Today in History
Published 8:59 am Friday, July 31, 2020
Today is Friday, July 31, the 213th day of 2020. There are 153 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 31, 1777, during the Revolutionary War, the Marquis de Lafayette, a 19-year-old French nobleman, was made a major-general in the American Continental Army.
On this date:
In 1556, St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus — the Jesuit order of Catholic priests and brothers — died in Rome.
In 1715, a fleet of Spanish ships carrying gold, silver and jewelry sank during a hurricane off the east Florida coast; of some 2,500 crew members, more than 1,000 died.
In 1945, Pierre Laval, premier of the pro-Nazi Vichy government, surrendered to U.S. authorities in Austria; he was turned over to France, which later tried and executed him.
In 1954, Pakistan’s K2 was conquered as two members of an Italian expedition, Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli, reached the summit.
In 1964, the American space probe Ranger 7 reached the moon, transmitting pictures back to Earth before impacting the lunar surface.
In 1971, Apollo 15 crew members David Scott and James Irwin became the first astronauts to use a lunar rover on the surface of the moon.
In 1972, Democratic vice-presidential candidate Thomas Eagleton withdrew from the ticket with George McGovern following disclosures that Eagleton had once undergone psychiatric treatment.
In 1981, a seven-week-old Major League Baseball strike ended.
In 1991, President George H.W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in Moscow.
In 2002, a bomb exploded inside a cafeteria at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, killing nine people, including five Americans.
In 2003, the Vatican launched a global campaign against gay marriages, warning Catholic politicians that support of same-sex unions was “gravely immoral” and urging non-Catholics to join the offensive.
In 2014, the death toll from the worst recorded Ebola outbreak in history surpassed 700 in West Africa.
Ten years ago: Chelsea Clinton married investment banker Marc Mezvinsky in the upstate New York village of Rhinebeck. Orchestra leader Mitch Miller died in New York at age 99. Tom Mankiewicz, 68, a screenwriter of James Bond films such as “Diamonds Are Forever” and “Live and Let Die,” and the first two “Superman” movies, died in Los Angeles.
Five years ago: Beijing was awarded the 2022 Winter Olympics to become the first city to host both the winter and summer games. Professional wrestler-turned-actor “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, 61, died in Hollywood. Former U.S. senator and Secretary of Health and Human Services Richard S. Schweiker, 89, died in Pomona, N.J.
One year ago: At a Democratic debate in Detroit, former Vice President Joe Biden faced pointed attacks from his younger, diverse rivals; California Sen. Kamala Harris criticized Biden for his willingness to work with segregationists in the Senate during the 1970s. The Federal Reserve cut its key interest rate for the first time in a decade to try to counter the impact of President Donald Trump’s trade wars. The Senate confirmed Kelly Craft to become the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, ending a vacancy of more than seven months in the position. Broadway director and producer Harold Prince, winner of 21 Tony Awards for shows including “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Cabaret,” died at the age of 91.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Don Murray is 91. Jazz composer-musician Kenny Burrell is 89. Actress France Nuyen is 81. Actress Susan Flannery is 81. Singer Lobo is 76. Actress Geraldine Chaplin is 76. Former movie studio executive Sherry Lansing is 76. Singer Gary Lewis is 75. Actor Lane Davies is 70. Actress Susan Wooldridge is 70. International Tennis Hall of Famer Evonne Goolagong Cawley is 69. Actor Barry Van Dyke is 69. Actor Alan Autry is 68. Jazz composer-musician Michael Wolff is 68. Actor James Read is 67. Actor Michael Biehn is 64. Rock singer-musician Daniel Ash (Love and Rockets) is 63. Actor Dirk Blocker is 63. Entrepreneur Mark Cuban is 62. Rock musician Bill Berry is 62. Actor Wally Kurth is 62. Actor Wesley Snipes is 58. Country singer Chad Brock is 57. Musician Fatboy Slim is 57. Rock musician Jim Corr is 56. Author J.K. Rowling is 55. Actor Dean Cain is 54. Actor Jim True-Frost is 54. Actor Ben Chaplin is 51. Actor Loren Dean is 51. Actress Eve Best is 49. Retired NFL quarterback Gus Frerotte is 49. Actress Annie Parisse is 45. Actor Robert Telfer is 43. Country singer-musician Zac Brown is 42. Actor-producer-writer B.J. Novak is 41. Actor Eric Lively is 39. Country singer Blaire Stroud (3 of Hearts) is 37. Singer Shannon Curfman is 35. NHL center Evgeni Malkin is 34. Hip-hop artist Lil Uzi Vert is 26. Actor Reese Hartwig is 22. Actor Rico Rodriguez is 22.