On this day: January 31

POSTED: 10:08 PM PST Jan 30, 2013    UPDATED: 11:00 PM PST Jan 30, 2016 

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 - Zane Grey
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Public domain

1872: Author Zane Grey, best known for his popular adventure novels presenting an idealized image of the American frontier, is born Pearl Zane Grey in Zanesville, Ohio. Grey, whose best-selling book was 1912's "Riders of the Purple Sage," died of heart failure at age 67 on Oct. 23, 1939.


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