year.

A baby conceived on January 31st, 2024, will likely be due later this year around October 24th.

Fact Check

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