July 31

Events

* 30 BC - Battle of Alexandria: Mark Antony achieves a minor victory over Octavian's forces, but most of his army subsequently deserts, leading to his suicide.
* 781 - The oldest recorded eruption of Mt. Fuji (Traditional Japanese date: July 6, 781).
* 904 - Thessalonica falls to the Arabs, who destroy the city.
* 1423 - Hundred Years' War: Battle of Cravant - the French army is defeated at Cravant on the banks of the river Yonne.
* 1451 - Jacques Cœur is arrested by order of Charles VII of France.
* 1498 - On his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus becomes the first European to discover the island of Trinidad.
* 1588 - The Spanish Armada is spotted off the coast of England.
* 1655 - Russo-Polish War (1654-1667): the Russian army enters the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Vilnius, which it holds for six years.
* 1658 - Aurangzeb is proclaimed Moghul emperor of India.
* 1667 - Second Anglo-Dutch War: Treaty of Breda ends the conflict.
* 1703 - Daniel Defoe is placed in a pillory for the crime of seditious libel after publishing a politically satirical pamphlet, but is pelted with flowers.
* 1741 - Charles Albert of Bavaria invades Upper Austria and Bohemia.
* 1777 - The U.S. Second Continental Congress passes a resolution that the services of Marquis de Lafayette "be accepted, and that, in consideration of his zeal, illustrious family and connexions, he have the rank and commission of major-general of the United States."
* 1790 - First U.S. patent is issued to inventor Samuel Hopkins for a potash process.
* 1856 - Christchurch, New Zealand is chartered as a city.
* 1865 - The first narrow gauge mainline railway in the world opens at Grandchester, Australia.
* 1913 - The Balkan States signs an armistice at Bucharest.
* 1919 - German national assembly adopts the Weimar constitution (which comes into force on August 14)
* 1930 - The radio mystery program "The Shadow" is aired for the first time.
* 1932 - The NSDAP wins more than 38% of the vote in German elections.
* 1936 - The International Olympic Committee announces that the 1940 Summer Olympics will be held in Tokyo. However, the games are given back to the IOC after the Second Sino-Japanese War breaks out, and are eventually cancelled altogether because of World War II.
* 1938 - Bulgaria signs a non-aggression pact with Greece and other states of Balkan Antanta (Turkey, Romania, Yugoslavia)
* 1938 - Archaeologists discover engraved gold and silver plates from King Darius in Persepolis.
* 1940 - A doodlebug train in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio collides with a multi-car freight train heading in the opposite direction, killing 43 people.
* 1941 - Holocaust: under instructions from Adolf Hitler, Nazi official Hermann Göring, orders SS General Reinhard Heydrich to "submit to me as soon as possible a general plan of the administrative material and financial measures necessary for carrying out the desired final solution of the Jewish question."
* 1945 - Pierre Laval, the fugitive former leader of Vichy France, surrenders to Allied soldiers in Austria.
* 1945 - John K. Giles attempts to escape from Alcatraz prison.
* 1948 - At Idlewild Field in New York, New York International Airport (later renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport) is dedicated.
* 1951 - Japan Airlines is established.
* 1954 - First ascent of K2, by an Italian expedition led by Ardito Desio.
* 1956 - Jim Laker sets an extraordinary record at Old Trafford in the fourth Test, taking nineteen wickets in a first-class match (the previous best was seventeen).
* 1961 - At Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts, the first All-Star Game tie in major league baseball history occurs when the game is stopped in the 9th inning because of rain.
* 1964 - Ranger program: Ranger 7 sends back the first close-up photographs of the moon, with images 1,000 times clearer than anything ever seen from earth-bound telescopes.
* 1970 - Black Tot Day: The last day of the officially sanctioned rum ration in the Royal Navy.
* 1971 - Apollo program: Apollo 15 astronauts become the first to ride in a lunar rover.
* 1972
** Northeast Airlines flies its last flight before being integrated into Delta Air Lines the next day.
** Operation Motorman: British troops move into the no-go areas of Belfast and Derry, Northern Ireland. End of Free Derry.
* 1973 - A Delta Air Lines jetliner crashes while landing in fog at Logan Airport, Boston, Massachusetts killing 89.
* 1975 - In Detroit, Michigan, Teamsters Union president Jimmy Hoffa is reported missing.
* 1976 - Viking program: Viking 1 - NASA releases the famous Face on Mars photo.
* 1981 - General Omar Torrijos of Panama dies in a plane crash.
* 1981 - 42-day strike of Major League Baseball ends in the United States.
* 1987 - A rare, class F-4 tornado rips through Edmonton, Alberta, killing 27 people and causing $330 million in damage.
* 1988 - 32 people are killed and 1,674 injured when a bridge at the Sultan Abdul Halim ferry terminal collapses in Butterworth, Malaysia.
* 1991 - The Medininkai Massacre in Lithuania. Soviet OMON attacks Lithuanian customs post in Medininkai, killing 7 officers and severely wounding one other.
* 1992 - A Thai Airways Airbus A300-310 crashes into a mountain north of Kathmandu, Nepal killing 113.
* 1999 - Discovery Program: Lunar Prospector - NASA intentionally crashes the spacecraft into the Moon, thus ending its mission to detect frozen water on the moon's surface.
* 2006 - Fidel Castro hands over power temporarily to brother Raúl Castro. This leads to a celebration in Little Havana (La Pequeña Habana in Spanish), Miami, Florida, where many Cuban Americans participated.
* 2007 - Operation Banner, the presence of the British Army in Northern Ireland, and longest-running British Army operation ever, comes to an end.

