On This Day in History July 31

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 Coeur 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): 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 United States 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; granted 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 Bucarest.
  • 1917 – The Third Battle of Ypres starts in Flanders.
  • 1919 – German national assembly adopts the Weimar constitution (to come 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 to 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)
  • 1940 – A doodlebug train in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio collides with a multi-car freight train heading the opposite way, 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, 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 of 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.
  • 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 and kills 7 officers, 1 of severely wounded (after a head shot) becomes disabled.
  • 1992 – A Thai Airways Airbus A300-310 crashes into 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.
  • 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.

July 31 – Birthdays:

  • 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 poet
  • 1883 – Fred Quimby, American film producer (d. 1965)
  • 1884 – Carl Friedrich Goerdeler, German politician (d. 1945)
  • 1887 – Hans Freyer, German sociologist (d. 1969)
  • 1892 – Joseph Charbonneau, French Canadian Roman Catholic archbishop of Montreal (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
  • 1912 – Milton Friedman, American economist, Nobel Prize 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, baseball player, coach, and official (d. 2006)
  • 1916 – Bill Todman, American game show producer (d. 1979)
  • 1916 – Sibte Hassan, Pakistani activist, journalist, and writer
  • 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, founder of Amnesty International (d. 2005)
  • 1923 – Ahmet Ertegün, Turkish-born record company executive (d. 2006)
  • 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)
  • 1933 – Cees Nooteboom, Dutch writer
  • 1935 – Yvon Deschamps, French Canadian author, comedian and humorist
  • 1935 – Geoffrey Lewis, American actor
  • 1936 – Vic Davalillo, baseball player
  • 1939 – France Nuyen, French actress
  • 1941 – Amarsinh Chaudhary, Indian politician
  • 1943 – William Bennett, 3 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, U.K. journalist and television presenter
  • 1944 – Robert C. Merton, Leading Scholar and Nobel Prize Winner
  • 1945 – Gary Lewis, American drummer and vocalist (Gary Lewis & the Playboys)
  • 1945 – William Weld, 68 Governor of Massachusetts
  • 1946 – Bob Welch, American musician
  • 1946 – Karen Zerby, current leader of Children of God
  • 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, actor and politician
  • 1952 – Helmuts Balderis, Latvian hockey player
  • 1952 – João Barreiros, Portuguese writer
  • 1953 – James Read, American actor
  • 1954 – Derek Smith, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1956 – Michael Biehn, American actor
  • 1956 – Deval Patrick, current (71) 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 drummer (R.E.M.)
  • 1958 – Mark Cuban, American businessman, producer, 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 – Fatboy Slim, British musician
  • 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
  • 1966 – Dean Cain, American actor
  • 1967 – Minako Honda, Japanese singer and musical actress (d. 2005)
  • 1967 – Mitsuo Iwata, Japanese seiyu
  • 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 (John 5), American guitarist
  • 1973 – Chandra North, American supermodel
  • 1973 – Nathan Brown, Australian rugby league player. (now coach of the St George Illawarra  Dragons)
  • 1974 – Emilia Fox, English actress
  • 1974 – Jonathan Ogden, American football player
  • 1975 – Bloodshed American rapper (d. 1997)
  • 1975 – Randy Flores, American baseball player
  • 1975 – Simon Hirst, British radio DJ
  • 1975 – Mike Lincoln, American baseball player
  • 1975 – Allan von Schenkel, American musician
  • 1976 – Joshua Cain, American guitarist (Motion City Soundtrack)
  • 1976 – Annie Parisse, American actress
  • 1976 – Paulo Wanchope, Costa Rican footballer
  • 1977 – Tim Couch, American football player
  • 1978 – Will Champion, English drummer (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 “M. Shadows” Sanders, American singer (Avenged Sevenfold)
  • 1982 – Blessing Mahwire, Zimbabwean cricketer
  • 1986 – Evgeni Malkin, Russian hockey player
  • 1987 – Michael Bradley, American soccer player
  • 1989 – Victoria Azarenka, Belarusian tennis player
  • 1990 – Olga Galchenko, Russian juggler

July 31 – Deaths:

  • 1396 – William Courtenay, Archbishop of Canterbury (b. 1342)
  • 1508 – Na’od, Emperor of Ethiopia (killed in battle) (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 (Ellis Humphrey Evans), Welsh poet (b. 1887)
  • 1944 – Antoine de Saint-Exupery, French pilot and writer (b. 1900)
  • 1953 – Robert Taft, U.S. Senator from Ohio and Presidential candidate (b. 1889)
  • 1943 – Hedley Verity, English Test cricketer (b. 1905)
  • 1954 – Onofre Marimón, Argentine racing driver (b. 1923)
  • 1964 – Jim Reeves, American singer (b. 1923)
  • 1966 – Bud Powell, American jazz pianist (b. 1924)
  • 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)
  • 2001 – Poul Anderson, American author (b. 1926)
  • 2001 – Francisco da Costa Gomes, 16 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, “Voice of the Arkansas Razorbacks” sportscaster (b. 1935)

July 31 – Holidays:

  • Hari Pahlawan – Malaysian warrior’s day.
  • Ka Hae Hawai‘i – Hawaiian Flag Day.
  • Roman Catholicism:

o   Saint Germanus (d.448), bishop of Auxerre, confessor [Bruges; Paris]

o   Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits

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 Coeur 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): 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 United States 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; granted 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 Bucarest.
  • 1917 – The Third Battle of Ypres starts in Flanders.
  • 1919 – German national assembly adopts the Weimar constitution (to come 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 to 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)
  • 1940 – A doodlebug train in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio collides with a multi-car freight train heading the opposite way, 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, 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 of 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.
  • 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 and kills 7 officers, 1 of severely wounded (after a head shot) becomes disabled.
  • 1992 – A Thai Airways Airbus A300-310 crashes into 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.
  • 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.

