Untitled Document
31 July

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.
1009 – Pope Sergius IV becomes the 142nd pope, succeeding Pope John XVIII.
1201 – Attempted usurpation of John Komnenos the Fat.
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.
1492 – The Jews are expelled from Spain when the Alhambra Decree takes effect.
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.
1763 – Odawa chief Pontiac's forces defeat British troops at the Battle of Bloody Run during Pontiac's War.
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 – The very 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 airs for the first time.
1931 – New York City experimental television station W2XAO (now known as WCBS) begins broadcasts.
1932 – The NSDAP (Nazi Party) wins more than 38% of the vote in German elections.
1938 – Bulgaria signs a non-aggression pact with Greece and other states of Balkan Antanti (Turkey, Romania, Yugoslavia).
1938 – Archaeologists discover engraved gold and silver plates from King Darius the Great 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.
1948 – At Idlewild Field in New York, New York International Airport (later renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport) is dedicated.
1954 – First ascent of K2, by an Italian expedition led by Ardito Desio.
1956 – Jim Laker becomes the first man to take all 10 wickets in a Test match innings as he returns figures of 10/53 in the Australian 2nd innings. This combined with his 9/37 in the first innings gave him match figures of 19/90 in the 4th Test at Old Trafford.
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 – The Troubles: In Operation Motorman, the British Army re-takes the urban no-go areas of Northern Ireland. It is the biggest British military operation since the Suez Crisis of 1956, and the biggest in Ireland since the Irish War of Independence. Later that day, nine civilians are killed by car bombs in the village of Claudy.
1973 – A Delta Air Lines jetliner, flight DL 723 crashes while landing in fog at Logan Airport, Boston, Massachusetts killing 89.
1987 – A rare, class F4 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 United States and Soviet Union both sign the START I Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the first to reduce (with verification) both countries' stockpiles.
1991 – The Medininkai Massacre in Lithuania. Soviet OMON attacks Lithuanian customs post in Medininkai, killing 7 officers and severely wounding one other.
1992 – Thai Airways International Flight 311 crashes into a mountain north of Kathmandu, Nepal killing all 113 people on board.
1992 – China General Aviation Flight 7552 from Nanjing to Xiamen Airport crashed after taking off, killing 108 of the 116 people on board.
1992 – Georgia joins the United Nations.
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.
2002 – Hebrew University of Jerusalem is attacked when a bomb explodes in a cafeteria, killing 9.
2006 – Fidel Castro hands over power temporarily to brother Raúl Castro.
2007 – Operation Banner, the presence of the British Army in Northern Ireland, and the longest-running British Army operation ever, comes to an end.

Holidays and observances

Christian Feast Day:
Germanus of Auxerre
Ignatius of Loyola
July 31 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
End of the Trinity term (sitting of the High Court of Justice of England)
Heroes' Day (Malaysia)
Ka Hae Hawaiʻi Day, a Flag Day. (Hawaii)







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