31 January 1512

Birth in Lisbon of Henry, the future 'cardinal-king' of Portugal. As a younger son of King Manuel I he had not been expected to succeed to the throne and therefore entered the church, becoming a cardinal in 1545. He was king from 1578 until 1580 after the death of King Sebastian at the battle of Alcazarquivir. However the refusal of the pope to release him from his religious vows prevented him from marrying and his failure to decisively designate a successor gave Philip II of Spain the opportunity to seize the Portuguese throne.


31 January 1788

Charles Edward Stuart, 'Bonnie Prince Charlie', dies in exile in Rome. He had been born there 67 years earlier.

31 January 1919

The George Square area of Glasgow sees rioting as police clash with campaigners for improved working conditions. The authorities deploy 10,000 English soldiers – in case Scots troops side with the protestors.

31 January 1943

In defiance of Adolf Hitler’s orders to fight to the last and ignoring the führer’s hint that he should commit suicide, field Marshal Friedrich Paulus, commander of the encircled german 6th Army at Stalingrad, surrendered to the Russians.


31 January 1971

Launch from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida of the Apollo 14 space mission. Crewed by Alan Shepard, Stuart Roosa and Edgar Mitchell, it became the third Apollo mission to land men on the moon.

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