THE FOLLOWING EVENTS TOOK PLACE ON JANUARY 31
1872 - Western novelist Zane Grey is born in Zanesville, Ohio. According to all accounts, he wrote more than fifty novels which sold millions of copies around the world. He is best known for Riders of the Purple Sage , among his fifty-five books, all of which were written in longhand. Many of his books were made into highly successful movies.
1923 - Novelist Norman Mailer is born in Long Branch, New Jersey. He had his first bestseller, The Naked and the Dead, which was based upon his experiences in the Philippines in World War Two, at the age of twenty-five. He won the 1968 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction for Armies of the Night, a narrative about the anti-war march on the Pentagon, and the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for The Executioner's Song, which chronicled the life and death of convicted killer Gary Gilmore.
1932 - Rick Hall, owner and founder of the legendary Muscle Shoals studios in Alabama, is born in Franklin County.
1937 - One of the most prolific of the American Minimalist school composers, Philip Glass is born.
1948 - J. D. Salinger's short story A Perfect Day for Banana Fish appears in The New Yorker.
1950 - President Harry Truman authorizes the development of the hydrogen fusion bomb.
1955 - Electronics pioneer RCA demonstratesthe first music synthesizer.
1967 - This is the first of a three night stand for the Doors at Gazzarri's in Hollywood. Also appearing are the Soul People. No other show details are available.
1967 - At an antique shop in Kent, England, John Lennon, who is filming the promo clip for Strawberry Fields Forever nearby, purchases an 1843 circus poster reading "For the Benefit of Mr. Kite."
1972 - More than 40,000 mourners file past Mahalia Jackson's open coffin in Chicago's Great Salem Baptist Church. Funeral services are held the next day. In attendance are Coretta Scott King, Mayor Richard Daley and Sammy Davis, Jr. who reads a telegram from President Nixon. Aretha Franklin closes the ceremonies by singing Precious Lord, Take My Hand.
1985 - Barbara Cowsill, mother of the group The Cowsills, dies in Arizona.
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