Births

* 1143 - Emperor Nijo of Japan (d. 1165)
* 1396 - Philip III, Duke of Burgundy (d. 1467)
* 1527 - Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1576)
* 1598 - Alessandro Algardi, Italian sculptor and architect (d. 1654)
* 1702 - Jean Denis Attiret, French Jesuit missionary and painter (d. 1768)
* 1704 - Gabriel Cramer, Swiss mathematician (d. 1752)
* 1718 - John Canton, English physicist (d. 1772)
* 1724 - Noël François de Wailly, French lexicographer (d. 1801)
* 1737 - Princess Augusta Charlotte of Wales (d. 1813)
* 1803 - John Ericsson, Swedish inventor and engineer (d. 1889)
* 1816 - George Henry Thomas, American general (d. 1870)
* 1825 - William S. Clark, American senator and scholar (d. 1886)
* 1835 - Henri Brisson, French statesman (d. 1912)
* 1835 - Paul du Chaillu, French explorer (d. 1903)
* 1837 - William Quantrill, American Civil War rebel guerrilla leader (d. 1865)
* 1843 - Peter Rosegger, Austrian poet (d. 1918)
* 1858 - Richard Dixon Oldham, British geologist (d. 1936)
* 1860 - Mary Vaux Walcott, American artist and naturalist (d. 1940)
* 1867 - Sebastian S. Kresge, American merchant and philanthropist (d. 1966)
* 1880 - Munshi Premchand, Indian Author (d. 1936)
* 1883 - Fred Quimby, American film producer (d. 1965)
* 1884 - Carl Friedrich Goerdeler, German politician (d. 1945)
* 1886 - Salvatore Maranzano, Sicilian-born American organized crime figure (d. 1931)
* 1887 - Hans Freyer, German sociologist (d. 1969)
* 1892 - Joseph Charbonneau, French-Canadian Roman Catholic archbishop (d. 1959)
* 1894 - Fred Keenor, Welsh footballer (d.1972)
* 1901 - Jean Dubuffet, French painter and sculptor (d. 1985)
* 1904 - Brett Halliday, American writer (d. 1977)
* 1911 - George Liberace, American musician (d. 1983)
* 1912 - Bill Brown, Australian cricketer (d. 2008)
* 1912 - Milton Friedman, American economist, Nobel laureate (d. 2006)
* 1912 - Irv Kupcinet, American newspaper columnist (d. 2003)
* 1913 - Bryan Hextall, Canadian hockey player (d. 1984)
* 1914 - Louis de Funès, French actor and comedian (d. 1983)
* 1916 - Billy Hitchcock, American baseball player and official (d. 2006)
* 1916 - Bill Todman, American game show producer (d. 1979)
* 1916 - Sibte Hassan, Pakistani activist
* 1918 - Paul D. Boyer, American chemist, Nobel Prize Laureate
* 1918 - Hank Jones, American pianist
* 1919 - Curt Gowdy, American sports announcer (d. 2006)
* 1919 - Primo Levi, Italian author and chemist (d. 1987)
* 1920 - James Esdras Faust, American religious leader (d. 2007)
* 1921 - Whitney Young, American civil rights activist (d. 1971)
* 1921 - Peter Benenson, British founder of Amnesty International (d. 2005)
* 1922 - Hank Bauer, American baseball player and manager (d. 2007)
* 1923 - Ahmet Ertegün, Turkish-born record company executive (d. 2006)
* 1923 - Jimmy Evert, American tennis coach and father of Chris Evert
* 1926 - Hilary Putnam, American philosopher
* 1929 - Don Murray, American actor
* 1929 - José Santamaria, Uruguayan footballer
* 1929 - Lynne Reid Banks, British author
* 1930 - Oleg Popov, Russian clown
* 1931 - Kenny Burrell, American guitarist
* 1931 - Nick Bollettieri, American tennis coach
* 1932 - Ted Cassidy, American actor (d. 1979)
* 1932 - John Searle, American philosopher
* 1933 - Cees Nooteboom, Dutch writer
* 1935 - Yvon Deschamps, French-Canadian author and humorist
* 1935 - Geoffrey Lewis, American actor
* 1936 - Vic Davalillo, Venezuelan baseball player
* 1939 - France Nuyen, French actress
* 1941 - Amarsinh Chaudhary, Indian politician
* 1943 - William Bennett, 3rd United States Secretary of Education
* 1943 - Susan Flannery, American actress
* 1943 - Lobo, American singer and songwriter
* 1943 - Sab Shimono, Japanese-American actor
* 1944 - Geraldine Chaplin, American actress
* 1944 - Jonathan Dimbleby, British journalist and television presenter
