On this day: January 31

Posted: 1:08 AM EST Jan 31, 2013   Updated: 2:00 AM EST Jan 31, 2015

The first Social Security check is issued, America launches its first satellite into orbit, McDonald's comes to Moscow, and "Avatar" hits the $2 billion mark, all on this day.

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2010: The sci-fi action movie "Avatar," written, directed and produced by James Cameron, becomes the first film to gross more than $2 billion worldwide.


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  • Explorer Ferdinand Magellan portrait

    Public domain

    On this day: November 28

    Magellan reaches the Pacific, William Shakespeare gets hitched, the Grand Ole Opry debuts, Olympic gymnast Nadia Comaneci defects, and Jeffrey Dahmer is killed in prison, all on this day.