This Day in History July 31st July


This Day in History

  • 2013 Died: Gore Vidal (born Eugene Louis Vidal), American novelist, shorts story writer, essayist, dramatist, screenwriter and public intellectual.
  • 2012 American swimmer Michael Phelps broke the record for the most medals won at the Olympics. As of 2015, he has won 22 Olympic medals.
  • 2006 Fidel Castro handed over power to his younger brother Raúl Castro due to his illness. Raúl Castro was officially elected President in 2008.
  • 2001 Died: Poul Anderson, American author of science fiction, fantasy and historical fiction who received seven Hugo Awards and three Nebula Awards.
  • 1992 Thai Airways International Flight 311 crashed on approach to Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, Nepal, killing all 113 people on board.
  • 1992 Died: Leonard Cheshire, British Royal Air Force pilot during World War II and philanthropist. In 1944, he was awarded the Victoria Cross.
  • 1988 The Sultan Abdul Halim ferry terminal bridge collapsed in Butterworth, Penang, Malaysia, killing 33 people and injuring over 1,600 people.
  • 1988 Born: Charlie Carver, American actor known for his role as Ethan on Teen Wolf. His twin brother Max Carver played Ethan’s twin Aiden.
  • 1971 Apollo 15 mission astronauts became the first to use the Lunar Rover Vehicle. This vehicle helped expand the range of lunar explorers.
  • 1971 Died: Walter P. Carter, American civil rights activist who organized numerous demonstrations against discrimination in Maryland.
  • 1971 Born: John 5 (stage name of John William Lowery), American guitarist known for his work with Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Meat Loaf etc.
  • 1970 The Black Tot Day: this was the last day when the Royal Navy issued sailors with a daily rum ration. A special stamp was issued on the occasion.
  • 1967 Born: Tim Wright, also known as CoLD SToRAGE, Welsh video game music composer, one of the founders of Jester Interactive.
  • 1965 Born: J. K. Rowling, British novelist known for her Harry Potter series and crime fiction novels (published under the pen name Robert Galbraith).
  • 1962 Born: Wesley Snipes, American actor, martial artist and film producer best known for playing the title character in the Blade film series.
  • 1954 An Italian expedition completed the first successful ascent to the summit of K2, the world’s second highest mountain at 8,611 meters.
  • 1944 Died: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, French writer, poet and pioneering aviator best known for his novella The Little Prince, first published in 1943.
  • 1944 Born: Robert C. Merton, American economist and professor who was awarded the 1997 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
  • 1932 Born: Ted Cassidy, American film, television and voice actor best known for his role of Lurch on the 1964 series The Addams Family.
  • 1930 Born: Oleg Popov, famous Soviet and Russian clown and circus artist (mime, juggler, tightrope walker) known as the “Sunshine clown”.
  • 1919 The Weimar National Assembly passed the Constitution of the German Reich, commonly referred to as the Weimar Constitution.
  • 1918 Born: Paul D. Boyer, American biochemist, analytical chemist and professor who was awarded the 1997 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
  • 1914 Died: Jean Jaurès, French antimilitarist and Socialist leader. He was assassinated by Raoul Villain at the outbreak of the First World War.
  • 1914 Born: Louis de Funès, French actor regarded as one of the giants of French comedy. He is best known for his role as Ludovic Cruchot.
  • 1886 Died: Franz Liszt, Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist, conductor and teacher. He was a prominent representative of the New German School.
  • 1790 American inventor Samuel Hopkins was granted the first U.S. patent after the new patent statute. He patented the potash process.
  • 1784 Died: Denis Diderot, French philosopher, art critic and writer who was a prominent figure during the Age of Enlightenment in France.
  • 1726 Died: Nicolaus II Bernoulli, Swiss mathematician. He was one of the many prominent mathematicians in the famous Bernoulli family.
  • 1556 Died: Ignatius of Loyola, Spanish knight, hermit, Catholic priest and theologian best known for founding the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).
  • 1498 During his third voyage of exploration, Christopher Columbus discovered Trinidad. The island remained a Spanish colony until 1797.
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