* 1944 - Robert C. Merton, American mathematician
* 1945 - Gary Lewis, American vocalist (Gary Lewis & the Playboys)
* 1945 - William Weld, 68th Governor of Massachusetts
* 1946 - Bob Welch, American musician
* 1946 - Karen Zerby, American religious leader
* 1950 - Lane Davies, American actor
* 1950 - Steve Miller, American writer
* 1951 - Evonne Goolagong, Australian tennis player
* 1951 - Barry Van Dyke, American actor
* 1952 - Chris Ahrens, American ice hockey player
* 1952 - Alan Autry, American football player and politician
* 1952 - Helmuts Balderis, Latvian hockey player
* 1952 - João Barreiros, Portuguese writer
* 1953 - Ted Baillieu, Australian Politician
* 1953 - James Read, American actor
* 1953 - Jimmy Cook, South African cricketer
* 1954 - Derek Smith, Canadian ice hockey player
* 1956 - Michael Biehn, American actor
* 1956 - Deval Patrick, 71st Governor of Massachusetts
* 1956 - Bill Callahan, American football coach
* 1957 - Daniel Ash, British musician (Bauhaus)
* 1957 - Leon Durham, American baseball player
* 1957 - Dirk Blocker, American actor
* 1958 - Bill Berry, American musician (R.E.M.)
* 1958 - Mark Cuban, American businessman and basketball team owner
* 1959 - Stanley Jordan, American jazz guitarist
* 1960 - Dale Hunter, Canadian ice hockey player
* 1962 - John Chiang, American politician
* 1962 - Kevin Greene, American football player
* 1962 - Wesley Snipes, American actor
* 1963 - Brian Skrudland, Canadian ice hockey player
* 1963 - Norman Cook, British musician (The Housemartins, Freak Power, Beats International, Fatboy Slim)
* 1964 - Jim Corr, Irish singer and musician (The Corrs)
* 1965 - Scott Brooks, American basketball player
* 1965 - John Laurinaitis, American professional wrestler
* 1965 - J. K. Rowling, British writer
* 1965 - Julian Richards, British film director
* 1966 - Dean Cain, American actor
* 1967 - Minako Honda, Japanese singer and musical actress (d. 2005)
* 1967 - Mitsuo Iwata, Japanese seiyū
* 1968 - Saeed-Al-Saffar, Former UAE cricketer
* 1969 - David Cash, American professional wrestler
* 1969 - Loren Dean, American actor
* 1969 - Kenneth D. Schisler, American politician
* 1970 - Ahmad Akbarpour, Iranian writer
* 1971 - Gus Frerotte, American football player
* 1971 - John Lowery, American guitarist
* 1973 - Chandra North, American supermodel
* 1973 - Nathan Brown, Australian rugby league player
* 1974 - Emilia Fox, English actress
* 1974 - Jonathan Ogden, American football player
* 1975 - Randy Flores, American baseball player
* 1975 - Simon Hirst, British radio DJ
* 1975 - Mike Lincoln, American baseball player
* 1975 - Allan von Schenkel, American musician
* 1975 - Andrew Hall, Former South African cricketer
* 1976 - Joshua Cain, American musician (Motion City Soundtrack)
* 1976 - Annie Parisse, American actress
* 1976 - Paulo Wanchope, Costa Rican footballer
* 1977 - Tim Couch, American football player
* 1978 - Will Champion, English musician (Coldplay)
* 1978 - Zeta Makripoulia, Greek actress, model and TV presenter
* 1978 - Justin Wilson, English race car driver
* 1979 - J. J. Furmaniak, American baseball player
* 1979 - Per Krøldrup, Danish footballer
* 1979 - Jade Kwan, Hong Kong singer
* 1979 - Carlos Marchena, Spanish footballer
* 1979 - B. J. Novak, American actor
* 1980 - Mils Muliaina, New Zealand and Waikato rugby player
* 1981 - Eric Lively, American actor
* 1981 - J.Son Dinant, American comedian
* 1981 - Ira Losco, Maltese singer
* 1981 - Matthew Sanders, American singer (Avenged Sevenfold)
* 1982 - Blessing Mahwire, Zimbabwean cricketer
* 1984 - Glenn Holt, American football player
* 1986 - Evgeni Malkin, Russian hockey player
* 1987 - Michael Bradley, American soccer player
* 1987 - Brittany Byrnes, Australian Actress
* 1989 - Victoria Azarenka, Belarusian tennis player
* 1990 - Olga Galchenko, Russian juggler

