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    What happened on July 31

    • July 31, 0030 "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."

    • July 31, 0781 "The oldest recorded eruption of Mt. Fuji (Traditional Japanese date: July 6, 781)."

    • July 31, 0904 "Thessalonica is stormed by the Saracen corsair Leo of Tripoli, who plunders the town and carries off some 20,000 inhabitants as slaves
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    • July 31, 1099 El Cid dies in July at age 59 after being defeated by the Almoravids at Cuenca His widow will hold Valencia against the Moors until 1102


    • July 31, 1108 France's Philip I dies at the end of July at age 56 after a reign of nearly 48 years


    • July 31, 1451 Jacques Cur is arrested by order of Charles VII of France.

    • July 31, 1498 "On his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus becomes the first European to discover the island of Trinidad."

    • July 31, 1588 The Spanish Armada is spotted off the coast of England.

    • July 31, 1655 "Russo-Polish War (1654-1667): Russian army enters the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Vilnius, which it holds for six years."

    • July 31, 1658 Aurangzeb is proclaimed Moghul emperor of India.

    • July 31, 1667 Second Anglo-Dutch War: Treaty of Breda ends the conflict.

    • July 31, 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."

    • July 31, 1741 Charles Albert of Bavaria invades Upper Austria and Bohemia.

    • July 31, 1777 "Marquis de Lafayette, 19, made major-general of Continental Army"

    • July 31, 1790 "The first US patent granted, to Samuel Hopkins for a potash process"

    • July 31, 1809 "The first practical US railroad track (wooden, for horse-drawn cars), Phila"

    • July 31, 1813 "British invade Plattsburgh, NY"

    • July 31, 1815 Commodore Stephen Decatur concludes agreement with Bey of Tunis to compensate U.S. for seizure of merchant ships during the War of 1812.

    • July 31, 1856 "Christchurch, New Zealand is chartered as a city."

    • July 31, 1865 East India Squadron established to operate from Sunda Strait to Japan.

    • July 31, 1865 "The first narrow gauge mainline railway in the world opens at Grandchester, Australia."

    • July 31, 1874 "Commissioning of USS Intrepid, first U.S. warship equipped with torpedoes"

    • July 31, 1874 "Patrick Francis Healy, SJ, inaugurated as pres of Georgetown U"

    • July 31, 1912 First attempt to launch an airplane by catapult made at Annapolis.

    • July 31, 1912 US government prohibits movies & photos of prize fights (censorship)

    • July 31, 1913 The Balkan States signs an armistice at Bucarest.

    • July 31, 1914 "Labor leader Andrew Fisher declares at Colac that Australians will defend Britain ""to our last man and our last shilling"""

    • July 31, 1917 "Crpl.Leslie Wilton ANDREW, 2nd Battalion, Wellington Infantry Regiment won the Victoria Cross at La Bassee-Ville, France,"

    • July 31, 1917 The Third Battle of Ypres starts in Flanders.

    • July 31, 1919 German national assembly adopts the Weimar constitution (to come into force on August 14)

    • July 31, 1922 18-year-old Ralph Samuelson rides world's first water skis (Minn)

    • July 31, 1925 Unemployment Insurance Act passed in England

    • July 31, 1930 The radio mystery program The Shadow is aired for the first time.

    • July 31, 1932 Nazi Party wins 230 seats in Reichstag and begins negotiations for Hitler to be accepted as Chancellor.

    • July 31, 1932 The NSDAP wins more than 38% of the vote in German elections.

    • July 31, 1933 USS Constitution commences tour of principal U.S. seaports.

    • July 31, 1938 "Bulgaria signs a non-aggression pact with Greece and other states of Balkan Antanta (Turkey, Romania, Yugoslavia)"

    • July 31, 1938 "NY Yanks suspend Jake Powell, after he said on Chicago radio he'd ""hit every colored person in Chicago over the head with a club"""

    • July 31, 1940 "A doodlebug train in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio collides with a multi-car freight train heading the opposite way, killing 43 people."

    • July 31, 1941 Heydrich is appointed by Goering to carry out the Final Solution.

    • July 31, 1941 "Holocaust: Under instructions from Adolf Hitler, Nazi official Hermann Gring, 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."""

    • July 31, 1942 "German SS gases 1,000 Jews in Minsk, Belorussia"

    • July 31, 1945 John K. Giles attempts to escape from Alcatraz prison.

    • July 31, 1945 "Pierre Laval, fugitive former leader of Vichy France, surrenders to Allied soldiers in Austria."

    • July 31, 1948 "At Idlewild Field in New York, New York International Airport (later renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport) is dedicated."

