Anniversaries and commemorations come and go daily. Most of us, even the best historians, miss most occasions. If we think of history as events then we are faced with a continually showering in the grains of sand. Nevertheless, we do pick out certain patterns in the remembrance of historical dates. The blog here reminds us of some dates where the local, state, national, and global perspectives entwine.

What Time is It? It is flow of a sandstorm that will on each day compress somewhere into a structure – sandstone, selected and only remembered in the longue durée.

On Wednesday, 31 January 1945, A Stinson aircraft crashes in Victoria, killing all 10 on board.

On Wednesday, 31 January 1945, WWII: The Battle of Hill 170 in the Burma Campaign ends with the British 3rd Commando Brigade defeating the Imperial Japanese Army 54th Division causing the Japanese Twenty-Eighth Army to withdraw from the Arakan peninsula.

On Wednesday, 31 January 1945, Eddie Slovik is executed by firing squad near Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines for desertion, the only U.S. soldier since the American Civil War ever executed for this offense.

On Wednesday, 31 January 1945, The “Big Three” at the Yalta Conference: Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin, February 4, 1945.

On Wednesday, 31 January 1945, During the Battle of Iwo Jima, U.S. Marines land on the island, February 19, 1945.

On Saturday, 31 January 1970, ‘I Want You Back’ became the Jackson 5’s first Billboard No. 1 Hot 100 single.

On Thursday, 31 January 1980, Burning of the Spanish Embassy: The Spanish Embassy in Guatemala is invaded and set on fire, killing 36 people. It is called “Spain’s own Tehran”, similar to the 1979–80 Iran American crisis.

On Wednesday, 31 January 1990, A freak storm tears a path of destruction across Mount Isa, Queensland.

On Wednesday, 31 January 1990, Globalization 1990.The first McDonald’s in Moscow, Russia opens 8 months after construction began on 3 May 1989. 8 months later the first McDonald’s in Mainland China is opened in Shenzhen.

On Wednesday, 31 January 1990, Liberal Muslim Rashad Khalifa is murdered in Tucson, Arizona; his killer is theorized to be a member of an early al-Qaeda sleeper cell.

On Wednesday, 31 January 1990, President of the United States George H. W. Bush gives his first State of the Union address and proposes that the U.S. and the Soviet Union make deep cuts to their military forces in Europe.

On Tuesday, 31 January 1995, Mexican peso crisis: U.S. President Bill Clinton invokes emergency powers, to extend a $20 billion loan to help Mexico avert financial collapse.

On Monday, 31 January 2000, Alaska Airlines Flight 261 crashes off the California coast into the Pacific Ocean, killing 88.

On Monday, 31 January 2000, Dr. Harold Shipman is found guilty of murdering 15 patients between 1995 and 1998 at Hyde, Greater Manchester, and sentenced to life imprisonment.

On Saturday, 31 January 2015, A state election is held in Queensland. The Labor Party led by Annastacia Palaszczuk forms a minority government with the support of an independent MP.

Images Citations in Composite: ID 17208541 © Anhong |; ID 35001957 © DiversityStudio1 |; ID 156394527 © Gerd Zahn |



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Neville Buch (Pronounced Book) Ph.D. is a certified member of the Professional Historians Association (Queensland). Since 2010 he has operated a sole trade business in history consultancy. He was a Q ANZAC 100 Fellow 2014-2015 at the State Library of Queensland. Dr Buch was the PHA (Qld) e-Bulletin, the monthly state association’s electronic publication, and was a member of its Management Committee. He is the Managing Director of the Brisbane Southside History Network.