This Day in History on 31 January

The historical events hold a lot of value for aspirants who are sitting for UPSC competitive exams including the IAS Exam.

On this page, we will list all historical events that occurred on 31 January. The students can refer to them while preparing for all competitive exams and banking exams.

Important Days

Street Children’s Day (Austria)

Important Events

1561: Bairam Khan, patron of Mughal Emperor Akbar, killed in Patan, Gujarat.

1893: The Coca-Cola trademark was patented for the first time in the US.

1911: Vinayak Savarkar was sentenced to life imprisonment. He was the only one to be sentenced to life imprisonment twice in the then British Empire.

1915: During World War I, Germany used poisonous gas against Russia.

1929: Leon Trotsky was deported by Soviet Russia.

1946: Dissolution of Yugoslavia into six countries based on the model of the then Soviet Union (Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia).

1950: Dr. Rajendra Prasad addressed Parliament for the first time as the President of India.

1950: US President Harry S. Truman approved plans to build a hydrogen bomb.

1985: Rajya Sabha approved 52nd Constitutional Amendment Bill on anti-defection.

2001: In the Netherlands, a Scottish court convicts Libyan Abdelbaset al-Megrahi and acquits another Libyan citizen for their part in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988.

2004: Father of the Pakistani nuclear program Dr. Abdul Qadir Khan was arrested for the transfer of nuclear technology to other countries.

2007: Indian steel company Tata Anglo became the fifth-largest company in the world after the acquisition of Dutch steel company Corus.

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.

2010: The Hollywood film Avatar became the highest-grossing film worldwide, earning two billion dollars.

2018: Both a blue moon and a total lunar eclipse occur.

2019: Abdullah of Pahang is sworn in as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.

2020: The United Kingdom’s membership within the European Union ceases in accordance with Article 50, after 47 years of being a member state.

Birth/Birth Anniversary

Shastriji Maharaj, Indian spiritual leader
Shastriji Maharaj, Indian spiritual leader

1543: Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder and first shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan.

1865: Shastriji Maharaj, Indian spiritual leader, founded BAPS (d. 1951)

1896: D. R. Bendre, an Indian-Kannada poet of the Navodaya Period.

1909: Bishnu Prasad Rabha, an Indian cultural figure from Assam, known for his contributions in the fields of music, dance, painting, literature as well as political activism.

Umar Alisha, Indian journalist
Umar Alisha, Indian journalist

1932: Vijay Kumar Chopra, the chief executive officer and editor in chief of the Punjab Kesari print news organization. 

1956: Guido van Rossum, a Dutch programmer best known as the creator of the Python programming language.

1966: Umar Alisha, Indian journalist and philanthropist

1974: Rajashree Warrier, a Bharata Natyam dancer, educator, and media person.

Preity Zinta, Indian actress
Preity Zinta, Indian actress

1975: Preity Zinta, Indian actress, producer, and television host

1992: Amy Jackson, a British actress, and model, best known for her work in Indian films.

Death/ Death Anniversary

Suraiya Jamal Sheikh, a popular actress
Suraiya Jamal Sheikh, a popular actress

192 AD: Commodus, the Roman emperor.

1961: Krishna Singh, Indian politician, 1st Chief Minister of Bihar (b. 1887)

1969: Meher Baba, Indian spiritual master (b. 1894)

1972: Mahendra, the King of Nepal.

2000: K. N. Singh, an Indian actor. 

Mani Ram Bagri, Indian lawyer
Mani Ram Bagri, Indian lawyer

2001: Harshad Mehta, an Indian stockbroker.

2004: Suraiya Jamal Sheikh, a popular actress and playback singer in India’s Hindi language films.

2012: Mani Ram Bagri, Indian lawyer and politician (b. 1920)

Further Reading

Month-wise This Day in History