    • July 31, 1948 "Pres Truman dedicates Idlewild Field (Kennedy Airport), NY"

    • July 31, 1949 "Lightning strikes a baseball field in Fla, kills the SS & 3rd baseman"

    • July 31, 1951 Japan Airlines is established.

    • July 31, 1953 "Dept of Health, Education & Welfare created"

    • July 31, 1954 "First ascent of K2, by an Italian expedition led by Ardito Desio."

    • July 31, 1956 Jim Laker sets an extraordinary record at Old Trafford in the fourth Test of taking nineteen wickets in a first-class match (the previous best was seventeen).

    • July 31, 1960 "Elijah Muhammad, leader of Nation of Islam, calls for a black state"

    • July 31, 1960 Malayan Emergency ends

    • July 31, 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."

    • July 31, 1962 Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV) arrives in South Vietnam

    • July 31, 1962 Federation of Malaysia formed

    • July 31, 1964 Al Parker glides 644 miles without any motor

    • July 31, 1964 "All-nuclear task force with USS Long Beach, USS Enterprise, and USS Bainbridge leaves Norfolk, VA to begin voyage, Operation Sea Orbit, to circle the globe without refueling. They returned on 3 October."

    • July 31, 1964 "US Ranger 7 takes 4,316 pictures before crashing on Moon"

    • July 31, 1966 Alabamans burn Beatle products due to John Lennon's anti-Jesus remark

    • July 31, 1966 Charles Whitman wounds 46 & kills 5 at University of Texas

    • July 31, 1968 "Beatles close Apple Boutique, giving clothes away for free"

    • July 31, 1968 Number one hit on UK music charts - Tommy James & The Shondells - Mony Mony

    • July 31, 1969 Mariner 6 flies past Mars

    • July 31, 1970 Black Tot Day: The last day of the officially sanctioned rum ration in the Royal Navy.

    • July 31, 1970 "Chet Huntley retires from NBC, ends ""Huntley-Brinkley Report"""

    • July 31, 1972 Northeast Airlines flies its last flight before being integrated into Delta Air Lines the next day.

    • July 31, 1972 Thomas Eagleton withdraws as Democratic VP candidate

    • July 31, 1973 "A Delta Air Lines jetliner crashes while landing in fog at Logan Airport, Boston, Massachusetts killing 89."

    • July 31, 1973 "Delta Airlines DC-9 crashes in fog at Logan Airport, Boston, killing all but one of 89 aboard. Lone survivor dies 6 months later"

    • July 31, 1975 "In Detroit, Michigan, Teamsters Union president Jimmy Hoffa is reported missing."

    • July 31, 1978 Gunman shoots his way into the Iraqi Embassy in Paris

    • July 31, 1980 John Phillips of the Mamas & Papas is arrested on drug charges

    • July 31, 1980 Soyuz 37 crew returns to Earth aboard Soyuz 36

    • July 31, 1981 42-day strike of Major League Baseball ends in the United States.

    • July 31, 1981 Arnette Hubbard installed as first woman president of the Natl Bar Assn

    • July 31, 1981 General Omar Torrijos of Panama dies in a plane crash.

    • July 31, 1982 46 kids & 7 adults die as 2 buses & several cars collide in France

    • July 31, 1984 US men's gymnastics team won team gold medal at LA Summer Olympics

    • July 31, 1987 "A rare, class F-4 tornado rips through Edmonton, Alberta, killing 27 people and causing $330 million in damage."

    • July 31, 1987 Rockwell International awarded contract to build a 5th shuttle

    • July 31, 1988 "32 people are killed and 1,674 injured when a bridge at the Sultan Abdul Halim ferry terminal collapses in Butterworth, Malaysia."

    • July 31, 1988 Miami Dolphins beat SF 49ers 27-21 in London

    • July 31, 1990 Nolan Ryan becomes the 20th major league pitcher to win 300 games

    • July 31, 1991 "The Medininkai Massacre in Lithuania. Soviet OMON attacks Lithuanian customs post in Medininkai and kills 7 officers, 1 of severely wounded (after a head shot) becomes disabled."

    • July 31, 1996 MIL-STD-1750A is declared inactive for use in new designs.

    • July 31, 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."

    • July 31, 2006 "Fidel Castro hands over power temporarily to brother Ral Castro. This leads to a celebration in Little Havana [La Pequea Habana in Spanish], Miami, Florida, where many Cuban Americans participated."

    • July 31, 2007 "Operation Banner, the presence of the British Army in Northern Ireland, and longest-running British Army operation ever, comes to an end at midnight."







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