Today in history: The first US satellite is launched into orbit

Take a look back in time and see the events -- both big and small -- that happened on January 31st throughout the years. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Jackie Robinson was born in 1919

  • In 1944 U.S. forces invaded the Japanese-held Marshall Islands during World War II

  • An Alaska Airlines jet plunged into the ocean off Southern California on a flight from Mexico to San Francisco, killing all 88 people on board in 2000

  • In 1961 Ham the chimpanzee was the first hominid in space

On This Day:  January 31
On This Day: January 31