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On this day: January 31

POSTED: 10:08 PM PST Jan 30, 2013    UPDATED: 11:00 PM PST Jan 30, 2014 

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.

OTD January 31 - 13th Amendment
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National Archives of the Unites States

1865: Congress passes the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which proposes abolishing slavery, thereby submitting it to the states for ratification. The amendment was formally adopted when Georgia became the 27th of the then 36 states to ratify it on Dec. 6, 1865. Pictured is the amendment in the National Archives, bearing the signature of President Abraham Lincoln, who was assassinated in April 1865 before the amendment was ratified.

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