July 31 in History Events, Birthdays, & News

To know what happened today in history, famous events occurred, famous birthdays, death days, legend quotes, and historical news on July 31.

July 31

Events on July 31

1556 Death of Ignatius Loyola, Spanish cleric who founded the Jesuit order to propagate the Roman Catholic faith.

1667 The Anglo-Dutch War ends with the Peace of Breda.

1861 9,300 mm monthly rainfall in Cherrapunji, India, became a world record.

1875 Death of Andrew Johnson, Democratic president after the assassination of President Lincoln.

1914 Kaiser Wilhelm Il of Germany rejects a British offer of mediation in the Austro-Serbian crisis as “insolence”.

1919 The Weimar Republic was established in Germany, named after the town in which the new German constitution was formulated.

1932 The Nazi Party doubles its representation in the Reichstag.

1965 Cigarette commercials are banned on British television.

1975 Irish pop group the Miami Showband is ambushed and murdered by Protestant gunmen near Newry, Northern Ireland.

1979 Nigeria seizes British oil installations in a bid to persuade Margaret Thatcher to take a tough line on apartheid.

1990 In Trinidad, Muslim rebels release prime minister A.R. Robinson continued to hold their other hostages in Port of Spain’s television station.

Famous Birthdays on July 31

Dhanpat Rai Srivastav or “Munshi Premchand” 1880, Indian writer, editor and journalist.

Milton Friedman 1912, American economist and advocate of the free market economy, winner of the Nobel Prize in 1976.

Lynne Reid Banks 1929, British author best-known for The L-Shaped Room, which was made into a film starring Leslie Caron and Tom Bell.

J.K. Rowling 1965, British author who created Harry Potter books, which were adapted into eight successful movies.

Quotes from Legend

All politicians have vanity. Some wear it more gently than others.

- David Steele, British politician, 1985.

Historical News on July 31

First Success for Ranger Programme

First success for Ranger programme on July 31
First success for Ranger programme

1964 NASA scientists are on the brink of answering many questions about the composition of the moon.

At the seventh attempt, they have succeeded in landing a functioning camera-equipped spacecraft on the surface of the earth’s only satellite.

The 806-1b (365 kg) Ranger 7 probe reached its target area, the Mare Nubium, some 68 hours after blast-off.

The craft is fitted with six cameras, one covering a wide field of view, the other five taking close-ups of smaller areas.

The pictures sent back so far reveal that part of the Moon is not covered with a deep layer of dust, as had been supposed.

The surface material seems to have a spongy texture and is very different in composition from the rock found on Earth.

Solar radiation and bombardment by meteors and other interplanetary materials are only two of the phenomena that have gone into shaping the Moon’s landscape.

Kidnapped US Marine Hanged

1989 The Organization for the Oppressed of the Earth, a group of Shi’ite Muslim extremists closely linked with the pro-Iranian Hezbollah (Party of God), announced today that they had executed Lieutenant Colonel William Higgins, the US Marine abducted in Lebanon in February 1988.

The group also released a video showing a bound and gagged man revolving slowly at the end of a rope.

Close examination of the grisly low-quality tape has led the CIA to believe that William Higgins may have been killed at a much earlier date.

Jim Reeves Killed in Plane Crash

1964 Country singer Jim Reeves died today when his plane crashed into a hillside a few miles from Nashville, Tennessee.

He was 40.

“Gentleman Jim” Reeves shot to fame in the late 50s with his hit single “He’ll Have to Go”. He followed this up with “Welcome to My World”, “I Love You Because” and “I Won’t Forget You”, all top ten records. Reeves set out to be a baseball star, but as a singer, his distinctive voice and gentle style won him fans around the world.

He made 375 records before his death and his widow Mary promises to ensure that they are released over the coming years.

Tibetans rebel against China

Tibetans rebel against China on July 31
Tibetans rebel against China

1958 Kham tribesmen in eastern Tibet are reported to be increasing their guerrilla activity against Chinese troops.

The armed resistance to the Chinese presence in Tibet is not as yet on the same scale witnessed last year in Kham province when tribesmen breached part of the main China-Tibet highway.

But if the unrest spreads it may give the Chinese authorities an excuse to crack down on the rebels.

Under the terms of the 1951 agreement, Tibet supposedly enjoys full autonomy.

In reality, Peking makes all the decisions relating to domestic and foreign affairs.

1990 Four days ago cricketer Graham Gooch scored 333 runs, the third-largest individual total by an England batsman.

In 101/2 hours he faced 485 balls. Back at the crease yesterday to open England’s Second Innings against India, he scored 123 to become the first Englishman since Compton in 1947 to score centuries in successive innings.

Liszt Dies

1886 The Abbé Liszt, Canon of Albano, died from pneumonia this evening aged 75.

The great pianist was dogged with illness for the last two years of his life yet maintained a punishing schedule of teaching, composing, and concert-giving.

By the time he retired as a virtuoso pianist at 35, he had become a public idol. He died oppressed by much personal unhappiness that could not be relieved by his spiritual beliefs.

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