On January 31, 1849, the Corn Laws were abolished in the United Kingdom, one of the most impressive and far-reaching anti-protectionist moves of all time. “Corn” stood for all grains, including wheat, oats, barley, etc.; the free-trade agitation by John Bright and Richard Cobden was one of the main impetuses for the reform.
On Jan. 31, 1865, the United States Congress proposed the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, submitting it to the states for ratification. The Amendment’s main section reads: “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.”
On Jan. 31, 1990, the first McDonald’s fast food restaurant opens in the Soviet Union. Having once traveled to Moscow, I’m exceedingly thankful for this.