On this day: January 31

Published On: Jan 31 2013 12:08:38 AM CST   Updated On: Jan 31 2016 01:00:00 AM CST

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 - Comet Hyakutake
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E. Kolmhofer, H. Raab/Johannes-Kepler-Observatory

1996: Comet Hyakutake is discovered by Japanese amateur astronomer Yuji Hyakutake. The comet's passage near the Earth was one of the closest cometary approaches of the previous 200 years.

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