This Day In History, January 31st

What happened on this day in history: Guy Fawkes dies in London, Jackie Robinson is born in 1919, and more.

1606: Guy Fawkes Is Executed

Guy Fawkes

Wikimedia CommonsA 19th-century depiction of Guy Fawkes’ capture.

Guy Fawkes dies in London, England, at the age of 36. One of the orchestrators of the Gunpowder Plot, the plan to blow up the palace at Westminster with the king and his ministers inside, Fawkes was sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered with other co-conspirators. But on the day of his execution, he fell or jumped from the gallows and broke his neck.


1788: Charles Edward Stuart Dies

Today In History January 31

National Galleries Of Scotland/Getty ImagesCharles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender.

Charles Edward Stuart dies in Rome, Italy, at the age of 68. Dubbed the Young Pretender or Bonnie Prince Charlie, Stuart spent most of his life trying to restore his family to the British throne. After his defeat at the Battle of Culloden in 1746, however, Stuart was permanently exiled from England.


1865: The 13th Amendment Is Passed

The U.S. Congress passes the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery. It states: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” After its passage in Congress, the 13th amendment was ratified on December 6, 1865.


1919: Jackie Robinson Is Born

Jackie Robinson

Bettmann/Getty ImagesJackie Robinson made history when he joined the L.A. Dodgers in 1947.

Jack Roosevelt “Jackie” Robinson is born in Cairo, Georgia. The first Black baseball player to play in modern-day Major League Baseball, Robinson broke the “color line” when he was signed by the L.A. Dodgers in 1947. Though he faced opposition from many of his fellow players, Robinson swiftly proved his skill as a ballplayer, becoming the 1947 Rookie of the Year and the 1949 National League Most Valuable Player.