Deaths

* 855 - Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Muslim Jurisprudent (b. 780)
* 1396 - William Courtenay, Archbishop of Canterbury (b. 1342)
* 1508 - Na'od, Emperor of Ethiopia (b. 1494)
* 1556 - Ignatius Loyola, Spanish priest and founder of the Jesuits
* 1653 - Thomas Dudley, Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony (b. 1576)
* 1726 - Nicolaus II Bernoulli, Swiss mathematician (b. 1695)
* 1750 - King John V of Portugal (b. 1689)
* 1784 - Denis Diderot, French philosopher and encylopedist (b. 1713)
* 1864 - Louis Hachette, French publisher (b. 1800)
* 1875 - Andrew Johnson, 17th President of the United States (b. 1808)
* 1886 - Franz Liszt, Hungarian composer (b. 1811)
* 1914 - Jean Jaurès, French politician (d. 1859)
* 1917 - Francis Ledwidge, Irish poet (b. 1881)
* 1917 - Hedd Wyn, Welsh poet (b. 1887)
* 1943 - Hedley Verity, English Test cricketer (b. 1905)
* 1944 - Antoine de Saint-Exupery, French pilot and writer (b. 1900)
* 1953 - Robert Taft, U.S. Senator from Ohio and Presidential candidate (b. 1889)
* 1954 - Onofre Marimón, Argentine racing driver (b. 1923)
* 1964 - Jim Reeves, American singer (b. 1923)
* 1966 - Bud Powell, American jazz pianist (b. 1924)
* 1970 - Walter Briggs, Jr., American sports executive (b. 1912)
* 1972 - Paul-Henri Spaak, Prime Minister of Belgium (b. 1899)
* 1980 - Pascual Jordan, German physicist (b. 1902)
* 1980 - Mohd. Rafi, Indian playback singer (b. 1924)
* 1986 - Chiune Sugihara, Japanese diplomat (b. 1900)
* 1986 - Teddy Wilson, American jazz pianist (b. 1912)
* 1988 - Trinidad Silva, American actor (b. 1950)
* 1990 - Albert Leduc, French Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1902)
* 1993 - King Baudouin I of Belgium (b. 1930)
* 1996 - Seagram Miller, American rapper (b. 1970)
* 2001 - Poul Anderson, American author (b. 1926)
* 2001 - Francisco da Costa Gomes, 16th President of Portugal (b. 1914)
* 2001 - Friedrich Franz, Hereditary Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (b. 1910)
* 2003 - Guido Crepax, Italian comics artist (b. 1933)
* 2004 - Virginia Grey, American actress (b. 1917)
* 2004 - Laura Betti, Italian actress (b. 1927)
* 2005 - Wim Duisenberg, Dutch banker (b. 1935)
* 2006 - Paul Eells, American sportscaster (b. 1935)

Holidays and observances

* Hari Pahlawan - Malaysian warrior's day.
* Ka Hae Hawai‘i - Hawaiian Flag Day.
* End of the Trinity term (sitting of the High Court of Justice of England).
* Saint Germanus (died 448), bishop of Auxerre, confessor [Bruges; Paris]
* Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits

External links

* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/july/31 BBC: On This Day]
*
* [http://www1.sympatico.ca/cgi-bin/on_this_day?mth=Jul&day=31 On This Day in Canada]

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