July 31 – Birthdays:

  • 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 poet
  • 1883 – Fred Quimby, American film producer (d. 1965)
  • 1884 – Carl Friedrich Goerdeler, German politician (d. 1945)
  • 1887 – Hans Freyer, German sociologist (d. 1969)
  • 1892 – Joseph Charbonneau, French Canadian Roman Catholic archbishop of Montreal (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
  • 1912 – Milton Friedman, American economist, Nobel Prize 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, baseball player, coach, and official (d. 2006)
  • 1916 – Bill Todman, American game show producer (d. 1979)
  • 1916 – Sibte Hassan, Pakistani activist, journalist, and writer
  • 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, founder of Amnesty International (d. 2005)
  • 1923 – Ahmet Ertegün, Turkish-born record company executive (d. 2006)
  • 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)
  • 1933 – Cees Nooteboom, Dutch writer
  • 1935 – Yvon Deschamps, French Canadian author, comedian and humorist
  • 1935 – Geoffrey Lewis, American actor
  • 1936 – Vic Davalillo, baseball player
  • 1939 – France Nuyen, French actress
  • 1941 – Amarsinh Chaudhary, Indian politician
  • 1943 – William Bennett, 3 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, U.K. journalist and television presenter
  • 1944 – Robert C. Merton, Leading Scholar and Nobel Prize Winner
  • 1945 – Gary Lewis, American drummer and vocalist (Gary Lewis & the Playboys)
  • 1945 – William Weld, 68 Governor of Massachusetts
  • 1946 – Bob Welch, American musician
  • 1946 – Karen Zerby, current leader of Children of God
  • 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, actor and politician
  • 1952 – Helmuts Balderis, Latvian hockey player
  • 1952 – João Barreiros, Portuguese writer
  • 1953 – James Read, American actor
  • 1954 – Derek Smith, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1956 – Michael Biehn, American actor
  • 1956 – Deval Patrick, current (71) 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 drummer (R.E.M.)
  • 1958 – Mark Cuban, American businessman, producer, 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 – Fatboy Slim, British musician
  • 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
  • 1966 – Dean Cain, American actor
  • 1967 – Minako Honda, Japanese singer and musical actress (d. 2005)
  • 1967 – Mitsuo Iwata, Japanese seiyu
  • 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 (John 5), American guitarist
  • 1973 – Chandra North, American supermodel
  • 1973 – Nathan Brown, Australian rugby league player. (now coach of the St George Illawarra  Dragons)
  • 1974 – Emilia Fox, English actress
  • 1974 – Jonathan Ogden, American football player
  • 1975 – Bloodshed American rapper (d. 1997)
  • 1975 – Randy Flores, American baseball player
  • 1975 – Simon Hirst, British radio DJ
  • 1975 – Mike Lincoln, American baseball player
  • 1975 – Allan von Schenkel, American musician
  • 1976 – Joshua Cain, American guitarist (Motion City Soundtrack)
  • 1976 – Annie Parisse, American actress
  • 1976 – Paulo Wanchope, Costa Rican footballer
  • 1977 – Tim Couch, American football player
  • 1978 – Will Champion, English drummer (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 “M. Shadows” Sanders, American singer (Avenged Sevenfold)
  • 1982 – Blessing Mahwire, Zimbabwean cricketer
  • 1986 – Evgeni Malkin, Russian hockey player
  • 1987 – Michael Bradley, American soccer player
  • 1989 – Victoria Azarenka, Belarusian tennis player
  • 1990 – Olga Galchenko, Russian juggler

July 31 – Deaths:

  • 1396 – William Courtenay, Archbishop of Canterbury (b. 1342)
  • 1508 – Na’od, Emperor of Ethiopia (killed in battle) (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 (Ellis Humphrey Evans), Welsh poet (b. 1887)
  • 1944 – Antoine de Saint-Exupery, French pilot and writer (b. 1900)
  • 1953 – Robert Taft, U.S. Senator from Ohio and Presidential candidate (b. 1889)
  • 1943 – Hedley Verity, English Test cricketer (b. 1905)
  • 1954 – Onofre Marimón, Argentine racing driver (b. 1923)
  • 1964 – Jim Reeves, American singer (b. 1923)
  • 1966 – Bud Powell, American jazz pianist (b. 1924)
  • 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)
  • 2001 – Poul Anderson, American author (b. 1926)
  • 2001 – Francisco da Costa Gomes, 16 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, “Voice of the Arkansas Razorbacks” sportscaster (b. 1935)

July 31 – Holidays:

  • Hari Pahlawan – Malaysian warrior’s day.
  • Ka Hae Hawai‘i – Hawaiian Flag Day.
  • Roman Catholicism:

o   Saint Germanus (d.448), bishop of Auxerre, confessor [Bruges; Paris]

o   Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits

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