By The Associated Press
2013-01-31 07:12 AM
Highlights in history on this date:
1793 - Austria and Prussia sign alliance against France.
1816 - Congress of New Grenada entrusts Simon Bolivar with political and military control in invasion of Venezuela from Haiti.
1831 - Belgian Constitution is proclaimed.
1863 - HMS Orpheus is wrecked near New Zealand, killing 190 people.
1944 - German forces launch assault on Allies' Anzio bridgehead in World War II.
1947 - British proposal for dividing Palestine into Arab and Jewish zones with administration as trusteeship is rejected by Arabs and Jews.
1962 - Coal mine explosion in Saarbruecken, Germany, kills 298 miners.
1964 - Rock `n' roll's British invasion begins when the Beatles are greeted by thousands of screaming fans on their arrival in New York for their first American tour.
1967 - Sixty-two people die when bushfires ravage Hobart area of Tasmania, Australia.
1969 - Nigerian planes bomb and strafe crowded market in village in rebellious Biafra, killing more than 200 people.
1971 - U.S. Apollo 14 astronauts speed toward splashdown in Pacific Ocean after their visit to moon.
1974 - Britain grants independence to small Caribbean island of Grenada.
1984 - Space shuttle astronauts Bruce McCandless II and Robert L. Stewart go on first untethered spacewalk.
1986 - Haiti's President for Life Jean-Claude Duvalier goes into exile, ending 29-year family dynasty in the Caribbean republic.
1990 - Central Committee approves end of Soviet Communist Party's constitutional guarantee of power.
1991 - Rev. Jean-Bertrand Aristide is sworn in as Haiti's first democratically elected president. Iraq fires Scud missile at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, but U.S. Patriot missile destroys it.
1992 - Pakistan for the first time acknowledges its ability to make nuclear weapons.
1993 - Former Premier Laurent Fabius of France asks to be put on trial to end allegations he was responsible for infecting hundreds of hemophiliacs with AIDS-tainted blood.
1994 - Guerrillas kill four Israeli soldiers in an ambush in Lebanon that draws retaliatory air and artillery strikes.
1995 - Ramzi Yousef, the alleged mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, is arrested in Islamabad, Pakistan.
1996 - A charter jetliner carrying German tourists crashes into the Caribbean minutes after taking off from Puerto Plata, the Dominican Republic, killing 189 aboard.
1997 - As Ecuador's Congress votes to remove President Abdala Bucaram, who refuses to step down, and names its leader Fabian Alarcon as interim president, Vice President Rosalia Arteaga declares herself president.
1998 - A Swiss police officer is convicted of passing lists of suspected Islamic militants to Algerian authorities. At least four people on the lists were detained and tortured when they returned to Algeria.
1999 - King Hussein dies of cancer after nearly half a century on the throne of Jordan.
2001 - Former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide returns to power in Haiti. Aristide won a second term as president in November 2000 elections that were boycotted by major opposition parties.
2002 - The Mexican government releases General Jose Francisco Gallardo, who had been imprisoned since 1993 for criticizing the armed forces' human rights record.
2003 - A car bomb explodes at a club in Bogota, Colombia, killing at least 36 people and wounding more than 160. The government blames the guerrilla Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, which denies responsibility.
2004 - Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunga dissolves Parliament, paving the way for elections nearly four years ahead of schedule. Kumaratunga's call for elections _ the third since 2000 _ is aimed at overthrowing the current prime minister and archrival Ranil Wickremesinghe's government.
2005 - Secretary-General Kofi Annan suspends the head of the U.N. oil-for-food program in Iraq and a senior U.N. official who dealt with contracts following an independent investigation that accused them of misconduct.
2007 - The Episcopal Church names a woman, Rev. Nerva Cot Aguilera, as bishop in Cuba, the first such appointment by the church in the developing world.
2008 - Congo arrests and turns over for trial Mathieu Ngudjolo, 37, an army colonel and former rebel leader accused of leading a 2003 attack on a village in the country's lawless east that left 200 civilians dead.
2009 - President Evo Morales and thousands of supporters celebrate Bolivia's new constitution as it takes effect, saying the new document will enshrine indigenous rights and end centuries of oppression.
2010 - Pro-Russian candidate Viktor Yanukovych declares victory in Ukraine's presidential contest even though exit polls show a very tight race.
2011 _ A fire guts warehouses holding many of the elaborate, feather-and-sequin costumes and extravagant floats for Rio's Carnival parade, destroying the dreams and hard work of thousands of mostly poor Brazilians who toil year-round to stage one of world's most spectacular celebrations.
2012 _ Greece's private creditors signal progress on a debt-relief deal but crucial talks between Greek coalition leaders about forcing more austerity upon a hostile public are again postponed.
Sir Thomas More, English Lord Chancellor and writer (1478-1535); Charles Dickens, English novelist (1812-1870); Dmitri Mendeleyev, Russian chemist (1834-1907); Sinclair Lewis, U.S. writer (1885-1951); Aisingyoro Henry Puyi, last emperor of China (1906-1967); Sir Russell Drysdale, Australian artist (1912-1981); Earl King, U.S. blues singer/guitarist (1934-2003); Garth Brooks, U.S. country singer (1962--); Chris Rock, U.S. actor/comedian (1965--).
Thought For Today:
There are only two classes of mankind in the world _ doctors and patients _ Rudyard Kipling, English author and poet (1865-1936).